This is the latest installment from Frenchie on "The incredible adventures of Carmen and Kiko." The full version with all the installments can be found here.
When we last left Carmen and Francisco, they had snuck into a very nice parish in Rome: Chiesa de Nostra Signora del Santissimo Sacramento e Santi Martiri Canadesi.
This newer Church was a perfect target for our intrepid duo. It had, and still has, a large following of young and eager Catholics and was quiet wealthy.
While it was run by priests from the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. (S.S.S), Carmen thought that since the Congregation encouraged the creation of communities within the parish, they would be able to perhaps start one of their own.
Carmen was particularly interested in poaching some of the affluent middle class young people attending Nostra Signora, and using their connections to further their network.
This was nice in theory, but faced by the arrogant attitude of Kiko and the caustic nature of Carmen, the pastor of the Church got a little impatient with the pair of Spaniards, who were supposed to help the poor in the Borghetto Latino, but were more interested in his parish, and benefitting from the hard work his congregation had done since the building of the Parish in 1955.
He made sure that Cardinal Dell'Acqua knew about this. The Vicar General of Rome, a close confident of Pope Paul VI, was starting to get concerned about the two pesky proteges of Archbishop Casimiro Morcillo Gonzales (Archbishop of Madrid).
When Dell'Acqua was approached by them to get the authorization for the creation of a community under their care within the Church of Nostra Signora, he was less than enthusiastic. The authorization was not forthcoming, and Dell'Acqua used every delaying tactics in the book.
Dell'Acqua was well aware of Carmen's family and its very powerful connections in Spain, but also inside the Curia. He chose to use delaying tactics in the hope that maybe the young duo would tire and change their mind. By the same token, he was buying himself time to clarify a strategy to control the problem as best as he could.
He did not take into consideration that Carmen as the daughter of a powerful family was used to get her way, as she always had in the past. Soon, she contacted her clan in Spain and started to put in motion the wheels of destiny that would bring us the Neocatechumenal movement.
We saw (earlier in this story) that Cardinal Roy was the most influential member of the Canadian Church, and that he also was the Cardinal-Priest of the Church of Nostra Signora. We also highlighted that Roy's godfather and best friend of his dad had been a strong supporter of the Franquist movement in Spain. Actually his godfather had become a good friend of the former foreign minister of Spain, Ramon Serrano Suner.
Serrano Suner had retired from politics in 1947 to go back to his successful Law practice, but he had remained an influential member of Spanish society due to his strong network. Mr. Serrano Suner is little known outside of Spain, but is nonetheless one of the most influential European politician of the first part of the 20th century.
Born in 1901 in Cartagena (southern Spain), to a prominent family, Suner's mother died when he was a teenager. Deeply conservative, he joined with Primo de Rivera Falangist movement before the civil war. Following the 1936 red terror, he and his two brothers were arrested. He managed to escape and rally his brother-in-law's lines, but his two brothers were assassinated. As the husband of Zita Polo, the youngest sister of Francisco Franco, he was one of the most influential person in the Franco organization.
After the death of Primo de Rivera, and the arrest of many of the falangist cadre, Suner rose to be the head of the Falange, then he became Minister of the Interior (and as such, one of the most feared men in Spain) 1938-1940. Then he became Foreign Minister 1940-1942.
As such he was in charge of the negotiations with the Axis power of Germany and Italy. In doing so he became friend with some of the most influential characters of these governments: Von Ribbentrop, Benitto Mussolini, Marshal Badaglio, Heinrich Himmler, and had very good relation with Philippe Petain when he was ambassador of France to Spain.
Despite that, Suner kept cordial relationship with the allies, and kept the channels opened with the USA, specially for the supply of petroleum to Spain. He also had direct access to Winston Churchill and to the Roosevelt administration.
In 1943 Franco got tired of his brother-in-law's disagreements with his policies and what he perceived as Suner's friendly relationship with the Axis countries. The Caudillo sidelined his brother-in-law, and after the war Serrano Suner retired from politics, to concentrate on opportunities the reconstruction of Spain had opened to people with the right connections.
A prolific writer and excellent linguist he published several notable books in French and in Spanish. He kept in touch with former OSS agent and future creator of the CIA, Allen Dulles, and is thought to have been a key player in the opening of American air bases in Spain.
Suner founded Radio Intercontinental in 1948, and help set up many of his business connection including the Arnaz familly and the Hernandez Carrera family.
Later in the 60s and 70s he helped sheltered several of his former Nazi and Facist connections, but also some of his allies in the CIA sphere of influence: i.e. The French generals of the 1961 Coup D'etat against de Gaulle, and many agents of friendly south American governments. He was influential in helping many officers of the French OAS to become feared technical advisors of the rightist regimes in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Chile.
So it is not surprising that when the Secretary of Cardinal Roy got a call from the office of Serrano Suner, he made sure that Cardinal Roy received that call.
That same Secretary was quite impressed when right after that call, Cardinal Roy asked him to compose a letter to the Vicar General of Rome, Cardinal Dell'Acqua, requesting his assistance to create a new community in his Parish of Nostra Signora del Santissimo Sacramento e Santi Martiri Canadesi.
A few weeks later Cardinal Dell'Acqua agreed to Cardinal Roy's request.
That being said, Dell'Acqua, the Vicar General of Rome and the Pastor of Nostra Signora laid out a plan to keep a close eye on that Spanish duo, and keep them on a short leash. At least this is what they thought they had done.
Little did they know that their intuition was right: they had just let the wolves into the sheep's pen.
In the following five years Carmen and Kiko would use this opening to expand their venture, recruit key players to their camp, formulate their theories and articulate their theologian approach, which until then had been quite spotty.
During these years, Kiko would also find his "inspiration" for "his' art.
In our next segment we will go in more details in that key period of the NCW, and will show how it ties in with the work of Chuck White and others in Italy and Spain