Championing traditional Catholic values in a modern world.
The Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP) is an organization deeply rooted in Traditionalist Catholic principles, with a mission that spans across various continents, advocating for conservative and monarchist ideals. Founded by Brazilian intellectual, politician, and activist Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, TFP is part of a larger anti-communist and monarchist international movement. The American TFP, established in 1973 and legally incorporated as The Foundation for a Christian Civilization, Inc., marks a significant branch of this global network.
TFP’s inception traces back to the early 1970s, with the American branch forming from a group inspired by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira’s work, aiming to counteract communist influences and promote a Catholic counterrevolution. The Foundation for a Christian Civilization was incorporated in 1973, following earlier efforts by Brazilians to establish a North American affiliate. By 1975, the first American group was incorporated, and by 1977, a hermitage was established in Yonkers, New York, before moving to Spring Grove, Pennsylvania.
The organization has maintained close ties with leaders of the religious and political right, including notable figures within The Heritage Foundation and the Reagan administration. Over the years, TFP has evolved into a civil cultural organization dedicated to upholding Christian civilization values, merging in 1992 to form a single entity known as The Foundation for a Christian Civilization.
TFP operates as a non-profit charity, relying on donations to fund its activities, which include supporting the St. Louis de Montfort Academy and related organizations in North and South America. The organization’s financial transparency is evidenced through annual reports to the Internal Revenue Service.
TFP’s activities are diverse, ranging from participating in the Conservative Political Action Conference to opposing housing finance reform legislation and climate change discussions. TFP Student Action, the university campus outreach arm, engages in distributing literature, sponsoring speakers, hosting conferences, and organizing protests, particularly focusing on issues such as abortion and LGBT rights at Catholic universities.
Moreover, the American TFP staffs the Saint Louis de Montfort Academy, a boys’ boarding school in Herndon, Pennsylvania, offering a traditional Catholic education. The organization also runs Call to Chivalry summer camps, promoting nobility, chivalry, and a feudal societal structure as envisioned by Oliveira.
The American TFP has faced criticism, particularly for its anti-LGBT views, as highlighted by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Additionally, the organization’s fundraising and operational practices have been scrutinized, with some alleging that it exhibits characteristics of a cult, particularly in its aggressive recruitment strategies and the cult of personality surrounding its founder.
In various countries, TFP’s activities have sparked controversy, from opposing liberal and socialist trends in apartheid South Africa to engaging with like-minded conservative think tanks in Poland. Its stance on issues such as abortion, LGBT rights, and its conservative political alignments mark TFP as a polarizing entity within the broader context of religious and political discourse.
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property has been described as promoting extreme right political bias, anti-left propaganda, and being listed as a hate group based on its editorial practices and the nature of its publications.