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The anticlerical campaign against paedophile priests (1880-1912): an example of “moral panic” in Restoration Spain

By Francisco Vázquez García


This article analyses the campaign promoted by the anticlerical republican press in Restoration Spain against the abuses committed by «paedophile » priests. Based on approximately 400 news items on the subject, taken from the anticlerical press of the time (1880-1912), a total of 151 cases related to pederasty abuses perpetrated by the clergy have been verified. The methodology used is based on the American sociology of «moral panics». After introducing the problem, the sources and chronology, the phases that mark the construction process of this moral panic regarding pederast priests are delineated. Attention is then drawn to the parallelism between the aforementioned journalistic campaign and the growing anticlerical offensive between 1898 and 1912. Finally, the journalistic crusade against paedophile priests is analysed as a political catalyst for struggles that also involve the domination of gender, age and social class

Topics: anticlericalismo, prensa, pánico moral, sacerdotes pederastas, Restauración, Social Sciences, H
Publisher: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Year: 2019
DOI identifier: 10.3989/hispania.2018.018
OAI identifier:
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