Juan Domingo Peron (1895-1974), president and dictator of Argentina, began to lose power after the death of his wife Eva or Evita (1919-1952), who had a strong political following among women, labor, and the poor. Many Argentines were also upset by the deteriorating economy and increasing totalitarianism. Fearing a growing Christian socialist movement, Peron turned against the Roman Catholic Church, a former ally; priests were arrested for supposedly meddling in labor unions, politics, and student organizations; clerical teachers were fired from state-controlled schools and universities; the government stopped all financial support of church educational institutions; and outdoor religious celebrations were prohibited. Opposition to these severe measures increased, and many government officials resigned in protest. Peron introduced bills to end religious instruction in the schools and to tax church property. Catholics held religious processions that turned into antigovernment demonstrations, which the police ruthlessly suppressed. After a Corpus Christi celebration in June 1955, two high-ranking bishops were deported. The Vatican retaliated by excommunicating Peron (June 16, 1955), and that same day part of the navy and air force staged an unsuccessful revolt in Buenos Aires, the capital.