When we analyse the successive postures taken by the Spanish ecclesiastical

hierarchy in response to the Civil War, we come upon one crucial moment

that indicates, as it were, a ‘before’ and an ‘after’: it is the address by Pius

XI at Castelgandolfo on 14 September 1936 to a group of Spanish fugitives,

which we shall look at more closely in the next chapter. All the great Pas-

toral Letters of the war appeared after that date. A´lvarez Bolado has

spoken of ‘the phenomenology of an implication’, by which he means a

rigorously objective study of the historical progress of the involvement of the Church in the War, from its initial ‘cautious reserve’ to the proclamation

of the ‘Crusade’:

The Church did not rise in rebellion or start the Civil War. The

Uprising occurred and, as a point of fact, the Church was soon

involved, and soon involved itself, in what subsequently changed into

a Civil War. The involvement became deeper and deeper during the

course of the war, to the extent that it is inconceivable that the social and political consequences that followed could have done so without

the active participation of the Church.1