I have recently returned from a retreat orchestrated by the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation, in which I found much spiritual and intellectual improvement. In Advent and Lent, I was involved with another organization called Tradition in Action. They are similar, these two organizations, and I have been privileged to see some of their inner workings.
Tradition in Action is an organization emanating from Mr. Atila Guimarães, who was a significant figure in Tradition, Family, and Property under Mr. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. These folks were involved in the resistance to Communism (hence the name) at the heat of that conflict, 1950-1990, in Latin America and particularly Brazil. They wrote letters, communicated with council Fathers, and represented laypeople during the Second Vatican Council. They were influential at that time. This is referenced in Mr. Guimarães’s book, In the Murky Waters of Vatican II, which I wrote about a couple of months ago. After the death of Mr. de Oliveira, however, this organization, TFP, altered their approach of resistance to one of submission to the hierarchy of the Church, involving themselves more in Rosary rallies and the like. The group which became Tradition in Action separated at this point, and I am not sure if it was partly due to Mr. Guimarães’s book.
As for me, my wife and I found them pleasant, modest, and trusting individuals. They have a culture of refinement, and in their activity they seem to promote decorum almost above all else, earnestly desiring the formation of a majestic aristocracy, which they see as a key element to Catholic culture. They are intellectual but not academic. They seem to fit the role they mark out for themselves.
Without speaking beyond the limits of modesty, we found ourselves swiftly and thoroughly involved with them and, as suddenly, utterly cut off from them, in the space between Advent and Easter.
The Kolbe Center, on the other hand, presents itself rather more officially and professionally, in a mainstream manner, being full of PhDs and the active faculty of colleges, universities, and scientific organizations, men fresh from the bone fields of dragons and microbes. Despite this (and to no one’s greater surprise than my own, for I have been gifted by God with perhaps the greatest contempt of a college education ever to exist among men), the interior of this organization— its leadership and its members— is reliably one of humility, simplicity, constancy, and magnanimity. They seem to be people with no end of good works to do, and these in a genuinely efficacious manner, for they go from parish to parish simply teaching their expertise. Even this they do only by reluctance. They see on one hand the flock of ignorant sheep being quite literally butchered and sold to the enemies of God (“brain death” and organ “donation”), while on the other hand, they see the shepherds anointed by God by and large distracted. Rather than complain continually, exposing the nakedness of their fathers, garnering a rebellious spirit amongst the laypeople, they instead pray and discern heavily, and then fill up the need themselves under obedience to the Holy Father Pius XII, who commanded such in Humani Generis. They are careful in their obedience to Holy Mother Church, and they sorrow over the ills of the shepherds. They do not gloat over them.
Time remains to see whether they shall discover some contempt for me as did their peers, but Heaven knows how I deserve it. In the meantime, I earnestly recommend their works. All parishes should invite them. Their science is the salvation of many.