Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

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Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira a few years before his death.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira (December 13, 1908 – October 3, 1995) was a Brazilian intellectual, politician and Catholic activist.

Oliveira was born in São Paulo. His mother, Lucilia Corrêa de Oliveira, was a devout Roman Catholic. He was educated by Jesuits. In 1928 he joined the Marian Congregations of São Paulo and soon became a leader of that organization, often giving speeches. In 1933 he helped organize the Catholic Electoral League and was elected to the nation’s Constitutional Convention. As the youngest congressman in Brazil's history he was part of the "Catholic bloc". His view of the Church has been described as ultramontanist and his political ideology anti-Communist.[1]

He assumed the chair of Modern and Contemporary History at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo. He was also the first president of the São Paulo Archdiocesan Board of Catholic Action. Oliveira became concerned with what he saw as progressive deviations within Brazilian Catholic Action, associated with the ideas of the French Catholic philosopher, Jacques Maritain.[2] He attacked these changes in his 1943 book, In Defense of Catholic Action.[3]

With the arrival of a new archbishop in São Paulo in 1944, Oliveira lost his position as diocesan head of Catholic Action and in 1947 he was ousted as director of the Catholic weekly Legionário, which he had supervised since 1935.[4] In 1951 he, and the conservative bishops Antônio de Castro Mayer and Geraldo de Proença Sigaud, founded the magazine O Catolicismo.[5] From 1968 to 1990 he wrote a column for the Folha de São Paulo, the city’s largest daily newspaper.

Oliveira's social activism found new targets with the support of liberation theology by the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (founded in 1952) and by the Latin American Episcopal Conference (CELAM) (founded in 1955), and with the Cuban revolution of 1959.[6] To put his ideas into action, he founded the Brazilian Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) in 1960.

Oliveira travelled to Rome for the opening session of Vatican II, describing it as "a point in history as sad as the Death of Our Lord" in which the Church was faced by the generalized, co-ordinated, and audacious action of its internal enemies. Oliveira was accompanied by members of the Brazilian TFP who brought twenty trunks of TFP literature.[7] During the first session of the Council Oliveira provided a secretariat which served Brazilian bishops Antônio de Castro Mayer and Geraldo de Proença Sigaud and other bishops of the traditional faction, who ultimately formed the Coetus Internationalis Patrum.[8] Oliveiera's opposition to the Council continued; in a 1976 addendum to his Revolution and Counter-Revolution, he described Vatican II as "one of the greatest calamities, if not the greatest, in the history of the Church".[9] His strong opposition led to him being described as a "revanchist" within the ultraditional faction.[10]

He served as president of TFP's national council until his death in 1995. His treatise Revolution and Counter-Revolution inspired the founding of autonomous TFP groups in nearly 20 countries worldwide. An admirer of Thomas Aquinas, he was the author of 15 books and over 2,500 essays and articles. His works include: In Defense of Catholic Action, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, The Church and the Communist State: The Impossible Coexistence, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII, and many others.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Domingues da Silva, Filipe Francisco Nives (2010), "O ultramontanismo pliniano", Cruzados do Século xx: O Movimento Tradiçao, Família e Propriedade (TFP): origens, doutrinas e práticas (1960-1970) (MA thesis) (in Portuguese), Recife: Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, pp. 71–88 
  2. ^ De Mattei, Roberto (1998), The Crusader of the 20th Century: Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Leominster, England: Gracewing Publishing, p. 77, ISBN 9780852444733 
  3. ^ Quem somos nós? Origens e nosso objetivo (Who are we? Origins and our goal) (in Portuguese), Associação dos Fundadores de TFP, retrieved 4 Feb 2015 
  4. ^ De Mattei, Roberto (1998), The Crusader of the 20th Century: Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Leominster, England: Gracewing Publishing, pp. 89–90, ISBN 9780852444733 
  5. ^ Della Cava, Ralph (1976), "Catholicism and Society in Twentieth-Century Brazil", Latin American Research Review 11 (2): 34–35, JSTOR 2502548 
  6. ^ De Mattei, Roberto (1998), The Crusader of the 20th Century: Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Leominster, England: Gracewing Publishing, pp. 144–148, ISBN 9780852444733 
  7. ^ De Mattei, Roberto (1998), The Crusader of the 20th Century: Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Leominster, England: Gracewing Publishing, p. 192, ISBN 9780852444733, The latter [Sergio Brotero] had travelled earlier by ship bringing with him twenty trunks of Catholic propaganda material, which included copies in various languages of Revolution and Counter-Revolution by Dr. Plinio and On the Problems of Modern Apostolate by Bishop de Castro Mayer. 
  8. ^ De Mattei, Roberto (1998), The Crusader of the 20th Century: Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Leominster, England: Gracewing Publishing, p. 193, ISBN 9780852444733 
  9. ^ Oliveira, Plinio Corrêa de (2002), Revolution and Counter-Revolution (First digital ed.), Hanover PA: The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), p. 93 
  10. ^ Faggioli, Massimo (2012), "Vatican II: The History and the Narratives", Theological Studies 73: 755 

External links[edit]