This was the first meeting of the group, which would take its name from the subject that had brought them together: “Jésus, l’Eglise et les pauvres” – “Jesus, the Church and the Poor.
The first meeting gathered twelve bishops with Cardinal Gerlier. They carried out a review of life and apostolate, accepting to confront their lives and thoughts, that of their churches and the Church that the poor and the workers, and more radically Jesus of Nazareth the Carpenter. Cardinal Gerlier pronounced the words that would be widely published and heard:
“The problem presents itself in various forms but ultimately remains the same: the painful situation of such a great number of people resulting from an unequal sharing of wealth. Yet, the effectiveness of our work is linked to this problem. If we fail to address it, we will miss out on the most relevant aspects of evangelical and human reality… Everything else risks to remain ineffective if this is not examined and addressed.”
Le Concile et l’Eglise des pauvres, I. Faits et documents, A. Première Session
Archives Gérard Huyghe (Diocèse d’Arras)