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Catholic Church beatifies 522 priests and nuns killed by Republicans in the Spanish civil war

Monday, October 14th 2013 - 05:25 UTC
Full article 10 comments
Sunday's ceremony was conducted by Cardinal Angelo Amato Sunday's ceremony was conducted by Cardinal Angelo Amato

The Roman Catholic Church in Spain has beatified 522 people, most of them priests and nuns killed by Republicans during the Spanish Civil War. Thousands of people attended the outdoor event in Tarragona, presided over by a senior Vatican cardinal.

Left-wing groups had objected, saying the ceremony amounted to a glorification of the Franco dictatorship. But the Church said those honoured were martyrs killed because of their faith. Beatification is the final step before sainthood.

The Spanish Church played an important political role in the 1936-1939 civil war, supporting the nationalists led by General Francisco Franco who eventually defeated the strongly anti-clerical republicans.

Sunday's ceremony was conducted by Cardinal Angelo Amato and a recorded video message from Pope Francis was played to the large congregation.

“I join all the participants in the celebration with all my heart”, the Pope said to long applause.

Those present included some 4,000 relatives and descendants of those being beatified. The youngest of the “martyrs” was only 18 years old when he was shot by militiamen in Madrid in 1936. The oldest, an 86-year-old nun, was executed in the same year.

The conflict cost more than half a million lives and remains a divisive subject in Spanish society

Categories: Politics, International.

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  • ChrisR

    Well they are dead, that's it, end of story.

    Oct 14th, 2013 - 11:56 am 0
  • Mr Ed

    It shows just how foul those unnamed 'Left Wing groups' are that they would object to a ceremony to honour those killed by socialists. I suppose if we stopped to honour all those killed by socialists of various hues, we would never get anything done.

    Oct 14th, 2013 - 12:34 pm 0
  • LEPRecon

    The Catholic Church managed to ignore the millions being murdered in the Second World War by their friends the Nazi's, without lifting a finger to help, yet in the Spanish Civil War they got involved in politics.

    These Catholic priests and nuns shouldn't have been involved in the civil war to begin with, and one would think that you'd have to actually 'do' something, other than die, to be set upon the road to sainthood.

    The timing of this is also suspect. 1st they decided to make saints out of 3 popes who were anything BUT saints, and now they're beautifying a bunch of fascist supporters. It appears that the Church is trying to divert attention away from something - sounds familiar.

    However, I wonder if they'll beautify the nuns who were murdered by the fascist Junta in Argentina, or can you only be beautified if you support fascists, and not oppose them.

    Oct 14th, 2013 - 01:53 pm 0
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