This article argues that Portugal was not immune to the experience of Muscular Catholicism, through which the Church tried to strengthen its own imagined community after 1945. This was an imagined community that the Church hoped that it would involve the whole continent starting from Italy, where the “Catholic sport” was trying to take the place of the “fascist” sport. Indeed, the Church overcame its distrust of football in this period, making it one of the symbols of its “banal internationalism”, and one of the means by which Pius XII tried to make the idea of a totalitarian Church a reality, as suggested by Pius XI.
- Pius XII
- muscular catholicism; banal internationalism