Para Ganar la Guerra, Para Ganar la Paz: Iglesia Y Guerra Civil: 1936-1939

Article excerpt

Para ganar la guerra, para ganar la paz: Iglesia y guerra civil: 1936-1939. By Alfonso Alvarez Bolado. (Madrid: Publicaciones de la Universidad Pontificia Comillas. 1995. Pp. 716.)

This is a useful analysis of the role of the clergy in the Spanish Civil War. The author states that it is the first phase of a study of the mentality of the clergy to show how it influenced the political relationship of the Church with the Nationalist state in the wartime years and then carried over into the Franco dictatorship until the Caudillo died in 1975. Alvarez Bolado, a Jesuit historian and theologian, uses as his main source for this study the diocesan bulletins of the bishops of Spain during the wartime years. He states that he realizes the limitations of such sources: half of Spain was occupied by the Republicans for much of the time and the clergy in those areas were either in hiding or exile, and therefore no diocesan bulletins were published.

In fact, these limitations were not all that restrictive for the author's purpose, as his concern is chiefly with the Nationalists, and he uses other sources as well, including some of the diplomatic documents from the Spanish embassy to the Holy See, along with all of the secondary works published on the subject, especially the studies by Marquina Barrio on Vatican-Spanish relations and by Rodriguez Aisa on Cardinal Goma.

The book is divided into chapters corresponding to the chronological course of the war and continuing on into the remainder of 1939 (the war ended in April of that year).The postwar chapter deals with the Franco government's attempts to secure a concordat and the Vatican's fears of German influence in Spain. In addition, there is a chapter on the details of the writing of Pius XI's April, 1939, message to Spaniards congratulating the Nationalists on their victory. …