Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira: Man of Faith, Thought and Action

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira was born in São Paulo, Brazil in 1908.  He descends from traditional families of the State of Pernambuco, where his father, João Paulo Corrêa de Oliveira, an attorney, was born, and the state of São Paulo, Brazil’s most important, where his mother, Lucilia Ribeiro dos Santos, was born.

He completed his high school education at the Colégio São Luiz, of the Jesuit Fathers, in São Paulo.  In 1930 he graduated from the Faculdade de Direito, the renown law school of the same city.

At an early age, he became interested in the philosophical and religious analysis of the contemporary crisis.

In 1928 he joined the Marian Congregations of São Paulo and soon became their principal Brazilian leader, distinguishing himself as an orator, lecturer, and man of action.

In 1933 he helped organize the Catholic Electoral League and was elected to the Constitutional Convention.  The youngest congressman in Brazil’s history, he garnered the largest number of votes and served as a distinguished leader of the Catholic bloc.

On completing his congressional term, he assumed the chair of History of Civilization at the University College of the University of São Paulo Law School and, subsequently, the chair of Modern and Contemporary History at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo’s São Bento and Sedes Sapientiae Departments of Philosophy, Science, and Literature.

Professor Corrêa de Oliveira was the first president of the São Paulo Archdiocesan Board of Catholic Action.  From 1935 to 1947 he served as director of the Catholic weekly Legionário, which attained unparalleled prominence in the Brazilian Catholic press under his tutelage.

In 1951, he began his collaboration with the prestigious monthly Catolicismo, and he continues to be the principle contributor to the influential journal.

From 1968 to 1990 he wrote a weekly column for the Folha de São Paulo, the largest daily newspaper in the State of São Paulo.

Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira is the author of fourteen books and numerous essays and articles.  His works included:

In Defense of Catholic Action (1943), with a foreword by Archbishop B. Aloisi Masella, Apostolic Nuncio to Brazil and later Cardinal Camerlengo of the Roman Catholic Church.  A keen analysis of the first stages of the leftist infiltration of Catholic Action, this work was highly praised in a letter written on behalf of Pope Pius XII by Archbishop G. B. Montini, Substitute Secretary of State of the Holy See, and later Pope Paul VI.

Revolution and Counter-Revolution (1959) is a historical, philosophical, and sociological treatise on the crisis if the West from the advent of Humanism, the Renaissance, and Protestantism to our day.  This work demonstrates the cause-and-effect relationship between these movements and the French Revolution of 1789, and the Russian Revolution of 1917, and recent transformations in the Soviet empire and the West.  Four editions have been published in Portuguese, seven in Spanish, three in Italian, two in English and two in French.

The Church and Communist State: The Impossible Coexistence (1963) demonstrates the illicitness of coexistence between the Holy Catholic Church and a government which, while officially recognizing freedom of worship, forbids her to teach that it is morally wrong to abolish private property.  Giuseppe Cardinal Pizzardo, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation from Seminaries and Universities, warmly praised the book, declaring the doctrine expounded by its author a “most faithful echo” of pontifical teachings.  The work, which has seen 36 printings and editions, has been published in Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Polish, Italian, Hungarian, and English, and has appeared in 38 periodicals in 13 nations.

Indian Tribalism: Communist-Missionary Ideal for Brazil in the 21st Century (1977) denounces a new onslaught of progressivism in Brazil, the “neo-missiology” of communist-structuralist orientation.  It foresaw the principal communist-ecological doctrines and tendencies advanced for 15 years later at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

What Does Self-Managing Socialism Mean for Communism?  A Barrier or a Bridgehead? (1981).  This exposé and analysis of then newly-elected French President François Mitterand’s platform for socialist self-management appeared in 45 major dailies in 19 nations of the Americas, Europe, and Oceania.  A summary of the work was published in 49 countries on 6 continents in 13 languages.  Altogether, 33.5 million copies were circulated internationally.

Communism and Anti-Communism on the Threshold of the Millennium’s Last Decade (1990).  Published in 58 newspapers in 19 nations, this document is a historic indictment of those in the East and West who contributed to reducing a large bloc of nations to a state inimical to the human spirit.  People in the free world who endeavored to subject their own countries to the same captivity are likewise censured.

The preeminent philosopher of the counterrevolutionary doctrine of the TFPs and like-minded organizations, Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira ranks as an international leader of thought and action in the face of the myriad crises and catastrophes besetting the world.

In the field of action, his greatest accomplishment is the founding of the Brazilian Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property in 1960 and his service as president of the Brazilian TFP since its inception.

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira’s penetrating treatise Revolution and Counter-Revolution has inspired the founding of autonomous TFPs and TFP Bureaus in 25 countries on 6 continents.

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