Saturday, August 04, 2007

Obnoxiously Pious - Being Obnoxious - or Pious - or just Befuddled?

Obnoxiously Pious carried a post recently on how Spain could do with a new Franco. I commented that such an aspiration was a bit simplistic. The response was that 'The Church approved of Franco and has beatified the martyrs of Spain. I should rather trust in the Church’s judgement than anything else.'

I have posted the following response to the above:

'The Church approved of Franco' is not necessarily a ringing recommendation! Pius XI characterised Benito Mussolini as 'A man whom Providence has sent Us'. He went on to reach an agreement with the Fascist regime in the 1929 Lateran Treaty. Pius also agreed a Concordat with the fledgling Nazi regime in Germany in 1933. Pius XI later realised his errors and issued encyclicals which condemned Fascism (Non abbiamo bisogno) and Nazism (Mit brennender sorge). Evidence suggests that he was about to issue a further ringing condemnation of Mussolini to mark the 10th anniversary of the Lateran Agreement, but died before the date.

Using this logic one could argue that the Church 'approved' of Mussolini and Hitler. This is patently untrue. If there ever was any toleration of such regimes - including Franco's - it was because they were seem as bulwarks against the greater enemy of Communism. As the numbers who perished during the construction of the Valley of the Fallen indicates, Franco was not adverse to creating a few martyrs himself.

'I should rather trust in the Church’s judgement than anything else.' Tell that to Galileo!

The history of C20 Spain - particularly before and during the Civil War - is massively complicated - your posting did no justice to this convolution and - I would suggest - simply helps perpetuate stereotypes!

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