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'Tolkien and Catholicism'

Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic, and his religion influenced many of his political and philosophical views.

He belonged to the more traditional wing of the Church, and was opposed to the new missal composed in 1970, that changed the liturgy substantially and was celebrated in English, as grandson Simon Tolkien recalls.

I vividly remember going to church with him in Bournemouth. He was a devout Roman Catholic and it was soon after the Church had changed the liturgy from Latin to English. My grandfather obviously didn't agree with this and made all the responses very loudly in Latin while the rest of the congregation answered in English. I found the whole experience quite excruciating, but my grandfather was oblivious. He simply had to do what he believed to be right.

During the Spanish Civil War, he supported the nationalists led by Franco, who would later become dictator of Spain, in contrast to Lewis, as is evident in Letter 83.

His grandson Simon also confirmed that Tolkien's faith played a big part in the decision to send him to Downside, a Roman Catholic school in Somerset.