Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Politica, Cultura Y Sociedad En la Espana De Franco, 1939-1975. Tomo I: La Configuracion del Estado Espanol, Nacional Y Catolico (1939-1947)

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Politica, Cultura Y Sociedad En la Espana De Franco, 1939-1975. Tomo I: La Configuracion del Estado Espanol, Nacional Y Catolico (1939-1947)

Article excerpt

Politica, cultura y sociedad en la Espana de Franco, 1939-1975. Tomo I: La configuration del Estado espanol, national y cat6lico (1939-1947). By Gonzalo Redondo. (Pamplona: Ediciones Universidad de Navarra. 1999. Pp. 1143.)

Despite the view cultivated by popular but shallow historians, the Spanish Church and the Franco regime did not have the symbiotic relationship that they were reputed to have. Nationalcatholicism was more of a goal than a reality. This massive work, by the author of one of the most detailed histories of the Spanish Church in its relations with the Second Republic and the Civil War, details the conflicts and collaborations between the two institutions. It is the first of a projected series on the entire Franco regime; this volume covers the years from the end of the Civil War in 1939 to the promulgation of the Law of Succession in 1947,which declared Spain a monarchy and provided for the naming of a monarch as a successor to Franco.

Although the Church had been weakened by the anticlerical fury of the first months of the Civil War, particularly in the loss of the thousands of clerics killed, it was still a formidable institution, and the Franco regime needed its support to project its image of Spain as a Catholic state and particularly as a bulwark for the traditionalism that was to be its hallmark. Similarly the Church needed the state's support to rebuild the ruined churches and re-establish the Catholic cultural hegemony that it had before 1931. Franco wanted the privileges of the old Concordat of 1851, especially the right of presentation for clerical appointments. Pius XII was concerned about Nazi influence in Spain and was apparently fearful of another concordat with a dictator, having been burned by Pius XI's concordats with Mussolini and Hitler. A compromise was reached in 1941. Franco got some control over episcopal appointments, and the Church got back control of education and removal of the anticlerical legislation of the 1930's.

But Spain's three cardinals were not happy with the Franco regime. The Primate, Cardinal Isidro Goma, was afraid that the regime would fall into the hands of Falangists who supported pagan Nazi policies, especially in 1939, when German influence was great in Spain. He died in 1940, warning against the statism of the regime. Cardinal Pedro Segura so outraged Franco with his criticism of the regime that the Caudillo tried to get Pius XII to remove the controversial prelate. …

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