Spanish Church Warns on Exhumation of Franco
The archdiocese of Madrid has warned the Spanish government against plans to exhume the remains of the country’s late dictator, General Francisco Franco, without obtaining agreement from interested parties.
“We want a solution which helps build a peaceful country,” said Rodrigo Pinedo Texidor, archdiocesan communications director, noting that the archdiocese is not for or against the removal of Franco’s remains.
“We are against moves which don’t have his family’s consent and don’t consider what the Church has to say,” Mr Pinedo said after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed plans to remove the remains from a state mausoleum at the Valley of the Fallen, near Madrid, by the end of July.
Besides the remains of Franco, who ruled Spain until his death in 1975, the Valley of the Fallen contains the remains of at least 34000 people who died in the 1936-39 civil war, and includes a 150m cross and pontifical Santa Cruz basilica.
Mr Sanchez announced plans to transform the Valley of the Fallen into a national remembrance centre.
Spain’s La Razon daily newspaper said the dictator’s seven grandchildren had asked the Church to block the move.
Fr José Maria Gil Tamayo, bishops’ conference secretary-general, told journalists that the proposed exhumation had been discussed by Mr Sanchez and conference president Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Valladolid.
Cardinal Blazquez had confirmed the bishops’ conference would not oppose the move, which was “not up to the Church to decide one way or another”, Fr Tamayo said.—By Jonathan Luxmoore, CNS
Please support The Southern Cross
Your support means we can keep Catholic news alive so that many others will have free access to the high-quality, trustworthy news they deserve. We seek your support not simply to survive, but to grow in our mandate to share the Good News and keep you informed about your Church and Catholic faith.
Every contribution, however big or small, makes a difference. Support us today – it only takes a minute. Thank you.