Opus Dei 2.0

I’ve been reading online about Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, a Brazilian politician who started a group called the “Tradition, Family and Property” (TFP) in many countries to oppose the rise of Communism around the world by mobilizing people with traditional values and beliefs.

BTW I support the idea of opposing Communism.

From 1960 until the papacy of Pope John Paul II in 1978, TFP lost influence in the Brazilian catholic church, because the Brazilian bishops sought to include Communist ideas into church’s agenda through something called “liberation theology“.

Pope John Paul II was against liberation theology, and during this time, TFP came back into power. It was something between a religious order and a social movement during the time, and under the control of Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira.

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira died and there was a split in TFP between those members who favored the model of religious congregation and those favoring the model of a social movement. The opposing sides went to court in 1997 to claim the TFP trademark. The group that won the right to the TFP trademark in Brazil (though not in other countries) eventually formed the Heralds of the Gospel in 1999.

Within 2 years, Pope John Paul II recognized it by the pontifical right and now it caters to the needs of conservative and strict Catholics.

The catholics aren’t as unified as we might think. The new Pope Francis’ support of liberation theology is a cover for an underlying movement in the opposite direction.

I am all for opposing the political left (and also totalitarian ideas e.g. Wahhabism), but I doubt whether it can be achieved using Catholicism and the Bible.

Saint Thomas Aquinas writes that “men should not treat things as exclusively theirs but use them for the good of all, ready to share them with those in need.” (Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, a concise translation, edited by Timothy McDermott (Allen, TX: Christian Classics, 1989), p. 391.)

In the New Testament, Jesus says, “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you . . . do not demand it back”; “Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor”; “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:30 and 18:22)

In the Old Testament, for example, God (through Moses) says, “I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land” (Deuteronomy 15:11);and God (through Isaiah) warns, “Woe unto those who . . . turn aside the needy.”(Isaiah 10:1–2).

The Bible contains scores of commandments demanding the redistribution of wealth and property from those who created it to those who did not.

Given the clearly altruistic-socialistic nature of the Bible/Catholic thought, I don’t think an intellectual opposition to the political left can be achieved using such means.


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