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Vatican beatifies 498 Spanish Civil War "martyrs"

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fnbrill
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Oct 29 2007 01:49
Vatican beatifies 498 Spanish Civil War "martyrs"

Vatican beatifies 498 Spanish martyrs

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press WriterSun Oct 28, 4:33 PM ET

The Vatican took on Spain's Socialist government Sunday, criticizing its social policies as the church beatified nearly 500 victims of leftist persecution during the country's civil war era.

The ceremony was the largest mass beatification ever by the Vatican, which supported the fascist dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco during and after his war against the leftists.

Some in Spain questioned the timing of the beatification of the 498 martyrs, which came three days before Spain's parliament is expected to pass a Socialist-sponsored law that will for the first time formally condemn Franco's rule and order the removal of all fascist symbols from the country.

Today's Spanish Socialist Workers' Party is far more moderate than its civil war namesake, although it does espouse some of the same left-wing policies.

Critics say the Vatican was hitting back at the government by simultaneously beatifying the two bishops, 24 priests and 462 members of religious orders, as well as a deacon, a subdeacon, a seminary student and seven lay Catholics. Since the late 1980s the church has beatified nearly 500 other clergy killed in the war, but in a series of smaller ceremonies.

Spain's 1936-39 civil war pitted the elected leftist government against right-wing forces that rose up under Franco, who went on to win and presided over a nearly 40-year dictatorship.

Starting in 1931, the leftist forces targeted the Catholic Church, an institution they saw as a symbol of wealth, repression and inequality. Their attacks, which killed an estimated 7,000 clergy from 1931 to 1939, gave Franco a pretext for launching his rebellion.

Seventy-one bishops from Spain, a host of conservative Spanish politicians and Spanish pilgrims massed in St. Peter's Square for Sunday's ceremony, waving Spanish flags and breaking into applause after Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, declared the 498 beatified.

In his homily, Saraiva Martins took aim at Socialist legislation that facilitates divorce and gay marriages, as well as the administration's scrapping of plans by a previous conservative government to make religion an obligatory subject in schools.

Criticizing all three initiatives, Saraiva Martins said there was a need to protect the family "founded on the sole and indissoluble marriage between a man and woman, on the primary right for parents to educate their children."

The comments drew sustained applause from the crowd, which included Spaniards toting postcards featuring Franco-era flags.

Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos and regional authorities attended but the Spanish government did not comment on the ceremony.

Pope Benedict XVI appeared at his studio window after the Mass to greet the pilgrims, saying the beatification of so many ordinary Catholics showed that martyrdom wasn't reserved for a few but "is a realistic possibility for the entire Christian people."

"This martyrdom in ordinary life is an important witness in today's secularized society," he said.

The church says the ceremony is being held now because Benedict finished signing the decrees only two months ago, not because of any attempt to coincide with this week's parliament vote.

Pilgrim Jose-Luis Martin Paredes, a retired truck driver from Toledo, Spain, strongly criticized his government and applauded the Vatican's stance.

"Spain doesn't want the church because we have Socialists and Communists in the government," he said. "I came here to support Spain and the martyrs."

Ties between the church and the Spanish government, which took office in 2004, have also grown tense over the government's attempts to make the church more self-financing. As of a year ago, Spain no longer makes direct payments to the church, instead allowing taxpayers a choice whether to divert 0.7 percent of their taxes or not.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071028/ap_on_re_eu/vatican_spain_beatifications&printer=1;_ylt=AjHuvXsCZD6uuHzFMZKMOHVbbBAF

pgh2a
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Oct 29 2007 03:17

They deserve each other.

Flint
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Oct 29 2007 04:42

Nazi Pope.

Quote:
Pope Benedict XVI appeared at his studio window after the Mass to greet the pilgrims, saying the beatification of so many ordinary Catholics showed that martyrdom wasn't reserved for a few but "is a realistic possibility for the entire Christian people."

"This martyrdom in ordinary life is an important witness in today's secularized society," he said.

Everyone wanting to be a martyr, please line up now.

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fnbrill
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Oct 29 2007 04:43
Flint wrote:
Nazi Pope.

That's right, I forgotten that he was in the SS.

Flint
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Oct 29 2007 04:56
fnbrill wrote:
Flint wrote:
Nazi Pope.

That's right, I forgotten that he was in the SS.

He was to young for that... Hitler Youth, anti-aircraft corps, and then germany infrantry (where he saw folks headed to the death camps), then desertion.

Black Flag
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Oct 29 2007 15:29

I think this shows just how authoritarian the Catholic Church is, as if we'd need reminding of that after what happened in Spain and then in the rest of Europe during the war. Fuck, Hitler was a Catholic if you ask me, he was never excommunicated from the Catholic church.

Black Flag
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Oct 29 2007 15:41

In Mein Kampf Hitler encourages the german protestants and catholics to unite against the jews and bolsheviks/jewish bolsheviks and bangs on about the word of god.

Black Flag
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Oct 29 2007 15:42

What a stupid fuckin nut job.

Black Flag
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Oct 29 2007 15:42

I'm refering to Hitler there ofcourse.

Black Flag
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Oct 29 2007 15:44

Yeah I thought it would be interesting, I wanted to see if it was true that Hitler was a christian and according to Mein Kampf he is.

Black Flag
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Oct 29 2007 15:46

I certainly don't think he was an atheist and I'm not entirely convinced that he was a pagan or whatever though he might have been.

Black Flag
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Oct 29 2007 15:47

Thing is, if he was into witchcraft why did the catholics not boot him out of their church, but anyway.

lrnec
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Oct 29 2007 18:29
Black Flag wrote:
I think this shows just how authoritarian the Catholic Church is, as if we'd need reminding of that after what happened in Spain and then in the rest of Europe during the war. Fuck, Hitler was a Catholic if you ask me, he was never excommunicated from the Catholic church.

Its tricky he appears to believe in some form of Christian type god and his stance on morality is defiantly Christian in origin but he shows distain and dislike of mass organised religions like the Catholic Church but that’s more to do with the threat of their physical/earthly power interfering with his.

The pagan imagery and bent he like to use was more of a cultural thing, master race and master culture etc. Old Germanic/Norse culture surviving or being adapted, kinda like the Celtic cross is defiantly a Christian symbol but still contains Celtic pagan imagery. I might not have explained that well.

Black Flag
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Oct 30 2007 10:48

No thats fine, made sense to me.

Mark.
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Oct 30 2007 19:38

Report in Spanish here of a protest by Italian anarchists against the beatification - they ended up being assaulted by the faithful coming out of mass and one of them was arrested.

Deezer
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Oct 30 2007 22:04
Black Flag wrote:
In Mein Kampf Hitler encourages the german protestants and catholics to unite against the jews and bolsheviks/jewish bolsheviks and bangs on about the word of god.

Doesn't he also spend a lot of the book banging on about syphillus?

lrnec
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Oct 30 2007 23:25
Boulcolonialboy wrote:
Black Flag wrote:
In Mein Kampf Hitler encourages the german protestants and catholics to unite against the jews and bolsheviks/jewish bolsheviks and bangs on about the word of god.

Doesn't he also spend a lot of the book banging on about syphillus?

He was apparently a obsessive neat freak, common for people who are control freaks, which most people agree Hitler was. There’s massive physiological studies and books on the relationships between disorders but it basically goes they feel the threat of disease has to be controlled, or can’t be controlled so it freaks them out even more and they obsess over it. But ya he goes on about syphilis a bit and scapegoats travelers as spreaders of it a lot as well etc etc.

Zazaban
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Nov 6 2007 00:10

Absolutly disgusting. I'm suprised the mainstream media isn't freaking out about this too.