Holy See–Spain relations

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Holy See-Spain relations

Holy See


Holy See–Spain relations are foreign relations between the Holy See and Spain. Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1530. The Holy See has a nunciature in Madrid. Spain has an embassy in Rome.


The Spanish Inquisition was an ecclesiastical tribunal started in 1478 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the medieval inquisition which was under Vatican control. The new body was under the direct control of the Spanish monarchy. It was not definitively abolished until 1834, during the reign of Isabella II.

Relations with the Zapatero government have been strained because of government legislation allowing for same-sex marriage, liberalisation of abortion, end of religious education in public schools and general political support for secularism.

The government values the heritage of the Spanish Republicans of the 19th and 20th centuries, many of which had been strongly anticlerical, especially during the Spanish Civil War. It has also questioned the role of the Spanish monarchy in national politics.

This contrasts with previous Spanish administrations, many of which had been keen of promoting Spain's historic Catholic identity, such as under Francisco Franco for example. Relations were also good under Jose Maria Aznar.

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