522 Fascist Clergy to get made into Saints

The Beatification Ceremony comes at a historic moment. For the first time an Interpol warrant has been issued for 2 notorious fascist criminals of the Franco regime, and the United Nations has called for an investigation into the thousands of ‘disappearances’ under ther dictatorship.

Murdered priests used for propaganda as victims still ignored

When right wing sections of the Spanish military tried to take power from the Republican Government the Catholic Hierarchy came out in their favour even signing a public Pastoral Declaration supporting them which may have swung the war in their favour. 


The support of the all powerful Church helped turn a failed army mutiny into a Crusade against the popular desire for abolishing oppression, portrayed as the evils of anarchism and communism. This resulted in a giant horror, with over 500,000 deaths on all sides and 40 years of fascist/catholic dictatorship, plus the execution of 100,000 republican prisoners, the robbery of 200,000 babies, etc, etc

The Spanish Catholic Church at the  time was hugely powerful, trying to control all aspects of life, especially in rural settings  It had gone unreformed since the infamous 200 year long Spanish Inquisition and the misogynist Witch Trials. To this day the Spanish Church enjoys impunity, pays no property tax and receives extensive subsidies.

The Church took an active role in the war, portraying it as a Crusade, and drawing up lists of ‘disobedient’ subjects for the fascist death and torture squads.

In this context several thousand priests and nuns were murdered, 522 more of these to be beatified in Tarragona on 13th Oct 2013, in the presence of all top clergy, politicians and a selection of neo nazi parties.  (Curiously the Catalan bishop of Tarragona was the only one who refused to sign the Pastoral supporting the fascist mutiny.)

The context of the killings was a sweeping Social Revolution, bringing mutual aid, love, respect and direct assembly democracy in place of repression, authority and patriarchy. And for the first time the mistreated workers had the CNT union capable of organising industry and agriculture  without owners or bosses. Events quiuckly showed that predator capitalism could be easily abolished. If the Catholic Church had been able to obey their own chrtistian ideals and support the Revolution it could have changed the disastrous course of human history.

Nobody is saying that is was right to kill these people. However they were seen by the people not as saintly martyrs but exploiters and parasitic oppressors for generations beforehand, and were the allies and informants of illegal fascist death squads.

By making then into future Saints with all pomp and State ceremony, they are being used for continuing political propaganda by those who have inherited the privileges, power, wealth and property stolen in and after that terrible war.

This one sided beatification thus dishonours the hundreds of thousands who still await recognition, those people dumped still alive in pits of corpses, down wells, raped and tortured to death in the most horrific ways imaginable, and whose families still await closure, as well as the examination and exhumation of thousands of known mass graves.

691_2902What Spain still needs is not more future Saints but a process of justice, reconciliation and reparation and only then, amnesty and forgetting.

There are still winners and losers

This beatification cannot avoid being interpreted as a political tool

manifesto by Christian Networking / Cristianisme Segle XXI 9 OCT 2013 – (roughly translated by thefreeonline)

On 13 October, in Tarragona , 522 people will receive pre-Sainthood as ”martyrs of the Civil War”. Seventy-five years after these events , the hierarchy of the Catholic Church seems to want to keep open the wounds by massively honoring the victims of a single side. This shows their inability to overcome positions taken then, and also continues to believe that war to be a Crusade .

Also by being celebrated in Tarragona , the beatification ceremony dishonors the figure of the archbishop of the diocese , Cardinal Vidal i Barraquer , who in a lucid and courageous gesture refused to sign the Collective Pastoral declaration by the Spanish bishops in July 1937 in favour of the military uprising , which led to his exile and all kinds of persecution .

Every group has the right, and probably the obligation, to honor their dead . But to close wounds , and do so in a climate of reconciliation , both sides must agree that they made mistakes , apologize and recognize equally the heroism of all the innocent dead , on both sides .

As Catholics we have to apologize for the belligerent position of most of the hierarchy , ecclesiastical institutions and a number of lay people, and have the humility required by the request for forgiveness . But so far the hierarchy has refused to recognize the illegitimacy of the coup against the legitimate government of the Republic and the mistake that led to the Pastoral Collective Declaration . Without this recognition there can hardly be reconciliation .

From our deepest admiration and respect for those lives and, above all , from the circumstances of each of their deaths , often with torture and suffering we must add that this beatification , unfortunately can not avoid being interpreted as using these deaths as a political tool in the service of one of the two sides.

The beatification ceremony also dishonours the figure of the archbishop of the diocese , Cardinal Vidal i Barraquer

Under these conditions, and in the context of the current debate on the recovery of historical memory , the Church is placed in a position not only open to criticism as an institution, but also for partisan treatment of the dead. The beatified could never have imagined that 75 years later , the most recalcitrant of Spanish society would seek political advantage from their sacrifice.

Certainly , the hierarchy itself has argued that no one can be led to the altar to be made a saint if the cause of his/her murder is not strictly for motivations of faith . By forgetting the thousands of workers , teachers and priests killed by the dictatorship for reasons of loyalty to the people – and often also of faith, this beatification is not only unfair, but makes true reconciliation impossible .

In order to build the reconciliation that this country still needs you need moral compensation for all victims . And that has not been done with the Republican victims . If the Church had enough freedom and generosity to make this gesture , they could honour their martyrs without incurring offense to anyone, because everyone, winners and losers , were also victims.

And they could avoid that evil refrain: ” For one side , Saints on the altars , the other thrown in the gutter like dogs.” While this recognition does not occur , the hierarchy of the Church should know that they are humiliating the innocent victims of the other side and their families, and continue to show their inability to be a factor of peace and reconciliation , and also, objectively, willingly or not, they still appear as a hierarchy of spite .

We would like that this new mass beatification, which retains the open wounds , could be an opportunity for the Catholic Church , with sincere remorse , to ask for forgiveness from the current citizenship for their participation as a driver of conflict and, consequently, as the aggressor, we would like that they repent for their collaboration in the death or murder of thousands of innocents, accusing , denouncing , even providing lists of suspected parishioners to the death squads, that they apologize for their part in the concealment of the sacrifice of so many who gave their lives for the sake of justice and truth, and finally, to apologize for all the benefits they have gained over many years of the illegitimate dictatorship regime.

This is the role of peace bringer the church should embrace. The Church must not relate to the world in terms of itself, but in terms of building the Kingdom of God, that is in terms of justice and truth. Otherwise, if it confronts the world on behalf of what it sees as the rights of its own people , it risks becoming a sect . And since, as a Church it aspires to manifest socially the message of Jesus it should never forget it must itself embody this desire of Jesus, in the Gospel, on the union of his followers : ” That they may be one as we are . While I was with them, I kept them in thy name which thou hast given me. I guarded them and did not lose even one ” ( Jn 17.11-12 ) .

Manifesto signed by Christian base groups . Published in El País. Catalonia Edition. 10/10/2013


Spanish original

Aún hay vencedores y vencidos

Esta beatificación no puede evitar ser interpretada como una instrumentalización política

Redes Cristianas / Cristianisme Segle XXI9 OCT 2013 – 21:40 CET

El próximo 13 de octubre, en Tarragona, 522 personas recibirán el honor de los altares como mártires de la Guerra Civil. Setenta y cinco años después de aquellos hechos, la jerarquía de la Iglesia católica parece querer mantener abiertas las heridas de entonces honrando masivamente a las víctimas de un solo bando. Ello pone de manifiesto su incapacidad para superar las posiciones de entonces, y también que sigue considerando aquella guerra como una cruzada.

Además, celebrándose en Tarragona, la ceremonia de beatificación deshonra la figura del entonces arzobispo de esta diócesis, el cardenal Vidal i Barraquer, que en un gesto lúcido y valiente se negó a firmar la Pastoral Colectiva de los obispos españoles de julio de 1937 a favor del levantamiento, lo que provocó su exilio y todo tipo de persecuciones.

Todo colectivo tiene el derecho, y probablemente la obligación, de honrar a sus muertos. Pero para cerrar heridas, y hacerlo en un clima de reconciliación, ambos bandos deben aceptar que cometieron errores, pedir perdón y reconocer en igualdad de condiciones la heroicidad de todos los muertos inocentes, y de ambos lados. A los católicos nos toca pedir perdón por la posición beligerante de la mayor parte de la jerarquía, de instituciones eclesiásticas y de un buen número de laicos, y tener la humildad necesaria que requiere la petición de perdón. Pero hasta ahora la jerarquía se ha negado a reconocer la ilegitimidad del golpe de Estado contra el Gobierno legítimo de la República y el grave error que supuso la Pastoral Colectiva. Sin este reconocimiento difícilmente puede haber reconciliación.

Desde nuestra más profunda admiración y respeto por aquellas vidas y, sobre todo, por las circunstancias de cada una de sus muertes —a menudo con suplicios y sufrimientos añadidos— desgraciadamente esta beatificación no puede evitar ser interpretada como una instrumentalización política de las muertes al servicio de uno de los dos bandos.

La ceremonia de beatificación deshonra la figura del entonces arzobispo de esta diócesis, el cardenal Vidal i Barraquer

En estas condiciones, y en el contexto del actual debate sobre la recuperación de la Memoria Histórica, la Iglesia se coloca en un espacio no solo de fácil crítica como institución, sino también de instrumentalización partidista de los muertos. Los ahora beatificados nunca habrían podido imaginar que, 75 años después, el sector más recalcitrante de la sociedad española pretendería sacar provecho político de su sacrificio. Ciertamente, la jerarquía aduce que nadie puede ser llevado a los altares si en la causa de su asesinato se mezclan motivaciones no estrictamente de fe. Pero olvidar los miles de obreros, maestros y sacerdotes asesinados por el franquismo por motivos de fidelidad al pueblo —y a menudo también de fe— no solo es una injusticia, sino que hace imposible una verdadera reconciliación.

Para poder construir la reconciliación que este país sigue necesitando, es preciso el resarcimiento moral de todas las víctimas. Y eso todavía no se ha hecho con las víctimas republicanas. Si la Iglesia tuviera la libertad y la generosidad suficiente para hacer este gesto, podría honrar a sus mártires sin que ello supusiera ofender a nadie, porque todos, vencedores y vencidos, fueron igualmente víctimas. Y evitaría esa frase maligna: “Los de un lado, a los altares, los del otro en la cuneta como perros”. Mientras no se produzca este reconocimiento, la jerarquía de la Iglesia debe saber que sigue humillando a las víctimas inocentes del otro lado y a sus familiares, que sigue manifestando su incapacidad para ser factor de paz y reconciliación, y, objetivamente, queriendo o no, que sigue apareciendo como jerarquía del rencor.

Quisiéramos que esta nueva beatificación masiva, que sigue manteniendo las heridas abiertas, sirva para que la Iglesia católica, con sincero remordimiento, pida de una vez perdón a la ciudadanía actual por su participación como impulsora del conflicto y, consecuentemente, como agresora; que se arrepienta por su colaboración en la muerte o el asesinato de miles de inocentes, acusando, denunciando, ofreciendo incluso listas de feligreses bajo sospecha a los pelotones de la muerte; que pida perdón por su responsabilidad en la ocultación del sacrificio de tantos que entregaron su vida por causa de la justicia y la verdad, y, finalmente, que pida perdón por los beneficios de todo tipo que obtuvo a lo largo de tantos años del ilegítimo régimen de la dictadura.

Se trata fundamentalmente de ejercer la función de portadora de paz que tiene que ejercer. La Iglesia no debe relacionarse con el mundo en función de sí misma, sino en función de la construcción del Reino de Dios; esto es, en función de la justicia y la verdad. En caso contrario, si se aleja y se confronta con el mundo, por mucho derecho que tenga a reconocer el mérito de los suyos, corre el riesgo de convertirse en secta. Y ya que, como Iglesia, aspira a manifestar socialmente el mensaje de Jesús, no debería olvidar nunca encarnar en sí misma este deseo de Jesús, recogido en el evangelio, sobre la unión de sus seguidores: “Que sean uno como lo somos nosotros. Mientras estaba con ellos, yo los guardaba en tu nombre, los que me has dado. He velado por ellos y no se ha perdido ni un solo” (Jn 17,11-12).

Manifiesto suscrito por colectivos eclesiales de base. publicado en El País, Catalunya edition. 10/10/2013


Spanish Civil War: Casualties

Available information suggests that there were about 500,000 deaths from all causes during the Spanish Civil War. An estimated 200,000 died from combat-related causes. Of these, 110,000 fought for the Republicans and 90,000 for the Nationalists. This implies that 10 per cent of all soldiers who fought in the war were killed.It has been calculated that the fascist/Catholic mutineer Army executed 75,000 people in the war whereas the legal Republican Army accounted for 55,000. These deaths takes into account the murders of members of rival political groups.  It is estimated that about 5,300 foreign soldiers died while fighting for the Nationalists (4,000 Italians, 300 Germans, 1,000 others). The International Brigades suffered heavy losses during the war. Approximately 4,900 soldiers died fighting for the Republicans (2,000 Germans, 1,000 French, 900 Americans, 500 British and 500 others).Around 10,000 Spanish people were killed in bombing raids. The vast majority of these were victims of the German Condor Legion.  The economic blockade of Republican controlled areas caused malnutrition in the civilian population. It is believed that this caused the deaths of around 25,000 people. About 3.3 per cent of the Spanish population died during the war with another 7.5 per cent being injured.After the war the government of General Francisco Franco arranged the executions of 100,000 Republican prisoners. It is estimated that another 35,000 Republicans died in concentration camps in the years that followed the war.5364772605


13/10/2013 Anti Beatifications protesters lie down in solidarity with thousands of anti fascists massacred withChurch connivance.
13/10/2013 Anti Beatifications protesters lie down in solidarity with thousands of anti fascists massacred with Church connivance

Over 1000 people of dozens of groups, unions, gays, etc marched through the town of Tarragona to oppose the Beatification and denounce the Church


Pope Francis avoids apologizing for Church’s Civil War role (elpais.com)

Related articles

Author: thefreeonline

The Free is a book and a blog. Download free E/book ...”the most detailed fictional treatment of the movement from a world recognizably like our own to an anarchist society that I have read...

2 thoughts on “522 Fascist Clergy to get made into Saints”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: