From crisis to conversion: Cardijn-inspired movements speak out

Responding to the Covid-19 crisis around the globe, eleven international Specialised Catholic Action movements representing workers, intellectuals, professional, farmers as well as youth and children’s movements (including the Cardijn Community International), have combined to call for personal and structural change to respond to the problems that have emerged.

“The International Specialised Catholic Action Movements (known by the French acronym MIACS) represent more than 500 movements around the world with a great diversity of countries, cultures and backgrounds,” the statement begins. “Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic we have been reflecting together on this crisis and wish to share some thoughts and actions.

“The pandemic has brutally aggravated pre-existing problems,” the statement warns. These problems include “unemployment, inequalities between gender, between rich and poor, within and between countries, and domestic violence.”

“Various needs including access to healthcare, social security, working conditions, health, food, education, reception of migrants are growing as is the visibility of these problems and the national debt.

“The pandemic has made these situations unbearable, as illustrated by the reports of IYCW on the impact of Covid on young workers, FIMARC on farmers and fisherfolk, and MIDADE on the living conditions of children. A system that fails to solve these problems or to prevent them from worsening, needs to change.

It has “caused personal destabilisation, complicated relationships and blocked projects owing to uncertainty about the future. Destabilisation at a collective level has also occurred. In these circumstances, can GDP growth remain the reference? Can we still believe in ongoing progress after the pandemic? It has changed the way people look at things, e.g. the kinds of employment that sustain society.

“More than just a crisis, the pandemic has created a new situation, the effects of which are still unknown. We are experiencing a key moment that calls for change. But what change? And what will the fundamental basis of it be?

“The current crisis is a call for change to all. The contribution of our movements is to promote human development in the spirit of the Gospel, through everything that catalyses awareness and conversions, at the international and local levels.

“The necessary conversions are not only personal. They are also about relations between people and with the environment, modes of organisation, the laws that govern living together, the collective values of the different environments: companies, financial organisations, etc, the MIACS group says.

“Everything must be at the service of the common good, solidarity and justice in order to achieve a dignified life for all. The expected fruits of these conversions include the following:

  • Food, housing, dignified work for all.
  • Access to land and other productive resources for sustainable agricultural production and to the
    sea for fishing in a way that respects the planet.
  • Effective social protection and solidarity for all throughout the world.
  • Infrastructure for education, public transportation, access to electricity and the Internet for
    equal opportunities and participation of all in social life.
  • A recognition of “care” activities (health, support, education, etc.), in particular
    by wages, statutes and working conditions.
  • Activities (consumption, transport, production…) that do not exhaust non sustainable resources
    and do not pollute the planet.
  • The responsibility of all to finance the common good according to their financial capacities, in
    particular the digital giants, and to put an end to tax evasion and corruption.

“This crisis is a call for conversions and changes to make the world more humane,” the MIACS statement concludes. “It will be a herald of good news if we manage to achieve the necessary transformations together.”


MIACS Covid Declaration (English)

Déclaration Covid MIACS (French)


John Hopkins University / Wikipedia

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