De Smedt, Emile-Joseph



De Smedt, Emile-Joseph

Given name


Family name

De Smedt

One-line bio

Bishop Emile-Joseph De Smedt worked closely with the Flemish jocist movements and was a significant ally of Cardijn at Vatican II.


Born in 1909, Bishop Emile-Joseph De Smedt of Bruges was a prominent Cardijn supporter and ally among the Belgian bishops.

His sister Livine was a fulltime worker for the Flemish KAJ and VKAJ, the JOC movements, in the Bruges diocese. As a priest, Fr De Smedt was also close to the movements and a major promoter of Specialised Catholic Action.

Prior to Vatican II, he issued a pastoral letter, which was also published in book form under the title "The Prieshood of the Faithful."

During the first session of the Council, he made a significant impact with a speech slamming the "triumphalism, clericalism and legalism" of the Church.

Bishop De Smedt worked closely with Cardijn during Vatican II, assisting the latter in the drafting of his speech on religious freedom.

He died in 1995.


Bishop De Smedt with Cardijn in 1966. (Bruges Diocesan Archives)


Country of origin

Birth date

October 30, 1909

Death date

September 29, 1995

Death place