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PostFranco and the Papacy (Robert Whealey, USA, 02/16/13 10:56 am)
In addition to John Heelan's 16 February criticism of David Gress's plea for the Pope to "save souls" and put social welfare in the back seat, and John's criticism of the Papacy's condemnation of Liberation Theology and support of capitalism and militarism in Latin America, he should have added the memory of Franco.
Popes Pius XI and XII backed the militarism, imperialism and fascist expansion of not only Franco, but also Hitler and Mussolini. It was a long time before Protestants, Jews, liberal democrats and social democrats could welcome John XXIII's belated discovery of pacifism.
JE comments: The Church's support of Franco is often cited by the 30% or so of agnostic and atheist Spaniards as a reason for their non-belief, although anti-clericalism has a long, long history on the Peninsula. We just covered the anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes in my Spanish literature class. Spaniards were railing against the Church as early as 1554.
Franco and the Papacy
(Paul Preston, -UK
02/17/13 5:07 AM)
To add to Robert Whealey's post of 16 February, Franco saw the liberal changes introduced by John XXIII as proof of the successful infiltration of the Vatican by Freemasons and Communists. He was equally convinced that Paul VI was the puppet of Freemasons and Communists, but then again, he thought the same of J.F. Kennedy and the IMF.
JE comments: Give me that Old Time Religion! It's almost quaint to recall the days when monarchists and authoritarian conservatives in Catholic countries viewed Freemasonry with such suspicion. Presently the Masons are perceived as no more subversive than your local Chamber of Commerce.
I'm presently doing research on the 19th-century Mexican politician Ignacio Ramírez, El Nigromante, the principal theoretician of the 1857 Reforma laws. Ramírez was a Mason, as was Benito Juárez, which inspired the ire of the Church hierarchy and conservative politicians.
It's been four or five years since we've heard from James S. Foote, our in-house expert on Freemasonry. James, if you're out there, please drop us a line!