Saturday, April 18, 2009

Enrique Cardinal Pla y Deniel (1876-1968)

This photo is a bit grainy and dark, but it definitely is far sight material.

Before becoming archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain in 1941, Cardinal Pla y Deniel served as bishop of Avila (1918-1935) and Salamanca (1935-1941). He was created a Cardinal in 1946 with the title of S. Pietro in Montorio.

During the Spanish civil war, Pla y Deniel offered his episcopal palace in Salamanca to Franco as headquarters.

To get a feeling for the power-grid in which the Church can be caught (willingly or unwillingly), here is an interesting story: On the 2nd of October in 1936, Spanish "Republicans" shot 21 year old Blessed Bartolomé Blanco Márquez, youth secretary of Catholic Action in Pozoblanco, for being a "Catholic Leader". 18 years later, in 1954, Franco wanted father Jesús Iribarren, editor of Ecclesia, official weekly of the same Catholic Action, fired from his job for writing an article against press censorship. The regime asked cardinal Pla y Deniel to fire the man. The Cardinal refused but later secretly suspended Iribarren on the grounds that he had not submitted his controversial article to his superiors, as a bishop's conference affirmed. So the priest was suspended because of a formal error, not because of the content of his article. What the cardinal respectively the bishop's conference did might not have been a hero's action, but I still find it interesting.

Two men from the Catholic Action persecuted by two different regimes with two completely different world-views and ideologies: As long as you are truly Catholic, you will have to be aware that the world is your enemy, be it the "left" half or the "right".


Christian said...

Leo, this is an alarming lapse into crypto-liberalism! It is not for the clergy to interfere in politics except when stepping in to protect Truth. Father Jesús Iribarren was way, way out of order. The Church has repeatedly and explicitly stated that press censorship is perfectly licit. Fr Iribarren was thus totally political and the subsequent request from the government for his sacking was both reasonable and proportionate.

leo said...

Dude, you DON'T come here throwing around words like "alarming" and "crypto-liberalism", especially when only your interpretation and not the text itself give raise to these suspicions. I was merely stating some facts, specifically pointing out that I did NOT think the bishops acted heroically when picking the lesser form of punishment for Iribarren and ended with calling the whole situation "interesting", for the mentioned reasons.

You might have gotten the "truly Catholic" wrong, which I wanted to be understood not as a praise of Iribarren but as a praise of those Catholics who stand up for their faith and are therefore persecuted, be it by a "left" or a "right" government.

Christian said...

lol. Well, it appeared like crypto-liberalism to me. Your explanation is quite adequate though. :-)