Basque Bishops Apologize for 1930s Deaths

Catholic bishops from Spain's Basque region have apologized for keeping quiet about the killing of priests by right-wing forces during the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939. "The memory of these priests has never faded in the eyes of their families, parishioners and diocesan presbyteries, nor (in the eyes) of the religious orders to which they belonged," said Bishop Miguel Asurmendi Aramendia of Vitoria. "What is not justifiable or acceptable any longer is the silence in which our church's official media has wrapped their deaths. We believe such a long silence was not only a wrongful omission, but also a lack of truth and an act against justice and charity, for which we humbly ask forgiveness from God and our brethren," the bishop said at a Mass for 14 priests killed by the late Gen. Francisco Franco's nationalist army on July 11. At the Mass, concelebrated by more than 200 Catholic clergy, Bishop Asurmendi said the priests were denied public burial rites, and most of their deaths were not recorded in diocesan registers. Speaking on behalf of all Basque bishops, he said the church wished to "recognize and repair" the damage and to "serve the truth by purifying memory."

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A boy presents a hat to Pope Francis upon his arrival at the international airport in Trujillo, Peru, Jan. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Just as the apostles faced the storm on the sea, you had to face the brunt of ‘El Niño costero.’”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
Pope Francis greets the crowd before celebrating Mass at the Maquehue Airport near Temuco, Chile, Jan. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Pope Francis’ statements...were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse,” Cardinal O’Malley said in a statement released Jan. 20.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 20, 2018
 Pope Francis and Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stand outside the presidential palace in Lima, Peru, Jan.19.(CNS photo//Mariana Bazo, Reuters)
“The degradation of the environment...cannot be separated from the moral degradation of our communities.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
The U.S. bishops had an unusually busy year issuing positive and negative statements about the new president, but some hoped for more decisive action against his policies.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 19, 2018