Religion: End of the Worker-Priests

The French worker-priest movement, one of the century's most exciting and most debated religious experiments, finally died last week after long illness.

To win back France's Communist-led, largely unchurched working classes, the French cardinals in 1943 founded the "Mission to Paris." Specially trained young priests began to take jobs in factories to pursue their evangelizing mission more effectively; wearing overalls, they held fulltime jobs, said Mass and performed other pastoral duties during off hours. By 1953, it was obvious that something had gone wrong: of almost 150 worker-priests, some 20 had married and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!