In an utterly unsurprising move, the Vatican has beatified 498 Roman Catholics who died ‘as martyrs’ in the Spanish Civil War. These men and women died at the hands of leftist (mostly anarchist) fighters during that terrible conflict. The Catholic Church has been criticised for not recognising victims from the other side in the war: but why would they? After all, the Catholic Church in Spain openly supported Francisco Franco’s mutiny: that’s the main reason Catholic officials were attacked. Before you apologists-for-fascism start foaming at the mouth, I’m not trying to justify the fact that monks, nuns and priests were killed. I will, however, point out that plenty of Catholic officials were agents of the fascists, and that when the Church (or its officials) took sides in the war, it had to expect casualties.
The timing of this beatification is also somewhat mysterious (read: very well planned). It coincides with the introduction of a new law here which will change the way the crimes of the Civil War and dictatorship are officially remembered. Apparently, part of the new law demands that churches remove Franco-era memorials. Don’t forget: however many died at the hands of the disparate Republican forces, there’s no question that the fascists killed far more innocents, both during and after the Civil War. The Church was also arguably the greatest victor of the Civil War: it was handed total control of education and morality in Spain for decades.
That the Vatican should indulge some of its more right-wing supporters in a move clearly aimed at dividing opinion in Spain, should surprise no one. This is, after all, the same organisation which is led by a former Hitler-youth member, an organisation which persists in claiming that European countries are intentionally spreading HIV-aids via wicked condoms in African countries. It seems a shame that such an antiquated and morally dubious body should hold sway over so many people around the world. In fact, over the last century it is very likely that Christianity has been responsible for more death and unhappiness than Islam. The sooner we rid ourselves of the lot of them, the better.
6 thoughts on “Vatican: we heart fascists”
i understand your frustration with the catholic church, honestly, but wasn’t being a member of Hitler Youth mandatory for all young Germans in the 40s. He had no choice. Or should we disregard all Germans over a certain age? It’s one thing to disagree with the pope, or any of his policies, but now you’re calling him a nazi.
The Pope’s an awful man. Not only was he a member of the Hitler Youth (I don’t really see the difference of whether it was compulsory or not), he also dedicated the last 20 years to a combination of protecting ultra-orthodox dogma and hard work covering-up the fact that thousands of his beloved church’s priests were paedophiles. He now heads an organisation which frequently holds memorials and beatifications for known fascists.
i’m not disputing whether or not he’s a terrible man. I’m arguing that since all teenaged Germans were required to join Hitler Youth, I don’t think we can use that as an argument against the entire 1940s young german population. I mean, there are few 14 year olds that can stand up to dictatorship. So, yes, I’m sorry, there is a difference. If not, I think we have to prosecute the entire over 50 german population for crimes against humanity.
And yes, I agree we shouldn’t be honoring the fascists. And yes, the pope is most certainly corrupt, but when hasn’t the church been corrupt.
I’m just saying, there are many shades of gray with all that happened in Germany (and Spain) this last century and if start slinging accusations (or labels) out of context, then we’re really getting nowhere, because we’re not learning anything about what actually happened. Of course he was a member of Hitler Youth, but they all were or they were dead.
Beth, you’re right. I suppose the Hitler Youth thing is something of a red herring when it comes to the other things he has done.
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