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The Spanish Bishops and Nazism during the Spanish Civil War

From: The Catholic Historical Review
Volume 99, Number 3, July 2013
pp. 499-530 | 10.1353/cat.2013.0171



The anticommunist position of the Spanish bishops was unanimous during the Spanish Civil War. Their attitude toward Nazism, however, underwent a gradual evolution, from indifference (1936-37) to concern (1938-39). This change was due, in part, to the sympathy for Germany exhibited by the Spanish Falange and, above all, to the warnings of the Holy See. It did not, however, result in a unanimous and open criticism of the Nazis. The opposition of the bishops was primarily in response to papal documents and warnings from German bishops critical of Nazism's stance against Christianity, leading the bishops to question the compatibility of totalitarian ideas and Catholicism to create the new state that Francisco Franco wanted to build in Spain.