The Salazar Regime
Under the dictatorship of António de Oliveira Salazar
1928-68), the church experienced a revival
(see The New State
, ch. 1). Salazar was himself deeply religious and infused
Roman Catholic precepts. Before studying law he had been a
seminarian; his roommate at the University of Coimbra,
Gonçalves Cerejeira, later became cardinal patriarch of
In addition, Salazar's corporative principles and his
constitution and labor statute of 1933 were infused with
Catholic precepts from the papal encyclicals Rerum
(1891) and Quadragesimo Anno (1931).
Salazar's state was established on the principles of
traditional Roman Catholicism, with an emphasis on order,
discipline, and authority. Class relations were supposed
based on harmony rather than the Marxist concept of
family, the parish, and Christianity were said to be the
foundations of the state. Salazar went considerably beyond
principles, however, and established a full-fledged
His corporative state continued about equal blends of
Catholic principles and Mussolini-like fascism.
In 1940 a concordat governing church-state relations
signed between Portugal and the Vatican. The church was to
"separate" from the state but to enjoy a special position.
Concordat of 1940 reversed many of the anticlerical
undertaken during the republic, and the Roman Catholic
given exclusive control over religious instruction in the
schools. Only Catholic clergy could serve as chaplains in
armed forces. Divorce, which had been legalized by the
was again made illegal for those married in a church
church was given formal "juridical personality," enabling
incorporate and hold property.
Under Salazar, church and state in Portugal maintained
comfortable and mutually reinforcing relationship. While
assisting the church in many ways, however, Salazar
it stay out of politics--unless it praised his regime.
and criticism were forbidden; those clergy who stepped out
line--an occasional parish priest and once the bishop of
Porto--were silenced or forced to leave the country.
Data as of January 1993