Saturday, March 14, 2009
... 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.