ABSTRACT

On 6 November 1934, when the Cortes was in a state of pandemonium and

the President trying to re-establish calm, Jose´ Antonio Primo de Rivera

shouted, ‘What the Honourable President has to do is to let us punch one

another sometimes!’ Two years later, from a cell in Alicante prison, Jose´

Antonio was seeing things in a very different fashion, but it was through his

own fault and that of many others that the Spaniards punched and killed

one another for a thousand days, bloodily, at the front and behind the lines,

and that he himself became one of the hundreds of thousands of victims. The worst of the matter is that the Spanish Church allowed herself to be

fully subsumed into this climate of anti-pacifism. There had been room to

hope that, in accordance with her exalted mission, she would have performed

a pacifying role during that terrible time, but no one can say that she did.

Over and above such responsibility as she had for the Uprising, no sooner did

it occur than the great majority, that is to say nearly the entire hierarchy and

nearly all the prominent among the laity, not only did nothing to restrain

the conflict but spurred it on by joining almost en bloc one of the two sides, the side that ended by being the victor, and by demonizing whoever was

working for peace. The Spanish Church did not light the fire of war but heated

up the atmosphere before it started and added fuel to the flames afterwards.