International Catholic League: A Service-Corps for the Universal Church, ca. January 1924


International Catholic League

A Service-Corps for the Universal Church. (IKA)

Object and Task:

The International Catholic League has established itself without any reservations upon the principles of the Encyclical "Ubi Arcano Dei" and other papal manifestoes. On this foundation and in close union with the ecclesiastical authorities, it strives to promote the peaceful [cooperation] of all Catholics, for the strengthening of Christian concord between peoples, on the one hand; and on the other, for the [defense] of Holy Church in the present international conflicts, against Her international opponents: (Freemasonry; Communism; an anti-Catholic Press.)

Special Tasks:

The League most willingly devotes its services to all Catholic Movements and [Organizations], in a spirit of Christian love. It aims specially at the diffusion of a real Catholic brotherhood and the attainment of true Christian international law. It greatly assists Catholic Institutes and [Organizations], by facilitating international relationships and by supporting the work of [Organizations] and Movements which have the same ends in view. It sets up special Departments for specially urgent tasks, which arise from the particular needs of the moment; (if these tasks have not been already taken up by others.) It pays great attention to supporting an international Press-Service.

The League annually arranges Congresses and Conferences between the Catholic works of all countries. These assemblies are of paramount importance for the treatment of current international questions and as [rendezvous] for Catholic leaders.

An International Central Office, together with an international Publishing office, and an international Paper, attend to the systematic expansion of the League, acting as intermediaries for international intercourse, arranging Conferences, lectures etc. etc.

An ever-growing propaganda is carried out in many languages.


are: a) Corporate Catholic [Organizations] and Institutes supporting the aims of the League. (Subscriptions according to arrangement) and

b) Individual Catholics who support the League by personal contributions and service.

Membership-cards cost 2/6 per annum; or 1/6 if the subscription to "Katolika Mondo" is taken.


The League has already taken root in more than 30 countries. About 60 high ecclesiastical authorities have signified their approval and encouragement, from many lands, and it has the active support of a great number of [Organizations]. In a few countries, national committees and secretariats have been set up.

National [Organizations]:

The League desires that a central national Committee and Secretariat should be formed in each several country, to direct the work of international service, in conjunction with the [Organizations] already in existence.

The international Executive:

Consists of several Presidents and an International Directorate composed of one member from each State. The Presidents are: Mgr. Canon Giesswein, [Budapest]; Don Ernesto Vercesi, Milan; Prof. W. Arnold, Zug, Switzerland; Dr. J. M. Metzger, Graz (Director in Chief), Mr. K. Mayr, Graz (General-Secretary). [page 2]

International Work and Department-Sections:

For the practical work of the League and its Congresses, work or Department-Sections have been formed for particular spheres of activity. Some of these sections are bound up in the League, others are entirely independent and only make use of the services and congresses of Ika. Care is taken to establish these different Sections on a proper international basis, and all are invited to [cooperate].

The following Sections are already in existence:

1. International Catholic Work for Peace:

a) An international Committee for research and study, in order to clearly define the principles of Christian Peace and international law, working in conjunction with the existing Movements which have the same or similar aims in view. Director: Mgr. Dr. N. Pfeiffer, Czechoslovakia (Hlavna ul 34, Kashau).

b) An international Catholic Initiative-Committee, consisting of all friends of peace, from lands "Widely sundered as the poles," but brought together by a common ideal. Its function is to promote peace-ideas, by written papers and speeches, to attend Conferences etc., and to instigate Catholics towards taking an active part in international affairs; to apply the Christian law of Nations etc. etc.

2. Catholic Press:

An international Committee under the presidency of Mgr. Montero Diaz of Seville, has been set up. Its task is to study the international problems of the Catholic Press; to support the international Press-Service; to promote the idea of a general Catholic Press-Day (June 29th) etc., etc.

Further information as to this most interesting branch is obtainable from the Central Office of Ika, Graz.

3. Section for the Young:

An independent Section with the object of promoting ideas of true Christian revival-work and of international peace, among young people. Bishop Count K. Majlath, Transylvania, is protector; Mgr. Canon Giesswein, Hon. President and Mr. Hans Sappl, chief Secretary.

4. Catholic Teachers:

An international Committee has been formed to start united [cooperation] between Catholic Masters and Teachers of all lands. Gen.-Secr: Rev. Prof. Carolfi, O.F.M., Corte Maggiore, Piacenza, Italy.

5. Catholic [Businessmen]:

An international Office has been set up to give information concerning the international work of Catholic [Businessmen].

All information concerning this branch is to be had from the Central-Bureau, Graz.

6. Priest's Societies:

An international Secretariat has been formed to facilitate intercourse between clerical Societies of many lands. All such Societies which are approved of by the ecclesiastical authorities may join this Section. It is being provisionally directed by the Spanish Priest's Association, Addr.: Mgr. Canon Hughes, Sacramento 7, Madrid 12.

7. Esperanto:

A special Section is charged with the propaganda among Catholics of that easiest of all international auxiliary world-languages, Esperanto. The review "Katolika Mondo" deals with the latest international questions.

Information and details concerning all Sections can be had from the Central-Office of Ika, 5 Karmelitèrplatz, Graz, Austria. [page 3]

Ecclesiastical Approval.

The practical work of Ika is now receiving everywhere the full approval and recognition of the ecclesiastical authorities. More than 60 Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals have signified their appreciation and given their blessing to the League and especially to its Congresses. Many have expressly approved and sanctioned it for their Dioceses.

A few extracts from letters received, are given below:

Turin, May 1923.

I bless the next Congress of the International Catholic League, and pray that heavenly Grace may fructify the work of its members.

[cross] A. Card. Richelmy, Archbishop.

London, Westminster, 23rd June 1923.

...In reply to your letter addressed to Cardinal Bourne, I have to say that His Eminence very gladly sends you and all those connected with the International Catholic League, his special blessing.

J. Jackmann, private Secr.

Toledo, 16th February 1921.

... With great pleasure I consent to my name being added as honorary member of the Congress and I gladly give my blessing, hoping that the Divine kingdom of love and justice may be extended everywhere, and that brotherly love may be increased manifold.

[cross] H. Card. Almaraz y Santo.

Paris, 13th April 1923.

... Cardinal Dubois, Archbishop of Paris, sends his best wishes and hopes that the coming international Congress will help forward the [realization] of the ideal of justice and Christian peace which is so ardently desired by the Holy Father, and so necessary for the salvation of modern society.

Cologne, 30th June 1923.

... Wholeheartedly I desire the blessing of God on the third international Congress at Constance in order that it may help to unite all Catholics together in the common task of eliminating the disunion which unhappily still continues to separate souls.

[cross] Card. J. Schulte.

Paris, 30th January 1923.

I hasten to acknowledge the receipt of your letter in which you had the kindness to inform me of the result of the International Catholic League. Having [learned] of it with the liveliest interest I can answer that I shall always be happy to give my support to a movement which aims so high ...

[cross] B. Ceressi, Nunc. Apost.

Munich, 13th January 1923.

From my whole heart I wish the League happiness and admire the courage and decision with which it instigates the lowly to common action as a united whole, undeterred by any difficulty. I readily express the wish that IKA may each year more nearly approach its ideal: The upholding of harmony and social peace, on solid Catholic foundations ...

[cross] Eugen Pacelli, Nunc. Apost.

Bern, 29th January 1923.

I have received the documents concerning the 2nd Congress, held at Luxemburg ... I thank you for so kindly sending them and return my very best wishes for good results from the initiative of your League.

[cross] Luigi Maglione, Nunc. Apost.

Durango, Mexico, 14th March 1923.

I have received the information about the third International Catholic Congress, which will without doubt serve to help forward Catholic action and the reconciliation of the Peoples. For that reason, I joyfully and with a paternal heart bless your [labors].

[cross] Francis, Archbp.

Salzburg, (Austria) 4th February 1923.

You have had the kindness to inform me of the arrangements made for the International Catholic Congress at Constance. As the object of that Congress is good and truly Catholic, I desire the richest blessing of God for your work and for the Congress ...

[cross] Ignatius Rieder, Prince Bishop.

Seville, 15th February 1923.

... I unite my blessing with that which you have received from the Holy Father, and pray God that you may continue with [fervor] and constancy the sublime international enterprise which you have commenced.

[cross] Eustace, Archv. f. Seville.

Olmütz, 15th March 1923.

Heartily thanking you for your letter about the third International Congress, I bless from a paternal heart this [labor], dedicated to the reconciliation of Peoples and to the practical [cooperation] of all Catholics. As representative I send ...

[cross] Dr. A. C. Stojan, Archbp. [page 4]

Paderborn, Germany, 28th July 1923.

With heartfelt gladness I welcome the steps taken for the Congress and wish you the greatest success by the Grace of God. At this time, when so many nations are opposing one another in hatred the fraternal [cooperation] of Catholics is doubly desirable, in order that the ideas and proposals of the late Pope may be [realized]. As the Congress aims at uniting Catholics in harmony for the praise and defense of Holy Church, it [fulfills] a real need of the present day.

[cross] Kaspar, Bp. of Paderborn.

Kielce (Poland) 3rd August 1923.

Thoroughly convinced of the absolute necessity of the concentration of all Catholic forces in the world, in common work for peace and for the restoration of Mankind, I desire the richest blessings for the International Congress at Constance ...

[cross] August Lozinski, Bishop.

Manizales, Colombia 11th Juni 1923.

... and I indeed perceive that this kind of League can be not only a strong safeguard for the Catholic Church, but at the same time a [defense] and protection for States. From the highest Giver of all good I therefore beg the greatest gifts and send my blessing with my whole heart.

[cross] Tiberius, Bp.

La Serena, Chili, 20th March 1923.

I have received your letter ... I can only regret that I can but support with my prayers the holy aims which the League has undertaken. Expressing my good wishes for the success of the Congress and for the extension of the League, with my whole heart I beg every good from the Lord.

[cross] Charles, Bp. of La Serena.

Barcelona, 8th March 1923.

In reply to your letter ... I willingly consent, for I am pleased to join this International Congress ... Moreover, I will take special care of your excellent work in our Diocese, to which end I have issued instructions to the committee of Catholic Works for my Diocese.

[cross] Raymond, Bp. of Barcelona.