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Revista Brasileira de História

versão impressa ISSN 0102-0188versão On-line ISSN 1806-9347

Rev. Bras. Hist. vol.35 no.69 São Paulo jan./jun. 2015 


Church-State relations in a working-class town during the military dictatorship1

Alejandra Luisa Magalhães Estevez *  

*Doutoranda, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Sociologia e Antropologia (PPGSA/UFRJ). Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.


The paper discusses the relations between Church and State in the early years of the Brazilian military dictatorship, a time of consolidation of a new historical bloc within the Church and of great hegemonic dispute within the Armed Forces. A case which occurred in the steel town of Volta Redonda (RJ) in 1967, in which four young men connected to the local Catholic movement had been imprisoned by the Army for distributing pamphlets critical of the government, gave rise to a series of conflicts between the local bishop and the military authorities. A pragmatic reconstruction of the facts resulting from this case is given priority here in order to discuss the disputes of power that took place between progressive sectors of the Church and the authoritarian State, as well as their respective strategies for gaining hegemony.

Key words: Military dictatorship; Catholic Church; Volta Redonda (RJ)


O artigo propõe a discussão das relações entre Igreja e Estado nos anos iniciais da ditadura militar brasileira, momento este de consolidação de um novo bloco histórico no interior da Igreja e de forte disputa hegemônica nas Forças Armadas. A partir de um caso ocorrido na cidade siderúrgica de Volta Redonda (RJ), no ano de 1967, no qual quatro jovens ligados a um movimento católico local foram presos pelo Exército após distribuírem panfletos críticos ao governo vigente, tem início uma série de conflitos entre o bispo local e as autoridades militares. Uma reconstrução pragmática dos fatos decorrentes desse caso será aqui privilegiada a fim de discutir as disputas de poder estabelecidas entre setores progressistas da Igreja e o Estado autoritário e suas respectivas estratégias de conquista de hegemonia.

Palavras-Chave: Ditadura militar; Igreja católica; Volta Redonda (RJ)

The central role which Catholicism has played since the historic action of religious orders in the colonization process, at the origin of the articulation of a national identity, reflected in a popular imagination which is not only religious, but also political, social and cultural within Brazil, is well-known. As Gustavo Oliveira highlights, "the conception of 'religion' in Brazil is profoundly associated with a Christian and above all Catholic model of the organization of beliefs, rituals and sacred institutions" (Oliveira, 2010, p.4).

Having survived the changes imposed by the secularization of the state, with the advent of the Brazilian republic and its new constitution of 1891, the Church underwent a process of re-formulating its strategies for hegemony. In this sense, Ação Católica [Catholic Action] arose as the organization responsible for updating Catholic discourse in a way which not only prevented the uprooting of Catholic culture, which suffered from competition with other denominations within its own religious field, but above all, as a way of extending its influence within society. In order to do this, the layperson was called on to take a more active role, even within the limits of the hierarchical framework, in the same way that the worker was transformed into an "agent" in the populist discourse elaborated by Getúlio Vargas.

With the aim of accompanying the ideological transformation of political society, as (Gramsci 1981) noted, the Catholic institution tended to opt for a progressive movement, in order to maintain its own "official" ideological unity and to adjust to the transformations in other fields. At the same time, this updating would have to be carried out at a slow and methodical pace, so as to ensure that its transformations were not felt by the majority, thereby conserving a certain homogeneity in its ideological bloc.

The "ideological homogeneity" of which the Sardinian philosopher spoke, had, throughout history, guaranteed its institutional unity through various mechanisms of internal organization and dissemination of a more or less malleable vision of the world, which guaranteed its social capillarity. Notwithstanding an attempt at permanent reification, in which the Catholic Church is presented as fixed in time, since it is of the order of the atemporal, there are various cases in which the dynamism intrinsic to social relations appeared in all of its complexity and inconsistency.

In this way, stimulated by this challenge of exposing the inconsistencies of the Church and revealing the discursive and ideological nexuses between the religious and political fields, I propose an analysis of the relationship between Church and State, during the turbulent and polarized period of the Brazilian military dictatorship, more specifically, during its first years of deployment (between 1964 and 1967).

Within the Church, the 1960s were characterized by a profound polarization, both between ecclesiastical agents and between lay movements, incubated within Ação Católica and the hierarchy. Specialized historiography has highlighted a "shift to the left" of Catholic sectors, principally among workers and students.24In general, the interpretation adopted by these scholars places too great an emphasis on analyzing the political role of the Church in society. In methodological terms, however, I have chosen an interpretation based equally on the analysis of symbolic goods, which are elements par excellence from the field of culture, understood here as structuring structures (Bourdieu, 1989). This concept, forged by Bourdieu, equips the institution with dynamism, by default of the vision of many of its interpreters, insofar as it would find itself in a constant structuring process, with each social agent, consciously or unconsciously transforming the structured structure into a structuring structure.

With this, I do not wish to deny its effective intervention in political life, both locally and nationally. The confrontation between authorities, ecclesiastical and military, as well as the discourse of defending human rights and social justice, are examples of direct political interventions made by various religious and lay figures, but which do not find a more complete explanation merely in an analysis of political elements. Religious, political, cultural, ideological, social and economic life forge social reality in its multiple interrelations.

I have those chosen a specific event which occurred in the city of Volta Redonda (State of Rio de Janeiro) in 1967, involving a local Catholic movement, Juventude Diocesana Católica (Judica) [Catholic Diocesan Youth], with the aim of qualifying the composition of actors and ideological perspectives within the Catholic institution and the military institution, as well as to go over the arguments deployed by both parties. One year previously, the Diocese of Volta Redonda, received the new bishop, D. Waldyr Calheiros de Novaes, who remains etched in local memory as a great defender of workers' rights and a fierce opponent of the military regime. The chosen episode was the first time that the ecclesiastical authority publicly presented itself as opposed to the policy of persecution deployed by the military regime and which gave rise to an intense and complex game of force between the religious and political authorities. The imprisonment of four youths linked to the cited Church movement leads us to an intriguing analysis of the forces involved in the process and their differing views of the world. It even allows us to reflect on the participation of the Judiciary in the conduct of trials, in the first year of effect of the Lei de Segurança Nacional [National Security Law] and the enactment of the new Republican Constitution, in 1967.


Before immersing ourselves in the analysis of the case proposed here, I shall make a brief presentation regarding the historical construction of the relationship between Church and State in Brazil, so as to locate the reader within the social and political dynamics implemented by political society and by this institution, which Gramsci defines as "civil society within civil society". Revisiting this historical period has the objective of providing more elements for the purpose of punctuating the transformations and continuities experienced in the initial years of consolidation of a new historical bloc, the military and its civilian allies, at national level by the progressive wing of the Catholic Church.

From the First Republic [1889-1930] onwards, a continual dispute between forces for hegemony within society was witnessed. Despite its separation from the State, the Church maintained itself as the controller of a broad network of institutions which then provided it with a capillarity and educating power for both the dominant and the dominated classes. The institution continued to draw on powerful ideological material, formed by literature and by the press, even including parish bulletins, and by the school and university organization which it retained. It also maintained the clergy (an organic body of intellectuals), religious orders and institutions entrusted to lay people with political or union aims (parties and Catholic unions) or ideological ones (Ação Católica). Portelli comments on this point:

In reality, the Church actually represents all of the aspects which Gramsci analyses in civil society; on the one hand, ideology disseminated and adapted to the entire social body; on the other hand, the organizations and channels for dissemination of this ideology. Gramsci opposes to this vast and complex sphere of the superstructure that of political society. (Portelli, 1977, p.30)

This new condition obliged the Church to re-formulate strategies, thereby creating the Project for so-called "neocristandade" [neochristianity], capable of forging a new social organization in which Catholicism would come to provide the moral and cultural unity of the nation, despite the relative formal independence of the State and the political sphere. In addition to demanding a bureaucratic approximation with the bourgeoisie and the new urban elites, this model also proposed an investment in the training of lay intellectuals and in the education of the masses, as well as more participation by the laity in a number of decisions of the practical life of the Church.

The action of Catholic intellectuals, during the first decades of the twentieth century, created a new symbolic universe for the institution, in which it affirmed itself as the intermediary between the State and society. An example of the re-establishment of this Catholic hegemony is the founding of the Centro D. Vital, in Rio de Janeiro, in 1922, which would take on the production of the magazine A Ordem [The Order] an important source for the dissemination of ecclesiastical ideas. The Centro D. Vital hence had as its principal objective of the dissemination of Catholic ideas and would be at the forefront of the important changes which occurred during the following decade: it launched the bases for Ação Católica in Brazil, in 1933; it created the Confederação Nacional da Imprensa Católica [National Confederation of the Catholic press]; it encouraged the emergence of Catholic universities and of the Liga Eleitoral Católica [Catholic Electoral League] (LEC).

In this way, the dynamics of the field of Catholicism, through Ação Católica and other movements derived from it, such as the Círculos Operários Católicos [Catholic Workers' Circles] and Juventudes especializadas [Specialized youth movements],25 was updated as a "strategy for articulation, training and mobilization of the laity around the public affirmation of Catholic identity and the defense of its moral and social positions" (Oliveira, 2010).

From 1930 onwards, the social question would take up a central position in government speeches. In particular, the working class received the attention of the public policies of Getúlio Vargas, since this contributed to limiting the oligarchical power of the historical bloc, recently replaced by the urban-industrial bourgeoisie. In this way, Vargas' state designed a project for "collaboration between classes", transforming the working class into a "partner" of the government, with a discourse of harmony between classes. The anti-Communist ideal also presented itself as a further axis between the interests of the State and of the Church.

After 1945, with the political crisis of the Estado Novo and the emergence of a democratic discourse, the State would attempt to disassociate itself from the dictatorial State and from then on, project its self-image as an opponent of the government. "What had been positive and the guarantor of harmony and order became paternalism, which was illegal and anti-democratic. A new discourse was invented, more appropriate to a new age" (Sousa, 2002, p.242).

From this period onwards, until the eve of the civil-military coup d'état in 1964, the formation of a new historical bloc was incubated within the Catholic Church. The "social question", disseminated as a strategy of hegemony during the 1930s, developed spectacularly throughout the 1950s and 60s, conquering important sections of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Many priests and bishops committed to projects such as the Ligas Camponesas [Peasant Leagues] or the Movimento de Educação de Base [Basic Education Movement] (MEB) and operated with the Juventude Operária Católica [Young Catholic Workers] (JOC) and the Juventude Universitária Católica [Young Catholic Students] (JUC). This generation of lay and ecclesiastical militants forged a discourse critical of the institutional framework represented by the hierarchy and developed a body of ideas which defined the Church's mission as social transformation through commitment in the field of politics.

This discourse had as its characteristic, the overestimation of the autonomy of militants, seeking to strengthen the idea of the ecclesiastical agent as a mere auxiliary in the process of collective organization, seeking to emphasize a "basic" character for its movements. At the same time, taking the interpretation of (Bourdieu 1989) as a reference, we cannot lose sight of the unequal relationship experienced between priests/bishops and lay people, since they found themselves inserted into a division of labor which was hierarchical par excellence. The proximity of relations between priests and lay people, the choice not to use the cassock and the use of simple and direct language are factors which undoubtedly contributed to reformulate a symbolic universe which previously sought to strengthen this distance and disparity of conditions. At the same time, the sacredness of the condition of clergyman inscribed in the popular imagination would be felt in the manner of relating to a member of the hierarchical body, not to mention the difference in the use of oratory and the power of conviction which this religious condition presupposed.

Even in the face of this observation, sectors of the Catholic Church took the expansion of the role of lay people within it to its ultimate consequences and with this, provided the grass roots with greater power of intervention. At this point, identities gained new meanings, despite continuing to orient themselves, to a greater or lesser degree, by the codes determined by the structure.

In this way, the polarization experienced by political society during the 1950s and start of the 1960s was also felt inside the Catholic Church within Brazil. Beside the Catholic movements identified as progressive, we may also cite the existence of the "rosário em família" [Rosary in the family] and of the "marchas da família, com Deus, pela liberdade" [Marches of the family with God for freedom] campaigns. A struggle for hegemony within the field of Catholicism itself thus becomes evident.

Soon after the establishment of the military regime, the Church officially offered support to the new historic bloc, demonstrating the hegemony of the Conservative bloc within the Catholic Church. During these initial years, cooperation took place between the military and ecclesiastical hierarchies. We may thus speak of the proximity of objectives, maintenance of order and discipline and defense of authority and capitalism, and of ideology in the rejection of any socialist or communist experiment and of collaboration between classes.

This same balance of forces would be overturned during the 1970s and 1980s, when a body of organic intellectuals, committed to the project of combating "social injustices" would formulate an anti-capitalist discourse of grassroots empowerment, grounded in a very solid ideology, that of Liberation Theology. Many of its ideas were disseminated by the Catholic ranks and at times, a more aggressive discourse was adopted by the Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil [National Conference of Bishops of Brazil] (CNBB) itself, an organization which, par excellence, represented the thinking of Brazilian bishops. During the 1960s, these progressive sectors were already more or less developed, although the official discourse of the institution was still very closely linked to the military government.

Since this was a highly pluralistic institution in terms of its ideological colors, in 1967, the moment on which this study focuses, it was already possible to perceive a well-organized network of priests and bishops, who incorporated the idea of a "committed faith" and who mobilized elements of the Church itself (communication network, physical space, political influence, etc.), available to it to regiment and support actions of its basic movements and even of organizations on the political left. It was this interplay of forces between the progressive clergy and the military government, which we shall analyses more carefully, on the basis of the imprisonment of the young people of Judica.


In November 1967, four young men belonging to the Judica26 Catholic movement were arrested by soldiers after having been detained for distributing pamphlets regarded as subversive. Two members of this movement, Natanael José da Silva (Chairman) and Jorge Gonzaga (Sports and cultural director), accompanied by the Deacon Guy Michel Thibault and the Seminarist Carlos Rosa, decided, following mass, to go for a drive around the dioceses in order to distribute a number of pamphlets to show their indignation at the social situation in Volta Redonda.27 The pamphlet denounced the terrible living conditions to which the majority of the Brazilian population were subjected, above all the working class, and its content criticized the imperialist policy of the United States within Brazil. It concluded by calling for the mobilization of "workers in the city or in the field, employees, students and intellectuals"28 to take part in the fight against the dictatorship.

According to the report by the Municipal Truth Commission of Volta Redonda (CVVR), the group was followed by a patrol of the Military Police of the 1stArmored Infantry Battalion (AIB) and taken to the Battalion headquarters to give evidence. Already in the Army vehicle, Jorge Gonzaga reported that they had been physically attacked, receiving slaps, punches and verbal threats. The detained young men were kept in solitary confinement, remaining incommunicado for a month. They were then accused of crimes of subversion, in accordance with the National Security Law.

This episode occurred during the morning of 6 November. On the 10th and 11th of the same month, a search was carried out of the rooms of Guy Thibault and Carlos Rosa, who lived at the Bishop's residents, in order to "search and apprehend portraits, books and subversive material".29 The incident caused a malaise with the Bishop of Volta Redonda, insofar as he considered the attempt at an "invasion" of his house without prior authorization to be abusive, in addition to criticizing the repressive attitude of the military, with regard to the imprisonment of the young men, who had already been unreachable for several days.

Despite holding a search and apprehension mandate, the officials were persuaded by the priest Bernardo Thus to await the arrival of the Bishop, who was in a neighboring city, to search the rooms of the imprisoned residents. This fact broadly demonstrated the effort by the Church to maintain its autonomy with regard to the local state authority and at the same time, the mutual respect between the authorities, giving priority to the approach of negotiation, as shall become clear below.

On the occasion, D. Waldyr also expressed his displeasure with regard to the "ostentatious character of the force" at the door of his residence, causing a climate of fear and suspicion among his apostolate. It is interesting to note how the public dimension of his figure was deployed not only as a mechanism for affirming his local influence to the military but also as a factor of responsibility before his congregation, when faced with a suspicion of subversion of ecclesiastical authority itself and a concern to see his figure disconnected from any connotation of a political order.

Colonel Armênio Pereira, the commander of the barracks and Colonel of the Infantry of the Army, would henceforth remain in the local memory as the principal agent of the military forces responsible for the persecution and imprisonment of all of those considered as subversive, until 1969, the period during which he commanded the Battalion. In particular, the commander of the 1st AIB undertook a defamatory and hostile campaign against the so-called "progressive clergy". As is proven by the documents of the SNI, the 1st AIB systematically monitored all of the activities associated with the Diocese of Barra do Piraí/Volta Redonda, registered in many monitoring reports and in the three IPMs [Military Police Investigation] brought against the Bishop D. Waldyr in subsequent years.

In addition to Colonel Armênio, the Lieutenant-Colonel Gladstone Pernasetti Teixeira, rapporteur of the IPM of the Judica case, was indicated by the prisoners as the most violent in carrying out the interrogations. Carlos Rosa, testifying to the CVVR, reported: "He threatened me the entire time, threatened to send me to the DOI-Codi, threatened to send me to various torture centers, didn't he? But didn't go further than threats. And it's evident that when they wanted to know something and I didn't speak, they hit me".30 Jorge Gonzaga, also testifying to the CVVR, made clear the level of threats which had occurred during the interrogations: "Gladstone put a pistol on the table like this at 3 o'clock in the morning. 'Hey man, why don't you confess that you're a communist son of a bitch so I can shoot you in the head right now'. They couldn't stand it any more, so it was psychological pressure".31

The collected testimonies demonstrate that one of the objectives of Colonel Armênio and his subordinates consisted of exploiting the incident to prove the involvement of the Bishop D. Waldyr in distributing the pamphlets, and this because since his arrival in Volta Redonda, the Bishop had made clear his proximity to the working classes and his criticism of the military dictatorship. As a member of the progressive sectors of the Catholic Church, D. Waldyr had displeased the military for the first time when he refused to celebrate mass to commemorate the anniversary of the "1964 Revolution", in April 1967.

In reply to the order by Colonel Armênio to search the rooms of the seminarists, on 14 November, the local bishop published a declaration in the newspaper Jornal do Brasil which became known as the "seven deadly sins", using the "weapons" available to him as the religious authority in the city and making use of his influence in the political arena. Despite being long, this document deserves to be transcribed, insofar as it represents the intervention of priests and bishops and political issues, understood by them as the social question. The letter states the following:

While Colonel Armênio is concerned with discovering subversive individuals, I am concerned:

1) about a wage agreement which has been dragging on for five months, in the meantime with various workers deprived of even 'the crumbs falling from the table of their Lord';

2) I am concerned about the fact that for some, this increase adds NCr$ 160.00 to their salary, while for others, the increase represents more or less NCr$ 21.00 which, added to their current salary, reaches more or less NCr$ 150.00, a quantity less than the simple increase in the former. The bread that they eat is the same price. The meat that they don't eat is the same price as it is for those who eat it;

3) I am concerned that this increase will not cover the outstanding balance of the workers, which is already a concern for CSN, and which hundreds of workers, on payment day, will take home, causing sadness in some households, arguments and others and despair for many, putting the stability of the family at stake;

4) I am concerned about the high level of mental illness among workers, not only new ones, but old ones. We are also alarmed by the number of alcoholics;

5) I am concerned about the maintenance of social castes: Laranjal is for... Vila is for... Flats are for... This creates rivalries between classes. These are islands which are created;

6) I am concerned about the community life of residents in houses which do not belong to them. I know that CSN itself has been concerned about this for several years. Since the houses do not belong to them and they cannot buy them, nobody feels stable and safe, whence the apathy for anything in the city. This indifference between humans is pernicious to human relationships;

7) I am concerned about the excess supply of labor and the exploitation of it by a number of companies taking advantage of the situation, imposing arbitrary payments, disrespecting current legislation.


All of these are pastoral concerns which, together with the others of our ministry, oblige me to see, outside of my residence, the causes which may lead to the despair of subversion.32

In addition to the strong tone of denunciation, this declaration firstly demonstrates a pastoral position which stands behind the grassroots and is more alert to class problems. In drawing up a discourse closer to the typical union and labor claims, D. Waldyr ultimately expands the field of action and the legitimacy of the Church. At the same time, we must piece together a grammar of the discourses drawn up by these progressive sectors in order not to reduce his vision of the world to strictly political aspects. All criticism of a political coin is preceded by the affirmation of typically Catholic moral values, the family, private property, at the same time highlighting a doctrinal continuity, a basis and ideological justification of the order of the transcendental.

On the same day, D. Waldyr wrote another letter, this time addressed to Colonel Armênio Pereira, responsible for the establishment of this IPM, containing a copy of his declaration in the JB, stating: "This is what I said. With regard to the interpretation and comments which they may wish to make regarding my note, this is not my responsibility".33 The route of dialogue reveals itself to be the most recommended, as it appears in the discourse in the JB, notwithstanding disagreements with the regime and the confrontation of forces.

On the 18th, D. Waldyr sent another letter, addressed to various priests in his dioceses and neighboring dioceses, requesting the dissemination of his declaration published on the 14th. One of the letters, sent to Frei Marcos, of Angra dos Reis, stated the following:

Please find attached these brochures which repeat the report in the Jornal do Brasil of 14/11. This report is authentic. Not everyone found out about the report. The Fathers thought that wider dissemination would be necessary. Tomorrow in all of the masses, it may be read in the place of the sermon and distributed at the door of the Church to those adults who wish to take it home. It may be read by a lay person, after the person celebrating Mass gives notice that it is a clarification by the Bishop.34

This is an excellent example of the highly organized Solidarity network created between priests and bishops, mobilized in the clash of forces against the military regime, in affirming a position of power by these clergymen in civil society. During this period, the Church presented itself as an important alternative means of communication. Having a very broad internal structure, internal mechanisms for the dissemination of news and a capillarity which transcended the plane of the press, both national and local, many members of the clergy and lay people succeeded in bypassing censorship and mobilizing efforts on various occasions, specifically by virtue of the constitution of a network of this type. Masses and sermons took on a new social function, thereby presenting themselves as a space for communication and criticism, within a censorious and repressive regime.

The Bishop's attitude evidently caused another case of malaise with the regime. For example, on the day of celebration of the dominical mass, the priest Natanael de Moraes Campos, of the Church of Santa Cecília, received a search and apprehension warrant, due to the distribution of the pamphlet disseminated at D. Waldyr's request for the clarification of the episode of the imprisonment of the young people of Judica at the Sunday mass. On the other hand, this reveals the military's highly effective monitoring system, which deployed various officers in monitoring the movements of those considered suspect or of the so-called "enemies" of the nation, a situation which would intensify, as the structuring of the military regime progressed. We observe here that even during the initial years of the civil-military dictatorship, when the relations between Church and State were satisfactory, members of the Catholic Church already had their activities monitored by local military agents, being, as a minimum, considered suspect and susceptible to provide explanations of their actions. The suspicion of subversion did not spare these progressive sectors, despite the Catholic institution claiming its autonomy to deal with "deviant cases" within its ecclesiastical body.

On analyzing the documentation, we may verify a constant disputing of authority: military versus ecclesiastical. D. Waldyr received a letter from the Bishop D. José Castro Pinto, who had interceded with the military authorities in this case, with the objective of ensuring that the bishop's authority was respected by the military leaders and at the same time, but this episode did not have more serious consequences for the relations between Church and State. The appeal of the Bishop is in this direction:

The General [General Commander of the 1st Army] is willing to instruct his troops in the sense of what was proposed by the President Castelo Branco to consult the Ecclesiastical Authority first, whenever a case arises. If I may entreat your Excellency to do something, it is that you talk with General Ramiro, who will visit you where you wish, at the Episcopal residence or anywhere else. 35

On the one hand, the ecclesiastical authorities demanded respect for the internal autonomy of the institution, which had to have the right to resolve its problems with its hierarchical or lay subordinates before the interference of any other body of the State. On the other hand, a concern was observed on the part of the Catholic hierarchy to intercede in this case in the direction of maintaining good relations with the military. The interplay of forces was continuous and complex, insofar as it entailed a diversified range of thinking. It nevertheless had the capacity to adjust and pacified the internal and political divergences, maintaining the unity of the historic bloc.


This case also produced two very interesting documents from the perspective of the mechanisms for control created by the military after 1964 and their respective institutional bodies: the defense material for the four young men, drawn up by the attorney Lino Machado Filho, and the declaration of a dissenting vote by the Minister Pery Bevilaqua. Both documents allow us to discuss the transformations in the legislation of the military regime and the establishment of acts of prison and judgement, by the Military Courts. They also provide us with the elements to reflect on the defense mechanisms which were accessible prior to 1968 and the uses made of Justice in general.

According to the analysis by (Dreifuss 1981), the civil-military coup d'état of 1964 was based on the articulation of three political forces which had been acting in a more or less coordinated manner since the 1950s: multinational capital associated with national capital, State capital and the military. The forces behind the coup which had planned the overthrow of the Goulart government were the result of a competent political-ideological articulation driven by the ideology of the Doutrina de Segurança Nacional e Desenvolvimento [Doctrine of National Security and Development], incubated within the context of the Escola Superior de Guerra[Higher School of War] (ESG). The principal objective was the establishment of a geopolitics capable of guaranteeing the security of the whole of the Southern Cone, in the sense of preventing the expansionist danger of international communism. Added to this goal was an attempt to strengthen the State in such a way as to permit the entry of foreign capital, with the aim of establishing an infrastructure capable of transforming the country into an economic power.

It was for this reason that a greater control of social movements was necessary, with an entire structure being established to combat the left and eliminate so-called "internal enemies". Over the following period of more than a decade, institutional acts and repressive laws would be enacted, with the aim of providing legitimacy to the regime and information entities would be created to monitor, identify and eliminate the internal "enemy". In a short period of time, different sectors of society would be included within the concept of "enemy" of the regime.

The episode of the imprisonment of the Judica militants is interesting in this sense, since it allows a verification of how the information system of the military operated in practice and how the development of its repressive actions occurred, which, only one year later, culminated in the passing of the Ato Institucional n o 5 [Institutional Act No. 5](AI-5). The generalized climate of suspicion provoked by the supposedly right of Communist revolution in the country, added to the identification of subversive acts in the actions of the widest range of social groups, provided the political tone for the context of the time.

Already in 1964, the Serviço Nacional de Informações [National Information Service] (SNI) was created, devised by General Golbery do Couto e Silva, under the Castelo Branco government. This body was responsible for the creation of a network of information which prepared files on some 400,000 individuals, relying on the aid of North American consultants.

The six-page document of the defense attorney, Dr. Lino Machado Filho, regarding the Judica case, is a rich example for discussing the disputes between the military and ecclesiastical authorities, as well as for identifying the way in which the military circumvented or disrespected the current law and conversely, the arguments for the defense based on legitimacy of the legal system inherited from the fragile preceding democratic period.

In this way, the relationship between the Executive and the Judiciary developed in a tense and complex manner. From the first days of the military regime, the persecution and imprisonment of citizens falling under Law No. 1802 of 5 January 1953, which defined crimes against the political and social order. Until October 1965, the two powers entered into constant attrition, since the judgement of crimes considered as political fell to the ordinary courts, with the Supremo Tribunal Federal [Supreme Federal Court] (STF), in general acquitting those accused due to lack of evidence.

Angélica (Coitinho 2010) sees in the drafting of AI-2 a strengthening of the more hardline sectors of the Armed Forces, in so far as it increased the number of ministers of the Supreme Federal Court from 11 to 16 as the solution found to the amp hour's existing between the more extreme wing of the regime and those considered more moderate. Another measure in the same direction consisted of the transfer of responsibility for the judgement of civilians who committed crimes against the internal security of the country, i.e. those falling under Law No. 1802, to the Superior Tribunal Militar [Higher Military Court] (STM), a decision which was maintained with the enactment of the Lei de Segurança Nacional [National Security Law] of 1967. In this way, the Military Courts became the guarantor of the internal unity of the military Corporation, with the ideological body provided by the National Security Doctrine.

The first stage of the judgment of cases consisted of the establishment of the IPM, in which the determination of the crime and its authors were determined. At the same time, as was highlighted in the book Brasil: Nunca Mais [Brazil: Never Again], the so-called "preliminary interrogations" were characterized by inaccessibility and physical and mental mistreatment, as we shall see in the Judica case. On many occasions, not even the Military Courts were notified of the detentions and the procedural deadlines established by the National Security Law itself were often disregarded.

Following this, the case passed into the sphere of the Auditoria Militar [Military Audit], the first instance of the military courts. An appeal to the second body was still possible, the STM, consisting of 15 life ministers appointed by the President of the Republic. This body was highlighted by lawyers at the time as the most important one in the legal game, since it was the only one which maintained a certain neutrality and independence. Anthony (Pereira 2010) nevertheless believes that in reality, it was a strategy to oblige these magistrates to judge on the basis of the law and not on their personal convictions. This is proven by the statistics compiled by the Brasil: Nunca Mais group, which concluded that the majority of the decisions issued in the first instance were upheld by the STM, with rare exceptions in which the penalties were reduced.

In the case analyzed here, the arguments imposed by the attorney, contracted by the diocese of Volta Redonda itself, demonstrate confidence in the law on the part of the Church and the activation of legal mechanisms to prove the unconstitutionality of the imprisonment of the young people and of their inaccessibility to date after 5 days in prison. Above all, this was a dispute in the legal field. There was hence a credibility in the law, among those subject to political persecution, the most common being the recourse to habeas corpus, until the decreeing of the AI-5.

As such, on 16 November, the defending counsel filed a request for habeas corpus in favor of the four young men, on establishment of the IPM. In this case, No. 1407, Lino Machado Filho requested that the inaccessibility of the imprisoned young men cease, so that they could defend themselves freely and that "due to the manifest incompetence of the military authorities in trying and judging them, the investigation should be attributed to the civil authority".36

In recounting the facts, the attorney listed a series of elements intended to demonstrate the illegality of this ruling by the military authorities and at the same time, to state the disrespect for the authority of the Bishop of Volta Redonda:

Nor is the unchallenged violence unknown, practiced against the law and against order; against the law and against justice; against the inviolability of the home, of the domicile of the bishopric, by the party responsible for the Investigation, in carrying out initiatives aiming to obtain evidence against the detainees.

On the other hand, not even the enforcing authorities denied the seizure of the minivan belonging to the bishopric, after having been rammed by the military vehicle, on the night of the 5th 6th of this month.

Finally, the certainty that the detainees are imprisoned and without any communication with the world, with their family members, with their protector, with the bishopric cannot be denied, after Colonel Armênio Pereira, Commander of the First Armored Infantry Battalion denied that a representative of His Eminence, the Bishop of Volta Redonda had been imprisoned, that is to say, he had failed to tell the truth.

The military apparatus for investigations, from which comments emerged of suspected imprisonment or conduct against that Prince of the Church, compromising ecclesiastical authority, its incommunicado detention, its authority, its condition of Pastor, cannot deny the precepts which grant to public men as such, to the Universal Church, treatment of respect, consideration and dignity that the very Christian conscience of the Brazilian people obliges and imposes. 37

What is at play here is a legal question and another moral one: the illegality of the judgement by the Military Court and the disrespect for Episcopal authority. Its arguments are hence formulated in the sense of demonstrating the abuses committed by the military in legal terms and calling on the conflict between authorities. This case represents a series of excesses by the authority committed on various other occasions, leaving clear the increase in the power of the bodies of repression and the "backwardness" of the legislation, in accordance with the more radical conception of the Armed Forces, which obstructed the authoritarian actions of the regime. It should be remembered that the event occurred at the end of 1967 and that the more hardline sectors of the Armed Forces had already begun to argue for a central information body and a well-structured political police, which would result in 1969 in the creation of the Departamento de Operações Internas e Centro de Operações de Defesa Interna [Department of Internal Operations and Centre for Internal Defense Operations] (DOI-Codi).

The request for habeas corpus, as was practice, was denied. At the same time, it is interesting to analyses the declaration of the dissenting vote by the Minister General Pery Bevilaqua. The STM judge between 1965 and 1969 was well-known for his impartiality and respect for the law. Renato Lemos highlights that in general, Bevilaqua gave a favorable opinion to the accused, which was possible due to the large number of badly constructed cases, but frequently dissented in the decisions issued by the STM (Lemos, 2004). This fact demonstrates the divergences existing within the military, whether of an ideological or of a strategic nature, as noted by Fico. It is clear here that the Armed Forces did not constitute a monolithic bloc and for the entire military period, we may identify internal disputes for power. At the same time, the fact that Bevilaqua's vote was discordant is indicative of the empowerment of "hardline" sectors within the Armed Forces, with these sectors intending to establish their hegemony and contemptuous of civilian bodies. The dissenting minister stated:

I grant the order for the immediate release, so that they may be free to reply to the I.P.M., given that the military authority does not have functional competence to establish an investigation in the civil area, to determine crimes provided in the L.S.N., or even to arrest a civilian, except in the cases of art. 146 of the C.J.M., when "any civilian may and the military must imprison any person found committing a crime, or after the perpetration of the same, attempting to flee, pursued by public outcry. Only in these two latter cases shall imprisonment be considered to have been made in flagrante delicto". The individual, civilian or military, who imprisons a criminal under the conditions described in art. 146 of the C.J.M., shall have exhausted his legal action, delivering the prisoner to the competent legal authority for the drafting of the instrument of imprisonment for in flagrante delicto offences, which he shall sign as the driver of the prisoner or even as witness and nothing else. The case shall then take its normal course. Members of the Army who found the civilians, detainees of this H.C., distributing suspect bulletins on a public highway, could at most have arrested them by the order of the Local Police Delegate, apprehend the bulletins and present them to the police authority, to which they should also deliver the seized bulletins. I said "the most that they could do", since the procedure of the Cont. Plus of the Patrol could also confine itself to noting the number plate of the vehicle, collect the bulletins thrown into the street and next them to the "service report" which they would give to the duty officer, on returning to the Barracks. And then, the Head of the Unit, would proceed according to the law, in such a way that the competent civil authority would act in accordance with the relevant legal provisions. In this way, there would be no impunity, or collision of authority or discredit for anyone. There would be no illegal coercion by the civil authorities, for the ecclesiastical authorities or for the accused .38

According to the minister, in this case, there was a "denaturing of the functions of the elements included in the 'glorious Armed Forces' attributed to the exercise of police missions not within their remit". In disagreeing with this stance, he stated that:

It is becoming necessary and urgent for the higher military authorities to act on the troops under their command in the sense of providing a suitable orientation for them, in order to ensure the cessation of the distortions of the military function which have been found to be multiplying in various regions, with serious inconveniences for the Armed Forces and for the Civil Power.39

In this statement by the Minister Bevilaqua, we may identify the thesis, which circulated among the military sectors, of the excessive "autonomy" of certain bodies linked to the more radical sectors, which intended to operate independently of the will of the President of the Republic and even of the current legislation.

The third point of the document of the defense lawyer also questions the legality of the imprisonment and incommunicado detention:

What the unchallenged facts reveal is that the detainees were arrested by military patrol, arrested because they were distributing pamphlets. Which pamphlets? Were the soldiers who were members of the patrol in a position to judge the content, the text, to then immediately arrest the detainees? Where is the legal definition for "this crime"? A crime not defined by law is not a crime. Which military authority would have ordered their arrest on this occasion? What is the legal capacity for seizing the vehicle of the bishopric? What is the evidence or who witnessed the crime allegedly practiced by the detainees? How and why was this prison violent?40

Following the arguments in defense of the four young prisoners, the attorney Lino Machado Filho asks the question "Who are the detainees?", to then evoke the individual trajectories of the accused. As a principal argument, he presents the Catholic faith of the young people as the principal ground for attesting to their innocence. The defense document alleges:

they are young people integrated into the local religious community, perhaps concerned with the world of today, even with misfortune; with the problems of yesterday, with their own future and that of this country, which they intend to serve and because they intend to serve, it is better7 and good that they study.


These are young people endowed with a profound Christian feeling, since they sought an environment for their dialogues within the Catholic youth movements; for their discussions; for the relief of their own souls, for the theatre of their aspirations, for the communion of their tendencies, with others, with more and more numerous young people; with priests, tutors, educators.


The detainees would not be and cannot be agitators, since these latter act on the masses or hide themselves under a cloak. They would not seek shelter in the Apostolic Church of Rome, which teaches, above all and first of all, that we are all brothers.41

In this way, the fact of being Catholic appears as an alibi and of being young is presented as a mixture of ingenuousness and eagerness for transformation, specific to use. Evoking a discourse based on nationalism and Catholic sentiment and hence in accordance with military doctrine, the defense builds its argument, after listing the unconstitutional grounds for this imprisonment. It then draws up a request for release:

The coercion which the detainees have been suffering, is manifestly illegal, since they were not caught in flagrante delicto, this flagrante delicto was not recorded in accordance with the law. They were not arrested by decision of a previously existing investigation. Since they have been imprisoned for more than three days and kept incommunicado, they are not subject to military authority, since the crime, if perpetrated, is not the competence of the Military Court. Requesting that the coercing authority be called on, in terms of the petition, with the requirements of an instrument of qualification of imprisonment for flagrante delicto crimes; of search and apprehension of the instrument determining the opening of the investigation, we request the granting of the order so that the detainees be released from incommunicado detention and from the trial.42

At the same time, in the report of the IPM brought against the four young men and in the suggestion of a IPM against the bishop D. Waldyr, arising from the action of the bishop in this case, the judges concluded as follows: that it was Carlos Rosa de Azevedo "who conceived and planned the printing and distribution of the pamphlets which were characteristically subversive, encouraging class struggle"; that Guy Thibault was aware of the content of the pamphlets and assisted Carlos with their dissemination, influencing Natanael and Jorge Gonzaga. These latter men were also guilty, on becoming aware of the content of the pamphlets, of agreeing to their dissemination. And referring to the local ecclesiastical authority, they issued a rebuke:

Since this was the attitude of Bishop Dom Waldyr Calheiros de Novaes, who arranged for the distribution of his interview through the manifesto, the printing of which he ordered, as has been seen ... certainly translated his intention of creating animosity between his Diocese ... and the Army, in particular the local Military Garrison, i.e., the 1st AIB.43

The four young men were then considered to be guilty of a crime against the National Security Law, demonstrating the power that the military body, located in the 1st AIB, had in the region and with the judiciary. The judgement of the young men of Judica highlighted the deterioration in relations between Church and State, already in the first years of establishment of the military regime. Beyond March 1968, highlighted as a catalyst of conflicts between Church and State, I intend to demonstrate a procedural trajectory, marked more by continuities than abrupt changes.

With a decision unfavorable to the young people, they then had to appeal to the second instance, the 2nd Audit of the Air Force. In the new requests, written by Lino Machado Filho and dated 10 May and 30 September 1968, the reference to the legality of the imprisonment appears once again, since there was no "recording of any flagrante delicto". The lawyer also questioned the fact that the witnesses for the accusation were all soldiers of the 1st Armored Infantry Battalion of Barra Mansa, the same ones who arrested the young people and took them to the barracks on the morning of 5-6 November.44 As may be observed on the basis of the testimonies provided by the soldiers who testified against the young people in the proceedings, it may be perceived that they were subject to psychological coercion by Colonel Armênio, which may be demonstrated by the manner of inducing an answer in the form of a question, as in the following example: "Isn't it true that you saw the accused throw this document out of the window of the minivan?".45

At the same time, the principal witness for the defense, the Bishop D. Waldyr, was prevented from testifying in the proceedings, on the allegation that he was a friend of the defendants, above all of Guy Thibault. With the objective of validating the Bishop's testimony, already collected in the IPM, and characterizing it as a legal testimony, the attorney drew up an argument on the basis of the idea of illegal coercion, anchored in the suitability of the ecclesiastical authority, and the guarantee to all citizens of the right of defense, based on paragraph 15, article 150 of the Federal Constitution.

The reporting judge of the proceedings in this case, Ernesto Geisel, upheld the arguments of the defense lawyer, expressing "that there was no illegal constraint on the testimony of the ecclesiastical authority",46 but with the qualification that his testimony would be heard as a "compromised testimony", in view of his "link with the case". Despite the testimony of D. Waldyr, the deportation of the principal party indicted in the proceedings, Guy Thibault, of French nationality was unanimously decreed, despite the question of order raised by the lawyer Lino Machado Filho.

We have here a demonstration of the deterioration in relations between the local bishop and the Armed Forces. The Regional Labor Delegate of Barra Mansa, Mr. Palmir Silva, was dismissed by the "hardline military", at the request of Colonel Sá Campelo, since he had the headquarters of the body blessed by D. Waldyr Calheiros, as was stated in an article in the Jornal do Brasil of 22 March 1968. The case also involved international organizations, such as Amnesty International, and the local population in the sense of paying the fees of the contracted attorney through voluntary contributions, since they could not use the last tithe of the Diocese, since there was no consensus among the apostolate.

Finally, on 6 November 1968, the judgement of the young men of Judica took place, resulting in a sentence of 8 months of imprisonment for the French deacon, who was already in Toulouse (France), and for Carlos Rosa. The other two boys were acquitted. At the same time, after the release of the young men, there was a new judgement resulting in the imprisonment of Jorge Gonzaga (9 months) and Natanael José da Silva (10 months). Once again, the intervention of D. Waldyr would be necessary, who once again demonstrated the forced to negotiate with the military unit which received the young men. According to Jorge Gonzaga, D. Waldyr, beside the attorney Lino Machado Filho, had established an agreement that the young men would not be sent to the prison of Ilha Grande. Ultimately, they served their sentences at the Air Force Base of Galeão, being then sent to a depot of the Air Force in Rio de Janeiro (DARJ). Cases such as these would be even more frequent in the following years, involving imprisonment and even deaths.


This case of imprisonment of the members of Judica helps us to reflect on the advances of the repressive structure defended by the more authoritarian sectors of the Armed Forces and on the execution of these actions beyond the judicial regulations. Moreover, even before the clash of authorities, the principle of respect for the Catholic Church and its representatives is notable, which even the more radical military figures had to admit at that point. During the 1970s, the disagreements and clashes between Church and State became more frequent, even if everything indicates that they sought to resolve tense situations through negotiation and dialogue.

In this sense, it is important to understand both the Armed Forces and the Catholic institution as spaces with multiple ideological colors and political stances, as the case presented here seeks to demonstrate. While certain Catholic sectors aligned with the military policies, providing them with full support in favor of restoring or preserving order, on the other hand, there was a network of clergy cited here, of which D. Waldyr is an example, which opposed the stances of persecution and repression which proliferated throughout the country, swelling the group of clergymen who directed the struggle for human rights.

In addition, as historians, we must abandon the pretension of a logical and consistent narrative and deal with the contradiction of social, individual or collective actions audaciously and methodically. As Serbin demonstrates in his revealing analysis of the Bipartite Commission, established during the 1970s, in which an effort was made at an understanding between Church and State, Catholic figures recorded in the memory of the struggle against the military dictatorship, such as the influential layman Cândido Mendes or the progressive D. Paulo Evaristo Arns, kept up many dialogues with military sectors known to be responsible for the repressive structure installed within the country, such as the Army Chief of Staff, Antônio Carlos da Silva Muricy. This took place during the years highlighted as the "most severe" of the military regime.

D. Waldyr Calheiros was evidently no exception to this rule. The Bishop of Volta Redonda, like D. Adriano Hipólito and many others, were included in the list of subversive Catholics against whom various threats were made, and even imprisonment and acts of torture, especially during the 1970s. These same players nevertheless never ceased acting through the approach of dialogue with the military forces, nor did they fail to submit on one or other occasion to the appeals and possibly orders of their peers or hierarchical superiors. In dealing with actions of ecclesiastical agents, we cannot lose sight of the structure which trained them, which prescribed a set of moral and political actions and standards for action which ultimately oriented the discourse and worldview of these clergymen.

I have sought here to demonstrate the tools used to constitute the "deviant" attitude of the bishop D. Waldyr, i.e. to reconstruct on the basis of a small case the range of actions which these actors manipulated in the play of local forces, as well as the tools available and deployed by both authorities, religious and political, in the legal field, in a clear dispute for hegemony within society.


BOURDIEU, Pierre. O poder simbólico. Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Brasil, 1989. [ Links ]

COITINHO, Angelica do Carmo. O Superior Tribunal Militar durante a ditadura brasileira: a atuação do Ministro General de Exército Rodrigo Otávio Jordão Ramos (1973-1979). In: ENCONTRO REGIONAL DA ANPUH-RIO, 14. Memória e Patrimônio. Anais... Rio de Janeiro, jul. 2010. [ Links ]

DREIFUSS, René Armand. 1964: a conquista do Estado. Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes, 1981. [ Links ]

GRAMSCI, Antonio. Os intelectuais e a organização da cultura. Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1981. [ Links ]

KONDER, Leandro. Marxismo e Cristianismo. Encontros com a civilização Brasileira, Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileiro, n.6, 1978. [ Links ]

LEMOS, Renato. Justiça fardada: o general Peri Bevilaqua no Superior Tribunal Militar (1965-1969). Rio de Janeiro: Bom Texto, 2004. [ Links ]

MAINWARING, Scott. Igreja Católica e Política no Brasil-1916-1985. São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1989. [ Links ]

OLIVEIRA, Gustavo G. S. de. A globalização e a (des/re)articulação das identidades e práticas religiosas no cristianismo brasileiro. In: ENCONTRO ANUAL DA ANPOCS, 34. (ST 29: Religião e Globalização). Caxambu, MG, 2010. [ Links ]

PEREIRA, Anthony. Ditadura e repressão. São Paulo: Paz e Terra, 2010. [ Links ]

PORTELLI, Hugues. Gramsci e o Bloco Histórico. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1977. [ Links ]

SEMERARO, Giovanni. A Primavera dos anos 60: a Geração Betinho. São Paulo: Loyola, 1994. [ Links ]

SOUSA, Jessie Jane Vieira de. Círculos Operários: a Igreja Católica e o mundo do trabalho no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. UFRJ, 2002. [ Links ]

1 This study received a grant from the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico [National Council for Scientific and Technological Development] (CNPq).

1Para citar os atores de maior destaque, são eles: MAINWARING, 1989; KONDER, 1978; SEMERARO, 1994; e SOUSA, 2002.

2Trata-se da Juventude Agrária Católica (JAC), Juventude Estudantil Católica (JEC), Juventude Independente Católica (JIC), Juventude Operária Católica (JOC) e Juventude Universitária Católica (JUC).

3A Juventude Diocesana Católica foi organizada em 1966, sob a orientação do padre Barreto e com o apoio do bispo D. Waldyr Calheiros, com o intuito de reunir diversos movimentos da juventude católica que se encontravam espalhados pelos bairros de Volta Redonda, tais como Juventude Operária Católica (JOC), Associação Católica Juvenil (ACAJ), Comunidade de Jovens Cristãos (CJC), GFJ, FJEC e RJC, entre outros.

4Em depoimento à Comissão Municipal da Verdade de Volta Redonda, Carlos Rosa contou que tal panfleto foi escrito e reproduzido anteriormente por ele em mimeógrafo em uma igreja de Barra Mansa e revela, ainda, que esse não teria sido o primeiro panfleto de teor crítico à ditadura distribuído por ele na cidade. Em ocasiões anteriores, ele e um grupo de jovens católicos distribuíram panfletos semelhantes no portão da CSN, nas saídas dos turnos da noite. Eram ações muito rápidas, tendo em vista burlar a repressão.

5Panfleto Judica. Arquivo da Cúria Diocesana de Volta Redonda, 5 nov. 1967, Doc001.

6Interessante pensar sobre a lista de materiais apreendidos em seus quartos e perceber que tipo de leitura esses jovens religiosos estavam realizando: > Documentos apreendidos no quarto de Carlos Rosa de Azevedo - 11 nov. 1967: livros: Cuba, estopim do mundo, de Athos Vieira de Andrade; Além das torres do Kremlin, de Flávio Costa; Síntese de doutrina social, de Gabriel Galache; Uma escola social, de D. Aranzadi e C. Giner; Iniciação ao comunismo, de George Cronin; Cadernos Brasileiros, n.42; Estatutos do Círculo de Estudo e Orientação da Juventude Friburguense; 8 cadernos; 7 apostilas; 5 panfletos; 3 recortes de jornais e revistas; 14 folhas soltas de cadernos. > Documentos apreendidos de Guy Michel Camille Thibault: livros: A Revolução Brasileira, de Caio Prado Jr.; Apostila da Juventude Diocesana Católica (Judica); Relação de movimentos filiados à Judica. Esta relação nos ajuda a perceber, em primeiro lugar, uma preocupação com a realidade sociopolítica do país e uma aproximação com o pensamento de esquerda e com as experiências revolucionárias vividas na União Soviética e em Cuba. Assim, é interessante perceber a trajetória mesma de construção desse pensamento progressista gestado nesses anos no interior da Igreja.

7Depoimento de Carlos Rosa colhido pela Comissão Municipal da Verdade de Volta Redonda, 30 abr. 2014.

8Depoimento de Jorge Gonzaga colhido pela Comissão Municipal da Verdade de Volta Redonda, 24 mar. 2014.

9Declaração de Dom Waldyr Calheiros à imprensa - "Os sete pecados capitais". Volta Redonda, Arquivo da Cúria Diocesana de Volta Redonda, 14 nov. 1967, Doc006-008.

10Carta de Dom Waldyr ao Cel. Armênio Pereira. Arquivo da Cúria Diocesana de Volta Redonda, 14 nov. 1967, Doc005.

11Carta de Dom Waldyr Calheiros a Frei Marcos. Arquivo da Cúria Diocesana de Volta Redonda, 18 nov. 1967, Doc022.

12Carta de Dom José Castro Pinto a Dom Waldyr Calheiros. Volta Redonda, Arquivo da Cúria Diocesana de Volta Redonda, 21 nov. 1967, Doc028.

13Pedido de Habeas Corpus do advogado Lino Machado Filho. Arquivo da Cúria Diocesana de Volta Redonda, 16 nov. 1967, Docs. 012 a 019.

14Idem. Doc013.

15Declaração do voto do Min. Gen. Ex. Pery Constant Bevilaqua no Habeas Corpus n. 29.141. Arquivo da Cúria Diocesana de Volta Redonda, Doc. 032.

16Idem. Doc033.

17Idem. Doc016.

18Pedido de Habeas Corpus do advogado Lino Machado Filho. Volta Redonda, Arquivo da Cúria Diocesana de Volta Redonda, 16 nov. 1967, Doc015.

19Idem. Doc017.

20Sugestão de IPM contra Dom Waldyr Calheiros. Arquivo da Cúria Diocesana de Volta Redonda, 5 dez. 1967, Doc043.

21A Kombi foi interceptada e detida pelo Segundo Sargento do Exército, José de Oliveira Sampaio (comandante da patrulha), pelo soldado Argeu Alves da Costa (condutor) e pelo soldado Alécio Ribeiro Neves (motorista).

22Pedido de Habeas Corpus de Lino Machado Filho. Arquivo da Cúria Diocesana de Volta Redonda, 30 set. 1968, Doc081.

23Matéria "D. Valdir pode depor", Última Hora, 30 maio 1968.

24To cite the most notable actors: MAINWARING, 1989; KONDER, 1978; SEMERARO, 1994; e SOUSA, 2002.

25These were the Juventude Agrária Católica (JAC), Juventude Estudantil Católica (JEC), Juventude Independente Católica (JIC), Juventude Operária Católica (JOC) and the Juventude Universitária Católica (JUC).

26The Juventude Diocesana Católica [Catholic Diocesan Youth] was organised in 1966, under the orientation of father Barreto and with the support of Bishop D. Waldyr Calheiros, with the aim of bringing together various Catholic youth movements which were scattered throughout the neighbourhood of Volta Redonda, such as Juventude Operária Católica (JOC), Associação Católica Juvenil (ACAJ), Comunidade de Jovens Cristãos (CJC), GFJ, FJEC and RJC, etc.

27In a testimony to the Comissão Municipal da Verdade [Municipal Truth Committee] of Volta Redonda, Carlos Rosa stated that this pamphlet was previously written and reproduced by him on a mimeograph machine in a church in Barra Mansa and also revealed that this was not the first pamphlet with a tone critical of the dictatorship distributed by him in the city. On previous occasions, he and a group of young Catholics had distributed similar pamphlets at the gate of CSN, when the nightshift workers left. These were very rapid actions, aiming to circumvent the repression.

28Judica Pamphlet. Archive of the Diocesan Curia of Volta Redonda, 5 Nov. 1967, Doc001.

29 It is interesting to think of the list of materials seized from their rooms and to perceive the type of reading of these young religious people at the time: > Documents seized from the room of Carlos Rosa de Azevedo - 11 Nov. 1967: Books: Cuba, estopim do mundo [Cuba, the world's fuse], by Athos Vieira de Andrade; Além das torres do Kremlin [Beyond the towers of the Kremlin], by Flávio Costa; Síntese de doutrina social [Synthesis of Social Doctrine] by Gabriel Galache; Uma escola social [A social school], by D. Aranzadi and C. Giner; Iniciação ao comunismo [Introduction to communism], de George Cronin; Cadernos Brasileiros [Brazilian notebooks], No. 42; Estatutos do Círculo de Estudo e Orientação da Juventude Friburguense [Statutes of the Circle of Study and Orientation of the Youth of Friburgo]; 8 notebooks; 7 handouts; 5 pamphlets; 3 cuttings from newspapers and magazines; 14 loose notebook sheets. > Documents seized from Guy Michel Camille Thibault: Books: A Revolução Brasileira [The Brazilian revolution], by Caio Prado Jr.; Apostila da Juventude Diocesana Católica [Handout of Catholic Diocesan Youth] (Judica); Relação de movimentos filiados à Judica [Report on movements affiliated with Judica]. This report helps us to perceive, firstly, a concern with the sociopolitical reality of the country and an approximation to left-wing thinking and the revolutionary experiences of the Soviet Union and Cuba. In this way, it is interesting to perceive the very trajectory of the construction of this progressive thought incubated during these years within the Church.

30Testimony by Carlos Rosa, collected by the Comissão Municipal da Verdade de Volta Redonda, 30 April 2014.

31Testimony by Jorge Gonzaga collected by the Comissão Municipal da Verdade de Volta Redonda, 24 March 2014.

32Declaration by Dom Waldyr Calheiros to the press - "Os sete pecados capitais" [The seven deadly sins]. Volta Redonda, Archive of the Diocesan Curia of Volta Redonda, 14 Nov. 1967, Doc006-008.

33Letter from Dom Waldyr to Col. Armênio Pereira. Archive of the Diocesan Curia of Volta Redonda, 14 Nov. 1967, Doc005.

34Letter from Dom Waldyr Calheiros to Frei Marcos. Archive of the Diocesan Curia of Volta Redonda, 18 Nov. 1967, Doc022.

35Letter from Dom José Castro Pinto to Dom Waldyr Calheiros. Volta Redonda, Archive of the Diocesan Curia of Volta Redonda, 21 Nov. 1967, Doc028.

36Request for Habeas Corpus of the attorney Lino Machado Filho. Archive of the Diocesan Curia of Volta Redonda, 16 Nov. 1967, Docs. 012 a 019.

37Idem. Doc013.

38Declaration of the vote by Min. Gen. Ex. Pery Constant Bevilaqua in Habeas Corpus No. 29.141. Archive of the Diocesan Curia of Volta Redonda, Doc. 032.

39Idem. Doc033.

40Idem. Doc016.

41Request for Habeas Corpus by the attorney Lino Machado Filho. Volta Redonda, Archive of the Diocesan Curia of Volta Redonda, 16 Nov. 1967, Doc015.

42Idem. Doc017.

43Suggested IPM against Dom Waldyr Calheiros. Archive of the Diocesan Curia of Volta Redonda, 5 dez. 1967, Doc043.

44The minivan was intercepted and detained by the Second Army Sergeant, José de Oliveira Sampaio (Commander of the patrol), by the soldier Argeu Alves da Costa (driver) and by the soldier Alécio Ribeiro Neves (chauffeur).

45Request for Habeas Corpus by Lino Machado Filho. Archive of the Diocesan Curia of Volta Redonda, 30 Sep. 1968, Doc081.

46Article "D. Valdir pode depor" [D. Valdir may testify], Última Hora, 30 May 1968.

Received: March 30, 2012; Accepted: December 12, 2014

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