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Revista Brasileira de História

On-line version ISSN 1806-9347

Rev. Bras. Hist. vol.32 no.63 São Paulo  2012 



Gustavo Corção: the guardian of 'linha-dura'1



Christiane Jalles de Paula

Centro de Pesquisa e Documentação de História Contemporânea do Brasil (CPDOC), Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV). Praia de Botafogo, 190 – 14º andar – sala 1423, Botafogo. 22253-900 Rio de Janeiro – RJ – Brasil.




The aim of this paper is to analyze the columns of Gustavo Corção in the Brazilian press (Diário de Notícias and O Globo) between 1964 and 1968. The hypothesis is that Gustavo Corção was one of the artifices in the Brazilian public sphere for legitimizing the anti-democratic foundations of military regime 'democracy.' Moreover, his adoption of the hard-line was related to enemies he chose, who were almost always Catholic. With this we can thus understand both aspects of the participation of the laity, as well as the relationship established between the Brazilian state and Catholic Church during the period. The article tries to demonstrate that more attention is needed to recover the sense of democracy that social groups mobilized in that period, not to justify their actions, but to understand and contextualize them.

Keywords: Gustavo Corção; Catholic Church; military regime.


O objetivo deste artigo é analisar as columns de Gustavo Corção na imprensa brasileira (Diário de Notícias e O Globo) entre 1964 e 1968. A hipótese é que Gustavo Corção foi um dos artífices na esfera pública brasileira da legitimação das bases antidemocráticas da 'democracia' do regime militar. Além disso, a sua definição pela 'linha-dura' relacionou-se aos inimigos escolhidos, quase sempre personalidades católicas. Com isso poderemos perceber tanto aspectos da participação do laicato como da relação que se estabeleceu entre o Estado brasileiro e a Igreja católica no período em tela. O artigo procura demonstrar que é preciso mais atenção à recuperação dos sentidos de democracia que os grupos sociais mobilizaram naquele período, menos para justificar suas ações, e sim para entendê-las e contextualizá-las.

Palavras-chave: Gustavo Corção; Igreja católica; regime militar.



"Communist activity is configured as a crime against the rights of man, and it would be infinitely stupid, in the name of a political philosophy, to 'respect' the nomination, immunities, the rights that they themselves violently destroyed."

The words of this epigraph, written by Gustavo Corção2 in the Carioca morning paper Diário de Notícias on 5 April 1964, a few days after the overthrow of the João Goulart government on 31 March, illustrate the clear perception that it was neither liberalism nor constitutionalism which would set the path for the newly installed regime. It was necessary to seek other foundations to legitimate the new regime. At that time Gustavo Corção was one of the main leaders of the lay Catholic movement – the other was Alceu Amoroso Lima – and was one of the most active supporters of the military regime in the mainstream press and in the Catholic sphere.3 This article seeks to 'revive' the experiences of Gustavo Corção in the Brazilian press (the newspapers Diário de Notícias and O Globo) between 1964 and 1968 – from the civil-military coup to the publication of Ato Institucional nº 5 (AI-5 – Institutional Act 5) which made the regime much more 'closed' or harsh. In doing this, we believe in the teaching of Pierre Rosanvallon, for whom "history does not consist only of appreciating the weight of inheritances, in simply 'clarifying' the present through the past, but in trying to revive the succession of presents, assuming them as experiences which inform ours."4

We will commence with two statements. The first is that Corção was one of the artifices in the Brazilian public sphere of the legitimation of the anti-democratic foundations of the 'democracy' of the military regime. The other is that, in addition to this, his choice of the revolutionary 'hard-line' is related to his chosen enemies, who were almost always Catholics. We thus seek to show how Corção used the rhetoric of the atonement of guilt and the communist threat to legitimate both democratic eloquence, used as a basis for the deposition of Jango, and for the 'order' established by the civil-military coup. His actions during the period in question also allow us to unravel aspects of the relationship between the Brazilian state and the Catholic Church, and principally the participation of Catholic lay intellectuals.

The methodology used to deal with Corção's columns was discourse analysis, which looking at his columns shows the meanings of his discourse, the dialectic contradictions and the game they play in the text.5 The article seeks to recover the meanings which social groups gave to democracy at that time, less to justify his actions, but rather to understand and contextualize them.6

To understand Gustavo Corção's participation between 1964 and 1968, the article is divided into three parts. In the first part we will present the argumentative construction made by Corção of the character of the civil and military movement of 31 March 1964 as being essentially Christian (or better Catholic) and 'democratic.' Following this, we will advance to understand the paths which led the military to opt for a more closed regime and on which arguments they based this option. In the third and last part we will look at the argumentative trajectory which led Corção to propose violence as a legitimate resource of the government to counter any opposition to the new 'order,' and also his appeals to the Hierarchy to adopt energetic measures against 'communist infiltration' in the Brazilian Catholic world.



In the early morning of 31 March 1964, General Olímpio Mourão Filho, commander of the 4th Military Region, based in Juiz de Fora (MG), started the rebellion. On the night of 1st April, the president of the National Congress, Senator Moura Andrade, declared the presidency vacant, investing the position in the same act in the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Pascoal Ranieri Mazzilli. The new government was in place. For Corção, in the column published in Diário de Notícias on 3 April, the outcome of 31 March was the triumph of "democracy [which], with its tenacious and obscure values, returns to its offended rights and the natural returns at a gallop." On the same occasion, he concluded that the communists "had underestimated the rosary of Our Lady, underestimated human nature and thought that the people would like disrespect and subversion." The anarchy produced by communism in the country was responded to with order, considered a natural element of man. And the agent of order was a divine gift: the rosary. In other words, a providential aspect, a part of Christian civilization, had triumphed and ended the government 'of shame and of fear.' In short, the East had not managed to defeat the spiritual force of the West.

From this perspective, the 'revolution' of 31 March 1964 has a positive meaning of counter-revolution; and 'democracy' assumes a very different meaning from what is understood by liberal representative democracy: with regular elections and respect for constitutional rules. Democracy is instead a way of living, a Christian and Western style of organizing society. The offense to Christian values included the kernel of an argument which would organize Corção's thought and activism: democracy was only valid for 'good' men, in other words the winners. For the winners the path would be purges and punishments.

For this reason, for Corção the mission of the 'democrats' did not end with the overthrow of Jango. There was much to do. It was necessary to continue the fight – now for the definition of the meaning that the new government should give to politics, to the economy, in short to Brazilian society. It was important to implement a series of 'moralizing measures,' such as: the extinction of the National Union of Students (União Nacional dos Estudantes – UNE) and the Superior Institute of Brazilian Studies (Instituto Superior de Estudos Brasileiros – ISEB), the purging of 'communist' politicians, members of the army, and public employees, which would 'naturally' legitimate the government.

The enactment by the military junta of the first Institutional Act (Ato Institucional – AI, later AI-1),7 on 9 April was applauded by Corção. Days later, the voices of the editor Ênio Silveira, the columnist of Correio da Manhã Carlos Heitor Cony, the literary critic Otto Maria Carpeaux, the journalist Marcio Moreira Alves and Alceu Amoroso Lima, were raised against the 'purification' implemented by the Military Junta.8 In defense of the measure and principally of the regime which was being compared to the 1937 'coup,' Corção stated that the analogy between the two historical events could only be perceived by the fact that there had been constitutional discontinuities. However, the differences were complete. In his column of 12 April, Corção stated that the AI was "an act of legitimate defense of the regime," although it "always had a fringe of discussable justice." Returning to the subject on 15 April, he said that power had been taken by those who already held it, to remain so indefinitely. In 1964 who were expelled from power were "indignant occupants, and everything indicated that the desire of the military leaders would be to return power to the routine of institutions as soon as they had finished the expulsion of the bad public servants from the country." Moreover, in 1937 the denunciation of communist infiltration was a farce created by Getúlio Vargas; while in 1964 there existed a 'communist occupation.' Finally, the men who supported Vargas' coup were the 'fascists,' while in March 1964, it was the 'democrats' who took to the streets against the "communist fraud and in defense of the rights of man." However, the point was that the exceptionality of the context justified any 'eventual' abuses, since the regime's actions needed to be appreciated in light of the 'moralizing,' 'purification,' and 'punishment' actions in place of judicial rules and an ideal of 'justice.'

In the column published in Diário de Notícias on 21 April, Corção retorted the accusations of the illegitimacy of the regime made by its adversaries, who argued that the taking of power breached the 1946 Constitution, which equaled Brazil to a dictatorship. For Corção, what was illegitimate was the lack of government before the 'Redemption.' The use of the expression redemption, with the first letter in a capital, is significant of the perception that the category is homogenous and indisputable. The dictatorship was legitimated by the facts and it had a positive connotation, taking into account its sovereign and revolutionary nature. It was thus a revolutionary dictatorship.9

Dear to Catholic cultural politics, the idea that within the heart of anarchy there breeds order belongs to the reactionary conservative thought produced after the French Revolution in which 'revolution' also assumed a meta-political significance.10 For this, anarchy justified and legitimated counter-revolution which, according to Count De Maistre, "was not a contrary revolution but rather the contrary of revolution." Based on this matrix of political culture, on 6 June Corção argued that the new regime could not be described as totalitarian, since it was not possible to call the João Goulart government democratic, if one understood by democracy a regime of government which "respected hierarchies, differentiations and principally natural law." Rather the regime established in March 1964 which fought for decency, was democratic, since even though it acted outside judicial norms, it was based on the natural order of thing, namely Catholic culture.

In this way, Corção showed he was concerned with the debates which raged about the moment of return to democratic judicial regularity, since he realized that the threats to order had not been eliminated. Starting with this diagnosis, Corção turned against President Castelo Branco, who refused to discuss the prorogation of his mandate, despite being aware that his government's actions would not have favorable results by the time of the 1965 election. For Corção, Castelo Branco's attitude would probably signify the defeat of the revolutionary forces in the upcoming election. However, the hard-line officers pressurized him and finally in July 1964, the president gave in and sent to the National Congress a constitutional amendment extending his mandate. Simultaneously voted on was a Proposal for a Constitutional Amendment – known as the Electoral Reform Law – which covered questions such an absolute majority and voting rights for illiterates. On 3 July, Corção positioned himself against the thesis of absolute majority, asking: "would it not be better to make the election indirect right away?" In November Castelo's mandate was extended to 15 March 1967, with the elections being set for October 1966. A few days later the political reform was also approved.

An aspect which calls attention in Corção's 1964 columns is his belief that the dictatorship would be temporary, since it would be able to deal with the communist threat in a short period. From this point of view, it is understandable that on 27 December he wrote: "One of the dangers which threatens to delay the recovery is the idea of the so-called hard-line which intends to continue the revolutionary process. This mentality should be combated because the time of extraordinary measures has passed."

However, Corção did not need much to reconsider his position, concluding that only the 'hard-line' would maintain order. This is the subject of the next section.



On 9 March 1965 a student demonstration against the president in Universidade de Brasília (UnB), and shortly afterwards the publication of a manifesto in which dozens of intellectuals demanded the re-establishment of democratic liberties and civil rights, served to alert Corção. The manifesto especially caused him concern and reaction because its signatories demanded the return of liberal precepts. On 20 March he wrote: "they call for the release of political prisoners, [however] there can be no political prisoners because there is no political crime." The next day the reaction of the Castelo Branco government to the manifesto and the student actions was admonished by Corção, who argued that a dispute was being waged in the public sphere and the government was losing, since it had adopted too much of a 'liberalizing' style. After that the binomial liberty-authority came to dominate his pen. As well noted by Alceu Amoroso Lima upon Corção's departure from Centro Dom Vital in 1963, the fear of liberty and the cult of authority became the basis of Corção's arguments, positions and anti-communist activism.

In April the latent tension between the 'Castelistas' and the 'hard-line' became public with the decision of the Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF – Federal Supreme Court) to grant habeas-corpus to the former governor Miguel Arraes. The hard-line officers who commanded the Inquérito Policial Militar (IPM – Military Police Investigation) were opposed to the measure. On 28 March Corção commented on the case, stating: "Above the STF is the democratic spirit of the Revolution, to which all the powers of the Republic owe their survival." In the same column he sent the following message to his fellow Catholic Sobral Pinto who was defending communist prisoners, as he had done during the Estado Novo, when he had been the lawyer of Luís Carlos Prestes: "The lawyers of the communists also behave as if nothing had happened and if the spirit of legality can only be understood in terms of strict judicial compliance."

On 15 July 1965, Corção bearing in mind the accusation made by a reader that he was one of those responsible for the cases of torture which happened in the country, instead held responsible the "writers, intellectuals, Marxist or Catholic, the agents of Soviet interests, who led [young men] to colorblindness in seeing the colors of hope in the red flag of the Kremlin," also declaring: "A society should defend itself energetically from a regime which abundantly proved its complete failure."

In his schematization of responsibilities intellectuals had and have a determinant role. Despite the belief in the role of the intellectual in the clarification of public opinion, the question of freedom of thought constitutes a product of consumption restricted to the Right. This gives sense to the selection of qualities and positions established by Corção which allowed writers to have freedom of expression. In this way the censorship of dissenting ideas is justified. In short, there was torture because there was still liberty for intellectuals to continue to spread they communist ideas, deluding part of Brazilian youth. For these intellectuals Corção suggested that the punishment should be exemplary, since they had not complied with their social mission.

On 3 October 1965, date of the direct election for state government, Corção wrote a libel against representative democracy, popular pronouncement and consequently the 'predicted' result for the 1965 election – once again Corção is in agreement with the Catholic political thought that emerged in reaction to the French Revolution. In relation to the scenario, the appeal for the hardening of the regime, although not explicit, is evident between the lines:

I do not see [the elections] to be in any way an edifying or significant civic spectacle of the democratic structure of our regime. To the contrary, I consider it to be expressive of our political pathology... General will, infallible pronouncement of the ballot boxes, etc., are not part of my democratic creed.

The victories in the October 1965 state elections of Negrão de Lima in Guanabara, and Israel Pinheiro in Minas Gerais, confirmed the diagnosis and were perceived as serious threats to the 'revolution.' Responsibility for the defeat was attributed to President Castelo Branco. For Corção, Castelo had rushed and not adopted harsher measures, such as a greater effectiveness of punishments in IPMs for cases of subversion, which had been pushed into second place after those of corruption. The consequence of this negligence was the permanence of 'men from the ancien regime.'

During October the national scenario was dominated by the crisis unleashed by the election results, though this was quelled on 26 October, when the pressure from the more radical sectors was given into with the enactment of AI-2.11 Despite these exceptional measures, the government kept the National Congress open, allowed freedom of the press and the elected governors to hold office, giving an appearance of legality to the military regime. Nonetheless, this did not prevent internal and external critics from denouncing the option of the Brazilian government for military dictatorship. The restrictions imposed by the military regime fulfilled Corção's desires. His unconditional defense of the measures adopted and their authoritarian logic is not surprising. For him, AI-2 was the response to the provocations of the sectors who intended to destroy 'the essential things of the regime.' In relation to the negative evaluations that it would create a dictatorship in the country, he rebutted these criticisms in his column on 28 October:

I believe that many measures of this authoritarian type can be taken. If these measures tend towards a reinforced totalitarian dictatorship, they will form a set of measures serving an intrinsically evil policy, since totalitarianism deforms and deteriorates society ... Dictatorship is a lesser evil ... They are good as a bitter medicine ... [They are effective] is they promote true redemocratization through the elimination of the indiscipline which runs from the barracks to the universities and the removal of pernicious elements.

In Corção's perspective democracy is not reduced to the 'mechanics of institutions,' in other words to elections, but rather to the spirit that animates it. In such a manner what mattered were the 'souls,' the constitution of a government of 'good men,' for a regime to be considered democratic. In this meaning, democracy was not the presence of a judicial body which could regulate institutions, as it was also not the free elections, nor equality. Making a prescriptive (or axiological) use of democracy,12 Corção classified dictatorship positively: an interregnum, or in his words, 'a lesser evil,' whose objective was to restore as quickly as possible 'true' democracy. Therefore, in his judgment of the negative value of the Brazilian representative democratic experience since 1946, Corção counterpoises the regime which, with sprinklings of authoritarianism, is still called 'democratic.' An autocratic and elitist democracy. Due to these characteristics democracy would not allow liberty to be converted into licentiousness, since the 'good men' – the Armed Forces – controlled, regulated, and impeded the absence of moral and political breaks. Democracy, thus, came to be understood as a combination of liberty and authority "in a process in which it is defined arbitrarily what it was to be free."13 In this way the reservations about the authoritarianism of AI-2 did not delegitimize the national democratic reality; it was only a control mechanism.

Corção used a rhetorical and conceptual game to clarify that democracy and authoritarianism were not exclusive. What denoted a distortion of the essence of democracy was its asymmetry with totalitarianism. Thus, in the intellectual spheres of the opposition there was a certain conceptual 'confusion' between democracy and democratism. This antagonism was used to argue that there were only two paths: either the democracy of Western regimes or the totalitarianism of communist regimes. Between dictatorship and a Marxist regime, the choice was obvious. There was nothing in-between. The Manichaeism of this view left no doubt that the positions were inscribed in the friend-enemy logic. In light of this, any criticisms of the military regime were understood as a defense of communism.

In October intellectuals opposed to AI-2 presented a manifesto to the nation calling for the reestablishment of democratic legality, the principle of independence, the harmony of powers, respect for the decisions of courts and judges, the sovereignty of legislative bodies and the integrity of each person and family. This manifesto – led by Alceu Amoroso Lima – drew a response from Corção on 31 October, which elucidated his conception of the role of intellectuals in national life:

Poor Brazil! As if the treason of politicians was not enough ... we suffer the shame of 'trahison des clers' [sic] ... At the time of the bitter medicine these intellectuals scream, kick and offer shelter to the poor people, the marijuana of the depraved intelligentsia.

The use of the expression trahison des clercs, coined by Julien Benda, is significant of the normative approach reserved for 'leftwing' intellectuals or opposed to the regime. By dedicating their vocations to 'private causes,' they abandoned the real meaning of intellectual activities. They broke with the mission of being guardians of universal principles and became participants in the game of political passions. In doing this they disqualified themselves, offering erroneous arguments of liberty and redemocratization. With the aim of demoralizing the opposition of these intellectuals to the government, Corção accused them in December of being 'men of the ancien regime' and of not having fought the 'atheist and inhumane' communism which was driving Brazil away from the democratic path. Once again Corção repeated that the 'revolution' was carried out with the intention of 'restoring' the 'essence' of Brazilian democracy, and that the way found for this was authoritarianism which did not oppose democracy.

On 10 March 1966, Corção complained again about the initiatives of President Castelo Branco to return to constitutional legality, and abandoning the fight against communism. He stated: "the Castelo Branco government has excessive haste to become legal ... and has taken corruption much more than subversion as a criteria for punishments." In the same article, Corção returns to the criticism made in October 1965 that the IPMs had been abandoned and fallen into innocuousness, especially those which investigated those accused of subversion. Without a doubt, Corção's actions were ever more in tune with what was identified as the hard-line.

The ambiguity of Castelo Branco's government concerned him. In the letter he wrote to Sobral Pinto on 29 June, Corção left clear the reason for his discomfort with the Castelo Branco government, as well as reaffirming the 'revolutionary' nature of that scenario:

I have to tell you I am not a great admirer of this government. It is said that the army saved Brazil from a communist invasion, but it is not said that from then on they ruled badly. My hurt is contrary to yours: I think they were timid and wanted to enter to quickly into the terrain of legality. The institutional acts, which the military had the bad idea of ordering from the most illustrious jurists, in my opinion are garbage. For me the current government is provisional and like an intermediary. I seek to judge its acts more by its revolutionary success than its judicial regularity. Thinking this way, I am convinced that I want the very best for Brazil.14

Also in 1966, on 25 July there was a bomb explosion in Recife which left fatal and hurt victims. The explosion occurred in Guararapes Airport and was timed to happen right after the Minister of War, Costa e Silva, landed. On the same day another two bombs exploded in the Pernambuco capital: one in the State Union of Students (União Estadual dos Estudantes – UNE), injuring one person; and another in the press office of the US consulate. For Corção the union between 'wavering priests' and students, the fragility of government action against UNE and the 'near certainty' that participation in these actions in Recife would lead him to definitely forget the thesis of the provisional nature of the regime and to ask, in the column published on 29 July, for an energetic response from the Castelo Branco government:

The outrage in Recife is launched as a challenge. No evasion or scapegoats: we have to see, understand the connections and properly learn the parallel between the bomb in Recife and the disorder of the bad students in Belo Horizonte. There is a need for some reaction so it can be said that at least the blood of the poor victims will contribute in some way to redeem Brazil.

No explicit suggestions are made about what the measures of reaction could be. However, in the context of that time, it is not improper to suggest that Corção credited the forces of repression with being the path to eliminate the enemy found in the student sphere. And what about the means? Corção did not hesitate to answer: consummate the accusations of the IPMs, in other words, criminalize and arrest those guilty of subversion, especially the leaders of the student movement. The violence of his attacks drew a reply from Sobral Pinto, who sent Corção a letter dated 8 August 1966, in which he contested the proposed solutions and warned:

I know that you have deservedly great influence on the thought and action of Muniz de Aragão [Minister of Education]. You walk together with arms linked. For this reason I am afraid that your word will lead Muniz de Aragão to use the authority he has to confront the students in the mood of exaltation that you do not cease to create in your university struggles.15

Corção waged a bitter war in the sphere of the laity, specifically against Alceu Amoroso Lima, accusing him in his column of 16 September of being one of the intellectuals who incited "the youth to demonstrations and disorder on behalf of the communist cause." These attacks were not meaningless, since at that moment the student movement had once again taken to the streets, demonstrating against the government, with Alceu being one of the principal names in the Brazilian press to support them.16

In March 1967, the publication of the encyclical Populorum Progressio by Paulo VI was received, even by the military government, with enormous enthusiasm.17 The similarly warm repercussions among the most progressive segments of the clergy was evidently not well regarded by Corção. The main bones of contention were the fear that the encyclical would be used by the communists and the translation of some Latin words into Portuguese – such as, forexample, progressio for development.18 As Corção summarized in his column of 2 April 1967, "here in our society we will not lack in those opportunists who will try to take possession of the papal encyclical. Does it not repeatedly use the word development? So, they conclude, it is our idea, it is our cause which will triumph."

After the papal publication, various members of the Catholic hierarchy came out against the military regime. This was the leitmotiv for increasingly radicalized columns in which demanded an even stronger and more energetic reaction from the government. As he gave occasional classes in the Superior School of War (Escola Superior de Guerra – ESG) and was a professor of electronic engineering in the Military Institute of the Army (Instituto Militar do Exército – IME), Corção had very close relations with the military. Moreover, the similarity between his rhetoric and that of the officers who presided the IPMs and the members of the hard-line, is striking. The labels, accusations, and the strategy of combat also shown a rhetorical and ideological convergence. Terms such as communists, subversives, agitators and remote-controlled were recurrent both in Corção's argument and those of the members of the 'hard-line,' as well as the denunciations in relation to all those who did not accept the restrictions on constitutional guarantees imposed by the regime.

There is good violence. There is holy violence.

On the occasion of the commemorations of 1 May 1967, Corção's accusations reached other members of the Catholic hierarchy. The demonstration of workers against the government with the participation, as the celebrant of the mass, of the Bishop of Santo André, D. Jorge Marcos de Oliveira, was violently condemned in the column published on 7 May: "We have before us... a bishop of the Catholic Church directing ceremonies of savagery and foolishness, or, which is even worse, preaching a doctrine of hate with false and stupid motivations."

At the end of July UNE held its XXIX Congress, in a Benedictine monastery close to Campinas, in São Paulo state. On 2 August 11 US priests were arrested together with the students. The same day Benedictines and Dominicans, amongst other orders and congregations, demonstrated in São Paulo outside the building of the Department of Political and Social Order (Departamento de Order Política e Social – Dops) against the detention of participants in the congress. The event gave Corção further data about the joint path of Catholic segments with 'false students.' On 4 August, he once again repeated his appeals to 'relevant authorities' about the need to punish the "false students who had mutinied for reasons that had nothing to do with study or university life;" telling the press that is would symbolically stop treating them as students or the student movement, since they were rioters; and stated that it was no use doing this to the priest, since it 'was useless and stupid.'

With the approximation of the II Congress of the Lay Apostolate – an important Catholic meeting held in October –, in his 17 September article Corção highlighted the challenges for the laity in the country: communism, Teilhard de Chardin, the declared philo-communists, the Marxist religious houses, the responsibility of priests in the conflict between parents and children. A summary of his enemies, with Catholic sectors being labeled as communists and Marxists. On 12 November 1967, Corção highlighted the presence of Ação Popular (AP), still active them. The union of Catholic sectors and the organization and the negligence of the 'relevant authorities' had resulted in a libel, whose appeal and the confusion about the direction of the government were clear. He stated:

AP [is] an organized movement against the regime, against Democracy, against Christianity, against Man, and principally against God...

It is incredible that there still exists a phenomenon with this inspiration, after the complete failure of Brazilian communists in 1964. Easy victory appears to have mollified the combativeness of the military government, and its appears to have fallen asleep at all levels.

A few days after the publication of this article by Corção, four young people were arrested in Volta Redonda (RJ), accused of subversion. They had thrown pamphlets against the government out of the window of the diocesan minivan. Two of them belonging to the parish youth group – a deacon and a seminarist. The diocesan bishop, D. Waldir Calheiros, denounced the case to the press and army soldiers searched the bishop's residence looking for supposedly subversive documents.19 The case had enormous repercussions and the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil – CNBB) released a declaration at the end of the month in which it showed solidarity for the victims of the repression. On 26 November Corção's reaction clarifies for us once again his position in favor of radical military action:

I would like that their Eminences, the bishops, reflect well on the current episode and on its essential traits: a group of individuals preached civil war, rebellion, direct action. Why? ... they want to implant in Brazil a regime that has had good results nowhere, which dishonors man and offends God. And in this singular task ... they found support among priests.

The communism which for Corção had already dominated the 'hearts and minds' of the youth, increasingly threatened the Catholic Church – bastion of order. In December D. Avelar Brandão, Archbishop of Teresina, declared that the encyclical Populorum Progressio corroborated the thesis of the just war and the 'new Church,' and that this signified that in a very unjust situation the people could take up arms and start a just war. This statement led Corção to show that the principal threat came from Catholic circles who were having a misrepresenting reaction to both Vatican II and Populorum Progressio.

Due to this diagnosis, in his column of 29 December Corção warned the government: "these people, laity or priests, and even bishops, who are not the Catholic Church" and, "to the contrary of what the government has been doing, dialogue should be abandoned." This proximity with the military government, to the point of clarifying and advising what the 'healthy' Catholic sphere would be like, was not meaningless for someone who had direct access to the president of the country. Gustavo Corção's archive, kept in the National Library, includes significant correspondence between the Catholic leader and the military, as well as requests of his to the 'owners of power' in this period. Emblematic of this is the request for the nomination of Gladstone Chaves de Melo to the Federal Council of Education,20 made to President Costa e Silva, who took office in March 1967. This request, made through General Emílio Garrastazu Médici,21 would be approved in 1970, and Corção's companion in Catholic and political struggles nominated. Since 1966 Corção himself had been a member of the Federal Council of Culture.22

In this scenario, the writer repeated the accusations against certain members of the clergy. In an article dated 23 February 1968, entitled "Message from some bishops from the Third World," he accused parts of the hierarchy of professing Marxist communism. The ferocity of the criticism resulted in a letter to him from Sobral Pinto23 questioning his campaign:

Just two words about your column ... I find it strange, with cordial sincerity that you are contributing, for love, to capitalism, also atheistic and hypocritical, to demoralize Bishops, who are the direct successors of the Apostles. Writing what you write is not to serve Truth, nor Justice, nor Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is to serve the Gudins and other defenders of social injustice.

In March 1968 Corção was absent from the newspapers, since he had left Diário de Notícias. Returning in April, now in O Globo, he started to write on Thursdays and Saturdays. His first column in this newspaper, "Holy Thursday," published on 11 April, talked about the mystery of the crucifixion of Jesus. Corção was thus momentarily removed from the public sphere on the occasion of the death of the secondary school Édson Luís and the events which occurred on the celebration of his seventh day mass at the end of March and beginning of April 1968. Despite this, he did not remain speechless about the events, commenting on them as soon as he returned to the fight in his columns.

Refereeing to the repercussion of the facts, Corção emphasized the 'polyhedron of errors' of the event, though remaining silent about the repressive actions of the government. The document produced by the Church on this occasion, however, received the greatest attention and criticism. In the article "A home without education, everyone shouts and no one is right," published on 13 April 1968, Corção criticized the actions of the Church in the episode, "with the exception of the good pastors who made a prudent intervention at the gates of Candelária." The reason for the student demonstration was disqualified by Corção. The Church's efforts to mediate dialogue between the students and the government increased Corção condemnation of the temporal engagement of the Church. Undoubtedly the conflict involved more than the attitude of the Church which had placed itself in favor of the students, but rather from the admission of the hierarchy that "the minority of demonstrators and agitators, remote controlled by a minority of his minority, is representative of this youth." At the same time, and more fundamental, the text did not make "the smallest reference to the phenomenon of communist infiltration, nor to that there existed in the notorious UNE of the Juscelinica and Goulartian era many precocious thieves." In short, the tragic event made his fear permanent: the union of the Catholic hierarchy with the demonstrations against the regime. They were not isolated voices, even though he sought to disqualify the authors which this explanation. It was the scenario of the Catholic Church in Brazil supporting the youth against the 'revolution.'

Also in April there was a bomb explosion which injured an employee in the offices of the O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper. Immediately attributing responsibility for this 'terrorist' act to the left, Corção complained about the Catholic Church's silence about the event, and called for vigorous action from the government.24 The supposed authors, the students, were now 'provocateurs' and 'terrorists.' All the pejorative load involved in the transmutation was symbolically the path to justify harsher actions against enemies, even if theywere in the Catholic Church: "we can only beg the civic and religious authorities to be more vigorous and more decisive" (25 April 1968).

The events which followed in Prague, Paris, the United States and in Mexico were perceived by Corção as a threat hovering over the country. The student revolts, with many different appeals, advocated the maxim of the revolution of 'Youth Power' for the world based on liberty and the questioning of the constituted authorities. In this scenario the Prague Spring was hailed in an article on 25 May as 'real progress,' while the student revolts in France expressed "an anarchical explosion marked by a profound disenchantment with a world tired of being human. Or better, tired of being in a differentiated world, hierarchical, ordered, albeit rather imperfectly." Admonishing, Corção declared that precautions had to be taken so that 'disobedience in a pure state' did not reach Brazil. The explosion of student demonstrations, however, indicated the principal problem of the modern world: the crisis of authority. Authority not in the sense of an exterior norm, but as a moral value, polarized in terms of obedience and disobedience – 'reflections of the Creator,' as stated in the column of 18 May. These fundamentals were seen in the progressive furor unleashed in various planes, from the religious to the family, through the destruction of the notion of this 'natural' authority.

However, it was the clergy who frightened him most. The prognosis of the potential force of progressive clergy for the social and political order increased with the release of the notes for the II General Conference of the Latin American Episcopal Council (Celam), held in July in Medellín, Colômbia. Written by the Belgian priest José Comblin, then professor of theology in the Regional Seminary of Recife, the text was provisional and initially restricted to groups of reflection in the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife. However, after being published in its entirety in the press, it caused intense controversy between those who approved it and those who saw it as a declaration of subversion. In an article published on 13 June, Corção, one of the detractors in the press, accused it of being impregnated with the 'language of Marxist preachers' and doubted the Christian objective of the 'incendiary priests' who wrote it:

the evidence of exterior signs leaps before our eyes. In first place the perversion of spirituality and the Christian mentality which is inclined to a social realization which the Church had repeatedly condemned as intrinsically evil. In second place, there is evidence of the bad result of total socialization everywhere it has been tried.

Corção's proposal was for persecution as well as a solution which would be enacted a few years into the future. On 15 June he stated: "there are foreign priests who have become excessive and undesirable on our territory. Fr. Comblin is one of them. And here I say to you my friends what I would do today if I were president: send them away."

On 19 June the student demonstrations gained new wind with the government project to transform universities into foundation, which caused strikes in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) against the government's intended university reform. I Army entered into rigorous action and arrested various students. On the Praia Vermelha campus students were beaten and humiliated, causing a wave of revolts which transformed the city into a battlefield. On one side the police, on the other the students with sticks and stones, as well as people throwing things at the police from the tops of buildings. The fighting last for three days, and the Church tried to find a conciliatory solution. In the pages of O Globo, Corção advised the authorities to deal with the student question by dividing it into two questions: the specific, covering the problems of teaching infrastructure, propositions that could be met; and the generic, involving the political propositions, which should not be met: "we should do everything to hold back, dissolve and not grant the demands which smell of an appetite for power" (22 June 1968). All means to destroy the threat represented by the demonstrations and marches were valid, because as Corção: "we are not against violence. There is good violence. There is holy violence. God loves the violent and vomits the tepid" (18 July 1968). The political resort to violence was legitimate due to the circumstances.

The dispute he waged in the Catholic field led him in August 1968 to found the Catholic cultural association Permanência,25 which was intended to fight against the enemies of the Church and to divulge strict Catholic doctrine. The launch of this had repercussions and it was covered in O Globo, which highlighted in the title the presence of "civilians, religious and military in the auditorium of the Ministry of Education for the launch of Permanência magazine." In the report Corção's objective was also highlighted, in other words to fight "the confusions and deformations of the Church in Brazil introduced by the progressive wing of the clergy."26

In the article of 3 October Corção's accusations against the student movement suffered a perceptible alteration. The students were no longer simply 'rioters,' but now criminals 'capable of rapes and sexual violence'. The responsibility of 'adults' also stopped being a valid rhetorical argument in the minimization of complaints against the student movement. Moreover, his demand for harsh government measures was implacable: "these youths should be reprimanded, they should be mercifully punished, they should be charitably expelled from the universities ... I do not understand the timidity, the paralysis of the leaders."

A few days later Corção's presence was requested at an act of government repression, the arrest of the student leaders who had organized and participated in the XXX Congress of UNE in Ibiúna (SP). Corção's commentary on 17 October once again show his efforts to justify violence as a legitimate government resources in Brazilian public opinion: "there were no tumults thanks to the firmness and tranquility with which the police acted."

Also in October the tension between the Catholic hierarchy and the government increased after the declaration by the then Minister of the Interior, General Albuquerque Lima, that elements of the clergy were agents disturbing public order. The response of members of the Catholic Church to Albuquerque Lima's accusations was strident. Nonetheless, Corção put himself on the side of the general, stating that he had done the Church of his country a service. This affinity is yet one more confirmation of Corção with the 'hard-line' approach and also of the friction with the Church. In the article on 26 October he asked the Church to assume its "treason or defection, or even if it wishes the irresponsible omission."

In November in the capital of Minas Gerais the imprisonment of three French Assumptionist priests and a Brazilian deacon produced a mobilization of the clergy and the release of a document against government persecutions of members of the institution.27 On 12 December Corção violently rejected the document, and warned that a crisis was raging in the Catholic Church; he also alerted the existence in Brazil of an "Anti-Church which had adopted the open defense of the enemies of Brazil"; and "profoundly [lamented] the attitude of Catholics who remained silent." The specter of communism no longer haunted the Church, it was a fact. The conclusions that the Brazilian Catholic world had fractures and through them communism threatened to destroy the Church itself, produced a Gustavo Corção who was even more anti-communist, but attached to the defense of Christian (Catholic) values and even more disbelieving in the path of liberal-representative democracy as a philosophy to organize the political.

His position after the publication of A1-5, which led to the hardening of the military regime is no surprise. The pretext for AI-5 was that on 13 December 1968, by a difference of 75 votes, the Chamber of Deputies rejected the request to cancel the mandate and the political rights of Márcio Moreira Alves – who had made a speech in the Chamber months before denouncing the violence practiced against the students, holding the army responsible for what had happened and calling on the population not to appear at Independence Day commemorations. On the same day Presidente Costa e Silva enacted AI-5 which, amongst other measures, suspended various constitutional guarantees.28 In his column of 18 December, Corção concluded: "we reached where we did not want to arrive, and to where we were compelled by the wave of anarchy which threatened to submerge Brazil." Once more, the thesis of the exceptionality of the circumstances, of anarchy, was used to defend exceptional measures.



The thesis of the communist threat, initially located in the political world and afterwards radicalized in Catholicism, constituted a determining factor in the radicalization of the discursive production and also the political positions of Gustavo Corção. It is important to highlight that Corção in presenting his arguments in favor of military regime perceived Catholicism not just as a support base, but the actual reason for the 1964 movement; and that the defense of Christian civilization against the 'red devil' justified any government actions.

Without a doubt the civilians and military who set up the military regime in Brazil between 1964 and 1968 found in the Catholic Church an important support in 1964, and the criticisms coming from the Catholic field always preoccupied the regime.29 While the hierarchy kept an official silence – through the institution which represented the Brazilian bishops, i.e., the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil – CNBB) –, until the 1970s, there were also isolated pronunciations against the regime, both from members of the hierarchy and the laity.30 Corção was attentive and controlled, sometimes with rudeness and in a harsh manner, the steps of these figures (Alceu, D. Hélder and even Sobral Pinto). He incessantly denounced them, accusing them of being communists or of helping communism. With this he tried to prove that these people provoked the degeneracy of the Catholic Church in Brazil. He also sought to legitimate the military dictatorship and all its actions and exceptional measures, resorting to conservative and reactionary philosophers to provide a foundation for his arguments that a legitimate authoritarian regime was in force in Brazil. He was an unconditional ally of the 'hard-line' military governments. An example of this was the publication of AI-14 in 1969, which created the death penalty and life imprisonment for the cases of 'adverse psychological war' and 'revolutionary or subversive war,' as defined by the Law of National Security which received contrary reactions from the Catholic hierarchy and the approval of Corção. For this he was always supported by the government, as well as the 'hard-line' officers.

It is thus not inappropriate to state that Corção was one of the military regime' artifices to try to stem the loss of Catholic support which occurred at a slow rate until 1969, accelerating after this. More than this, for Corção himself, there was no way to return to judicial normality because the history of the Brazilian national confirmed that the 'worst' were always chosen. And it was these who defended and demanded civil and political rights, especially after the enactment of AI-5. Thus he lack of belief in a 'democratic' outcome which, with its defense of the value of liberty, constituted an argument favorable to the critics of the military regime. Liberty as a result lost value, being substituted as a value-truth in the philosophy of truth which is Catholicism – the reason for the establishment of the 1964 regime. Support for the increasingly violent repression and the casuistry of AI-5 needed nothing other than the sophism of the preservation of 'democracy;' the degeneration of the Brazilian Catholic Church justified the maintenance and radicalization of the regime. Between the cross and the sword, Corção had made his choice. In 1968, what he did not understand was that the Catholic hierarchy preferred another path. An incomprehension which increased daily until his death in 1978.



1 Este trabalho é uma versão revista de uma parte do penúltimo capítulo da tese de doutorado Combatendo o bom combate: política e religião nas crônicas jornalísticas de Gustavo Corção (1953-1976), defendida no Iuperj, em 2007.         [ Links ]

2 Gustavo Corção nasceu em 1896. Órfão de pai muito jovem, foi criado pela mãe – professora e dona de um colégio – sem investimentos maiores nas práticas da religião católica. De origem social de classe média, estudou no Colégio Pedro II e na Escola Politécnica, onde travou contato com círculos de estudos de Marx e teve ligações com militantes comunistas. Em 1920, abandonou a faculdade de engenharia e fez levantamentos topográficos, tendo também trabalhado como engenheiro especializado em eletricidade industrial, em cidades do interior do estado do Rio de Janeiro. Em 1925 volta à capital federal e, a convite de Manuel Amoroso Costa, torna-se professor assistente de astronomia da Politécnica. Mais tarde, assume a cadeira de eletrônica na Escola Técnica do Exército, atual Instituto Militar do Exército (IME). Paralelamente às suas atividades docentes, foi técnico de radiotelegrafia e telefonia da Radiobrás, tendo ainda trabalhado no setor de telecomunicações da Rádio Cinefon Brasileira. Em 1936, a morte de sua primeira esposa lança-o em crise existencial. Três anos depois, aos 43 anos, converte-se ao catolicismo. Fontes: ABREU, A. A. et al. (Org.) Dicionário Histórico-biográfico brasileiro: pós-1930. 5v. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. FGV, 2001. p.1592-1593;         [ Links ] VILLAÇA, A. C. O pensamento católico no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar, 1975. p.143-151.         [ Links ]

3 AZZI, R. Os intelectuais do Centro Dom Vital. In: _______.; GRIJP, R. M. K. História da Igreja no Brasil: ensaio de interpretação a partir do povo. Tomo II/3-2: terceira época: 1930-1964. Petrópolis (RJ): Vozes, 2008. p.481-482. (Coleção História Geral da Igreja na América Latina).         [ Links ]

4 RosaNvallon, P. Por uma história conceitual do político. In: _______. Por uma história do político. Trad. Christian Edward Cyrill Lynch. São Paulo: Alameda, 2010. p.76.         [ Links ]

5 "... a pertença doutrinária questiona ao mesmo tempo o enunciado e o sujeito que fala, e um através do outro. Questiona o sujeito que fala através e a partir do enunciado, como provam procedimentos de exclusão e os mecanismos de rejeição que entram em jogo quando um sujeito que fala formula um ou vários enunciados inassimiláveis; a heresia e a ortodoxia não derivam de exagero fanático dos mecanismos doutrinários, elas lhes pertencem fundamentalmente. Mas, inversamente, a doutrina questiona os enunciados a partir dos sujeitos que falam, na medida em que a doutrina vale sempre como o sinal, a manifestação e o instrumento de uma pertença prévia". FOUCAULT, M. A ordem do discurso. Aula inaugural no Collège de France, pronunciada em 2 dez. 1970. Trad. Laura Fraga de Almeida Sampaio. São Paulo: Loyola, 1996. p.42.         [ Links ]

6 "Trata-se de reconstruir o modo por que os indivíduos e os grupos elaboraram a compreensão de suas situações; de enfrentar os rechaços e as adesões a partir dos quais eles formularam seus objetivos; de retratar de algum modo a maneira pela qual suas visões de mundo limitaram e organizaram o campo de suas ações" (RosaNvallon, 2010, p.76.). Trazendo para o Brasil, trata-se de voltar a estudar o período autoritário sob novas lentes. Ver ROLEMBERG, D.         [ Links ]; QUADRAT, S. V. A. (Org.) Apresentação. In: _______.; _______. (Org.) A construção social dos regimes autoritários: legitimidade, consenso e consentimento no século XX: Brasil e América. Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 2011. p.11-31.         [ Links ]

7 Com redação final de Francisco Campos e Carlos Medeiros da Silva, o AI-1 fixou o sentido do regime: era uma revolução e investia-se de Poder Constituinte; além de, em seus 11 artigos, instituir o novo equilíbrio entre os três poderes, ao ampliar as atribuições do Executivo, limitando as do Congresso e do Judiciário. Entre as novas funções do Executivo, asseverou a autoridade para cassar mandatos, demitir, colocar em disponibilidade e aposentar funcionários públicos, por um prazo de seis meses, e de suspender os direitos políticos por dez anos. No dia seguinte era divulgada a primeira lista de cassados. O AI-1 também regulou o futuro calendário e as regras eleitorais que vigorariam no país a partir da sua promulgação: estabeleceu eleições indiretas para a Presidência e vice-Presidência da República e confirmou a realização de eleições em outubro de 1965. Contudo, a mudança que causou impacto imediato foi o esvaziamento da cláusula da Constituição de 1946, que tornava os oficiais da Forças Armadas inelegíveis para cargos eletivos, e a determinação da realização de eleições para presidente e vice-presidente em dois dias após a sua promulgação. A alteração permitiria a eleição, no dia 11 de abril, do candidato de consenso dos militares e dos políticos que o apoiaram: o marechal Humberto Castelo Branco. SKIDMORE, T. Brasil: de Castelo a Tancredo (1964-1985). Trad. Mário Salviano Silva. 8.ed. São Paulo: Paz e Terra, 2004. p.49-50. Para a íntegra do AI-1, ver:; Acesso em: 20 jun. 2006.         [ Links ]

8 CONY, Carlos H. O ato e o fato (crônicas políticas). Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1979; ALVIM, T. C. (Org.) O golpe de 64: a imprensa disse não. Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1979.         [ Links ]

9 A referência à ideia de ditadura revolucionária está no verbete 'Ditadura', redigido por Mario Stoppino. In: bobbio, n.; matteucci, n.; pasquino, g. Dicionário de política. Trad. Carmem C. Varriale et al.; coord. trad. João Ferreira; rev. geral João Ferreira e Luís Guerreiro Pinto Cascais. 12.ed. Brasília: Ed. UnB, 2004. 2v. p.368-379.         [ Links ]

10 A primeira vez que apareceu na filosofia política a ideia de 'revolução' como um conceito metapolítico foi em De Maistre, J. Consideraciones sobre Francia. Presentación de Antonio Truyol y Serra. Trad. y notas Joaquín Poch Elío. Madrid: Tecnos, 1990. Para o conceito de 'revolução', KOSELLECK, R. O conceito moderno de revolução.         [ Links ] In: _______. Futuro passado: contribuição à semântica dos tempos históricos. Trad. Wilma Patrícia Maas; Carlos Almeida Pereira; rev. trad. César Benjamin. Rio de Janeiro: Contraponto; Ed. PUC-Rio, 2006. p.61-78.         [ Links ]

11 O AI-2 decretou o fim da convivência do regime militar com a Constituição de 1946 e, consequentemente, com a democracia e a conquista da cidadania. Foram extintos os partidos, assim como as eleições diretas para a Presidência da República; retornaram os processos de cassação de mandatos e suspensão de direitos políticos. O fortalecimento do Executivo frente aos outros poderes expandiu-se, com a concessão de amplos poderes ao presidente, como a iniciativa exclusiva das leis sobre matéria financeira e a faculdade de ordenar o recesso do Congresso e legislar por decretos. Também facilitou a intervenção federal nos estados, assim como a decretação do estado de sítio no país. Conflito anterior com o STF também foi resolvido pelo AI-2: o Poder Judiciário perde para a Justiça Militar a competência para julgar os civis acusados de crimes contra a segurança nacional. O Ato também aumentou de l l para 16 o número de juízes do STF, o que permitiria ao governo indicar nomes afinados com as suas ideias. ABREU et al. (Org.), 2001, p.1222.         [ Links ]

12 A distinção entre os significados descritivos e prescritivos de democracia está no verbete 'Democracia', de autoria de Norberto Bobbio. In: bobbio; matteucci; pasquino, 2004, p.319-329.         [ Links ]

13 REZENDE, M. J. de. Ditadura militar: repressão e pretensão de legitimidade. Londrina: Ed. UEL, 2001. p.86.         [ Links ]

14 Corção, G. Arquivo Privado. Rio de Janeiro: Biblioteca Nacional, seção manuscritos, s.d. Carta endereçada a Sobral Pinto, 29 jun. 1966.         [ Links ]

15 Corção, G. Arquivo Privado. Rio de Janeiro: Biblioteca Nacional, seção manuscritos, s.d. Carta recebida de Sobral Pinto, 8 ago. 1966.         [ Links ]

16 COSTA, M. T. da. Um itinerário no século: mudança, disciplina e ação em Alceu Amoroso Lima. Tese (Doutorado) – Depto. de História, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro, 2002.         [ Links ]

17 Em suas considerações finais, a encíclica de Paulo VI conclama todos, e especialmente o laicato dos países em desenvolvimento, a "assumir como tarefa própria a renovação da ordem temporal. Se o papel da hierarquia consiste em ensinar e interpretar autenticamente os princípios morais que se hão de seguir neste domínio, pertence aos leigos, pelas suas livres iniciativas e sem esperar passivamente ordens e diretrizes, imbuir de espírito cristão a mentalidade e os costumes, as leis e as estruturas da sua comunidade de vida. São necessárias modificações e são indispensáveis reformas profundas: devem eles esforçar-se decididamente por insuflar nestas o espírito evangélico. Aos nossos filhos católicos que pertencem aos países mais favorecidos, pedimos o contributo da sua competência e da sua participação ativa nas organizações oficiais ou privadas, civis ou religiosas, empenhadas em vencer as dificuldades das nações em fase de desenvolvimento. Hão de ter, sem dúvida, muito a peito o ser contados entre os primeiros de quantos trabalham por estabelecer, na realidade dos fatos, uma moral internacional de justiça e de equidade". Disponível em:; Acesso em: 20 jul. 2006. Para mais detalhes sobre a recepção da encíclica Populorum Progressio nos meios governamentais e militares brasileiros, ver CENTRO DE PASTORAL VERGUEIRO. As relações Igreja-Estado no Brasil, 1964-1978. São Paulo, 1978 (Série Cadernos de Informação, n.3).         [ Links ]

18 Além dessas críticas, setores conservadores também apontaram mais duas questões. A primeira: ao tratar dos problemas econômicos do mundo a encíclica papal tecera considerações sobre a distribuição de riquezas e não sobre a produção; a segunda: a Igreja, com a publicação das encíclicas sociais, queria manter o poder político, quando deveria se ater ao reino da ética. CENTRO DE PASTORAL VERGUEIRO, 1978, p.11-12.         [ Links ]

19 Uma descrição detalhada do ocorrido encontra-se em COSTA, C. M. L.; PANDOLFI, D. C.; SERBIN, K. O bispo de Volta Redonda: memórias de Dom Waldyr Calheiros. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. FGV, 2001. p.93-102.         [ Links ]

20 O Conselho Federal de Educação (CFE) fora criado em 1962, como uma das exigências da Lei de Diretrizes e Bases da Educação Nacional. Formado por um colegiado cuja escolha variou conforme a conjuntura nacional, tinha a função de assessorar o Ministério da Educação. No período democrático, o CFE teve maior autonomia. Já no regime militar, sofreu, tanto administrativa como juridicamente, maior ingerência do Poder Executivo. Exemplar a exoneração de conselheiros em 1968 (opositores ao regime, como d. Hélder Câmara) e as alterações no número de membros do colegiado. Disponível em:; Acesso em: 26 out. 2006.         [ Links ]

21 CORÇÃO, G. Arquivo Privado. Rio de Janeiro: Biblioteca Nacional, seção manuscritos, s.d. Correspondência a Costa e Silva, datada de 20 jan. 1968.         [ Links ]

22 A nomeação de Corção está disponível em:; Acesso em: 25 out. 2006.         [ Links ]

23 CORÇÃO, G. Arquivo Privado. Rio de Janeiro: Biblioteca Nacional, seção manuscritos, s.d. Carta de Sobral Pinto, 24 fev. 1968.         [ Links ]

24 Dez anos depois, seria comprovado que a bomba no jornal O Estado de S. Paulo partira de elementos ligados às Forças Armadas, como estratégia para endurecer o regime. A entrevista realizada pelo jornalista Luiz Alberto Bittencourt com um oficial do Exército que participara da ação esclarece a questão: "A operação foi planejada pelo Estado-Maior do II Exército – certamente em conjunto com um comando civil, embora isso eu não possa garantir –, que designou um oficial para articular todos os contatos necessários. Esse articulador foi um coronel da Intendência, que, aliás, era dono da fábrica que fornecia os cantis do II Exército". VENTURA, Z. 1968: o ano que não terminou. Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, 1988. p.226.         [ Links ]

25 O "Centro Permanência" realizava conferências semanais sobre teologia, cultura humanista, religião, tradição grega e canto gregoriano. Publicava a revista de mesmo nome, dirigida por Alfredo Lage e contando com colaboração dos partidários do catolicismo integral. ANTOINE, pe. C. O integrismo brasileiro. Trad. João Guilherme Linke. Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1980. p.44.         [ Links ]

26 O Globo, Rio de Janeiro,19 ago. 1968.         [ Links ]

27 BRUNEAU, T. Catolicismo brasileiro em época de transição. São Paulo: Loyola, 1974. p.358-367.         [ Links ]

28 O AI-5, entre outras medidas, suspendeu o habeas-corpus, voltou a cassar mandatos e suspender direitos políticos por dez anos; atribuiu ao Executivo poder para decretar o estado de sítio sem anuência do Congresso, promulgar decretos-leis e atos complementares. Além disso, na mesma ocasião o Ato Complementar nº 38 instituiu o recesso do Congresso por tempo indeterminado. Para mais informações sobre os Atos Institucionais, ver ABREU et al. (Org.), 2001, p.418-422.         [ Links ]

29 Mainwaring, S. A Igreja e o regime militar – 1964-1973. In: _______. Igreja católica e política no Brasil (1916-1985). Trad. Heloisa Braz de Oliveira Prieto. São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1989. p.102-105.         [ Links ]

30 Sobre os encontros da Comissão Bipartite, ver SERBIN, K. P. Diálogos na sombra: bispos, militares, tortura e justiça social na ditadura. Trad. Carlos Eduardo Lins e Silva. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2001.         [ Links ]

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