Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Folha de São Paulo, April 14, 1974
Readers have, of course, seen the TFP statement on its program of resistance to the policy of rapprochement between the Holy See and communist governments. There is nothing to add on the motives and nature of our stand. Likewise, it seems to me that everything has been said about a capital point of this matter to which we are supremely attached, namely our constant and loving union with the Holy Father Paul VI to the full extent prescribed by Catholic Doctrine. Now we still have to deal with the timeliness of our attitude.
Of course, I do not assume that the TFP statement changes the orientation of Paul VI's diplomacy. The reasons we have presented are too obvious for the Supreme Pontiff and his immediate counselors not to have considered them long ago.
Turning to the tactical point of view, there is no possible comparison between the advantages the Vatican imagines to gain with the support of the Moloch that is the communist world and the drawbacks that may result from resistance by its spiritual children in the TFPs spread throughout America and some European nations. True, these Catholics are full of Faith but lack the power that abounds in the communist side. Our very Faith is a factor that, in a purely political assessment, diminishes even further the scope of our position on the diplomatic scale. For the Vatican is certain, absolutely certain, that from us Holy Church does not have to fear any form of apostasy.
How useful, then, is our attitude?
The Vatican policy of rapprochement comes from way back. One notes since the Second Vatican Council, a gradual change in the attitude of Episcopates in almost the whole world in the face of the red danger. An earlier attitude of suspicion, vigilance and not infrequently even combativeness turned into one largely anodyne, silent, and so to speak inattentive. It would seem that the communist problem suddenly disappeared. Highlighting this tableau, a significant number of prelates came to express with new shades the Church's glorious and longstanding desire for a change in the living conditions of the poorer classes. In this matter, suffice it to compare the language of a Saint Pius X with that of certain bishops’ conferences and some prelates to measure how palpable this change has been. The new language in many ecclesiastical social demands sometimes is such that without being definitely Marxist, it seems inspired by the vocabulary and style used by the communists.
Unfortunately, as is public and notorious, there is more. Certain prelates who stand out as noisy and unpunished exceptions, strongly support the Communist hosts. The most striking example is Cardinal Silva Henriquez in Chile. Add to this immense mass of facts the Holy Father’s secret contacts with Red heads of state, the continuing diplomatic trips to communist countries by Archbishop Casaroli -- the Vatican Kissinger -- and ask yourself what is the combined effect of all this on the vigilance and pugnacity of Catholics in the West (to speak of them alone) in face of the communist danger. Obviously, the Vatican policy of détente causes a psychological demobilization of the 500 million Catholics in relation to the communist danger.
These facts are absolutely indisputable.
Now, precisely at this point the communist danger is becoming more serious. Russia's diplomatic and military power is growing at every moment, and communist propaganda is becoming more disguised, involving, and enticing. Explicitly communist intellectuals and politicians are now becoming a folkloric page of the prehistory of communism. The most efficient and modern agents of red propaganda are leftist politicians with communist tendencies and intellectuals who criticize communism but create a pre-communist climate.
In sum, the peak of Catholic demobilization coincides with the apex of the polymorphic onslaught of communism. The result: catastrophe in the medium term, if not in the short run.
Is there an antidote to safeguard Catholics? That can only be a specialized anticommunist action based on the traditional doctrine of the Church, carried out by Catholics to warn their brethren in the Faith and lead them to fight against the red danger. Any other type of antidote will be either vain or counterproductive.
This is the task to which the TFP is committed. It is an indispensable task for as long as the Vatican's Ostpolitik lasts. That is the usefulness of our arduous but indispensable - and how filial - resistance.