Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Ana Maria Bidegain

First Advisor's Committee Title



Catholic Church, Brazil, Dictatorship 1964-1985, United States-Brazil relations, National Security Doctrine, Liberationist Christianity, Helder Camara

Date of Defense



This thesis explores the American view of the Brazilian Catholic Church through the critical examination of cables produced by the U.S. diplomatic mission in Brazil during the period 1964-1972. This thesis maintains that the United States regarded the progressive catholic movement, and eventually the Church as a whole, as a threat to its security interests. Nonetheless, by the end of 1960s, the American approach changed from suspicion to collaboration as the historical circumstances required so. This thesis sheds light on the significance of the U.S. as a major player in the political conflict that affected Brazil in the 1964-1972 years in which the Brazilian Catholic Church, and particularly its progressive segments, played a fundamental role.




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