Italo-German Rivalry: Vatican Hopes to Revive the Old Spanish Culture
From Our Diplomatic Correspondent The coming pan-American conference at Lima, at which the U.S.A. will be represented by Mr. Cordell-Hull, will bring to the fore the most urgent question facing the Latin-American republics: Nazi propaganda.
In Peru, however, German influence is weak compared with that of Italy, and the President-Dictator, Oscar Benavides, lately Peruvian Minister to the Quirinal. is a firm and ardent friend of Italy. Also in Peru the Director of the Banco lialiano, Sig. Gino Salocchi, is popularly known as the " Viceroy of Peru," and stands behind the great Catholic daily newspaper, El Cornercio, the organ of the Catholic hierarchy.
Italian Pro-Catholic Policy The generally pro-Catholic policy of the Italian government, at least externally, has immensely helped Italy to the detriment of Germany in Latin-America and especially in Peru as shown by the lectures of Professor Canseco, brother-in-law of the Dictator President, in the National Catholic University.
All this is naturally well known not only at the Vatican but also at the
Palazzo Chigi and strengthens considerably the hands of the Holy See in its relations with the Italian Government.
Mgr. Cento, the new Nuncio to Peru, will be anxious to see the strengthening of the old Spanish Catholic cultural tradition as a result of the conference's probable antiNazi decisions; for the object of Vatican diplomacy, while appreciating the proCatholic nature of Italian interests in LatinAmerica, is to see the triumph of the only solid basis for Catholicism there: the tradition of the Golden Age of Spain.
The Old Spanish Culture
A Franco victory in Spain will certainly help this, and Mgr. Cicognani, the Nuncio at Burgos, is using all his influence to encourage strong cultural ties between the New Spain and Latin America.
The revival of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Uruguay may well have been caused by the realisation on the part of the government in Montevideo that the Vatican policy with regard to LatinAmerica is more truly in the genuine interests of the republics than that of the U.S.A. or Germany and Italy.