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By T. Villis

Drawing considerably at the options and phrases of Catholic writers and cultural commentators, Villis sheds new mild on spiritual id and political extremism in early twentieth-century Britain. The ebook constitutes a complete examine of ways during which British Catholic groups reacted to fascism either at domestic and in another country.

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Additional info for British Catholics and Fascism: Religious Identity and Political Extremism Between the Wars

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The claim to absorb the whole person of man) is condemned by the Church. Fascism which, in the general ‘Red’ propaganda means simply opposition to communism, may be any form of political doctrine: this is an abusive interpretation of the word. Fascism may be simply a united party to secure by calm measures law and order, justice and charity. But note well that mere Jew-baiting is not law and order, nor is it justice, much less so is it charity. ’20 By giving this advice Hinsley explicitly disavows the more extreme notions of fascism – particularly totalitarianism and anti-Semitism – while tolerating a commitment to a fascist movement for practical 32 British Catholics and Fascism reasons.

57 The key figure on the commission was Fr James Ellison from St Matthew’s Liverpool, who was trusted with coaching lecturers who might speak on the conflict in Spain. 61 However, further up the hierarchy there were concerns about the way in which the increasingly pro-fascist stance of the Pro-Deo Commission could harm the standing of the Church amongst the working classes. 62 In the Archdiocese of Birmingham, too, the Catholic Social Guild was much exercised by the need to combat communism from the ground up.

7 There is a hint of religious and social conservatism here which would have alienated the left of the Labour party, but it is a far cry from the rightist tinge of many similar statements by Catholic editors in the 1930s. In the early 1920s, therefore, the Catholic Herald was critical of Italian Fascism, not least because of its anti-clericalism. 9 Indeed, an article by ‘CD’ (almost certainly Charles Diamond) in 1929 was critical of Mussolini’s regime. Diamond warned Catholics that fascism had ‘much in it that is evil’, and that while they should give it credit for any good it might do, ‘must carefully avoid condoning principles or actions that are indefensible’.

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