Sunday, December 9, 2007

Spanish Civil War

George Weigel discusses the background of the conflagration which gave us so many martyrs.
As the recent beatification of 498 martyrs of that period suggests, the Catholic Church suffered terribly during the Spanish Civil War; the new beati join hundreds beatified in the 1980s and 1990s and the nine Martyrs of Asturias canonized in 1999. Yet the beatified and canonized are a fraction of the total — some 7,000 bishops, priests, seminarians, monks, and nuns were killed simply because of who they were; no one knows how many thousands of lay Catholics were dispatched for the same reason. Some of the killings were beyond grotesque, as priests and seminarians were treated like bulls in the ring: stabbed, flayed, their ears cut off, and so forth, before the coup de grace. Entire monasteries, seminaries, and convents were wiped out; the dead bodies of nuns were exhumed and desecrated. There was little (some say no) apostasy.

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