ABSTRACT

We finished Chapter 9 with Jordana’s reply, on 10 November 1938, to

Rodezno, which we summarized in ten points, the last of which was ‘All said

and done, the Rial incident must now be closed’. On the original document,

however, which is preserved in the Archive of the Ministry of Foreign

Affairs, these words are shown to be crossed out by hand. At a certain

moment, evidently after that date, something changed in the panorama of

ecclesiastical politics and the hostility against Rial intensified again. What

had happened? At the end of 1938 and beginning of 1939, Salvador Rial and the causes

of his affaire were no longer matters of concern to the Burgos Government.

Regarding his appointment as Apostolic Administrator of Le´rida, Pacelli,

when confronted by the violent protests of Yanguas, had let it be under-

stood that the designation was valid only for that part of the diocese which

was still under the control of the Republic, and this had nearly disappeared.

Nor did the rumour of his appointment as Apostolic Delegate for Catalonia

cause disquiet since, whatever Republican propaganda might say, the Vatican had refuted it. What did cause concern now about Rial was an accusa-

tion which, a few months before, had seemed perfectly innocent and

reasonable: the matter of his being Vicar General of the Archdiocese of

Tarragona, that is to say the lieutenant of Cardinal Vidal i Barraquer. For,

although the complete occupation of the diocese of Le´rida solved the pro-

blem of his Apostolic Administration, the imminent capture of Tarragona

raised the problem of this metropolitan see and the primateship. The Gov-

ernment of Franco was absolutely determined not only that the Cardinal Archbishop should be prohibited from returning but equally that he should

not be allowed to govern his diocese from abroad through somebody he

trusted, such as Rial.