The patronato (lit. 'patronage') system in Spain (and a similar padroado system in Portugal) was the expression of royal patronage controlling major appointments of Church officials and the management of Church revenues, under terms of concordats with the Holy See. The resulting structure of royal power and ecclesiastical privileges, was formative in the Spanish colonial empire. It resulted in a characteristic constant intermingling of trade, politics, and religion. The papacy granted the power of patronage to the monarchs of Spain and Portugal to appoint clerics because the monarchs "were willing to subsidize missionary activities in newly conquered and discovered territories."
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