Godwin’s Pope (5)

Fresh from his remarkably disingenuous claims about atheism and the Nazis, that “subtle historian” Benedict XVI is (it appears from this report on his current visit to Spain) once again offering his own, distinctly unorthodox, take on the past:

On his way to Santiago, Benedict told reporters that the anticlericalism seen now in Spain was reminiscent of the 1930s, when the church suffered a wave of violence and persecution as the country lurched from an unstable democracy to civil war.

Reminiscent? Really?

Somewhere between five and seven thousand priests, monks, seminarians and nuns are thought to have been murdered, sometimes under circumstances of peculiarly revolting cruelty, during the course of the Spanish civil war by anti-Franco forces. Pope John Paul II beatified some five hundred of these victims. To his credit, Benedict himself beatified a further 498 in October 2007.

Now, however, he insults their memory.

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2 Responses to Godwin’s Pope (5)

  1. Rich Rostrom says:

    The anti-clericalism Benedict refers to isn’t necessarily murderous Red atheism. One factor in the breakdown of the Spanish Republic was that much of the non-Red Left was reflexively anti-clerical.

    In particular, Miguel Azana, who led the Popular Front coalition in 1936 and became first Premier and then President of the Republic, was no Red (nor an anarchosyndicalist). But his anti-clericalism was so intense that he could not really accept the CEDA (the main right-wing party, basically Christian Democrat) as legitimate.

    Meanwhile, since the Communists and Socialists were also anti-clerical, he refused to acknowledge their openly revolutionary and anti-democratic attitudes and actions. Much of the impetus for the 1936 rebellion came from the perception that Azana was going to let the Reds take over.

    Also bear in mind that the attitudes come first; the actions come later. Because allegedly similar attitudes have not yet resulted in similar actions does not mean the attitudes aren’t similar.

  2. MIchael Brendan Dougherty says:

    Just in the past week the Spanish government has forbidden Catholics to visit the Basilica inside the Valle de los Caidos, which is run by Benedictine monks.

    The Valle de los Caidos is a gigantic monument constructed by Francisco Franco to commemorate the dead from the Spanish Civil War – the monks say Mass at the Church there. But in order to do justice to the socialists, Catholic Spaniards are now forbidden to visit there and hear Mass. They have actually stationed guards outside it.

    But I’m sure Mr. Stuttaford is an expert on the situation that obtains in Spain now. Catholics have been forbidden to worship in a certain place in order to satisfy the socialist government’s vengeance on Franco. Nothing to be worried about here!

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