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Finding out Roberto de Mattei's a member of this group got me curious. I know after their founder died, there was as in so many sectarian instances a split among followers (copyright battle as to who got the name). I'd heard of John Horvat, that they have their own spin on Fatima's message, and are very anti-communist/ socialist. I wondered, all the same, if they were committed, as their bent seems to lean, to bringing Latin America back to the colonial post-Conquista days of the encomiendas as a New World extension of the spirit of the ancient Roman/medieval European latifundium--traditional as they were, they sparked enduring grassroots resentment against the Church. TFP certainly favors the regalia of the Iberian legacy: red sashes, banners, heraldic flags, marches among those they wish to win back. They promote among many other causes "the love for our Christian heritage; a love of chivalry, social graces, and refinement; an appreciation for healthy and just social inequalities, and traditional elites;" they oppose among admittedly valuable causes this, which may give pause: "the retroactive lifting of statutes of limitations for civil cases involving sexual abuse; the enactment of State laws forcing clergy to violate the seal of Confession in cases of child abuse." I found this TFP U.S. website.

I admit total unfamiliarity with them. I ask out of curiosity: are they, say, "on the same page" as Opus Dei, or not?
(03-22-2020, 08:48 PM)Fionnchu Wrote: [ -> ]I found this TFP U.S. website.
Here's their link to a pdf of founder Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira's anti-progressivist Revolution and Counter-Revolution. 

Click Here for
PDF version

Originally published as Revolução e Contra-Revolução, in Catolicismo, April 1959 (Parts I and II) and January 1977 (Part III)
(03-22-2020, 08:48 PM)Fionnchu Wrote: [ -> ]they oppose among admittedly valuable causes this, which may give pause: "the retroactive lifting of statutes of limitations for civil cases involving sexual abuse; the enactment of State laws forcing clergy to violate the seal of Confession in cases of child abuse."

Yes, let's allow lawsuits over things that happened 50 years ago, where any witnesses are long dead and those who are around don't remember things. That's not asking for false claims. And juries now are likely to believe any accuser over a Catholic priest, and apply today's standards to things that happened decades ago. Plus this has all been known for 20 years now - if someone was abused before that and still hasn't done anything about it, that's not a reason to extend statutes of limitation further.
Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira was very anti-liberal, but was not a good Catholic.

In short, the TFP started as a anti-liberal movement of Catholics, but then, at least partially because of the weakness of the hierarchy, but also because of warped ideas in Plinio's own philosophy became highly anti-clerical, and eventually began a kind of Saint worship of Plinio himself.

No one would doubt the orthodoxy of Msgr Antonio de Castro Mayer (the co-consecrator in the 1988 SSPX Consecrations, and the bishop that maintained his diocese in Tradition for long after 1970, until his forced retirement, and then continued to provide priests and Sacraments in the traditional rites). His opinion was that while the TFP began well, it eventually fell into heresy, and needed to be avoided.


Quote:Dear ———,

I owe you an answer to your painful letter of September 24 [1984] that, as the postmark indicates, you sent me on September 25th.

In this case I can only give you one advice: pray, pray a lot, above all the [15 decade] Rosary or at least the [5 decade] Rosary, asking the Virgin Mother, Mediatrix of all graces, to enlighten her son and make him see that the TFP is a heretical sect because, in fact, although they do not say or write, the TFP lives and behaves according to a principle that fundamentally undermines the truth of Christendom, that is, of the Catholic Church.

Indeed, it is de fide that Jesus Christ founded His Church—designed to keep the true worship of God on earth and to bring souls to eternal salvation - as an unequal society composed of two classes: one that governs, teaches, and sanctifies, composed of members of the clergy, and another—the faithful—who receive the teaching, are governed and sanctified: This is a dogma de fide.

St. Pius X wrote that the Church is, in its own nature, an unequal society, meaning that it comprises two orders of persons: shepherds and flock, those belonging to the various levels of the hierarchy, and the multitude of the faithful. These two orders are so utterly distinct that only the hierarchy has the right and authority to guide and govern the members for the purposes of the Church, while the duty of the faithful is to let themselves to be governed and to obediently follow the given path by the ruling class. (Encyclical "Vehementer", February 11, 1906.) The whole history of the Church, as can be seen in the New Testament, attests to this truth as a fundamental dogma of the Church's constitution. It was only to the Apostles that Jesus said, "Go and teach all nations." Also the Acts of the Apostles show us the life of the Church in the times after Jesus Christ. Because of this, it is a heretical subversion to usually follow a layman - therefore a non-member of the Hierarchy - as a spokesman for orthodoxy. So they do not look at what the Church says, what the bishops say, but what this or that [layman] says... And it does not end there: this attitude—even if not openly stated—in fact positions the "leader" as the arbiter of orthodoxy, and is accompanied by a sudden but real mistrust of the hierarchy and clergy in general.

There is a visceral anti-clericalism in the TFP: everything that comes from the clergy is biasedly received. Basically, it is affirmed that all priests are ignorant, lacking zeal or interested and such other characteristics. Well, thus, having in mind the divine constitution of the Church which was instituted by Jesus Christ, the habitual anti-clericalism of the TFP, latent, makes it a heretical sect, and therefore, as I said, animated by a principle contrary to established dogma by Jesus Christ in the constitution of His Church.

The TFP, however, had a healthy beginning. There was a certain evolution in the apostolate made by the biweekly newspaper of the Marian Congregation of St. Cecilia entitled The Legionary.

As a serious and well-intentioned movement, it sought to strengthen the intellectual and religious formation of the members of the Congregation and, consequently, of the biweekly readers. It was influential throughout Brazil. This was the era of [its] obedience to Monsignors Duarte and Leme. I followed and approved of its apostolate, also when it began to fall itself into the anti-clerical spirit, which began by consolidating its positions and then reversing them, putting the Clergy in tow behind a charismatic layman with the monopoly of orthodoxy. Maybe I gave them support beyond a licit point. I withdrew it only when it became clear that my warnings were not being taken into account. They have become useless.

It is true to note that the deceptions of certain members of the Hierarchy... explain the scandal of the "TFPists", but this does not justify the positions they have taken. And much less for its leader, Plinio.

In this case, as I said at the beginning of this letter, the remedy is to pray. First, because without prayer nothing is obtained: "Ask," says Our Lord, "and you will receive." It is necessary to pray because charismatic fervor produces a certain fanaticism: individuals become incapable of seeing the objective reality, of perceiving even fundamental errors, because of this inversion of following a layman instead of the legitimate Pastors of the Holy Church.

As I have noted, members of the hierarchy unfortunately and often utter words and take positions that any Catholic can see as dissonant of the doctrine and government of the Church of all times...

I ask Our Lord to give you, and your whole family, a Holy and Merry Christmas and many years full of the grace of God.

I pray that you pray for me, a servant in Christ Jesus.

Antônio de Castro Mayer, Bishop Emeritus of Campos.


From my own experience the American version of the TFP is milder than the South American founding branch. The Americans tend to eschew the excesses, but they do still have the same spirit of an anti-clericalism. 

This problem was not new. When Leo XIII tried to encourage Catholic Action in the late 1800s, in France a group called "Le Sillon" was founded as a Catholic political movement. It quickly trended towards Socialism and an anti-clerical spirit and so was condemned by Pope St Pius X. Except for the the liberal slant of Le Sillon, and the anti-liberal slant of TFP the groups look similar. The other difference with the later is that the TFP also became cultish.
(03-23-2020, 02:50 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira was very anti-liberal, but was not a good Catholic.

In short, the TFP started as a anti-liberal movement of Catholics, but then, at least partially because of the weakness of the hierarchy, but also because of warped ideas in Plinio's own philosophy became highly anti-clerical, and eventually began a kind of Saint worship of Plinio himself.

No one would doubt the orthodoxy of Msgr Antonio de Castro Mayer (the co-consecrator in the 1988 SSPX Consecrations, and the bishop that maintained his diocese in Tradition for long after 1970, until his forced retirement, and then continued to provide priests and Sacraments in the traditional rites). His opinion was that while the TFP began well, it eventually fell into heresy, and needed to be avoided.


Quote:Dear ———,

I owe you an answer to your painful letter of September 24 [1984] that, as the postmark indicates, you sent me on September 25th.

In this case I can only give you one advice: pray, pray a lot, above all the [15 decade] Rosary or at least the [5 decade] Rosary, asking the Virgin Mother, Mediatrix of all graces, to enlighten her son and make him see that the TFP is a heretical sect because, in fact, although they do not say or write, the TFP lives and behaves according to a principle that fundamentally undermines the truth of Christendom, that is, of the Catholic Church.

Indeed, it is de fide that Jesus Christ founded His Church—designed to keep the true worship of God on earth and to bring souls to eternal salvation - as an unequal society composed of two classes: one that governs, teaches, and sanctifies, composed of members of the clergy, and another—the faithful—who receive the teaching, are governed and sanctified: This is a dogma de fide.

St. Pius X wrote that the Church is, in its own nature, an unequal society, meaning that it comprises two orders of persons: shepherds and flock, those belonging to the various levels of the hierarchy, and the multitude of the faithful. These two orders are so utterly distinct that only the hierarchy has the right and authority to guide and govern the members for the purposes of the Church, while the duty of the faithful is to let themselves to be governed and to obediently follow the given path by the ruling class. (Encyclical "Vehementer", February 11, 1906.) The whole history of the Church, as can be seen in the New Testament, attests to this truth as a fundamental dogma of the Church's constitution. It was only to the Apostles that Jesus said, "Go and teach all nations." Also the Acts of the Apostles show us the life of the Church in the times after Jesus Christ. Because of this, it is a heretical subversion to usually follow a layman - therefore a non-member of the Hierarchy - as a spokesman for orthodoxy. So they do not look at what the Church says, what the bishops say, but what this or that [layman] says... And it does not end there: this attitude—even if not openly stated—in fact positions the "leader" as the arbiter of orthodoxy, and is accompanied by a sudden but real mistrust of the hierarchy and clergy in general.

There is a visceral anti-clericalism in the TFP: everything that comes from the clergy is biasedly received. Basically, it is affirmed that all priests are ignorant, lacking zeal or interested and such other characteristics. Well, thus, having in mind the divine constitution of the Church which was instituted by Jesus Christ, the habitual anti-clericalism of the TFP, latent, makes it a heretical sect, and therefore, as I said, animated by a principle contrary to established dogma by Jesus Christ in the constitution of His Church.

The TFP, however, had a healthy beginning. There was a certain evolution in the apostolate made by the biweekly newspaper of the Marian Congregation of St. Cecilia entitled The Legionary.

As a serious and well-intentioned movement, it sought to strengthen the intellectual and religious formation of the members of the Congregation and, consequently, of the biweekly readers. It was influential throughout Brazil. This was the era of [its] obedience to Monsignors Duarte and Leme. I followed and approved of its apostolate, also when it began to fall itself into the anti-clerical spirit, which began by consolidating its positions and then reversing them, putting the Clergy in tow behind a charismatic layman with the monopoly of orthodoxy. Maybe I gave them support beyond a licit point. I withdrew it only when it became clear that my warnings were not being taken into account. They have become useless.

It is true to note that the deceptions of certain members of the Hierarchy... explain the scandal of the "TFPists", but this does not justify the positions they have taken. And much less for its leader, Plinio.

In this case, as I said at the beginning of this letter, the remedy is to pray. First, because without prayer nothing is obtained: "Ask," says Our Lord, "and you will receive." It is necessary to pray because charismatic fervor produces a certain fanaticism: individuals become incapable of seeing the objective reality, of perceiving even fundamental errors, because of this inversion of following a layman instead of the legitimate Pastors of the Holy Church.

As I have noted, members of the hierarchy unfortunately and often utter words and take positions that any Catholic can see as dissonant of the doctrine and government of the Church of all times...

I ask Our Lord to give you, and your whole family, a Holy and Merry Christmas and many years full of the grace of God.

I pray that you pray for me, a servant in Christ Jesus.

Antônio de Castro Mayer, Bishop Emeritus of Campos.


From my own experience the American version of the TFP is milder than the South American founding branch. The Americans tend to eschew the excesses, but they do still have the same spirit of an anti-clericalism. 

This problem was not new. When Leo XIII tried to encourage Catholic Action in the late 1800s, in France a group called "Le Sillon" was founded as a Catholic political movement. It quickly trended towards Socialism and an anti-clerical spirit and so was condemned by Pope St Pius X. Except for the the liberal slant of Le Sillon, and the anti-liberal slant of TFP the groups look similar. The other difference with the later is that the TFP also became cultish.
Backing up what Magister is saying here. The group that split from TFP called "Tradition In Action" is also suspect in my experience. They are also push a virulent anti-Distributist stance. I'd say avoid both groups and warn people who may be attracted to both groups about them.
As Magister said, there's something quite wrong deep in TFP, now called IPCO due to legal problems which you mentioned, including stories of a weird cult mentality created around Plinio and his mother, with a litany composed to honor her. All of this caused Msgr. de Castro Mayer, Abp. Lefebvre and the SSPX to abandon the support they had given before, to the point of regret.

About divisions, I'll try to be as suscint as possible.
IPCO - Plínio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute
Was created by the 'old guard' of the now defunct TFP, including members of the Brazilian Imperial house, which gives them even more visibility. They lost a battle against Clá Dias, Plínio's right arm and 'spiritual successor', and lost almost everything, from their castle shaped mansion to the famous red capes. Basically speaking, it's a rebranded TFP.
They do tend to be conservative and traditionals, to the point of bringing Bp. Schneider to celebrate Mass here.

Arautos do Evangelho - Heralds of the Gospel
After some time Clá Dias was ordained priest and received the permition to create a new religious order, founding the Arautos with a spirit of a medieval revivalist cavalry order, from their uniform (tabards, cavalry boots, heavy metal chain around the waist) to marches and strict discipline, remnants of his Army days. Their headquarter happens to be a Gothic revivalist church, yet all of the medievalism dies here, for they don't celebrate Tridentine Mass.
Recently they went under scrutiny of the Vatican after some alegations of abuses and heresies, but as far as I know nothing has come out yet.

There's also a cultural association created by a man who eventually got fed up of the TFP, with links to the IBP - Institut du Bon Pasteur, but ain't that important.
(03-23-2020, 04:17 PM)Ioannes_L Wrote: [ -> ]As Magister said, there's something quite wrong deep in TFP. . . .
They do tend to be conservative and traditionals, to the point of bringing Bp. Schneider to celebrate Mass here
Thanks, everyone, for answering. That kind of fervent devotion to the founder reminded me of Escriva or Maciel. Given I tend to admire (albeit with a bit of reservation here or there) Roberto de Mattei's journalism, I was wondering how a man of his intellect--who studied under the formidable Communio philosopher Augusto del Noce, ranks foremost being a disciple of Plinio. Interestingly, the Wiki bio notes he teaches at the "new European University" in Rome founded by the Legionaries in 2004. Finally I'm curious if TFP celebrate the pre-V2 TLM, or, like Opus Dei, favor other forms or rites.
(03-25-2020, 10:08 PM)Fionnchu Wrote: [ -> ]
(03-23-2020, 04:17 PM)Ioannes_L Wrote: [ -> ]As Magister said, there's something quite wrong deep in TFP. . . .
They do tend to be conservative and traditionals, to the point of bringing Bp. Schneider to celebrate Mass here
Thanks, everyone, for answering. That kind of fervent devotion to the founder reminded me of Escriva or Maciel. Given I tend to admire (albeit with a bit of reservation here or there) Roberto de Mattei's journalism, I was wondering how a man of his intellect--who studied under the formidable Communio philosopher Augusto del Noce, ranks foremost being a disciple of Plinio. Interestingly, the Wiki bio notes he teaches at the "new European University" in Rome founded by the Legionaries in 2004. Finally I'm curious if TFP celebrate the pre-V2 TLM, or, like Opus Dei, favor other forms or rites.

The TFP tend to be highly anti-clerical, so do not favor any liturgy. This is why you will find then promoting Fatima, the Rosary, political action which looks like Catholic action, but you will never find a priest leading them or closely associated with them. You will also not find them promoting Masses, or even attending Masses very often. There are exceptions.

In a July 1983 article in The Angelus magazine, a former TFP member described his experiences writing,

Quote:The religious overtones were very heavy. We were encouraged to receive Holy Communion daily in the TFP Chapel. That it was distributed to us by a layman who was one of our own was done only out of supposed need. That need, of course, served to provide more evidence of the spread of the revolution. (A large number of hosts were consecrated three or four times a year by a visiting priest from Canada. He left them in our Chapel tabernacle.)


The converted mansion where about sixty of us lived was full of holy pictures, statues and other religious articles. We were required to pray all fifteen decades of the Rosary daily, and meditation was encouraged. Each evening, after dinner, instruction from Dr. Plinio was given to all.

He also said that few of the TFP members would go to Mass even on Sundays, and were highly derisive of those who attended the Tridintine Mass, and of even priests, "The atmosphere cultivated within this group is one which holds that the entire world is corrupt and only the TFP has escaped the corruption. Even traditional Catholics, such as Archbishop Lefebvre and his followers, are scorned—though never publicly."

So, I don't think one would find that the TFP has any real preference for any liturgical practice, since they are very much anti-clerical. The clergy is an inconvenient necessity, and they need a priest in order to have Communion.

To add to this, my understanding, though I am happy to be corrected on this, is that while the appeal is to young men to anti-liberal political action and spirituality, no vocations have come out of the group, and the notion of the priesthood is denigrated. If that is not accurate, I would be happy to see evidence of vocations and the priesthood being defended.
While you might be right about their ainti-clericalism(I'm not that versed on the subject), the 'old Plinian guard' here has received the attention of two highly famous traditional leaders, Bp. Schneider and Cdl. Burke, with the good bishop even celebrating a Mass for the 20th anniversary of Plinio's death. Maybe they are the new Lefebvre and Mayer.
What also came to my mind was a critic posed by a member of a splinter group, so I take it with a grain of salt, that these old TFP members pay little to no attention to Mass and prefer to say the Rosary. He also quoted, from TFP's own book, that Plinio liked the 'new air' brought by some liturgical movements and summarised by affirming that their goal is to fight communism, not to defend tradition.