Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira



Resistance, Tarancón, and Casaroli






Folha de S. Paulo, December 1, 1974

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TFP-led resistance to the Vatican Ostpolitik is successfully spreading from the Americas to Europe.

Thus, Spain’s Sociedad Cultural Covadonga has already distributed more than 100,000 copies of the TFPs’ Declaration of Resistance to the Vatican Ostpolitik through the streets of Madrid and other cities. Last n November 11, the Spanish capital’s newspaper Hoja del Lunes published the document in its entirety. Since it is the only Madrid periodical published on Mondays, one can easily assess how the Declaration has been widely disseminated.

As might be expected, this dissemination draws both applause and criticism. Critics are furious and very rare, while supporters are numerous and no less fiery. Incoming phone calls to the headquarters of Sociedad Cultural Covadonga have surprisingly multiplied over the last few days. Letters have arrived in impressive numbers. Very encouraging, above all, is the number of priests of both secular and regular clergy who express their adhesion. A chaired professor of a well-known university spontaneously sent an extensive opinion justifying the Declaration from the theological and moral point of view.

* * *

In view of this picture, Christian Democrats were unable to remain silent. They control the Madrid daily Ya, which, in guise of retaliation issued with a very acid if evasive note. It is no wonder, as this attitude is typical of people unable to defend themselves or to resign themselves to keep embarrassingly silent.

The Covadonga Cultural Society, based on the press law, asked Ya to publish its rejoinder.

Since in principle Ya favors dialogue the brave young men of Covadonga hoped the daily would fulfill their well-founded request. They forgot that Christian-Democrat “dialogue” is a one-way street. As is known worldwide, it is entirely turned to the left. For the right, Christian Democrats only have acidity and brutality. Spain's anticommunist circles are therefore waiting to see how Covadonga will respond to the situation created by Ya’s refusal.

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Everything leads to believe that His Eminence Cardinal Tarancón, Archbishop of Madrid, has felt the ineffectiveness of Ya’s furious retort. Indeed, about ten days after this newspaper had manifested its opinion the Cardinal joined the fray by publishing a statement against the Declaration of Resistance. As far as we know, in his document the illustrious prelate expressly acknowledges that a good Catholic has the right to disagree with the policies of Paul VI. However, he considers that exercising this right shows disloyalty to the Holy See. The right to be disloyal ... Please…

Since the report on Archbishop Tarancón’s attitude only came to me verbally, I hope that the information is not quite right and that His Eminence has found something more substantial to plead. In due time, I will let our readers know what His Eminence had to say.

* * *

Archbishop Agostino Casaroli, secretary of the Vatican Council for Public Affairs is much more cunning. His Excellency only made a superficial and fleeting refutation of the Declaration of Resistance and then remained silent for a long time.

The international spread of Resistance finally led the illustrious Prelate - so deservedly called the Vatican Kissinger - to break his silence once more. He thus recently declared to the Europe Press agency: “The Holy See cooperates with all men who have useful options for peace ... Although some accuse the Holy See of imbalance in this quest the Vatican has never forgotten the meaning of social or international justice. For this reason, the Holy See is not limited to teaching but also engages in concrete actions in cases of injustice, even if at times these have been forgotten.” As the reader can see, this is a confused amalgam of innuendos and evasion.

Europe Press continues: “As far as the Vatican Ostpolitik is concerned, Archbishop Casaroli pointed out that this is not his point of view but that of Paul VI.” His “point of view” is the hazy text quoted above. The news agency continues: Archbishop Casaroli “has said that it is painful for the Holy Father to be attacked and unable to defend himself publicly as he sees some of his actions criticized by one party or another.”

From St. Peter to our days the Popes have usually defended themselves masterfully. Are there highly confidential reasons for this attitude? Why, then, upon immolating Cardinal Mindszenty Paul VI leaves this great and glorious victim in complete ignorance of the lofty motives which would have led him to strike this blow? Could the Cardinal-Martyr not even deserve enough confidence to be told the secret shared between His Holiness, Archbishop Casaroli, and the communist government of Budapest?

These are perplexities that Archbishop Casaroli will certainly not answer, not even at this time of postconciliar dialogue.

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