Roman Catholic Church
Like the armed forces, the Roman Catholic Church in
had also declined in influence during the 1980s. The
along with the military, had been one of the
corporate units in society, long predating the state and
parallel to it. As a result, Portugal was historically a
Catholic nation. Roman Catholicism was not only the sole
of the country, but Roman Catholic beliefs also permeated
culture, the legal system, the society, and the polity.
derived many of his corporatist beliefs from the papal
encyclicals, and during his long rule the church served as
indispensable pillar of the regime.
In recent decades, however, the church came to play a
role in people's lives as society became more secularized.
the 1974-76 period, the church helped turn the population
from the appeals of communism and radicalism, but since
tumultuous years the church has been quiescent
church has, however, expressed itself on some issues, such
legalization of abortion, on which it felt morally obliged
take a public stance. Polls of Portuguese showed that the
church's ranking among main interest groups had fallen
second- or third-most influential to seventh- or
Data as of January 1993