Friday, December 16, 2011

If you didn't see this 12 minute video at Fr Z's a few days ago it is well worth watching, there are English subtitles. It is the story of one small group of martyrs from the Spanish Civil War of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
There are some odd liturgical things and the brutality of what really happened is cleaned up, a bit, presumably for a family audience. They are ordinary men called to extraordinary heroism.

Martyrs of Spain, pray for us in our need.


shane said...

Excellent video. Viewers may be interested in reading the Joint Letter issued by the Spanish Bishops in 1937. Powerful stuff.

Martyrs of Spain, pray for us.

Nicolas Bellord said...

It certainly gives the lie to the idea that being anti-Church and anticlerical is something new in Spain. One can go back to the Carlist wars of the 19th century as described by the Earl of Caernavon to find similar massacres of priests and nuns.

On the other hand one should also read Bernanos' "Les Grand Cimetieres sous la Lune" to see another side of the picture where those who had not taken communion at Easter were taken out and shot on the beaches by the falangists.

George said...

Actually the "modern" attacks on the Spanish Church started under Napoleon I and his brother Joseph. Some of the atrocities approached the barbarity of the Vendee.

God bless the Duke of Wellington!

Mike Cliffson said...

Subject is a worms nest.
But the disgusting bahaviour of the Napoleonic troops, looting in general and despoiling the church in particular,and summarily "dealing with" resistance had practically no popular Spanish support, whereas but a generation or so later anticlericalism- and very violent anticlericalism - had popular support. I would suspect not reaching a majority, but enough for mobs.Who shall ever pinpoint the numbers?
Bookshelves continue to be written on the subject, but the wedge being deliberately driven by masons and freethinkers twixt church and people had not gone far enough to benefit Napo, as that disgusting man had -openly-expected, but bore evil fruit later.
And continues to do so 200 years on!
Spaniards being Spaniards, the parties that were nationalist and prochurch, more or less, were capable of plenty of atrocities from Napoleonic times onwards- but that does not make martyrs and saints any the less martyrs!
One thing is fighting, another, even in Civil war , fighting clean.(Spaniards are not alone in fighting dirty in Civil war: Parliament versus king was NOT a costume drama put on by the sealed knot).
On the other hand, if you preach hatred as part of a renovation of mankind, "free of the trammels of organized religion" etc, killing clergy, religious and ordinary faithful , out of hand for that sole reason is hardly "collatoral damage".
The intelligentsia give the diverse groupings referred to as the 1936-39 "Republicans" a free pass, much as they do uncle Joe Stalin, Polpot, and Che.

1936 39 Many, many more died than we know of forgiving and blessing their murderers. Others were murdered for their faith and that alone, tho their deaths had less heroic sanctity.This video is a drop in the ocean.

george said...


You raise some good points.

From my reading on the subject, Napoleon had quite a bit (albiet certainly not a majority) of support from the Spanish intellectuals and "enlightened" classes.

The more interesting topic you raise is the limits of war for legitimate partisans fighting against invaders and oppressors. Increasing the legitimacy of the partisans would be the fact that the oppressors were anti-Catholic.

Do Catholic partisans have to take prisoners, if they have no means to secure them and hold them for long periods of time? Must they release them then? Or can they execute them to protect society from the oppressors' future acts of violence against the people?

Modern, secular laws of land warfare say that the partisans cannot execute the prisoners.

Mike Cliffson said...

The most famous Spaniard broadly in sympathy with many of the ideas from France was Goya, and as you say, he was far from alone.But the 18th century "ilustracion", or rationalism and interest in science was very much in and with the church - those people were NOT anticlerical, seeds tho there may have been , and most certainly were as staggered as Goya himself at French behaviour.
Spaniards, the church among them , never managed to limit the fighting back much.The details are fascinating,but I don't think that broad brushsttroke is off the mark.
The whole business of fighting clean is a Catholic invention, I don't know if scotland about 13300 years ago is really the first instance, or just the first recorded one. Partisans cannot be as nice in their criteria, and war brutifies the noblest among us, yet
I'd still put my money on catholics to be comparatively better behaved overall and in the long run, however lamentably far from simon-pure.
I rather think the 17th century, and the twentieth, bear me out.

George said...

I suppose this is why bands of Catholic partisan guerillas had priest with them. (or should have, at any rate.) If I have to commit war atrocities, I want a priest nearby for some degree of moral guidance, and ultimately for penance too.

capuchino27 said...

A Civil War by its very nature is a 'disorder' in that the Law divides itself into two parts,each claiming legitamacy.Hence a lawful man can be executed for not obeying
the law of one party.The highest form of order is the Catholic Church,closely follwed by other Christian communities not in 'unity with' the Papacy;hence for disorder to reign supreme,proir to installing 'a humanistic manifesto' it is essential to remove or exturpate Christianity by whatever Robespiere,Hitler,Stalin and Oliver Cromwell whose primary target of Catholicism aso encroached to a lesser degree on Anglescism(Christmas was banned)

capuchino27 said...

'The Truth' feeds off an ordered society and wherever disorder reigns Christianity in general and The Catholic Church in particular will be attacked.Disorder and corruption ultimately strives to reign supreme and carries the seed of its own destruction because an ediface will not stand on shallow unplanned foundations -witness Arab Spring.Humanistic manifesto requires a period of turbulent disorder prior to being declared an illegitamate order re Robespiere,Hitler,Stalin and Cromwell who primarily persecuted Catholics and to a lesser degree Anglescism -he banned Christmas!