Did the Catholic Church consider sporting activities as a special tool for building an imagined European community? Mostly focusing on the Portuguese case, this paper analyses to what extent the debate on the dissemination of Catholic sport acquired a transnational scope. First generated from the confrontation with Protestant and then with fascist culture, the idea of "muscular Catholicism" converted into a pillar of physical education in the Portuguese Estado Novo. After the Second World War, this entangled cultural transference allowed the Salazarist youth organization to become part of a Catholic sports community that spanned Europe from the river Elba to Lisbon.
Keywords: Catholic Church, Fascism, Sport, Physical education, Imagined communities