ROME—Plinio Correa de Oliveira is almost as peculiar in death as he was in life. Dr. Plinio, as he is still known by his devout followers, was a right-wing Catholic figure who founded the ultra conservative Tradition, Family and Property Association, known in Catholic circles as the TFP.
In the early 1960s, he famously came to Rome to protest the opening of the Second Vatican Council, which sought to modernize the Catholic Church in a changing era. He called such attempts at renewal “a point in history as sad as the death of our Lord” and handed out propaganda with similar sentiments.
In death, Dr. Plinio is said to be in close contact with Satan, who supposedly can be channeled by Brazilian exorcists. He also apparently rules the so-called afterlife to such an extent that his followers are convinced he controls climate change and is working toward the death of Pope Francis, according to Andrea Tornielli, who writes the Vatican Insider blog, and has published a series of articles outlining this saga worthy of a Dan Brown bestseller.
By getting rid of Pope Francis, some of the doctor’s followers believe, the way would be open for the Catholic Church to elect a more conservative leader in line with their more traditional practices.