Fighting over the Fight in Spain: The Pro-Franco Campaign of Bishop Peter Amigo of Southwark

By Hale, Frederick | The Catholic Historical Review, July 2005 | Go to article overview

Fighting over the Fight in Spain: The Pro-Franco Campaign of Bishop Peter Amigo of Southwark


Hale, Frederick, The Catholic Historical Review


For several decades historians, literary scholars, and others have investigated a relatively wide spectrum of British responses to and involvement in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939. A cross-section of their production illustrates the breadth of that topic. Valentine Cunningham, among others, has examined how numerous English littérateurs treated the war.1 P. M. Heaton has chronicled Welsh efforts to break blockades of wartime shipping to Spain.2 Bill Alexander has told the story of British military volunteers in that country.3 Anthony Aldgate has probed the shaping of the visual image of the Spanish Civil War in British newsreels.4 Tom Buchanan has treated meticulously the contours of Labour's responses to the war.5 Jill Edwards has analyzed the British policy of non-intervention.6 Frederick Hale has explored the efforts of the eminent Jesuit editor Joseph Keating to rally British Catholics for the support of Francisco Franco7 and how the erstwhile pacifist Michael de la Bédoyère, editor of The Catholic Herald, underwent a fundamental change of mind from neutrality to enthusiastic advocacy of the Nationalist insurrection.8 Many of the findings of their research have been synthesized in Buchanan's highly useful Britain and the Spanish Civil War.9

To be sure, the pertinent scholarship has progressed on an uneven front, as one must expect which considering a broad phenomenon which entailed many kinds of responses. While certain aspects have thus been brightly illuminated, others remain tenebrous. Among the latter, Buchanan has identified those dealing with religion as "the leastresearched aspect of the British response to the Civil War."10 Largely overlooked in published scholarship is the crucial campaign of one of England's best-known Catholics during the 1930's, Bishop Peter Amigo of the Diocese of Southwark, to sway popular and denominational opinion in favor of the Nationalist cause and the conflicts which his endeavors in this regard engendered. It is my purpose in the present article to examine in its historical context this eminent churchman's response to the war and how it stimulated both public conflicts and private hostility involving fellow Catholics and Britons of other faiths. Part of the significance of such an investigation obviously lies in the light it sheds on ecclesiastical and popular attitudes toward the war, which at the time was widely perceived in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe as a kairotic moment, the crux of an international crisis for Christianity and Western civilization generally. It also further illuminates such matters as popular anti-Catholic sentiments, the relationship between members of the Labour Party and Catholicism in England (where a considerable number of Labour Party members, especially those of Irish descent, were Catholics), fear of the bugbear of international communism, and related matters. To be sure, any attempt to gauge the magnitude of the Amigo controversy and the impact he made on his co-religionists must be impressionistic. The British Institute of Public Opinion did not begin to measure attitudes toward the Spanish Civil War until 1938, and its findings did not distinguish Catholics from other people in the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, when viewed in historical context, the controversial efforts of this prominent bishop to align his denominational fellows behind the Nationalist cause make manifest the centrality of the factors just listed in the debate of the late 1930's over the perceived crisis in which Catholicism found itself as its future seemed to hang in the balance and Europe slid toward the bloodiest war in the history of the world.

A consideration of Amigo's strident position on the Spanish Civil War, especially in 1936, also directly addresses a pivotal historiographical issue which lies at the juncture of religious, political, and military history. Professor Paul Preston's magisterial 1993 biography of Francisco Franco represents a major contribution to the historiography of modern Spain and a minor addition to scholarly enquiry into AngloSpanish relations. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Fighting over the Fight in Spain: The Pro-Franco Campaign of Bishop Peter Amigo of Southwark
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.