Léon Ollé-Laprune: The origin of the See-judge-act

Sr Nathalie Becquart, xmcj, undersecretary for the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, has written recently on the significance of the see-judge-act to the synodal process:

This image of the road to Emmaus is a good expression of synodal methodology based on the “see-judge-act” approach created by Cardinal Joseph Cardijn because it begins with the reality: We start from our situatedness, from the very concrete reality where we are. Then we try to interpret that reality in the light of the Gospel, to discern a course of action. Then we are called to act.


With only a couple of months to go until the First Session of the Synod on Synodality, it seems like a good time to remember the origins of the see-judge-act with French philosopher and social activist, Léon Ollé-Laprune, who exhorted students in 1896 to “see clearly, judge well and decide.”

It’s also the 125th anniversary of his premature death in 1898 this year. In fact, it was the 25th anniversary of his death in 1923 that inspired Ollé-Laprune’s student, the great French philosopher Maurice Blondel, to write a tribute to his teacher in the form of a short biography (French only):


Read more about Léon Ollé-Laprune on the website that I have created for him:


But also please join me for an Australian Cardijn Institute webinar on Tuesday 8 August at 7.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 11.30am Central European (Paris) Time.

Full details here:

A great man, whose legacy needs to be remembered!