What They Say

What they say about Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII

Alfons M. Cardinal Stickler, S.D.B.


Most illustrious Professor,

I thank you heartily for the kind gift of your work “Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility,” sent to me in its Italian translation.

It made a deep impression on me for several reasons: first of all, for its timeliness, in that it is the reaffirmation of the teachings of the great Pope Pius XII on the subject at a historico-cultural moment when ferocious hostility to the nobility, spread all over the world by the French Revolution, seems everywhere to be diminishing.

Secondly, the work—amid the universal decay of natural and, above all, Christian values—will awaken in many hearts everywhere the desire to see nobiliary elites, who in past centuries played an important and often decisive role in upholding these values through their lives and actions, once again setting for humanity the examples it needs so urgently and supremely.

A third reason derives from your observations—which seem to me extremely relevant—regarding the formation, alongside the nobilities and elites of blood, of nobilities and elites of spirit and mind that, by associating and organizing among the many existing noble souls, are assuming all over the world the roles of exemplars of and guides toward a natural and perennial order of things. This, whether to support the nobilities of blood still existent and now re-emerging, or to replace those no longer capable of efficaciously reacting to the manifest decadence of our days, as has happened in more than one instance.

Using vast and solid documentation, you have done a fine analysis of the very complex sociopolitical reality of our day, and commenting with great logical rigor on the luminous teachings of Pius XII, you have shown how much he and his successors up to John Paul II continue to expect from the existing nobility and future analogous elites for the religious, moral, and cultural uplifting of the world.

I therefore rejoice at this book, illustrious Professor, and wish it a broad circulation, so it may spark, sustain, and build a deep and vast sensitivity to this excellent tool for the re-creation of a sound natural ethics and a revived religious morality that may lead all humanity to that peace, prosperity, and happiness that only authentic and genuine values can realize and guarantee.

To these good wishes I add my fervent prayers to the Lord and to the Mother of the Church, that they may sustain you in the work which is both beneficent and painfully pressing in the times in which we live.

Yours in Christ,

Alfons M. Cardinal Stickler, S.D.B.
Former Head of Vatican Library

(Translation from the Italian original)

Mario Luigi Cardinal Ciappi, O.P.


Distinguished Professor,

Your great renown and the words of praise and encouragement given for your work by the illustrious Fr. Victorino Rodriguez, O.P., generally considered one of the glories of contemporary theology, have led me to read with lively interest your book “Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility.”

When Pius XII gave the world the splendid series of fourteen allocutions to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility, there were many who saw them less as a theological, philosophical, and historical work regarding values destined to yet play a fundamental and timeless role, than as a nostalgic effusion of love for virtues, greatnesses, and glories that the world understood less and less.

The most recent of the abovementioned allocutions was that of 1958. More than thirty years later, we can now see how wrong the latter were. Indeed, Pius XII had seen the course of events correctly. Today, not only is the old hostility to the nobility gradually dying out, but there are prominent intellectuals emerging most everywhere who emphasize how detrimental is the loss of authentic elites—with the concomitant vulgarization of the human type—to culture and to the lifestyle of contemporary society. This is why in many places we now see manifested an ardent aspiration for the restoration of the influence of authentic elites over the multitudes, so that the latter may once again become—in accordance with Pius XII’s teachings—peoples instead of nameless masses (cf. Christmas radio message of His Holiness Pius XII, 1944).

In this historical context, your work proves to be extraordinarily timely, since in echoing the magisterium of Pope Pius XII and commenting on it with such notable penetration and consistency, it makes an appeal to the nobility and the analogous elites to contribute, with more courage than ever before, toward the common spiritual and temporal good of all nations.

Indeed it falls to them, as that immortal Pope underscored, to fulfill the precious mission of communicating by example, word, and action the treasure of religious and temporal truths of Christianity, the luminous torch of so many truths that societies can never forget without the risk of succumbing to the vortex of chaos and moral misery that threatens them.

I therefore hope for the best of receptions for your book, to which you have devoted the vast resources of your intelligence and erudition, besides your unlimited love for the Church. May it please Divine Providence to grant it widespread circulation, so that the preferential option for the nobles, inspired by Pius XII and highlighted by you, and the preferential option for the poor, to whom the current Pontiff has devoted his ardent love, will be forever better understood.

Mario Luigi Cardinal Ciappi, O.P.
Papal Theologian Emeritus

(Translation from the Italian original)

Silvio Cardinal Oddi


Distinguished Professor,

It was with keen interest that I read your work “Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility.”

The thought of the great Pope Pius XII, as one can see in the documents mentioned, remains entirely relevant, and you have taken the good initiative of presenting it to today’s public along with opportune annotations. It is useful to remind people, as Paul VI himself did after the Second Vatican Council, that the teachings his predecessor addressed to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility continue to be fully valid.

In the comments and documentation with which you facilitate a more complete understanding of the full range of Pius XII’s magisterium, one can see great erudition and sureness of thought, justly highlighted by the well-known French historian Georges Bordonove in his foreword to [the French edition of] this work.

I am certain that I am performing a good deed by recommending your book to all who wish to deepen their knowledge of the wise and enlightening teachings of Pius XII.

Hoping your timely book will have a wide circulation, I send you cordial greetings.

Silvio Cardinal Oddi
Former Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy

(Translation from the Italian original available here)

Bernardino Cardinal Echeverría Ruiz



A serious and objective study of history shows that all times, all cultures, and all races have had undeniable differences among their constituents. There have always been wise men and ignorant men, classes that rule and classes that obey, rich and poor. Christ Himself taught, “The poor will always be with you.” The variety of elements within human society is as natural and  human as the variety of elements in the human body. As the body has a diversity of organs, it  has a diversity of functions. Mankind has a like diversity.

Although this diversity is so natural, there is a tendency, when speaking of society’s components, to consider the differences as contradictory, as alien to human nature. Thus was born the slogan of the French Revolution, which set the desire for liberty equality, and  fraternity as the foundation of society, not according to the Christian concept that all human beings are equal because they are creatures of the same God and sons of the same Father, but according to the erroneous concept that there should be no differences of any kind between human beings. This denial of the diversity of functions among men contradicts God’s plan in creating the universe and corresponds to the rationalist theory that all social inequalities must be eliminated, through violence if necessary.

That way of thinking characterized the French Revolution and also led materialistic sociologists to the idea of class struggle, practical atheism, and the use of tyranny to eliminate everything that could be considered favorable to the acceptance of the difference of values that is part of the historical reality of society. Marxism‑Leninism, inspired in this dialectic, rejected the values of the Christian faith and espoused a materialistic and atheistic philosophy.

The class struggle preached by Marxism received a death blow with recent events in the Soviet Empire. But the new concept that  must inspire the reestablishment of society destroyed by historical materialism has not been explored. For this, a new insight into the understanding of the human being is needed, as well as a deeper study of the variety of values in society. We need to ask ourselves: Is the idea of radicalizing unity valid? Or is an in‑depth study concerning the transcendental variety of the factors that constitute society necessary?

Basing himself on interesting Church documents, this is what the intelligent and profound thinker Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira proposes to do. He has written a work that can positively help to study and resolve this problem. Entitled “Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII,” it deals with a seemingly new subject: social elites and the seasoned aristocracy of the old nobility. The author declares that elites must reclaim the social values of the privileged class, of the families with a heritage, of the families with a background enriched by titles and traditions.

To some, reviving the social values of the elites may seem anachronistic and obsolete. Nevertheless, Pope Pius XII, remembering the old and noble traditions of his own family, presents the nobility of former times not only as holders of titles but, above all, as holders of a treasure of great virtues that benefited not just elite families but all of society.

Based on these reflections, I would venture to affirm that immorality and corruption have assumed scandalous proportions in modern society precisely because a wrong criterion of equality has crept in. In every society, in every culture, in every community, groups that stand out from the rest by their greater culture, by their greater morality, by a sense of nobility that not only dignifies an individual but conquers the admiration and respect of those who come to know these human values and, even more, Christian virtues, should be cultivated and fostered. For the same reason, the larger the community of families characterized by the practice of the human and Christian virtues, the better oriented society in general will be.

Pius XII left us a whole arsenal of documents in which, especially addressing the Roman nobility, he exalts the traditional virtues of the families considered noble and urges the Patriciate to cultivate qualities and virtues that should adorn a family (or person) that feels or considers itself noble. He exhorts the elites not only to maintain their ancestral values of nobility, but to purify them with the teachings of Christ.

For all these reasons I believe the launching of Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira’s book is a prophetic call for contemporary society to make an examination of conscience regarding the true nobility that distinguished the men of the past, and the genuine virtues that must contribute to the building of a more human and Christian society. True nobility is based not on vanity and selfishness, but on the solid foundation of truth and goodness. We are convinced, therefore, that this book is a call to a serious reflection that will culminate in the return to the eternal values of the human being that are a basis of greatness and likeness with God.

Ibarra, June 21,1993

Archbishop Bernardino Echeverría Ruiz
Archbishop Emeritus of Guayaquil (elevated to Cardinal November 26, 1994)

Letter from Archbishop Custódio Alvim Pereira, Archbishop Emeritus of Lourenço Marques-Maputo

Rome, March 25, 1994

Feast of the Annunciation

Dear Dr. Plinio:

I attentively read your work, Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII, which Your Excellency sent me through the TFPs’ representative in Rome, Mr. Juan Miguel Montes. I cannot fail to congratulate you on this work. It presents the whole richness of the Magisterium the great pontiff Pius XII addressed to the Roman Patriciate and brilliantly comments on it, emphasizing its present relevance and, I would add, its perennity.

There is often talk nowadays of the need to follow the moral dictates of Church social doctrine. And indeed, few pages of that doctrine outdo the riches of the teaching contained in those celebrated allocutions of Pius XII. They remind the aristocracy of Rome of the natural tendency in every society to form an elite and of the need of humbler classes to spontaneously seek and follow an exemplary model set by high society. According to the teachings of that great Pope, the whole patrimony of traditions, Faith and culture accumulated for centuries must constitute the indispensable contribution of traditional elites, “even in the changed conditions” of the present time for the “reconstruction of the universal order” and the consequent attainment of that supreme ideal which is to “establish human society on Christ.”

Searching for an exemplary model in high society is an entirely normal phenomenon. This is why many organs of the media, so often handled to the benefit of egalitarian myth-o-manias of the 20th century, strive to promote false elites and models for the people to imitate.

Let me once again congratulate you on this work, and also on another book of yours, Revolution and Counter-revolution, which I read with great pleasure. I deem it worthy of being read by all contemporary Catholics so they may have a very clear idea of the adversary that Christendom fights against, and of the existing means to confront it.

Promising to keep you, and particularly the dissemination of your work, in my prayers, I greet you with esteem and consideration,

+ Custódio Alvim Pereira

Archbishop Emeritus of Lourenço Marques


 

HIRH Prince Luiz of Orleans-Braganza

Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility has precisely that character of an intellectual work destined to influence events on a profound level.

Like a rock on the tip of a promontory assailed by the waves, the nobility has suffered successive attacks from the French Revolution onward. Its political power has been taken away almost everywhere. Laws generally deny it any specific right except the use of titles and traditional names. The general movement of the economy and finances has steered into different hands the torrential riches that have raised capitalism to a pinnacle and enabled the jet set to show off their lights—or rather their glittering sequins—everywhere.

How much of the nobility, then, survives? Having been reduced to what it now is, does it still have a right to exist? How does this help the nobility and the common good? Should it irreducibly confine itself to the circle of the “well-born”? Or, if the nobility endures, should the noble condition also extend to new, analogous, though not identical, elites? (…)

It is not uncommon to find members of the nobility aware of the individual duties that their noble condition entails—such as setting a good example to other classes, having a morally blameless behavior or assisting the underprivileged. Yet the same nobles often have only vague notions, at best, of the issues listed above.

Incidentally, a similar phenomenon takes place with other classes. First of all, with the most favored one in the existing social structure, that is, the bourgeoisie. While its strongest point of support is the right of private property, only rarely does one find bourgeois who are cognizant of the moral and religious foundations of the right of private property and the duties that it entails.

To both these classes the work of Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira provides invaluable assistance by publishing the full text of the speeches of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility with explanatory comments and very eloquent historical examples.

Profoundly imbued with the principles taught by the Popes, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira is totally opposed to the class struggle mindset.

He does not see the line of demarcation between the nobility and the people as a conflict zone. Quite the contrary, he shows us the historical, military and agricultural nobility as an elevated and pure summit of the social organization. Yet that is not an inaccessible summit but simply a pinnacle difficult to climb, as nature dictates that people rise only by merit.

For Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, the prospect of an arduous ascent of members of the bourgeoisie to the noble condition should be seen as a friendly invitation to acquire merits that may then receive due glorification. Furthermore, in our era when technology has deeply penetrated manual work and the working class has considerable and highly nuanced levels of instruction that should not be underestimated, there are many possibilities for meritorious, professional and social promotion that it would be unfair not to take into account.

A friend of harmonious and balanced hierarchy in all areas of human activity, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, with lucid interpretation, applies the principles of Pius XII to all social classes without merging them and even less confusing them with one another.

But it is easy to see that his earnest solicitude is turned especially to the two extremes of the social hierarchy, giving rise to his brilliant comments on the preferential option for the nobles and the preferential option for the poor. (…)

Within the framework of a constitutional monarchy, the only conceivable form of monarchy today, I yearn from the bottom of my heart for that future to be Christian, strong and interwoven as it were in an ideal Commonwealth with the Catholic faith, feelings and cultures uniting the various peoples, races and nations that truly love Portugal and speak Portuguese.

Therefore, as Head of the Brazilian branch of the House of Braganza and an enthusiastic and affectionate friend of Portuguese tradition, I am pleased to introduce this book by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira and highly recommend its reading to the Portuguese public. I augur that it will be applauded by all those who know and feel what true nobility is like: One that helps the people to always be what Pius XII recommends, that is, a true people animated with thoughts worthy of being called Christian; a people who do not capitulate to the threat of becoming an inorganic and inert mass thrown into various directions by the psy-dictatorship of big media cartels.

His Imperial and Royal Highness Prince Luiz of Orleans-Braganza

(excerpts from Prince Luiz’s introduction to the Portuguese edition of the book)

Count of Proença-a-Velha


The Count of Proença-a-Velha holds the Portuguese edition of Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites as the Duke of Maqueda makes a point, during the book's launching at the Estoril Palace Hotel, Nov. 1, 1994

“It is as it were, a breath from God. It holds us responsible in such a way, not only for what we are, but for what we must be and do, that I dare call it the Gospel of Nobles”

Count of Proença-a-Velha

(Comments in a speech the Count gave in Portugal at a colloquy about Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites)

The Duke and Duchess of Maqueda


The Duke of Maqueda and TFP President Raymond Drake during the launching of the English edition of Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites at The Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C., Sept. 28, 1993

This work answers key questions that beset contemporary man. Indeed, he often times hesitates between two models of society. One has a clearly Catholic and traditional inspiration based on the assumption that proportional and harmonious inequalities between different social classes are fully consistent with Catholic doctrine and the basic principles of Christian civilization.

The other starts from the idea that all inequalities are unjust and lead society to class struggle and sterility, or at least to underproduction.

Those who accept the first model find the preferential option for the poor so praised by Pope John Paul II likeable and important. And they also consider as likeable and essential for a proper social order, the existence of genuine elites with a strong foundation in religion and family.

As the illustrious Brazilian thinker sees it, it is important to preserve the awareness of that great truth in Catholic circles, undermined today by a crisis of authority and, we almost could say, one of identity that led Pope Paul VI to say that “The Church is going through a moment of restlessness. Some exercise self-criticism, one would say almost to the point of self-destruction;” and one has the sensation that “through some crack, the smoke of Satan has penetrated the temple of God.”[1]

Taking into account the essentially hierarchical character of the Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ and the supreme authority to perform the functions of teaching, sanctifying and governing the faithful which belongs to the Sovereign Pontiff, the author rightly believed that nothing could be more effective to orient Catholics than a study containing the major papal documents on the subject. Catholics in the world today number eight hundred and eighty million; and no voice among them has even remotely the prestige and authority of the Successor of Saint Peter.

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira deemed it necessary to clarify that, without prejudice to the preferential option for the poor, the Catholic faithful should also make a preferential option for the nobility. This goal led him to thoroughly study the fourteen magnificent speeches in which Pius XII, addressing the Roman patriciate and nobility, spoke with paternal affection and inspiring wisdom on what the nobility is today and the duties that it must fulfill. Although deprived of its patrimony, it still has illustrious names and traditions from a past to which it must remain faithful.

At the same time, Pius XII showed that the doors of the nobility should be open to new classes that stand out in the contemporary world through social and economic transformations, classes with which the nobility must maintain a regime of mutual collaboration and gradual osmosis.

The nobility must gradually extend to these classes the attributes of a genuine elite, helping them to gradually rise from “nouveau-riche” intellectual and moral shortcomings to the elevated values of tradition. Conversely, the new categories, grateful for the gifts of the spirit they have received, should show themselves eager to assimilate them for their own good and the common good of society, thus becoming analogous elites akin to the nobility, rather than inimical rivals.

We are confident that these teachings of Pius XII, which the author scholarly complements with quotes from other Popes, Saint Thomas Aquinas and other Doctors of the Church, will help the Spanish nobility to keenly preserve its identity and find in the teachings of Pius XII the clear definition of both its mission and reason for being in contemporary society. For this end, it will find particularly useful the insightful and courageous comments of the distinguished author of this work.

Permit us, finally, to emphasize with Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira that the key condition Pius XII established for the nobility and analogous elites to fulfill their important missions in an exemplary way, is that they firmly persevere in the faith, in the exemplary practice of the Commandments, and lead a life of piety with assiduous frequentation of the Sacraments; for without those supernatural resources no apostle has or ever will achieve anything.

Christus heri et hodie, initium et finis, alpha et omega, ipsius sunt tempora et saecula, ipsi gloria et imperium, per universa aeternitatis saecula”(from the liturgy of the Paschal Vigil). “Christ yesterday and today, beginning and end, alpha and omega. His are the times and centuries, glory and empire to Him unto the ages of ages.” This is the great truth without which neither individuals nor nations will find, in this life, the true way to a Christian temporal order and eternal salvation.

The Duke and Duchess of Maqueda

(Excerpts from the Foreword of the Spanish edition of Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites.)


[1] Speech to the Lombard Pontifical Seminary, Dec. 7, 1968 and homily, Resistite Fortes in Fide, June 29, 1972 in Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, vol. VI, p. 1188 and vol. X, p. 707.

 

Fr. Raimondo Spiazzi, O.P.


Distinguished Professor,

I have attentively read your work “The Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility,” which you were so kind to send to me.

I deem felicitous your idea of giving wide diffusion to those documents of Pius XII, which at first glance might seem devoid of relevance to the present day. In fact, however, your lucid and documented commentaries show the foresightedness of the theme discussed by that Pontiff. Furthermore, you opportunely recall the beautiful words of Paul VI: “We would like to say many things to you. Your presence provokes much reflection. So it was also with Our venerable Predecessors, especially Pope Pius XII of happy memory…. We want to believe that the echo of those words, like a gust of wind swelling a sail,…still vibrates in your thoughts, filling them with the austere and magnanimous appeals that nourish the vocation preordained for you by Providence and sustain the role still required of you today by contemporary society.”

Your long experience as professor, congressman, and public figure makes your commentaries all the more intelligent and instructive, pleasantly facilitating the reading of the Pontifical documents, which are of such lofty and estimable value.

I did not find in your pages any error of a theological or other nature regarding the teachings of the Church. I can only hope that your excellent work will be given a warm and full reception by the public for whom it is intended.

Fr. Raimondo Spiazzi, O.P.
Renowned Italian Theologian

(Translation from the Italian original available here)

Fr. Victorino Rodriguez, O.P.



Dear friend and admired Professor,

I have read closely the original of your magnificent work “Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility,” which you were kind enough to send me for review. I am greatly honored by your confidence in my evaluation and possible comments. In addition, I admire your ardent desire to be well founded when launching so noble a cause, as well as your humility in requesting the opinion of someone far less knowledgeable than you about the subject, both in its doctrinal and historical dimensions.

I must say that I found absolutely nothing to criticize or even to improve in your undertaking. I would, however, like to highlight what I consider very good:

First, the very writing of a book on this subject.  It was needed. Also, your choice of a starting point and basis namely, the successive New Year’s allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility.

This exceptional Pope Pacelli, whose mind, heart, and blood were noble, was singularly attentive to the problems and expectations of his times. Thus, he could not help but be concerned with the problems of the nobility, to whom he addressed these allocutions, now opportunely brought to us by a Brazilian nobleman, in whose person one finds so much devotion to the Apostolic See and love for Christian civilization.

Second, the timeliness, since the genuine values of the nobility are currently eclipsed in the post-revolutionary “egalitarianism” and the inorganic modern democracies. More renown (“nobile” = “noscibile,” distinguished, excellent, famous) is given to numbers (of votes or dollars) than to dignifying qualities (knowledge, virtue, art). Yet, as I heard the great theologian Santiago Ramirez say on several occasions, “truth is not democratic, but aristocratic.” I attest that your carefully documented, thoughtful work will bring the traditional nobility to the forefront, as bearers of dignity, honesty, and humanism open to God and to the social common good.

Third, I think that the harmonic complementarity you establish between the “preferential option for the poor,” so accentuated in the new evangelization, and the “preferential option for the nobility” is very just and Christian. Indeed, these two outlooks are not exclusive, but complementary. I believe this is the key: One should love the best more, and help the neediest more. Hence the two harmonized preferential options. The charitable option for the indigent should not diminish the singular esteem deserved by the nobility, especially when such esteem is at a low ebb in times of widespread egalitarianism. Very much to the point is the information on the high percentage of canonized saints among the nobility. It was Pius XII who, in 1943, canonized Saint Margaret of Hungary, O.P., daughter of the King of Hungary and grand-daughter of the Emperor of Constantinople.

Fourth, in an era of “pacifism” (or peace at any cost), it is also advantageous to give thought to the topic of just war, so often waged by the nobility, whether military or civil and ecclesiastical. The Magisterium and Theology had and have much to say in this regard, as Documents XI reminds us.

Fifth and last, at a time when democracy, with no discernment or ulterior ethical resolution, is the sole political dogma for many, it is opportune to recall the Church’s social doctrine on the forms of government. The Papal Magisterium has incorporated Saint Thomas’s nuanced doctrine, taken up so often by Catholic thinkers and now by you in Appendix IV of your work.

I could highlight many other interesting points of your work, but do not wish to unduly lengthen this letter nor to repeat what the reader will find more adequately and more elaborately expounded in the book. With these remarks I hope to attest to having read the original with pleasure and to respond to your friendly gesture.

Fr. Victorino Rodriguez, O.P.
Renowned Spanish Theologian

(Translation from the Spanish original)

Fr. Anastasio Gutiérrez, C.M.F.


My Dear Juan Miguel,
I received your letter of the 5th along with the beautiful work of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, your distinguished founder: “Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites…” You have given me a present of great value, a work whose scientific, historical, sociological, human, and Christian wisdom is inestimable. I believe that with my 81 years, my 55 years of professorship and predominantly socio-juridical study, my 50 years in this elevated lookout that is Rome, I have some claim to be able to judge it and above all to appreciate it. I repeat: It is a work of a wisdom and equity of judgment that can hardly be matched by so many books which are excellent, if you will, but lack what we could call a great thinker’s charism of knowledge and experience. For me, it is not so much the documental basis as the elaborations of Professor Corrêa de Oliveira, who ranges over the fields of history, social psychology, philosophy, theology, and Christian ethics with profound insight and analytical capacity. In short, Professor Corrêa de Oliveira is a great MASTER who deserves to figure at the head of this elite class.
The work’s presentation is on par with its content; like the work’s theme, it is noble. The work would have been further ennobled by an opportune mention of Isabella the Catholic: According to great historical critics, after the Mother of God, she was the greatest woman of royal stirp that ever lived….
Also tell him that I received his letter endorsing the proposal of asking the Pope to order the resumption of the process of Isabella the Catholic, which has been interrupted for more than two and a half years. As you know, Professor Corrêa de Oliveira heads the list of the most preeminent figures on the Committee for the promotion of her glorification.
My congratulations. May the book have the diffusion it merits. When you write the author, give him my felicitations for it. My best wishes.
Your most affectionate friend,
Fr. Anastasio Gutiérrez, C.M.F.
World-Famous Theologian and Canonist
(Translation from the Spanish original)
(Excerpts from a letter to Mr. Juan Miguel Montes, Director of the TFP Bureau in Rome)

Georges Bordonove

Prof. Corrêa de Oliveira ranks among the clear-sighted minds that perceive, with an almost painful sharpness, the metamorphosis underway in today’s society, whose final features one cannot foresee. He fears, not without reason, that the combined effect of a galloping progress and a mistaken egalitarianism will eventually obliterate the individual by the monstrous leveling [of society]. It is in this perspective that he identifies, with Pius XII, the mission the patriciate has, unless it prefers to scuttle itself and disappear. In other words, he invites the elites not to dwell in the lamentation of vanished grandeur, not to estrange themselves from society, but rather to resolutely enter the active life, to place their talents, their heritage of experience, their family traditions, and even their way of being, at the service of society, with the sole concern for the common good….
This work is remarkable in all aspects, notably for the abundance and rigorous exactness of its documentation, the author’s universal culture, his solid argumentation, and the transparency of his thought. The reader will also appreciate the Professor’s prospective effort when he addresses the question of the world’s future…. It proposes an itinerary; it erects the first landmarks for the road to be followed.
Is this the announcement of that twenty-first century which, it has been said, will either be mystical or will not be at all?
Georges Bordonove
World-Famous French Historian
(Translation from the French original)
(Excerpts from the foreword to the French edition of the book)

Paul M. Weyrich

“Your book may help reawaken people to the realization that we need and can have an elite devoted to service.”

Paul M. Weyrich
Former President, Free Congress Foundation



Morton C. Blackwell

“Using theological, moral, and prudential arguments, this book will convince many readers, whatever their faith, that good elites are legitimate, desirable and, yes, necessary.”

Morton C. Blackwell
President, Leadership Institute

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