Catholic Party (Belgium)

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Catholic Party
Historical leaders Charles Woeste
Paul de Smet de Naeyer
Jules de Burlet
Auguste Beernaert
Gustave Sap
Founded 1869
Dissolved 1945
Succeeded by Christian Social Party
Headquarters Brussels, Belgium
Trade Union's wing Confederation of Christian Trade Unions
Ideology Belgian nationalism
Christian democracy
International affiliation None
Colours      Gold
Politics of Belgium
Political parties

The first Catholic Party in Belgium was established in 1869 as the Confessional Catholic Party (Dutch: Confessionele Katholieke Partij).


In 1852, a Union Constitutionelle et Conservatrice was founded in Ghent, in Leuven (1854), and in Antwerp and Brussels in 1858, which were active only during elections. On July 11, 1864, the Federation of Catholic Circles and Conservative Associations was created (French: Fédération des Cercles catholiques et des Associations conservatrices; Dutch: Verbond van Katholieke Kringen en der Conservatieve Verenigingen).

The other group which contributed to the party were the Catholic Cercles, of which the eldest had been founded in Bruges. The Roman Catholic conferences in Mechelen in 1863, 1864, and 1867 brought together Ultramontanes or Confessionals and the Liberal-Catholics or Constitutionals. At the Congress of 1867, it was decided to create the League of Catholic Cercles, which was founded on October 22, 1868.

The Catholic Party, under the leadership of Charles Woeste, gained an absolute majority in the Belgian Chamber of Representatives in 1884 from the Liberal Party in the wake of the schools dispute. The Catholic Party retained its absolute majority until 1918. In 1921, the party became the Catholic Union, and from 1936 the Catholic Block.

At the end of World War II, on 18–19 August 1945 the party was succeeded by the PSC-CVP.

Notable members

See also


  • Gerard, Emmanuel (2001). The Emergence of a People's Party: The Catholic Party in Belgium, 1918–1945. Christian Democracy in 20th Century Europe. Böhlau Verlag. pp. 98–121. 
  • Gerard, Emmanuel (2004). Kaiser, Wolfram; Wohnout, Helmut, eds. Religion, Class and Language: The Catholic Party in Belgium. Political Catholicism in Europe 1918-45. Routledge. pp. 77–94. ISBN 0-7146-5650-X. 
  • Th. Luykx and M. Platel, Politieke geschiedenis van België, 2 vol., Kluwer, 1985
  • E. Witte, J. Craeybeckx en A. Meynen, Politieke geschiedenis van België, Standaard, 1997