Catalan Review

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CATALONIA. FROM CATACLYSM IN THE CIVIL WAR TO THE “EUPHORIA” OF THE 1950S

Catalan Review (2006), 20, (1), 83–101.

Abstract

In the summer of 1936, with the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, the Catalan Church underwent a ferocious assault, without precedent in modern European history. Catalan society in the early decades of the twentieth century had been divided over its relationship to the Catholic Church, with some sectors being profoundly anti-clerical. Yet by the early 1960s, attitudes towards the Catholic Church had changed. This article is concerned with reconstructing Catalan and Catalanist Catholicism from one of profound crisis during the Civil War to its re-emergence from the confines of Spanish National Catholicism. Francoist victory in the Spanish Civil War meant the ending of indigenous Catholic traditions. However, from the mid-1940s we can trace the slow reconstruction of Catalan traditions, language and culture. All of the major expressions of Catalan identity until the 1960s were enabled due to this Catholic patronage. Whilst the Church was unable to reverse secularization trends, this involvement in cultural activity would transform its place within wider Catalan society. By the end of the period examined in this article, historic and deep rooted anti-clericalism in Catalonia was ending.

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Author details

Dowling, Andrew