A Biography of Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Those privileged to have known ‘Senhor Doutor Plinio’ will remember him as an inspiring leader, a man of deep piety, and above all as a warm-hearted friend. His life spanned most of the twentieth century. He witnessed the profound changes that swept Latin American during these turbulent decades and took an active part in the great debates that accompanied those changes. In public and private life, Corrêa de Oliveira kept his ideals always intact and never compromised his principals. He never swerved from the commitment he made while still very young to defend all that was traditional, Christian and good in Brazil.
Yet his place history goes beyond his native land. His contribution to the field of Catholic social thinking will have repercussion into the future. The worldwide movement bearing the name of TFP carries on the work to which he dedicated his life. Italian Professor Roberto de Mattei knew him well and travelled many times to Brazil to interview him. De Mattei’s challenge was to synthesise the thinking of a great mind in a relatively short biography and to locate this thinking in the lineage of distinguished ultra-montanist and counter-revolutionary thinkers.
Cardinal Alfons Stickler writes in his introduction to this biography: “With the integrity of his life as an authentic Catholic, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira offers us a confirmation of the Church’s continuing fecundity. The difficulties of these times for true Catholics are, in fact, occasions to influence history by affirming perennial Christian principles. Such was the case with Professor Plinio, the eminent Brazilian thinker who demonstrated it by boldly maintaining his unshakable faith, during an age of totalitarianism of every stripe and colour, in the fundamental teachings and institutions of the Church.”