Monday, August 13, 2012

Blessed Mark of Aviano

Capuchin friar. His baptismal name was Carlo Domenico Cristofori, his birthplace Aviano, a small community in the Republic of Venice (Italy). From an early age, he felt attracted to a life of devotion and martyrdom. Educated at the Jesuit College in Gorizia, at 16 he tried to reach the island of Crete, where the Venetians were at war with the Ottoman Turks, in order to preach the Gospel and convert the Muslims to Christianity. On his way, he sought asylum at a Capuchin convent in Capodistria, where he was welcomed by the Superior, who knew his family, and who, after providing him with food and rest, advised him to return home.
Inspired by his encounter with the Capuchins, he felt that God was calling on him to enter their Order. In 1648, he began his novitiate. A year later, he professed his vows and took his father’s name, Marco, becoming Fra’ Marco d’Aviano. His ministry entered a new phase in 1664, when he received the licence to preach throughout the Republic of Venice and other Italian states, particularly during Advent and Lent. He was also given more responsibility when he was elected Superior of the convents of Belluno in 1672, and Oderzo in 1674.
His life took an unexpected turn in 1676, when he gave his blessing to a nun, bedridden for some 13 years: she was miraculously healed. The news spread far and wide, and it was not long before the sick, and many others from all social strata, began to seek him out.
Among those who sought his help was Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, whose wife had been unable to conceive a male heir. From 1680 to the end of his life, Marco d’Aviano became a close confidant and adviser to him, providing the irresolute and often indecisive emperor with guidance and advice for all problems, political, economic, military or spiritual. His forceful, energetic and sometimes passionate and fiery personality proved a good complement for Leopold’s Hamlet-like tendency to allow endless doubts and scruples to paralyse his capacity for action. As the danger of war with the Ottoman Turks grew near, Marco d’Aviano was appointed by Pope Innocent XI as his personal envoy to the Emperor. An impassioned preacher and a skillful mediator, Marco d’Aviano played a crucial role in resolving disputes, restoring unity, and energizing the armies of the so-called ‘Holy League,’ which included Austria, Poland, Venice, and the Papal States under the leadership of the Polish king Jan III Sobieski. In the decisive Battle of Vienna (1683), the Holy League succeeded in inflicting a decisive defeat on the invading Ottoman Turks. This marked the end of the last Turkish attempt to expand their power in Europe, and the beginning of the long European counter-offensive that was to continue ultimately until the disintegration of the Ottoman empire in 1918. This may therefore be considered one of the decisive battles of history. It also put an end to the period of Ottoman revival under the Koprulu Grand Vizirs and their protégé and successor, Kara Mustapha, who was in command of the Ottoman army at Vienna.
King Jan III Sobieski with a gorget of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa.
From 1683 to 1689 he participated in the military campaigns in the role of promoting good relations within the Imperial army and to help the soldiers spiritually. His assistance helped to bring about the liberation of Buda in 1686 and Belgrade in 1688. At the same time, he always maintained a strictly religious spirit, to which any needless violence and cruelty were repugnant. As a result, at the siege of Belgrade several hundred Muslim soldiers successfully appealed to him personally, in order to avoid being massacred upon capture.
In the judgement of historians, Marco’s influence over Leopold was exercised responsibly, in the sole interests of Christianity and of the House of Austria. In one of his private letters to the Emperor, Marco actually scolds him quite forcefully for granting a benefit to one of his brothers, reminding him that, by so doing, he was only providing ammunition for the enemies of their cause.
In 2003, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II.
(cfr: Vatican)

What They Say

Some Testimonies of Illustrious Figures Regarding Books By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Revolution and Counter-Revolution

            As we mentioned in the Preface, the publication of Revolution and Counter-Revolution had an immediate and profound impact. Ecclesiastical personages like those already quoted, as well as theologians, professors, and conservative leaders from around the world, acclaimed the author's analysis of and solution to the contemporary crisis. More than thirty years after its first edition, the essay's repercussion continues to grow, especially among youth. Three testimonies regarding Revolution and Counter-Revolution are herein transcribed exempli gratia. – Ed.

Lima, July 24, 1961


Distinguished Professor,

            The reading of your book “Revolution and Counter-Revolution” made a magnificent impression on me because of the courage and mastery with which you analyze the process of the Revolution and shed abundant light on the true causes of the crumbling of moral values disorienting consciences today. and also because of the vigor with which you indicate the tactic and the methods to overcome it.
            I especially appreciated the second part of your book, highlighting the efficacy of Catholic doctrine and the spiritual remedies the Church possesses to combat and vanquish the forces and errors of the Revolution.
            I am certain that your book has rendered an important service to the Catholic cause and that it will help gather the forces of good in order to soon solve this great contemporary problem. This is, in my opinion, the way repeatedly indicated by the present Vicar of Christ, who, with so much conviction and solicitude, has insisted on a profound renewal of Christian and sacramental life as a sure remedy for the evils afflicting the world, evils that government leaders vainly seek to solve through the precarious efficacy of weapons. technology, and purely human progress.            I wish, most dear Professor, a widespread diffusion of and a well-merited response to your book from Catholic leaders wishing to join the ranks of the counter-revolutionary movement.
            Please accept the testimony of my sincere admiration for your work and the expression of my deepest esteem.

Romolo Carboni
Titular Archbishop of Sidon
Apostolic Nuncio

Archbishop Romolo Carboni was born in Fano, Italy, in19l1. Ordained in 1934, he was made a bishop in 1953. He was raised to the archepiscopate and appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Peru in 1959. He served as Nuncio to Italy from 1969 to 1936 and now lives in retirement in Fano.

July 17, 1984

Dear Friend,

            Yesterday, at a stretch, I read the 1973 Spanish edition of your magnificent book Revolution and Counter-Revolution," which you had kindly sent me.
            I had already read other works of yours and I have been aware of your colossal defense of Christian civilization for quite a while.
            I understand perfectly the third part of this edition (“Twenty Years After”), on the concern regarding the infiltration of the Church in the post-Conciliar times. Since your faith is deeply rooted in the indefectability of THE CHURCH, this phenomenon will be a further stimulus to labor with hope...
            A small book of mine will be ready next month. I will send you a copy as soon as it is available.
            With an embrace,

Victorino Rodriguez. O.P.

            Fr. Victorino Rodriguez y Rodriguez. O.P., is one of the most distinguished intellectual figures of Spain today. Born in Carriles, Asturias, on February 14, 1926, he joined the Order of Saint Dominic when he was 19. Ordained a priest in    1952, he traveled to Rome to complete his studies and obtain a doctorate.
            An eminent theologian and presently prior of the Convent of Santo Domingo el Real in Madrid, he was professor of the School of Theology of San Esteban in Salamanca and held a
chair at the Pontifical University of the same city. He is professor of Madrid's Superior Council of Scientific Investigations and member of both the Royal Academy of Doctors of the same city and the Pontifical Roman Theological Academy. More than 250 of his books and articles have been published, many by the renowned publishing house Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos of Madrid.

Rome, February 10, 1993

Distinguished Professor,

            It was with extreme interest, pleasure, and personal benefit that I read the Spanish copy of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira's work dedicated to me with expressions of great affection and esteem, for which I am grateful.
            "Revolution and Counter-Revolution" is a masterly work whose teachings should be disseminated far and wide so as to penetrate the conscience, not only of all those who consider themselves truly Catholic, but I would say even more, of all other men of good will. In it, the latter would learn that salvation can be found only in Jesus Christ and His Church; the former would feel confirmed and fortified in their Faith and psychologically and spiritually forewarned and immunized against the cunning process that employs many of them as useful idiots or fellow travelers.
            Its analysis of the revolutionary process is impressive and revealing on account of its realism and profound understanding of history, from the end of the Middle Ages in decadence, which paved the way for the paganizing Renaissance and the pseudo-Reformation, thence for the terrible French Revolution, and. soon after, atheistic Communism.
            That historical analysis is not only external. The actions and reactions it deals with are also explained in light of the human psychology, both the individual psychology and the collective psychology of the masses. However, it is necessary to recognize that someone directs this profound and systematic de-Christianization. Man undoubtedly tends toward evil – pride and sensuality – but were not someone holding the reins of these disorderly tendencies and sagaciously coordinating them, they most probably would not have produced such a constant, skillful, and systematic action, which, tenaciously maintained, profits even from the ups and downs caused by the resistance and natural "reaction" of the opposing forces.
            "Revolution and Counter-Revolution" also foresees, although using caution in its prognoses and by means of hypotheses, the next possible evolution of the revolutionary action and, in turn, that of the Counter-Revolution.
            The book abounds in perspicacious sociological, political, psychological, and evolutive insights and observations, not few of which are worthy of an anthology. Many of them outline the intelligent "tactics" that favor the Revolution and those that may and should be used in a general counter-revolutionary "strategy."
            In sum, I would dare to affirm that this is a prophetic work in the best sense of the word. It should be taught in the Church’s centers of higher education so that at least the elite classes become fully aware of a crushing reality about which, I believe, they do not have a clear notion. This, among other things, would contribute to revealing and unmasking the useful idiots or fellow travelers, among whom are found many ecclesiastical figures, who act in a suicidal manner by playing the enemy's game; this group of idiots, allies of the Revolution, would in good measure disappear....
            The second part of the book well explains the Counter-Revolution's nature and the courageous and "aggressive" tactics that counter-revolutionaries must implement while always avoiding excesses and improper and imprudent attitudes.
            Before such realities, one doubts there is a true "strategy" in the Church as there is in the Revolution. One does find many "tactical" elements, actions, and institutions, but they seem to act in isolation, without a notion of the whole. The concept of a Counter-Revolution and the realization that a Counter-Revolution is acting could unify and provide a greater sense of collaboration within the Church.
            I must congratulate the TFP movement for the stature and quality of its founder, Prof. Plinio. I foresee and desire with all my soul a vast development and a future full of counter-revolutionary successes for the TFP.
            I conclude stating that the spirit with which this work is written greatly impresses me: It is a profoundly Christian spirit, one with a passionate love for the Church. This book is an authentic product of Christian wisdom. It is moving to find in a layman such a sincere devotion to the Mother of Jesus and ours - a clear sign of predestination. "Uncertain, like everyone, about tomorrow, we prayerfully raise our eyes to the lofty throne of Mary, Queen of the Universe.... We beseech the Virgin, therefore, to accept this filial homage, a tribute of love and an expression of absolute confidence in her triumph" (pp. 165, 167).

Rome, September 8, 1993
Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady

Fr. Anastasio Gutierrez

            Fr. Anastasio  Gutierrrez, C.M.F., is one of the Catholic Church's most renowned canonists.
            Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1911, Father Gutierrez is a Spanish citizen who has lived in Rome for the last fifty years.
            In Rome, he received his doctorate in Canon Law from the  Pontifical Lateran University Later, he held a chair at that university's School of Canon Law, eventually becoming its dean.            Father Gutierrez served as a peritus during the Second Vatican Council, and for many years was Cardinal Larraona's assistant in the Congregation for the Religious. He also is a founder of the Institutum Iuridicum Claretianum of Rome.
            He participated in the commission charged to write the new Code of Canon Law, and is presently a consultant to the following Vatican dicasteries: Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Congregation for the Clergy, and Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. He is also a consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, the highest Church organ for canonical questions.
            More recently, Father Gutierrez became postulator of Queen Isabella of Castile's cause of canonization.

Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII

Rome, February 10, 1993

Distinguished Professor,

            It was with keen interest that I read your work “Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility.”
            The thought of the great Pope Pius XII, as one can see in the documents mentioned, remains entirely relevant, and you have taken the good initiative of presenting it to today's public along with opportune annotations. tt is useful to remind people, as Paul VI himself did after the Second Vatican Council, that the teachings his predecessor addressed to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility continue to be fully valid.
            In the comments and documentation with which you facilitate a more complete understanding of the full range of Pius XII's magisterium, one can see great erudition and sureness of thought, justly highlighted by the well-known French historian Georges Bordonove in his foreword to [the French edition of] this work.
            I am certain that I am performing a good deed by recommending your book to all who wish to deepen their knowledge of the wise and enlightening teachings of Pius XII.
            Hoping your timely book will have a wide circulation, I send you cordial greetings.

Silvio Card. Oddi

            Silvio Cardinal Oddi was born in Morfasso, in the province of Piacenza, Italy, in 1910. Having completed his studies at the Angelicum of Rome, lie entered the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. At the service of the Secretariat of State, the still very young Father Oddi began a brilliant career in Vatican diplomacy.
            Cardinal Oddi speaks Several languages and is one of the best informed ecclesiastics on the Middle Fast, where he held diplomatic posts in several countries. On behalf of the Holy See, he also undertook very delicate missions in Yugoslavia and in Cuba immediately after the accession of the communist regime. In 1969, while Apostolic Nuncio in Belgium, he
received the news of his elevation to the cardinalate. Since then he has resided in Rome, holding high offices in the Vatican Coria. In 1979, John Paul II made him Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, a position he held until 1985. He is presently Pontifical Legate for the Sanctuary of Saint Francis of Assisi.
            Cardinal Oddi, an expert on life in the Vatican, of which he has been a protagonist in the last decades, is often interviewed by the Italian and international press on the situation of the Church in our days.

Rome, February 13. 1993

Distinguished Professor,

            Your great renown and the words of praise and encouragement given for your work by the illustrious Fr. Victorino Rodriguez, O.P., generally considered one of the glories of contemporary theology, have led me to read with lively interest your book “Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility.”
            When Pius XII gave the world the splendid series of fourteen allocutions to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility, there were many who saw them less as a theological, philosophical, and historical work regarding values destined to yet play a fundamental and timeless role, than as a nostalgic effusion of love for virtues, greatnesses, and glories that the world understood less and less.
            The most recent of the abovementioned allocutions was that of 1953. More than thirty years later, we can now see how wrong the people were. Indeed, Pius XII had seen the course of events correctly. Today, not only is the old hostility to the nobility gradually dying out, but there are prominent intellectuals emerging most everywhere who emphasize how detrimental is the loss of authentic elites – with the concomitant vulgarization of the human type – to culture and the lifestyle of contemporary society. This is why in many places we now see manifested an ardent aspiration for the restoration of influence of authentic elites over the multitudes, so that the latter may once again become – in accordance with Pius XII's teachings – peoples instead of nameless masses (cf. Christmas radio message off Holiness Pius XII, 1944).
            In this historical context. your work proves to be extraordinarily timely, since in echoing the magisterium of Pope Pius XII a commenting on it with such notable penetration and consistency makes an appeal to the nobility and the analogous elites to contribute, with more courage than ever before, toward the common spirit and temporal good of all nations.
            Indeed it falls to them, as that immortal Pope underscored to fulfill the precious mission of communicating by example, word, and action the treasure of religious and temporal truths of Christianity, the luminous torch of so ninny truths that societies can never forget without the risk of succumbing to the vortex of chaos and moral misery that threatens them.
            I therefore hope for the best of receptions for your book, to which you have devoted the vast resources of your intelligence and erudition. besides your unlimited love for the Church. May it please Divine Providence to grant it widespread circulation, so that both the preferential option for the nobles, inspired by Pius XII and high-lighted by you, and the preferential option for the poor, to whom the current Pontiff has devoted his ardent love, will be forever better understood.

Mario Luigi Card. Ciappi. O.P.

His Eminence Mario Luigi Cardinal Ciappi
            Mario Luigi Cardinal Ciappi. O.P., was born in Florence on October 6. 1909. and was ordained a priest on March 26, 1932. For many years be was a professor at the Angelicum, where he taught Moral and Dogmatic theology and Mariology. Among his students was the then Father Karol Wojtyla, later His Holiness John Paul II. Cardinal Ciappi went on to become dean of the Faculty of Theology at this athenaeum. He was elevated to the episcopal dignity as titular of the Church of Miseno on June 10, 1977, and in the Consistory of June 27 of the same year he received the cardinal’s hat from the hands of Paul VI.
            Until 1939 he was theologian of the Pontifical Household, that is, private theologian of the Holy Father. Cardinal Ciappi is currently president of the Pontifical Roman Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas and Catholic Doctrine, which gathers some of the greatest names in contemporary theology.

Vatican City, Feast of Saint Joseph, 1993

Most illustrious Professor,

            I thank you heartily for the kind gift of your work “Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility,” sent to me in its Italian translation.
            It made a deep impression on me for several reasons: first of all, for its timeliness, in that it is the reaffirmation of the teachings of the great Pope Pius XII on the subject at a historico-cultural moment when ferocious hostility to the nobility, spread all over the world by the French Revolution, seems everywhere to be diminishing.
            Secondly, the work – amid the universal decay of natural and, above all, Christian values – will awaken in many hearts everywhere the desire to see nobiliary elites, who in past centuries played an important and often decisive role in upholding these values through their lives and actions, once again setting for humanity the examples it needs so urgently and supremely.
            A third reason derives from your observations-which seem to me extremely relevant-regarding the formation, alongside the nobilities and elites of blood, of nobilities and elites of spirit and mind that, by associating and organizing among the many existing noble souls, are assuming all over the world the roles of exemplars of and guides toward a natural and perennial order of things. This, whether to support the nobilities of blood still existent and now re-emerging, or to replace those no longer capable of efficaciously reacting to the manifest decadence of our days, as has happened in more than one instance.
            Using vast and solid documentation, you have done a fine analysis of the very complex sociopolitical reality of our day, and commenting with great logical rigor on the luminous teachings of Pius XII, you have shown how much he and his successors up to John Paul II continue to expect from the existing nobility and future analogous elites for the religious, moral. and cultural uplifting of the world.
            I therefore rejoice at this book, illustrious Professor, and wish it a broad circulation, so it may spark, sustain, and build a deep and vast sensitivity to this excellent tool for the re-creation of a sound natural ethics and a revived religious morality that may lead all humanity to that peace, prosperity and happiness that only authentic and genuine values can realize and guarantee.
            To these good wishes ~ add my fervent prayers to the Lord and to the Mother of the Church, that they may sustain you in the work which is both beneficent and painfully pressing in the times in which we live.

Yours in Christ.

Alfons M. Card. Stickler, S D B

            Alfons M. Cardinal Stickler, S.D.B., was born in Neunkirchen. Austria, in 1910. While still young he entered the Salesian Congregation and made his first Studies of philosophy and theology in Austria and Germany, later specializing in Canon Law at the Roman School of San Apollinare and the Pontifical Lateran University.
            His particular vocation to the study of juridical sciences led him to teach at the Pontifical Athenaeum Salesianum, first in Turin and later in Rome. Father Stickler became dean of the Canon Law School and then rector of the athenaeum, an office beheld from 1958 to 1966.       Placing his superior academic talents at the service of the Holy See. Father Stickler, after having directed the Pontifical Institute of Higher Latin Studies, was named Prefect of the Vatican Library. an institution unequaled in the world on account of its bibliographic treasures.
            In 1983 John Paul II elevated him to the episcopal dignity and made him Pro-Librarian. Afterward. upon making him a cardinal, he appointed him Librarian and Archivist of the Holy Roman Church, an office that since its creation in the sixteenth century has been held by great ecclesiastical figures. Cardinal Stickler held this office until 1988. Especially notable among his important responsibilities was his participation ill the commission responsible for developing the new Code of Canon Law.

A Call to Reflection
(Published in the September- October 1994 issue of TFP Informa, the organ of the Ecuadorian TFP)

            A serious and objective study of history shows that all times, all cultures, and all races have had undeniable differences among their constituents. There have always been wise men and ignorant men, classes that rule and classes that obey, rich and poor. Christ Himself taught, "The poor will always be with you." The variety of elements within human society is as natural and  human as the variety of elements in the human body. As the body has a diversity of organs, it  has a diversity of functions. Mankind has a like diversity.
            Although this diversity is so natural, there is a tendency, when speaking of society's components, to consider the differences as contradictory, as alien to human nature. Thus was born the slogan of the French Revolution, which set the desire for liberty equality, and  fraternity as the foundation of society, not according to the Christian concept that all human beings are equal because they are creatures of the same God and sons of the same Father, but according to the erroneous concept that there should be no differences of any kind between human beings. This denial of the diversity of functions among men contradicts God's plan in creating the universe and corresponds to the rationalist theory that all social inequalities must be eliminated, through violence if necessary.
            That way of thinking characterized the French Revolution and also led materialistic sociologists to the idea of class struggle, practical atheism, and the use of tyranny to eliminate everything that could be considered favorable to the acceptance of the difference of values that is part of the historical reality of society. Marxism-Leninism, inspired in this dialectic, rejected the values of the Christian faith and espoused a materialistic and atheistic philosophy.
            The class struggle preached by Marxism received a death blow with recent events in the Soviet Empire. But the new concept that  must inspire the reestablishment of society destroyed by historical materialism has not been explored. For this, a new insight into the understanding of the human being is needed, as well as a deeper study of the variety of values in society. We need to ask ourselves: Is the idea of radicalizing unity valid? Or is an in-depth study concerning the transcendental variety of the factors that constitute society necessary?
            Basing himself on interesting Church documents, this is what the intelligent and profound thinker Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira proposes to do. He has written a work that can positively help to study and resolve this problem. Entitled "Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII," it deals with a seemingly new subject: social elites and the seasoned aristocracy of the old nobility. The author declares that elites must reclaim the social values of the privileged class, of the families with a heritage, of the families with a background enriched by titles and traditions.
            To some, reviving the social values of the elites may seem anachronistic and obsolete. Nevertheless, Pope Pius XII, remembering the old and noble traditions of his own family, presents the nobility of former times not only as holders of titles but, above all, as holders of a treasure of great virtues that benefited not just elite families but all of society.
            Based on these reflections, I would venture to affirm that immorality and corruption have assumed scandalous proportions in modern society precisely because a wrong criterion of equality has crept in. In every society, in every culture, in every community, groups that stand out from the rest by their greater culture, by their greater morality, by a sense of nobility that not only dignifies an individual but conquers the admiration and respect of those who come to know these human values and, even more, Christian virtues, should be cultivated and fostered. For the same reason, the larger the community of families characterized by the practice of the human and Christian virtues, the better oriented society in general will be.
            Pius XII left us a whole arsenal of documents in which, especially addressing the Roman nobility, he exalts the traditional virtues of the families considered noble and urges the Patriciate to cultivate qualities and virtues that should adorn a family (or person) that feels or considers itself noble. He exhorts the elites not only to maintain their ancestral values of nobility, but to purify them with the teachings of Christ.
            For all these reasons I believe the launching of Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira's book is a prophetic call for contemporary society to make an examination of conscience regarding the true nobility that distinguished the men of the past, and the genuine virtues that must contribute to the building of a more human and Christian society. True nobility is based not on vanity and selfishness, but on the solid foundation of truth and goodness. We are convinced, therefore, that this book is a call to a serious reflection that will culminate in the return to the eternal values of the human being that are a basis of greatness and likeness with God.

Ibarra, June 21,1993
Bernardino Cardinal Echeverria Ruiz

            Bernardino Cardinal Echeverria Ruiz, O.F.M., was born in Cotacachi, Ecuador, in 1912. He became a Franciscan in 1928 and was ordained in 1937. He studied at the Pontifical Institute Antoniano in Rome and received his doctorate in Philosophy in 1941. Returning to Ecuador, he filled high posts in the Ecuadorian Province of his Order, founding numerous apostolic works and carrying Out important missions in and outside his country.
            He was named bishop of Ambato in 1949, a dignity he held for twenty years. He was secretary, vice-president, and president of the Ecuadorian Bishops' Conference, of which he was  recently named honorary president. He represented this body at the Latin American Bishops' Conference (CELAM), of which he is a founding member, and he was honored with the title of Assistant to the Apostolic See.
            In 1969 he was designated archbishop of Guayaquil, a see he held until 1989. He revitalized its seminaries and apostolic movements, built churches, and strove for the establishment of new religious orders in the Archdiocese. He headed national movements in the field of pastoral work and the defense of the Faith, carrying out campaigns with great repercussion in Catholic opinion for the inclusion of the name of God in the Constitution, the defense of private education, and the promotion of devotion to the Most Holy Virgin.
            The author of several books and a frequent lecturer, he had weekly and daily radio and television programs. A Fellow of the Language Academy, he has received decorations from the Ecuadorian nation and from other countries, including Spain's Commendation of Isabella the Catholic.
            After accepting his resignation as archbishop of Guayaquil in 1939 in accordance with Canon Law, the Holy Father named him apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Ibarra. As in his former posts, the Prelate has been tireless in his rebuilding of destroyed churches and in his vast pastoral work.
            He received the cardinal's hat in the November 1992 Consistory as titular of Saints Nereus and Achilleus, being the third Ecuadorian to receive this high honor.


Madrid, January 25, 1993

Dear friend and admired Professor,

            I have read closely the original of your magnificent work "Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility," which you were kind enough to send me for review. I am greatly honored by your confidence in my evaluation and possible comments. In addition, I admire your ardent desire to be well-founded when launching so noble a cause, as well as your humility in requesting the opinion of someone far less knowledgeable than you about the subject, both in its doctrinal and historical dimensions.             I must say that I found absolutely nothing to criticize or even to improve in your undertaking. I would, however, like to highlight what I consider very good:
            First, the very writing of a book on this subject. It was needed; and your selection of a starting point and major basis for discussion could not have been better, namely, the successive New Year allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility. This exceptional Pope Pacelli, whose mind, heart, and blood were noble, was singularly attentive to the problems and expectations of his times. Thus, he could not help but be concerned with the problems of the nobility, to whom he addressed these allocutions, now opportunely brought to us by a Brazilian nobleman, in whose person one finds so much devotion to the Apostolic See and love for Christian civilization.
            Second, the timeliness, since the genuine values of the nobility are currently eclipsed in the post-revolutionary "egalitarianism" and the inorganic modern democracies. More renown ("nobile" = "noscibilie," distinguished, excellent, famous) is given to numbers (of votes or dollars) than to dignifying qualities (knowledge, virtue, art). Yet, as I heard the great theologian Santiago Ramirez say on several occasions, "truth is not democratic, but aristocratic." I hope that your carefully documented, thoughtful work will bring the traditional nobility to the forefront, as bearers of dignity, honesty, and humanism open to God and to the social common good.
            Third, I think that the harmonic complementarity you establish between the "preferential option for the poor," so accentuated in the new evangelization, and the "preferential option for the nobility" is very just and Christian. Indeed, these two outlooks are not exclusive, but complementary. I believe this is the key: One should love the best more, and help the neediest more. Hence the two harmonized preferential options. The charitable option for the indigent should not diminish the singular esteem deserved by the nobility, especially when such esteem is at a low ebb in times of widespread egalitarianism. Very much to the point is the information on the high percentage of canonized saints among the nobility. It was Pius XII who, in 1943, canonized Saint Margaret of Hungary, O.P., daughter  of the King of Hungary and grand-daughter of the Emperor of Constantinople.
            Fourth, in an era of "pacifism" (or peace at any cost), it is also advantageous to give thought to the topic of just war, so often waged by the nobility, whether military' or civil and  ecclesiastical. The Magisterium and Theology had and have much to say in this regard, as Document XI reminds us.
            Fifth and last, at a time when democracy, with no discernment or ulterior ethical resolution, is the sole political dogma for many, it is opportune to recall the Church's social doctrine on the forms of government. The Papal Magisterium has incorporated Saint  Thomas's nuanced doctrine, taken up so often by Catholic thinkers and now by you in Appendix IV of your work.
            I could highlight many other interesting points of your work, but do not wish to unduly lengthen this letter nor to repeat what the reader will find more adequately and more elaborately expounded in the book. With these remarks I hope to attest to having read the original with pleasure and to respond to your friendly gesture.

Victorino Rodriguez O.P.

See previous letter from Fr. Rodriguez for biography.

March 5, 1993

Distinguished Professor.

            I have attentively read your work The Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII to the Roman Patriciate and Nobility," which you were so kind to send to me.
            I deem felicitous your idea of giving wide diffusion to those documents of Pius XII, which at first glance might seem devoid of relevance to the present day. In fact, however, your lucid and documented commentaries show the foresightedness of the theme discussed by that Pontiff. Furthermore, you opportunely recall the beautiful words of Paul VI: “We would like to say many things to you. Your presence provokes much reflection. So it was also with Our venerable Predecessors, especially Pope Pius XII of happy memory. . . . We want to believe that the echo of those words, like a gust of wind swelling a sail, . . . still vibrates in your thoughts, filling them with the austere and magnanimous appeals that nourish the vocation preordained for you by Providence and sustain the role still required of you today by contemporary society."
            Your long experience as professor, congressman, and public figure makes your commentaries all the more intelligent and instructive, pleasantly facilitating the reading of the Pontifical documents, which are of such lofty and estimable value.
            I did not find in your pages any error of a theological or other nature regarding the teachings of the Church. I can only hope that your excellent work will be given a warm and full reception by the public for whom it is intended.

Fr. Raimondo Spiazzi, O.P.

            Fr. Raimondo Spiazzi, O.P., was born in Moneglia, in the province of Liguria, Italy. in 1918. He was ordained a priest in 1944 and obtained a doctorate in Sacred Theology at the Angelicum three years later.
            He began his long career as a university professor teaching Fundamental Theology, Moral Philosophy, and Sociology at the Studio Domenicano of Turin and Dogmatic Theology at the Centro Cattolico di Cultura of the same city.
            In 1949 he returned to Rome, where he lectured, first at the University Pro Deo and then at the Angelicum, whose School of Social Sciences he founded. In 1954 he was appointed dean of the Institute of Religious Sciences at the Angelicum. In 1957 he began to teach Pastoral Theology at the Pontifical Lateran University, and, in 1967. Dogmatic Theology at the Center of Theology for the Laity of the Vicariat of Rome, becoming its dean in 1987.
            Father Spiazzi served as Apostolic Visitor to the seminaries in Lombardy and Milan and as Provincial of the Dominican Order for Piedmont and Liguria. Paul VI personally nominated him a perius of the Second Vatican Council.
            He is now consultant to the Congregation for Catholic Education and member of several study commissions of the Vatican congregations and the Vicariat of Rome. He also belongs to the Pontifical Academy of Our Lady Immaculate, the Pontifical Roman Theological Academy, and the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas. He is rector of the Basilica of. San Sisto Vecchio on the Appian Way.
            Father Spiazzi has published numerous hooks and over 2.000 articles. Many of the latter have appeared in Italian and foreign magazines.

July 20, 1993

My Dear Juan Miguel,

            I received your missive of the 5th along with the beautiful work of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, your distinguished founder: “Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites ...” You have given me a present of great value, a work whose scientific, historical, sociological, human, and Christian wisdom is inestimable. I believe that with my 81 years, my 55 years of professorship and predominantly socio-juridical study, my 50 years in this elevated lookout that is Rome, I have some claim to be able to judge it and above all appreciate it. I repeat: It is a work of a wisdom and equity of judgment that can hardly be matched by so many books, which are excellent if you will, but lack what we could call a great thinker's charism of knowledge and experience. For me, it is not so much the documental basis as the elaborations of Professor Corrêa de Oliveira, who ranges over the fields of history, social psychology, philosophy, theology, and Christian ethics with profound insight and analytical capacity. In short, Professor Corrêa de Oliveira is a great MASTER who deserves to figure at the head of this elite class.
            The work's presentation is on par with its content; like the work's theme, it is noble...     My congratulations. May it have the diffusion it merits.

Your most affectionate friend

Fr Anastasio Gutierrez C M F

See previous letter of the Rev. Fr. Anastasio Gutierrez for biographical data.

Excerpts from Georges Bordonove 's foreword to the book's French edition

            Prof. Corrêa de Oliveira ranks among the clear-sighted minds that perceive. with an almost painful sharpness, the metamorphosis underway in today's society, whose final features one cannot foresee. He fears, not without reason, that the combined effect of a galloping progress and a mistaken egalitarianism will eventually obliterate the individual by the monstrous leveling [of society]. It is in this perspective that be identifies, with Pius XII, the mission the patriciate has, unless it prefers to scuttle itself and disappear. In other words, he invites the elites not to dwell in the lamentation of vanished grandeur, not to estrange themselves from society, but rather to resolutely enter the active life, to place their talents, their heritage of experience, their family traditions, and even their way of being, at the service of society, with the sole concern for the common good....
            This work is remarkable in all aspects, notably for the abundance and rigorous exactness of its documentation, the author's universal culture, his solid argumentation, and the transparency of his thought. The reader will also appreciate the Professor's prospective effort when he addresses the question of the world's future. . . . It proposes an itinerary; it erects the first landmarks for the road to be followed.
            Is this the announcement of that twenty-first century which, it has been said, will either be mystical or will not be at all?

Georges Bordonove

            The renowned historian Georges Bordonove was born on May25, 1920, in Enghien (Seine-et-Oise), France. He studied at the Licee Fontanes and at the Literature and Law School of Poitiers, graduating in Literature and Law. The author of almost 70 books and essays, numerous articles and short Stories, several of them award-winning (Grand Prix des Libraires de France. 1959; Prix Bretagne. 1963). Bordonove is a Knight of the Legion of Honor. Commander of the National Order of Merit, and Officier des Arts et des Lettres.

Other Works

Vatican Palace, February 26, 1949


Illustrious Sir,

            Moved by your filial dedication and piety, you offered the Holy Father the book "In Defense of Catholic Action," in which you reveal perfect care and persevering diligence.
            His Holiness is very pleased with you for having explained and defended Catholic Action – of which you have a complete knowledge and for which you have great esteem – with penetration and clarity so that it has become clear to all how important it is to study and promote this auxiliary form of the hierarchical apostolate.
            The August Pontiff hopes with all his heart that this work of yours results in rich and mature fruits and that from it you may harvest neither small nor few consolations. And as a pledge that it be so, be grants you the Apostolic Benediction.
            Meanwhile, with due consideration. I declare myself,

Devotedly yours

J.B. Montini

Dr. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
President of Catholic Action
Archdiocese of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Msgr. Giovanni Battista Montini

            Msgr. Giovanni Battista Montini, the future Paul VI, was born in Lombardy, Italy, in 1897. After his ordination in 1920, he pursued studies at the Pontifical Academy of Noble Ecclesiastics and the Pontifical Gregorian University. In 1924 he began 30 years of service in the Secretariat of State: as undersecretary from 1937 until 1954, he was closely associated with Pius XII.
            He was ordained archbishop of Milan in 1954, and was inducted into the College of Cardinals in 1958. He was elevated to the Papacy In 1963.
            He reconvened the Second Vatican Council. The main thrust of his pontificate was toward institutionalizing the trends of the Council.
            He died in 1978.

Rome, December 2, 1964


Most Reverend Excellency,

            Only now have we been able to read the ample and profound study of the illustrious Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, of the Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo, on the important theme “The Freedom of the Church in the Communist State” (third enlarged edition, Sao Paulo, 1964), which your Most Reverend Excellency was kind enough to send to this Sacred Congregation with the very kind letter that reached our offices this past November.
            At the same time that we express to you our sincere gratitude, we congratulate Your Excellency and the eminent author, justly celebrated for his philosophical, historical, and sociological knowledge, and we wish the widest circulation for this compact pamphlet, which is a most faithful echo of all the Documents of the supreme Magisterium of the Church, including the luminous encyclicals “Mater et Magistra” of John XXIII and "Ecciesiam Suam" of Paul VI, happily reigning.
            May Our Lord grant that all Catholics comprehend the necessity of being united “in uno sensu eademque sententia” in order to avoid the illusions, deceits, and dangers which today threaten His Church internally.
            With sentiments of particular esteem and consideration, with all my heart I profess myself once again to Your Most Reverend Excellency

Most devoted in Jesus Christ