Crusade for a Christian Civilization, New York, July-August 1975, p. 10-11, 28-29 (


Against a calumnious, and passional aggression,

The arms of truth, of logic, and of honor


After the defeat of divorce in Brazil, a campaign of publicity terror was launched against the TFP


On May 15th, the Brazilian Congress rejected again a projected bill to reform the Brazilian Constitution by establishing divorce in that country, which is the largest Catholic nation in the world. As you may recall, the TFP had already defeated in 1968 a previous attempt to establish divorce in that country by collecting in 50 days alone more than 1 million signatures against the liberal project.

Thus, in Brazil the new defeat of di­vorce was considered to be a victory of the TFP, for it was the only organization which set itself into motion to develop a rational, methodical, and consistent cam­paign based on the principles of Catholic morality and on the laws of the Church defending the family against divorce. This campaign consisted basically in the dissemination all over the country of a Pastoral Letter by His Excellency Antonio de Castro Mayer, Bishop of Campos, entitled For an Indissoluble Marriage. Written in clear and serene language, this document clearly discloses the Catholic doctrine on this matter.

In response to this voice of alarm, the anti-divorce majority which until then had shown itself to be confused and in­different, began to react, permitting the formation of a great current of opinion against the projected bill which culmi­nated in its rejection by the Congress.

Before the campaign of the TFP, the approval of divorce was considered cer­tain by the press and also by the majority of the Brazilian Bishops.

The indignant reaction of the Revo­lution came swiftly. As the success of the TFP's anti-divorce action was increasing steadily, a storm of publicity against the TFP began to manifest itself and grow, covering the whole country in a pulsating manner. The same newspapers which days before, had made efforts to silence or minimize the TFP's triumph over divorce, now echoed — and in many cases originated — the most absurd and groundless actions against it.

Simultaneously, in the legislative as­semblies of nine states (Rio Grande do Sul, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Pernam­buco, Bahia, Espirito Santo, Santa Catarina, Minas Gerais, and Curitiba) liberal assemblymen were delivering ac­cusatory speeches against the TFP or calling for "official investigations" into the so-called "malevolent" TFP.

Two Cardinals and some progressive bishops have also assiduously joined the smear campaign, making incredible "ac­cusations." One example is sufficient to illustrate the ridiculous and empty style of those accusations: the Cardinal Arch­bishop of Salvador affirmed against the TFP that "each position of this group deserves an examination," that its action is "somewhat aggressive," and that "its writings are the responsibility of its authors." (O Estado de S. Paulo, May 20, 1975).

This campaign of calumnies was gen­erally characterized by affirmations made dogmatically and in a passionate tone, without showing the least preoccupation with presenting proofs of any kind.

Before analyzing the accusations in themselves, it is necessary to stress some aspects of this campaign which acquired the character of a true "publicity terror­ism."

a) The simultaneousness with which the attacks appeared in the "media" of the whole country. In spite of the im­mensity of the Brazilian territory, similar accusations appeared, ranging from North to South, in a mysteriously synchronized manner.

b) The uniformity of the accusations raised against the entity. Without caring about the absurdity of those accusations, newspapers and TV channels all over the country solemnly spread them in the same manner. Then they would fall into silence about the TFP for a short time, with new defamations being raised again soon afterwards. Everything worked as though in a welt disciplined orchestra.

c) The partiality of the organs of the press conducting the publicity storm. All kinds of accusations immediately found a generous asylum on their pages. But the refutations to the accusations —always serene, logical, and truthful —could, in the majority of cases, be made only through paid advertisements, be­cause the media systematically refused to publish adequately the defenses by the TFP on account of the great cost of publishing a refutation in each newspaper that attacked it. In some cases, it was not possible even through payment to publish the denials that the circumstances required.


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The public in general showed itself to be totally skeptical of the accusations. The long and honorable history of the TFP in the defense of Christian Civiliza­tion is very well known in Brazil. So great was the number of statements of support for the TFP expressing surprise or indignation, that the newspapers participating in the smear campaign had to publish some of the letters of protest they received to prevent the people from realizing their bad faith. This would have occurred if the silencing of the reaction of public opinion had been too over­whelming.

Numerous state assemblymen and national congressmen in Brazil have publicly spoken out in favor of the TFP, as did Mrs. Dulce Sales Cunha in the House of Representatives of Sao Paulo. Her courageous action made her the object of a vile attack from one of the anti-TFP assemblymen, who threatened her with "impeachment". Also, a suspi­cion was raised against her that she might have initiated the pretended menaces by phone calls to some assemblymen who had joined the publicity campaign against the TFP.

The widely known congressman, Geraldo Freire, declared in the Brazilian national Congress that he considered "all the uproar being made against the TFP to be absolutely groundless. This wave of frivolous, suspicious, and baseless accusations reminds, me of the old popular saying — 'they are spitting upwards,' that is to say, the spit falls on the heads of the ones who launched it." He stressed that the majority of the people in the interior of Brazil supports the TFP, as is demon­strated by 680 official letters of mayors of all Brazilian states, praising the organi­zation. He finally emphasized that the attacks are "groundless, unjust, and un­disguisably factious in tone."


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In a paid advertisement in the Folha de S. Paulo, the Brazilian TFP answered dispassionately and serenely the calum­nies being raised against it without any proofs. We will quote extracts so our readers may see the emptiness of the objections being raised and the sweet reasonableness of the answers:

"Objection. The TFP, as an organiza­tion of the extreme right, and the Com­munist Party constitute the two extremes of the Brazilian ideological horizon. Therefore, just as one represses one ex­treme, consistency demands that we restrain the other.

"Answer. This objection puts aside all moral concepts.

Indeed, it is not in accord with Chris­tian morality to affirm that when two doctrines disagree entirely with each other, neither one of them is good. That which contains the truth is good, that which contains error is bad. When truth and error enter into polemics, it is unjust to condemn the former and the latter at the same time.

Someone will object that the only way to put down contentions and to establish peace is through such an injustice. One should answer with St. Augustine that peace is the tranquility of order, and not the stagnation of swamps. And there is no order where injustice reigns.

Let us consider some practical applica­tions of these principles.

Catholic doctrine was taught by Our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Apostles in the beginning of our era. The Catholic Church has continued this preaching till now, and will continue it until the end of the world.

It has never passed through the head of anyone to consider the Catholic Church to be extremist because she is the infallible Mistress of Truth and the most faithful continuer of Him who said: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." (St. John 14:6).

In the course of this long History which has already gone on for twenty centuries, an incident took place. Karl Marx enunciated a doctrine which is the extreme opposite of Catholic doctrine.

According to the logic of the objec­tion, Catholic doctrine would have ipso facto become extremist. And the Church of God would have to be repressed as well as the Communist Party.

And this — note it well — not because there had been any intrinsic modification in the Church, but only and exclusively because at a certain moment someone had resolved to proclaim the extreme op­posite of what She teaches!


"Objection. The existence of an anti­communist organization such as the TFP could furnish a pretext to form an ex­treme leftist organization as a reaction.

Answer. This is a singular objection which appears to presuppose that ex­treme leftist organizations never existed in Brazil, either in the past or now, and that the TFP, which according to it would be to the extreme right, creates by this very fact the risk that they might appear.

The obvious historical truth is that the appearance of the first Communist organ­izations in Brazil was not provoked by the existence of any rightist organiza­tions, since they (that is, the Communist organizations) began to form and to pro­voke agitations a little after the great war, or that is to say, 40 years before the TFP was founded. And since 1918, Communism has become very well developed, and has not ceased to act within our country.

According to this objection, the num­ber of Communist organizations will grow if the number of anti-communist organizations grows.

From this one would conclude that the best means of combating Marxism is by not constituting associations designed to combat it.

— On the contrary, wouldn't this be an excellent means of removing obstacles from its path?"


And as we have said, all of these various attacks against the TFP were pre­cipitated by the defeat of the divorce bill in Brazil. In this respect, one Catholic newspaper in Birmingham, Alabama ob­serves: "While the bishops and Catholic lay organizations adopted a low profile, concentrating on family life programs rather than opposing the bill head on, the TFP took to the streets in condemn­ing attempts to legalize divorce." (One Voice, June 27, 1975).

His Excellency Orlando Chaves, Arch­bishop of Cuiaba (Brazil), defended the TFP against the campaign of calumnies that followed its triumph in an official statement: "It is certainly on account of its valiant and efficacious attitude against divorce, and above all, against interna­tional and atheistic Communism that the TFP is suffering from a rude campaign unleashed by hidden forces who set in motion a noisy publicity campaign a­gainst it from the North to the South of Brazil. It is necessary that our authorities be on the alert against this campaign so widely organized by the hosts of evil. It is Communism which is gaining by all of this, Communism which tries every means for the conquest of our Christian country."

Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer wrote a letter to Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, President of the National Council of the Brazilian Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Prop­erty about the publicity storm being directed against the TFP. Some extracts follow:

". . THIS CAMPAIGN SPREADS SUCH INJUSTICES that I cannot abstain from formulating my protest against it... in my case this is all the more imperative since, taking into consideration my rela­tions with the TFP, THE CAMPAIGN TOUCHES ME IN MY HONOR AS A BISHOP OF THE HOLY CHURCH.

"Indeed, I have oriented and accom­panied the action of the TFP, let us say, since before it was born . . . The close relationship and cooperation with that group of lay apostles extended down through the years, until the foundation of the civic organization of a Catholic inspiration which is the Brazilian Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, and it has continued up to the present.


"And I desire that this testimony reach the whole Brazilian public, and that it may serve to give heart to all the associ­ates, militants, and correspondents of the TFP. May it be heard, moreover, by our highest authorities. I am certain that they will not allow themselves to be impressed by a propaganda which, once the campaign has ceased, will leave, on account of its inconsistency, even many of those who have cooperated in it confounded.

". . . it gives me great satisfaction to be able to congratulate the victims of this uproar for the dignity, elevation, and gallantry with which they arc de­fending themselves. May the blessing contained in the Beatitude proclaimed by Our Lord Jesus Christ be their comfort: "Blessed are those Who suffer persecution for justice's sake, for theirs is the King­dom of Heaven (St. Matt. 5:10).

May Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Aparecida, Patroness of Brazil, help the TFP in its action in defense of Christian Civilization."

In conclusion, we note that the prin­cipal beneficiary of this campaign is ob­viously Communism and the forces which back it. In fact, since the TFP from the time of its origin has dedicated all of its efforts to denouncing the clear and veiled advances of that anti-christian sect, the elimination of the TFP can only benefit Communism and all of the enemies of the true and traditional Catholicism.