On August 14, 1931, at the onset of the Spanish Second Republic (1931-1939), Justo de Echeguren (1884-1937), Basque priest, was arrested in Irun (Gipuzkoa), when he proceeded to cross the border and meet his fellow Bishop of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Mateo Mújica Urrestarazu (1870-1968). Some months earlier, on May 17, Múgica was exiled in Angelu (Lapurdi), in the Northern Basque Country, because his opposition against the constitution of the Spanish Republic, which had defended the separation of the Church from the State. The Republican authorities seized from Echeguren some documents whose content revealed the intentions of the Catholic Church to alienate its properties to the uses of the new Republican State. Following this incident, on August 20, the central government prohibited by executive order the right to alienate ecclesiastical property. During the Second Republic, the religious question became an acute source of division, which stirred a strong opposition among the right wing circles, including these Basque clergymen.


Portrait of Mateo Mújica Urrestarazu (1870-1968)

almanac cover

Cover page of “La Traca” Almanac for 1932

Every Friday we look into our Basque archives for interesting historic events that happened on the same day