The detente of Paul VI with the communist governments

On receiving recently the credentials of the new Brazilian ambassador to the Holy See, Paul VI answered the greetings of the diplomat by delivering an allocution with marked allusions to the internal situation of Brazil.

In this connection, Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, President of the National Council of the Brazilian Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) sent His Holiness a telex with a respectful and lucid com­mentary on the perplexities caused by the policy of ‘détente’ of the Vatican as it is being practiced in the whole world.

It is necessary to point out also that on July 6, 1977, on page 14, the daily newspaper L’Unitàorgan of the Italian Communist Party, commenting on the words of Paul VI, made good use of them with evident satisfaction.

In a letter to the Papal Nuncio in Washington, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), a civic, anti-communist organization has manifested its full support to the telex of Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira, which follows:

“São Paulo, July 7, 1977

Most Holy Father Paul VI


Moved by its profound and filial veneration for the infallible Chair of Saint Peter, the Brazilian Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) is convinced that it fulfills a duty in bringing to the attention of Your Holiness its reflections and feelings regarding pronouncements and attitudes of Your Holiness concerning the exercise of sacred principles of the natural law and of Christian morality. in Brazil and in the contemporary world.

This Society is perplexed, Most Holy Father, on noting that the allocution given by Your Holiness on the 4th of July to the Brazilian ambassador makes clear your paternal solicitude in the face of violations of human rights which in the belief of Your Holiness have occurred as a result of repressive acts against Communist agitators. But this allocution contains no censure whatsoever of the systematic and cunning violation of human rights that international Communism based in Russia has been committing for decades in our territory by continually instigating class struggle and social revolution, with a clear violation of our sovereignty. This instigation is favored — how it hurts us to say it — by the attitude of cordiality, when it is not of involvement, on the part of clergy and laity of the so-called Catholic left with the Soviet dealings. Some examples are certain poems and doctrinal affirmations of Msgr. Pedro Casaldaliga, Missionary Bishop of Sao Felix do Araguaia.

The cordial relations existing between the Vatican and the Russian government lead us to expect that a protest of Your Holiness could influence the Soviets to cease the subversive pressure that they exert in Brazil and in all of Latin America. This pressure is felt like a real nightmare by the families of Brazil and of the brother countries. By helping to eliminate this pressure, Your Holiness would be giving a most valuable support to diminish the Communist danger, and eliminate thus the occasion for the excesses of anti­communist repression mentioned by Your Holiness.

We also take the liberty to say that if the concern of Your Holiness, reaching over the ocean and the frontiers of our country, becomes alarmed with the aforementioned excesses in a public pronouncement, we hope that with the greatest urgency Your Holiness will make clear publicly to the Communist governments the horror of the atrocities committed continually on the peoples that they dominate. Examples of these atrocities are the repressive measures taken just a few days ago against the Russian dissidents, as well as the massacre carried out by Ethiopia’s Communist government against thirty thousand opponents.

Above all, it seems to us that the unfortunate Vietnamese families who fled from Communism and who drift around the seas of the Far East in flimsy boats deserve an important and paternal manifestation of help and protection on the part of Your Holiness. These families are in the worst state of misery and are not assisted by the non-com­munist neighboring governments, who presumably are coerced by some kind of Communist pressure. We implore, therefore, that Your Holiness make a gesture with world-wide repercussions that may alleviate their sad fate!

We respectfully ask Your Holiness to forgive us if we add that the public silence of Your Holiness regarding facts like these leaves us most painfully perplexed.

Expressing these feelings to Your Holiness, which we are certain are not only ours but also those of innumerable Catholics of Brazil, Latin America, and the whole world, we help to avoid the further growth within the bosom of the Holy Universal Church of a group of her sons who are staunchly faithful, afflicted but until now systematically silent. This group grows day by day and is forming a sorrowful category of people within Christianity who are relegated to something much like a catacomb, along the lines of the Church of Silence behind the Iron Curtain.

Asking the blessing of Your Holiness, we remain, with all veneration.”