Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

 

 

IN DEFENSE OF CATHOLIC ACTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

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First English Edition (October 2006)
Translated by The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property® - TFP®
Copyright © 2006 The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property® - TFP®
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Table of Contents

LETTER FROM THE HOLY SEE

PASSING THE TEST OF TIME

PREFACE

INTRODUCTION

HISTORICAL ANTECEDENTS OF THE AMBIENCE IN WHICH CATHOLIC ACTION EMERGED

a) Disorganization of the Liberal States

b) Universal Panic

c) Dictatorships

d) The Supreme Catastrophe

PIUS XI FOUNDS CATHOLIC ACTION

Hopes and Triumphs

Exaggerations

Errors:

a) Regarding Spiritual Life

b) Regarding Apostolate

c) Regarding Discipline

THE REASON FOR THIS BOOK

THE SPIRIT IN WHICH WE WRITE IT

SUAVE TRUTHS, AUSTERE TRUTHS

DANGEROUS ONE-SIDEDNESS

CHARACTER OF THIS WORK

PART I - JURIDICAL CHARACTER OF CATHOLIC ACTION

CHAPTER 1 - DOCTRINE ON CATHOLIC ACTION  AND THE MANDATE OF THE HIERARCHY

THE ORIGIN OF CATHOLIC ACTION'S PRESENT ORGANIZATIONS

JURIDICAL CHARACTER OF CATHOLIC ACTION: THE MANDATE OF CATHOLIC ACTION

NOTIONS ABOUT THE MANDATE

ECCLESIASTICAL AND CIVIL MEANING OF "MANDATE"

HIERARCHICAL CHARACTER OF CATHOLIC ACTION DEDUCED FROM THE MANDATE

CONCRETE CONSEQUENCES:

a) Regarding Other Lay Organizations

b) Regarding the Hierarchy

c) Regarding the Organization and Methods of Apostolate of Catholic Action

IMPORTANT OBSERVATIONS

CHAPTER 2 - REFUTATION OF THE ERRONEOUS DOCTRINES

DEVELOPMENT OF SOME NOTIONS GIVEN IN THE PRECEDING CHAPTER

PHILOSOPHICAL INCONSISTENCY OF THE DOCTRINES DESCRIBED IN THE PRECEDING CHAPTER

OF THE VARIOUS KINDS OF COLLABORATION

ALL HAVE THE SAME ESSENCE

AND PRODUCE ANALOGOUS CONSEQUENCES

DISTINCTION BETWEEN MANDATE AND COLLABORATION

MANDATE AND DELEGATION

SUMMARY OF THE NOTIONS GIVEN IN THIS CHAPTER THUS FAR

MANDATE AND COLLABORATION IN REGARD TO THE LAY APOSTOLATE

THE MANDATE IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO GIVE CATHOLIC ACTION A JURIDICAL ESSENCE DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF OTHER LAY ORGANIZATIONS

THE MANDATE IS MERELY A WAY OF GRANTING POWERS. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF THE POWERS GRANTED

THERE ARE OTHER WORKS ENDOWED WITH A MANDATE WHICH HAVE NEVER BEEN ATTRIBUTED A JURIDICAL ESSENCE DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF OTHER WORKS OF LAY APOSTOLATE

SOME FAITHFUL ARE ALSO ENDOWED WITH MANDATES, BUT THAT DOES NOT CHANGE THEIR STATUS OF SUBJECTS IN HOLY MOTHER CHURCH

PAPAL DOCUMENTS

SUMMONSES AND MANDATES PREVIOUS TO THE CREATION OF THE PRESENT STRUCTURE OF CATHOLIC ACTION

CONCLUSION

CHAPTER 3 - THE TRUE NATURE OF THE MANDATE OF CATHOLIC ACTION

THERE IS AN ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MANDATE GIVEN TO THE HIERARCHY BY OUR LORD AND THE MANDATE GIVEN BY THE HIERARCHY TO CATHOLIC ACTION

WHAT THIS DIFFERENCE IS NOT

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MANDATE RECEIVED BY THE HIERARCHY

IN WHAT SENSE CAN CATHOLIC ACTION COLLABORATE WITH THE HIERARCHY?

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MANDATE OF THE LAITY

ARE THERE IN THE CHURCH MANDATES OTHER THAN THOSE RECEIVED BY THE HIERARCHY?

THE GREAT HIERARCHICAL MANDATE—THE VARIOUS MANDATES OF THE SUBJECTS

a) That in Which They Are Equal—First Distinction

b) In What They Are Different - Second Distinction

THE LEADERS OF CATHOLIC ACTION UNQUESTIONABLY HAVE A CERTAIN AUTHORITY; BUT ONE CANNOT CLAIM THAT SUCH AUTHORITY HAS AN ESSENCE IDENTICAL TO THAT OF THE HIERARCHY

GENERAL SUMMARY OF THE PRECEDING CHAPTERS

CHAPTER 4 - THE DEFINITION OF PIUS XI

ONE MORE ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF THE HIERARCHICAL ESSENCE OF THE APOSTOLATE OF CATHOLIC ACTION: THE DEFINITION OF CATHOLIC ACTION BY HIS HOLINESS PIUS XI

ERRONEOUS THESES

THE MANNER OF REFUTING THESE THESES

THE ELEMENTS OF THE ISSUE

THE ERROR COMMON TO THE TWO STATEMENTS WE REFUTE

THE PARTICULAR ERROR OF THOSE WHO MAINTAIN THAT CATHOLIC ACTION PARTICIPATES IN THE HIERARCHY

THE PARTICULAR ERROR OF THOSE WHO MAINTAIN THAT CATHOLIC ACTION HAS HIERARCHICAL FUNCTIONS

CONCLUSION

EVEN IF THE PREVIOUSLY REFUTED THESES WERE ADMISSIBLE, PIUS XI DID NOT GIVE CATHOLIC ACTION PARTICIPATION IN THE HIERARCHY OR IN HIERARCHICAL FUNCTIONS

ANALYSIS OF WHAT "HIERARCHICAL APOSTOLATE" IS

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIERARCHICAL APOSTOLATE AND LAY APOSTOLATE

DID THE DEFINITION OF PIUS XI GIVE THE LAITY A PARTICIPATION IN THE HIERARCHICAL POWERS?

VARIOUS MEANINGS OF "PARTICIPATION"

WHICH OF THEM IS THE LEGITIMATE ONE?

PARTICIPATION AND COLLABORATION

THE DEFINITION OF PIUS XI: ITS TRUE MEANING

SEMI-OFFICIAL CLARIFICATION OF THE DEFINITION OF PIUS XI

"PARTICIPATION" IN THE LIGHT OF CANON LAW

CONCLUSION

NOTICE

CHAPTER 5 - FUNDAMENTAL ERRORS

A CONSEQUENCE OF THE ERRORS WE REFUTE

THE SITUATION OF THE CLERGY UNTIL NOW

HOW SOME INTEND TO BELITTLE AND ULTIMATELY DESTROY THIS SITUATION

CONCRETE EXAMPLES OF WHAT WOULD RESULT

ARE WE RETURNING TO THE TIME OF "MASONIFIED" CONFRATERNITIES?

WILL ONE OF OUR MOST BEAUTIFUL TRADITIONS DISAPPEAR TO OUR APPLAUSE?

WILL THE AUTHORITY OF THE PASTOR AND SCHOOL DIRECTORS BE MUTILATED?

TO WHAT WILL THE AUTHORITY OF THE BISHOPS BE REDUCED?

CHAPTER 6 - THE CLERGY IN CATHOLIC ACTION

COMPLEXITY OF THE CHURCH'S GOVERNMENT

SPECIAL FORMATION OF THE CLERGY

INVALUABLE GUARANTEES WITH WHICH THE CHURCH PROTECTS HERSELF

ERRORS ABOUT THE ESSENCE OF CATHOLIC ACTION EXPOSE THESE GUARANTEES TO MOST GRAVE RISKS

IMPORTANT EXCEPTIONS:

a) In Regard to the Intentions with Which Many People Defend These Errors

b) In Regard to the Advantage of the Spirit of Initiative and Frank Cooperation in the Laity

c) In Regard to the Preeminence of the Fundamental Organizations of Catholic Action over the Auxiliaries

PART II - CATHOLIC ACTION AND THE INTERIOR LIFE

CHAPTER 1 - GRACE, FREE WILL, AND LITURGY

LITURGY AND INTERIOR LIFE

THE "MANDATE" AND INTERIOR LIFE

TRADITIONAL ASCETICISM

THE WORK OF THE COUNTER-REFORMATION

THE AUTHORITY OF THE HOLY SEE

THE ORIGIN OF THESE ERRORS

THE RULES OF CHRISTIAN MODESTY

CHAPTER 2 - SIMILARITY TO "MODERNISM"

A COMPLETE DOCTRINAL SYSTEM

DIFFICULT FOR OBSERVERS TO PERCEIVE

BECAUSE OF THE METHODS USED TO SPREAD IT

MAN SHOULD BE DELIVERED FROM THE SOURNESS OF THE INTERIOR STRUGGLE

GIVING AN ERRONEOUS LITURGICAL FORMATION

CHAPTER 3 - THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH

LITURGY AND MORTIFICATION ACCORDING TO THE TEACHING OF THE HOLY SEE

DEVOTIONS APPROVED BY THE CHURCH MAY NOT BE ATTACKED

ONE CANNOT ADMIT CONTRADICTIONS IN THE SPIRITUALITY OF THE VARIOUS RELIGIOUS ORDERS

PART III - INTERNAL PROBLEMS OF CATHOLIC ACTION

CHAPTER 1 - ORGANIZATION, REGULATIONS, AND PENALTIES

NEW CONCEPTS ON THE CATHOLIC LAY MOVEMENT

a) Regarding Various Devotions

b) Regarding Periodical Acts of Piety in Common

c) Regarding the Promotion of Intimate Sociability among Its Members and Having a Recreation Center

d) Regarding Rules on Attire, Fashions, and the Like

A CURIOUS CONTRADICTION

a) On Applying Penalties to Guilty Members

MEEKNESS AND PERSUASION BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE

IS IT A LACK OF CHARITY TO PUNISH?

THE REAL PANORAMA

SYSTEMATIC IMPUNITY IS A LACK OF CHARITY

a) Towards Society

b) For Those Who Merit Punishment

c) Toward Those in Danger

d) Toward the Good

PUNISHMENT DOES NOT DEPRIVE CATHOLIC ACTION OF USEFUL AUXILIARIES

NOR DOES IT HARM THE AMBIENCE OF CATHOLIC ACTION

LET US AVOID ANY KIND OF ONE-SIDEDNESS

THE SPIRIT OF "MASONIFIED" FRATERNITIES

PUNISHMENT IS A HARSH NECESSITY

CHAPTER 2 - ADMISSION OF NEW MEMBERS

TUMULTUOUS RECRUITING

DIMINISHES THE DIGNITY OF CATHOLIC ACTION, IS INEFFECTIVE, PARTICULARLY IN BRAZIL

HOW SHOULD CATHOLIC ACTION RECRUIT NEW MEMBERS?

MASSES OR ELITES? - A FUNDAMENTAL ALTERNATIVE - IRREPLACEABLE FECUNDITY OF THE ELITES - THE MIDDLE GROUND IS IMPOSSIBLE

THE VOICE OF THE POPES

INTERIOR LIFE IS SUPERIOR TO TECHNICAL FORMATION

CHAPTER 3 - AUXILIARY ASSOCIATIONS—THE "APOSTOLATE OF CONQUEST"

THE PROBLEM

AUXILIARY ASSOCIATIONS MUST NOT DISAPPEAR

IT IS NO LESS SO WITH CATHOLIC ACTION

A SIMPLISTIC SOLUTION

THE PROBLEM'S TRUE CHARACTERISTICS

PIUS XII INDICATES NEW DIRECTIONS

ATTACKING THE PREROGATIVES OF CATHOLIC ACTION IS NEFARIOUS AND VAIN

ANOTHER FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM

THE PROBLEM'S TRUE ASPECT

CHARITY ESTABLISHES PRIORITIES

a) We Should Concern Ourselves Above All With the Sanctification and Perseverance of the Good

b) Secondly, We Should Bring Sinners Back to the Life of Grace

EXPANDING THIS DOCTRINE CANNOT HARM THE APOSTOLATE WITH INFIDELS AND HERETICS

"APOSTOLATE OF CONQUEST"

AN OBJECTION

PART IV - HOW SOME IN CATHOLIC ACTION PROPOSE TO DISSEMINATE THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH

CHAPTER 1 - HOW TO PRESENT CATHOLIC DOCTRINE

THERE IS A GREAT VARIETY OF SOULS

IMPLICITLY, THERE MUST BE A GREAT VARIETY OF APPROACHES IN THE APOSTOLATE

A “TECHNIQUE OF APOSTOLATE” THAT FAILS TO TAKE THIS FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH INTO ACCOUNT WILL ERR

"STRATEGIC RETREAT," THE ONLY METHOD OF APOSTOLATE

THE CROSS OF CHRIST DOES NOT DRIVE NEOPHYTES AWAY FROM CATHOLIC ACTION

THESE DOCTRINES ARE ERRONEOUS BECAUSE THEY PRESUPPOSE A FALSE PANORAMA

AND SO THEY FAIL TO EMPLOY RESOURCES OF GREAT IMPORTANCE

…RESOURCES OUR LORD EMPLOYED

…WHOSE REJECTION THE HOLY SEE CONDEMNED

IT IS SEVERELY PUNISHED BY GOD

CHAPTER 2 - THE "COMMON GROUND" TACTIC

THE "COMMON GROUND" TACTIC AND RELIGIOUS INDIFFERENTISM

THE "COMMON GROUND" TACTIC AND FERVENT CATHOLICS

THE TRUE ATTITUDE

AN IMPORTANT RESERVATION

LET US NOT HIDE THE AUSTERITY OF OUR RELIGION

LET US NOT DEIFY POPULARITY

THE CHURCH NEITHER DESPISES NOR REJECTS POPULARITY

NOR DOES SHE MAKE IT THE END OF HER EFFORTS

CONCLUSION

CHARITY CANNOT OBFUSCATE THE TRUTH

THE EXAMPLE OF BISHOP VITAL MARIA GONÇALVES DE OLIVEIRA

LET US ADJUST OUR METHODS TO THE PRESENT-DAY MENTALITY

CHAPTER 3 - THE "APOSTOLATE OF INFILTRATION"

"APOSTOLATE OF INFILTRATION"

VARIETY OF AMBIENCES

PLURALITY OF ATTITUDES

HOW TO DO "APOSTOLATE OF INFILTRATION"

WHAT TO THINK OF DANCES?

CHAPTER 4 - NEUTRAL ASSOCIATIONS

THE TERMS OF THE PROBLEM

THE SOLUTION

CHAPTER 5 - THE “WORKSHOPS"

THE DOCTRINE WE REFUTE

WHAT IS GOOD AND WHAT IS BAD ABOUT IT

SHOULD CATHOLIC ACTION USE WORKSHOPS?

PART V - CONFIRMATION BY THE NEW TESTAMENT

CHAPTER 1 - IMPORTANCE OF THIS CHAPTER

SINNERS BEFORE AND AFTER CHRIST

THE "CUNNING OF THE SERPENT"

THE IDOLATRY OF POPULARITY

EVANGELICAL PROCEDURE TOWARD MEN OF EVIL DOCTRINE

THE “COMMON GROUND” TACTIC

IN OUR LORD’S STEPS, LET US NOT GIVE UP WHEN OUR PRACTICE OF APOSTOLIC FRANKNESS SEEMS TO HAVE FAILED

THE PREACHING OF AUSTERE TRUTHS

LET US PREACH MORTIFICATION AND THE CROSS

FORTITUDE AND SAGACITY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

LET US FOLLOW THE LESSON OF THE GOSPEL WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS

CONCLUSION

APPENDICES

APPENDIX 1 - CATHOLIC ACTION: ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF A DEFINITION

1. The Definition of Pius XI

2. Collaboration or Participation

3. In the First Encyclical of Pius XII

4. Precious Fruits of the Definition

5. Hierarchy and Laity

6. Knitting a Tighter Union Between Priesthood and Laity

7. At the Present Time

8. The Commission of Cardinals in Italy

9. The Ecclesiastical Assistants

10. Substantial Continuity of Catholic Action

APPENDIX 2 - APOSTOLIC LETTER OF POPE PIUS X ON THE SILLON (AUGUST 25, 1910)

THE SILLON DID HAVE CONSIDERABLE QUALITIES

BUT THE GRAVITY OF ITS DEFECTS WAS EVEN GREATER

THAT FORCED THE POPE TO CONDEMN IT

THE SILLON TRIES TO DODGE CHURCH AUTHORITY

THE SILLON’S EGALITARIAN TENDENCIES ARE ERRONEOUS

EXPOUNDING THE SILLON’S SUBVERSIVE AND REVOLUTIONARY DOCTRINES

REFUTATION

THE EGALITARIAN STRUCTURE OF THE SILLON’S ORGANIZATION

THE ANARCHICAL SPIRIT IT INSTILLS

THE SILLON HAS A HATEFUL INTOLERANCE

EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO CHURCH PRINCIPLES

ONE OF SILLON’S GRAVE ERRORS IS INTERCONFESSIONALISM

FOR THIS REASON, THE SILLON CEASED BEING CATHOLIC

THE SILLON AND THE PLOTS OF CHURCH ENEMIES

THE SILLON CONVEYS A DISTORTED IDEA OF THE DIVINE REDEEMER

EXHORTATION TO THE EPISCOPATE

MEMBERS OF THE SILLON MUST OBEY

NOTE TO THE READER


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