Saturday, March 14, 2009

Too bad..


... this photo is a little damaged. I will share it anyways because Pedro Cardinal Segura y Sáenz is so neatly wrapped up in his ferraiolo and because the tiny guy on the left is saluting so nicely.

Pedro Segura (1880 - 1957) was archbishop of Toledo from 1927 to 1931 and archbishop of Seville from 1937 until his death. Segura was elevated to the cardinalate in 1927 with the title of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

Segura was an interesting if not infamous figure. As soon as the Republican Government of 1931 was in power, the cardinal - a defender of the monarchy - was forced into exile, in one of those usual acts of true Republican "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity". This move only hardened his position towards anything liberal. When he was able to return to the Franco-controlled part of Spain in 1937 he became archbishop of Seville. There he implemented a very conservative reign. When the Vatican decided to appoint an archbishop coadjutor with equal rights and functions plus the right of succession in 1954, Segura's friends saw this as a direct attack on the prelate and answered with a leaflet campaign against the "enemies of the cardinal", which was condemned by the Seville cathedral chapter. The Vatican authorized publication of a message from its Papal Nuncio in Spain, Archbishop Ildebrando Antoniutti, congratulating the Chapter for condemning the pamphlet, which was "directed against the Pope, the Holy See, the Nuncio, and the Archbishop Coadjutor by means of writings widely distributed from Seville throughout Spain." The leaflets (one title: Segura, Martyr of Truth), attacked the Cardinal's "enemies" and were reportedly approved by Segura himself. Said the Nuncio: "Put an end to the mutterings, maledictions and calumnies. May the pen break of those who write anonymous documents."

Well, however conservative he might have been, for me it certainly comes down on the "Plus"-side that the Spanish Republicans didn't like him at all. Good thing he left the country in 1931. Had he been there in 1936 his friends might have gotten the opportunity to really mourn for a martyr.

8 comments:

Tristan Mordrelle said...

Cardinal Segura was not a friend of Franco. The archbishop coadjutor, Bueno Monreal, was a friend of the new regime. Cardinal Segura was first of all a catholic and a defender of the truth and the Church.

Christian said...

My Grandfather visited Seville while Segura was in charge there. He says that the Cardinal was know to be so conservative that he utterly hatter Franco for being wet and not pro-Monarchical enough. When ever Franco would visit he would leave the city in protest.

I have never been able to track down a news article on it but my Grandfather says that he was famous at the time for a particular sermon he gave on Protestantism. Apparently he saw an Anglican vicar (who was on holiday to Seville) looking round the Cathedral. Segura was so enraged he addressed the issue of Protestant inroads in his sermon that Sunday. He declared from the pulpit that "I know see that the snake of protestantism is now winding its way up the very pillars of my own Cathedral!" He continued to describe the protestants as "a boil on the tong of a vulture plucking at the heart of Catholic Spain!" The congregation were so roused by this sermon that the left the Cathedral after Mass and went to the closest protestant Chapel and burnt it down.

leo said...

Burned it down?
Man, those were the days...

Christian said...

Yeah...

SMJ said...

Burned it down?
We need a cardinal like him here in Brazil...

Anonymous said...

just pointing out that there was no protestant place of worship in spain those days

Christian said...

Their were ones for foreigners. The chapel in question was American I believe.

Tristan Mordrelle said...

I found the reference about cardinal Segura and this protestant place in Seville in Time Magazine,

Monday, Mar. 17, 1952

The U.S. has been urging Franco Spain to show greater religious tolerance to its 20,000 Protestants. Pedro Cardinal Segura y Saenz, Archbishop of Seville, a man of monolithic opinions who dislikes Franco, the U.S. and Protestantism, told his countrymen this week that toleration would never do. Wrote Cardinal Segura in a pastoral letter:

"Ever since 1945, when the Spanish government authorized the opening of certain Protestant churches in this country, Protestant propaganda has considerably increased, and it has been tolerated to a far greater extent than is permissible in keeping with the . . . spirit of the charter of the Spanish people."

Cardinal Segura complained that a campaign of "benevolence" toward Protestantism had begun with expressions of sympathy for Protestant Britain when King George VI died, and that lately the campaign has increased "in an extraordinarily grave manner." Some people in Spain, he feared, have come to believe "that all religions are equally acceptable in the presence of God."

The cardinal took a swing at Baptist Harry Truman for his recent press conference remark that he is not very fond of the present government of Spain. It showed, said Cardinal Segura, a "dislike of the Spanish people." But he seemed even more concerned about Spain's own regime: "The spirit of Catholics is worried over fear that, under the pretext of politics, concessions gravely prejudicial to religion may be made."

In Cardinal Segura's own Seville last week, a group of young Roman Catholics anticipated the cardinal's remarks with a more direct protest against toleration. A gang of well-dressed young men burst into the tiny, secluded Protestant chapel of St. Basil, struck Pastor Santos Martin Molin in the face, poured gasoline over the altar and tried to set the church afire. Said a Spanish government spokesman: "A negligible, isolated incident." In Madrid, a Protestant pastor brandished a pamphlet published by a Catholic organization, in which Protestants were denounced as "libertines, women of easy virtue and traitors to their country." "This sort of propaganda," he said, "is bound to fire hotheads."