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In the Post- Holocaust

by Haim Avni
In the Post- Holocaust Generation · 201 Another basic law, on the Principles of the National Movement ( May 17, 1958), named the Catholic religion not merely the official religion but the very essence and singularity of the Spanish people and state. Repeating one of the principles of Falangist ideology, the law actually excluded all non- Catholics from the Spanish nation. 1 During the early 1960s, there were signs of a shift in Spain’s atti-tude toward the Jews. The development of economic and military ties with the United States, industrial expansion, and especially the tremen-dous increase of tourism gradually set the pattern for a greater degree of religious tolerance toward non- Catholics. This process was accelerated by discussions held in the Vatican on the Church’s position regarding Jews and other non- Catholics that took place intermittently from 1963 on. In January 1965, General Franco hinted at the possibility of rights for religious minorities in Spain. The final vote in the Second Vatican Council on the relationship between the Church and the Jews and its rat-ification by Pope Paul VI in October 1965 paved the way for changes in Spanish religious legislation. After months of preparation, a referendum took place on December 14, 1966, ratifying a new set of laws. Paragraph 6 of the Statute Law of the Spanish People, which concerned the rela-tionship between church and state, now read: The profession and practice of the Catholic religion, which is the religion of the Spanish State, shall enjoy official support. The State shall assume the re-sponsibility for protecting religious freedom, which shall be guaranteed by an efficacious judicial machinery, which at the same time shall safeguard morals and public order. 2 This amendment apparently advanced Spain from a position of toler-ance toward non- Catholics who practiced their religion in private to a full recognition of their right to exist and worship in public. In practice, however, it did not recognize religious freedom as a fundamental human right, as had been the case in the 1869 constitution. For now, the Franco regime retained the right to “ protect” religious freedom and to impose special legislation upon non- Catholics. Thus, even though the law was amended, it still fell far short of the liberalism that had existed in 1869. The adopted amendment to paragraph 6 nevertheless aroused the opposi-tion of the conservative majority in the Spanish Catholic church and gov-ernment. After the amendment was published in December 1966, these forc-es took up cudgels against it. When on January 10, 1967, the Council of Ministers heard the first reading of the proposed Ley Sobre el Derecho Civil a la Libertad Religiosa ( Law Concerning Civil Rights for Religious Freedom), most of the ministers considered it too liberal and rejected it.   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C  | I n d e x For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com

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In the Post- Holocaust Generation · 201 Another basic law, on the Principles of the National Movement ( May 17, 1958), named the Catholic religion not merely the official religion but the very essence and singularity of the Spanish people and state. Repeating one of the principles of Falangist ideology, the law actually excluded all non- Catholics from the Spanish nation. 1 During the early 1960s, there were signs of a shift in Spain’s atti-tude toward the Jews. The development of economic and military ties with the United States, industrial expansion, and especially the tremen-dous increase of tourism gradually set the pattern for a greater degree of religious tolerance toward non- Catholics. This process was accelerated by discussions held in the Vatican on the Church’s position regarding Jews and other non- Catholics that took place intermittently from 1963 on. In January 1965, General Franco hinted at the possibility of rights for religious minorities in Spain. The final vote in the Second Vatican Council on the relationship between the Church and the Jews and its rat-ification by Pope Paul VI in October 1965 paved the way for changes in Spanish religious legislation. After months of preparation, a referendum took place on December 14, 1966, ratifying a new set of laws. Paragraph 6 of the Statute Law of the Spanish People, which concerned the rela-tionship between church and state, now read: The profession and practice of the Catholic religion, which is the religion of the Spanish State, shall enjoy official support. The State shall assume the re-sponsibility for protecting religious freedom, which shall be guaranteed by an efficacious judicial machinery, which at the same time shall safeguard morals and public order. 2 This amendment apparently advanced Spain from a position of toler-ance toward non- Catholics who practiced their religion in private to a full recognition of their right to exist and worship in public. In practice, however, it did not recognize religious freedom as a fundamental human right, as had been the case in the 1869 constitution. For now, the Franco regime retained the right to “ protect” religious freedom and to impose special legislation upon non- Catholics. Thus, even though the law was amended, it still fell far short of the liberalism that had existed in 1869. The adopted amendment to paragraph 6 nevertheless aroused the opposi-tion of the conservative majority in the Spanish Catholic church and gov-ernment. After the amendment was published in December 1966, these forc-es took up cudgels against it. When on January 10, 1967, the Council of Ministers heard the first reading of the proposed Ley Sobre el Derecho Civil a la Libertad Religiosa ( Law Concerning Civil Rights for Religious Freedom), most of the ministers considered it too liberal and rejected it. < < C h a p t e r >> Home | T O C | I n d e x For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com
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