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WILLIAM J. CALLAHAN President of the American Catholic Historical Association 1996 The Catholic Historical Review VOL. LXXXIIIAPRIL, 1997No. 2 REGALISM, LIBERALISM, AND GENERAL FRANCO BY William J. Callahan* On July 15, 1976, the marqués de Mondejar, head of the royal household , arrived secretly at the Vatican where he was received immediately by Pope Paul VI.The marqués carried a letter from King Juan Carlos, instaUed as head of state foUowing Francisco Franco's death the preceding November. The monarch informed the pope that he would refrain from exercising the patronage rights over episcopal appointments granted the Spanish state under the concordat of 1953.' The royal decision broke a diplomatic logjam that had developed since 1970 between the Franco regime and the papacy over the drafting of a new concordat. On July 28, the first government of the monarchy and the papacy reached a formal agreement (acuerdo) in which the Spanish state renounced its ecclesiastical patronage rights, whUe the Church abandoned certain juridical privileges contained in the concordat of 1953.2 The 1976 agreement combined with the separation of church and state established in the democratic constitution of 1978 ended the confessional identification of church and state that in one way or another had existed for centuries except for the period of the Second Republic (1931-1939).3 *Mr. Callahan is a professor of history in the University ofToronto and principal ofVictoria College. He read this paper as his presidential address at a luncheon held in the New York Hilton Hotel on Saturday,January 4, 1997, during the seventy-seventh annual meeting of the American Catholic Historical Association. 'Tomás García Berberena,"Nombramiento de obispos," in C. Corral and L. de Echevarría (eds.),Los acuerdos entre la Iglesia y España (Madrid, 1980),p. 133. 2"Acuerdo entre la Santa Sede y el Estado Español de 28 de julio de 1976," ibid., pp. 778-781. The constitution declared that "no confession will have a state character."Juan Maria Laboa, Iglesia y religión en las constituciones españolas (Madrid, 1981), p. 100. 201 202REGAUSM, UBERAUSM,AND GENERAL GRANCO The efforts of Spanish governments to control ecclesiastical patronage and finances took different institutional forms depending on the poUtical organization of the state at any given moment. During the eighteenth century, the absolute monarchy of the Bourbons pushed the Crown's historic claims to control the Church's temporal administration to new heights through the movement known as regaUsm, an aggressively promoted poUcy of state intervention in ecclesiastical affairs .4 The concordat of 1753, wrested from a weak papacy, granted the Crown the right of universal patronage over virtuaUy aU ecclesiastical benefices, a right previously shared in tense relationship with the Holy See. During the reign of Charles III (1759-1788), regaUsm reached its ftiUest stage of development.5 In 1767, the king expeUed the Jesuits from his dominions Ui spite of the Order's historic importance in the Hispanic world. For aU practical purposes, the Crown appointed the bishops and appropriated a significant proportion of ecclesiastical revenues . King Charles III, who was esteemed for his personal piety, founded seminaries and regulated the affairs of the reUgious orders and the secular clergy, guided by the regaUst theory that the monarch derived his authority from God and was responsible, therefore, for the spiritual wen-being of his subjects, both clerical and lay. Napoleon's invasion of Spam beginning in 1807 initiated a period of upheaval that ended the absolute monarchy of the Old Regime. Between 1810 and 1813, the kingdom's first parUamentary assembly met Ui the city of Cádiz, the only area of peninsular Spam free of French domination. The liberal Cortes of Cádiz carried out a poUtical revolution which limited royal authority and dismantled the institutions of the Bourbon monarchy. Liberal deputies broke new poUtical ground, but they foUowed an ecclesiastical poUcy inspired by the regaUsm of the past. The union ofThrone and Altar was recast into an alliance of Constitution and Altar. The 1812 constitution declared unequivocaUy that the reUgion of the nation "is and wUl be perpetuaUy the CathoUc, AposTe ófanes Egido has argued in a recent state-of-the-question essay on...


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