The following is the law passed by the Fascist dictator of Spain, Francisco Franco in 1940, directed primarily at Freemasons. Note that holding "Higher Degrees" aggravated the offense. This usually meant the death penalty. Since so many of our Spanish brothers died under the Franco regime I decided not to mention only one. This is an excerpt from an article on Wikipedia that quotes from the book, "Freemasonry and the Spanish Civil War", by Matthew Scanlan:"the lodge building in Cordoba was burnt, the masonic temple in Santa Cruz, Tenerife, was confiscated and transformed into the headquarters of the Falange, and another was shelled by artillery. In Salamanca thirty members of one lodge were shot, including a priest. Similar atrocities occurred across the country: fifteen masons were shot in Logrono, seventeen in Ceuta, thirty-three in Algeciras, and thirty in Valladolid, among them the Civil Governor. Few towns escaped the carnage as Freemasons in Lugo, Zamora, Cadiz and Granada were brutally rounded up and shot, and in Seville, the entire membership of several lodges were butchered. The slightest suspicion of being a mason was often enough to earn a place in a firing squad, and the blood-letting was so fierce that, reportedly, some masons were even hurled into working engines of steam trains. By 16 December 1937, according to the annual masonic assembly held in Madrid, all masons that had not escaped from the areas under nationalist control had been murdered."
The Law of 2 March 1940
Article No 1: Constitutes a felony to be a communist, or to belong to a masonic lodge or any other secret society.
Article No 2: As these organizations are now banned by the effects of this decree, all monies and properties are to be confiscated immediately.
Article No 3: Any advertisement to exhort the principles or pretended benefits of masonry or communism, or anything against the Religion or the Motherland, will be penalised according to this law.
Article No 4: To be considered a mason, will be those who had been initiated into masonry and had not been expelled from the Order, or not broken altogether their relationship with the organisation. It would also be considered a mason those expelled from the Order with the apparent reason to protect the member from the objects of this law.
Article No 5: From the date of this publication, masons and communists, as defined in article No 4 above, will be liable to be imprisoned with a "minor jail offense", a minimum of 12 years and one day, but this situation could be aggravated by the "Aggravated Circumstances" as explained in Article No 6.
Article No 6: "Aggravated Circumstances" is to have obtained any of the Degrees from the 18th to the 33rd inclusive, having taken part in any Annual Communications or being part of any Committee or Board of the Grand Orient of Spain, which would indicate the great confidence of the Order entrusted upon the member.
Article No 7: Any mason or communist, who belongs to either organisation, must notify the Government of his affiliation within two months of the date of this law.
Article No 8: Without prejudice to other penalties as per article No 5, and those who have not a reasonable excuse to be absolved, will be separated immediately and indefinitely from Government jobs, Public or Official Corporations, managerial and advisory positions in private enterprise companies, as well as any other job in which any kind of confidence is entrusted upon them. This law will cover this employment situation in perpetuity. It will be considered a attenuating circumstances providing information to the authorities about the persons who had performed the initiation into masonry, their superiors, or any other person involved in masonry or any other item of information that will be of benefit in the carrying of this law.
General Francisco Franco
A letter from Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, the founder of Opus Dei to Franco written in 1958, regarding the union of church and state existing in Spain under the Franco regime:
I wish to add my sincerest personal congratulation to the many you have received on the occasion of the promulgation of the Fundamental Principles.
My forced absence from our homeland in service of God and souls, far from weakening my love for Spain, has, if it were possible, increased it. From the perspective of the eternal city of Rome, I have been able to see better than ever the beauty of that especially beloved daughter of the church which is my homeland, which the Lord has so often used as an instrument for the defense and propagation of the holy, Catholic faith in the world.
Although alien to any political activity, I cannot help but rejoice as a priest and Spaniard that the Chief of State’s authoritative voice should proclaim that, “The Spanish nation considers it a badge of honor to accept the law of God according to the one and true doctrine of the Holy Catholic Church, inseparable faith of the national conscience which will inspire its legislation.” It is in fidelity to our people’s Catholic tradition that the best guarantee of success in acts of government, the certainty of a just and lasting peace within the national community, as well as the divine blessing for those holding positions of authority, will always be found.
I ask God our Lord to bestow upon your Excellency with every sort felicity and impart abundant grace to carry out the grave mission entrusted to you.
Please accept, Excellency, the expression of my deepest personal esteem and be assured of my prayers for all your family.
Most devotedly yours in the Lord,
Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer
Rome, May 23, 1958
The photo is of Franco at church with Frederico Cardinal Tedeschini in Barcelona.