Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Quelle Neutralité Face À L'horreur? le Courage De Charles Journet

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Quelle Neutralité Face À L'horreur? le Courage De Charles Journet

Article excerpt

Quelle neutralité face à l'horreur? Le courage de Charles Journet. By Guy Boissard. (Saint-Martin: Editions Saint-Augustin. 2000. Pp. 455. euro22.71.)

Cardinal Charles Journet (1891-1975) is remembered principally as the Swiss theologian who wrote the celebrated work, The Church of the Word Incarnate, and played a pivotal role in Vatican Council II. In this study, Guy Boissard explores the thought and action of Journet during the painful years immediately before and during World War II.

At that time, Abbé Journet, as he was popularly called, was a diocesan priest and professor of theology at the seminary in Fribourg. In addition, he was a founding editor of the theological review, Nova et Vetera, and a pastoral assistant in Geneva on weekends. In these latter two capacities, Abbé Journet was actively involved in all the challenges and debates that characterized neutral Switzerland during World War II.

In order to contextualize the theoretical positions and practical engagements undertaken by Journet during these difficult days, Boissard carefully reconstructs the political, diplomatic, and economic premises on which Switzerland's now controversial policy and practice of neutrality were based. Central to Boissard's analysis is the distinction between "political" and "moral" neutrality, which was at the heart of Journet's spiritual resistance to Nazism. In Journet's judgment, the Christian conscience could never be neutral to evil or indifferent to injustice. …

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