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Abstract

The proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic in April 1931 created a new diplomatic condition for the Holy See. The Second Republic wanted to obtain Vatican recognition, but some politicians wanted to remove Catholic influence from Spanish politics. The Holy See appeared willing to accept a republican form of government in Spain, but the Vatican hierarchy wanted to work with a state that would protect the Catholic Church’s special role in the country. This article uses materials from 1931 in the Vatican Secret Archives—Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs division concerning Spain—in order to explore this problematic relationship. The Vatican viewed the declaration of the Second Republic with caution and speculation, but as the Provisional Government worked to restructure the Spanish political system, the Vatican hierarchy grew more concerned over perceived anticlerical attacks.

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