In the last sixty years the mutation of the Spanish Catholic Church has been extraordinary. It is as though we had been watching a play of several act, complete with changes of scenery, of the plot and of the personality of the characters and even the emotional tone: furious in the thirties, exalted in the forties and fifties, troubling and inquiring in the sixties and discrete with a sense both of satisfaction and disillusion in the eighties . This rapid look over the history of the Catholic Church in Spain underlines an important fact about Church: as all human organizations Church tends to adapt to situations to survive. If we look at Church as a world organization in the past few years it neither condemns democratic or totalitarian regimes. There are the famous Encyclical Syllabus of Errors (1864) by Pope Pius IX who condemns some of liberalism's principles-such as public education or separation of Church and State-or the Encyclical Mit brennender Sorge in which racism is denounced, but Church doesn't namely condemned democracy or totalitarianism. As long as it can function freely and in keeping with its tenets and interest, Church isn't interested in political or economic policies of any State. If we look more closely at Church during Franco's regime, the same assessment can be made: when the Civil war erupted in July 1936, clerical support was overwhelmingly in favor of the military rebellion lead by Franco.
[...] Church and State needed each other to reconquest a shattered and in ruins country, but this permeation of the two institutions which are built one on each other is also the cause of his failure How did the Church regain Spain A. From the reestablishment of Church into the society The conquest of power: After the Concordat, the spiritual supremacy of the Spanish Catholic Church was recognized and ensured by a succession of laws and by the Concordat. But, more than a holy power, the Spanish Catholic Church wanted a temporal one, until then reserved to the Phalange. [...]
[...] Concerning the functioning of the Church itself, one main innovation was brought in: bishops had to retire at 75; the consequence is that 22 too old bishops had to leave their dioceses in Spain which triggered confrontations between Franco and the Holy See since the Caudillo found all the candidates too progressive. The year 1960 saw the multiplication of documents which asked for the relinquishment of the fiscal and judiciary privileges and to give up the right to sit in the Cortes. [...]
[...] When the war was over, the Spanish Catholic Church was in ruin and precariousness reigned in diocese affected by civil war. That's why the Spanish Catholic Church was overwhelmingly in favor of the military rebellion. From them, the priority was the rebuilding of the Christian faith in a shattered Spain, and Franco was the more prone to help them reaching such a challenge. As testified this quotation of Bishop Gomorra of Cartagena “consecrated are the canons if in their open breaches flourishes the Gospel” in June 1940, the most of the Spanish clergymen rapidly chose the nationalist camp. [...]
[...] But the permeation of Church and State under Franco were to change radically when the Church, once again, felt the necessity to adapt itself to new circumstances in an anachronistic political system. How did Catholic Church in Spain move to the main ally of Franco to his worst enemy? To what extend Church was both the weapon of Francoism and anti Francoism? How did Church and State use each other to reconquest Spain into their bosom? We will first study the building of a national-catholic State and then analyze the reconquest of Spain by the Catholic Church The Franco's crusade: the building of a Catholic-nationalist State thanks to the Vatican A. [...]
[...] Already supported by Pius X and Pius XI to galvanize the laity against the danger of Marxism, the CA, for his numerical- the organization counted half a millions members in 1955- and political weight, this religious organization was a central catholic organization on which Franco and the Spanish Church leaned on. The Clause 34 of the Concordat of 1953 ensured the CA its complete freedom to carry out its apostolate without the State hindrance. To really infiltrate the worker class, the CA created within the organization the Hermandaades Obreras de Acción Católica (HOAC). [...]
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