"Of order and liberty" : Catholic intellectuals in Argentina and Brazil
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This project challenges the historical binary of a revolutionary versus a reactionary Church through a comparative case study of right-wing Christian Democrats in Brazil and Integralist/Nationalist intellectuals in Argentina. Intellectually, the project centers on Jacques Maritain and notable Latin American figures. Such figures include Brazilians Alceu Amoroso Lima and Dom Hélder Câmara, and Argentine leaders Julio Meinvielle and Leonardo Castellani. The study will argue that these figures' intellectual stands represented diverging paths for each country's conservative majority, but also shaped their respective hierarchies' reactions to key events in the Catholic and secular world: the Spanish Civil War, World War II, the Second Vatican Council. While anti-Modernists, Brazilian intellectuals came to favor pluralist and democratic solutions of Social Democracy over and above the organic (and encompassing) visions espoused by Franco's Spain, and subsequently, the Argentine hierarchy. This study will analyze major Catholic newspapers and journals, including Criterio, Jauja , A Ordem, and O Diario de Belo Horioznte. These sources will give the reader a glimpse into the intellectual societies and forums in which these thinkers moved, and will more clearly display the distinction mentioned above. Surprisingly, conservative Brazilian papers maintained a vigorous anti-Communist stance, but came to see the government as an oppressing force prohibiting the legitimate social actions of the Catholic faithful. Argentine intellectuals took a much more ambivalent attitude toward democracy at best, and a more hostile one at worst. Julio Meinvielle and Leonardo Castellani from their journal Jauja directly challenged the Second Vatican Council, the liberal state, and the rights of left-wing dissidents. More generally, Argentine ties to Franco's Spain through the 1970s, as well as to conservative varieties of Peronism, as well as the loss of the unifying Gustavo Franceschi (editor of Criterio) in 1957, put the sizable democratic and reformist minority firmly outside the good graces of the hierarchy, paving the way for the Catholic purges in Argentina of the 1970s.