The Death of Spain - new chapter

There are plenty of people in Spain who come to the defense of Franco. Many of the old rural people love him.

According to the leftists the number of people “missing” at the hands of franquismo is less than150,000. (That pales in comparison to his comrad Adolf Hitler with over 6 million jews.) Franco was no Hitler, but he ran in those circles. Remember Franco brought the German Luftwafa in to bomb the town of Guernica killing probably less than 200 non-combatants. The problem is that each of those 200? and the 150,000 (or 75,000?) have their own horrific stories. That is what we see depicted in the movies, read on the internet and in leftists books, It is just hard to tell the families of those victims that it is okay because the “reds” persecuted the church and killed priests… at least for me… even if it is a terribly wrong leftest agenda.

The sad part of it all is that people so thoroughly intertwine the Church with one political leader/party or another, and throughout much of Europe there still lingers a hatred of the Church for what is seen, rightly or wrongly, as improper Church influence on political life that any conversation turns south.

It is an undeniable fact that the Church became entangled with politics, for better or for worse. And the issue is far more relevant in Europe than it is in the States, if for no other reason than that we have so little history, period. In Europe, people’s “memories” go far, farther back to perceptions of what was right and wrong, who was on the “good” side and who on the “bad” for centuries. And the Church, often entwined with those considered “good” or “bad” is held in high esteem or castigatged as the work of the devil.

It is easy for us in America to sit and pronounce judgement on the feelings and prejudices of those European, without often even having a smattering (let alone a thorough) understanding of history. While the Church may have “preached Christ, and him crucified”, various individuals, including significant numbers of the hierarchy were involved in taking sides. That may well have been thought, at the time, to be the best course for the Church, but we reap the results, intended or otherwise.

What is necessary is not that the State be Catholic, or favor Catholics, but rather that Catholics engage in metanoia; in turning away from self and to Christ.

On the bombing of Guernica… I’m not saying that it was the right decision. But the USA and Britain would go on to prosecute war against Germany and Japan in an even more gross manner… but nobody says Churchill or Roosevelt or Truman are fascists. They are people who approved the bombing of largely civilian targets. I don’t think it’s a valid principle of just warfare, but Franco gets to stand in the company of Churchill, Roosevelt and Truman, or they get to stand in his company.

On the question of killings… there were several types of killings going on. During the Spanish Civil War it was commonplace that agents of both sides would be executed (taking someone on a “paseo”) when they fell into enemy hands. Both the Republicans and the Nationalists did this: they both claimed state power and the right to execute traitors (a crime traditionally regarded as capital in most societies).

Then there were reprisal killings which were common among anarchists, communists and the Falange. For example, in the prelude to the war a communist gunned down a Falangist youth and a local female Communist celebrity made a show of urinating on the dead kid’s face. So the Falangists loaded up in some cars and went on a reprisal shooting spree. I’m not sure it’s fair to hold either side responsible as a whole for these kinds of actions, which are really personal acts of violence not ordered by the ‘top brass’.

Finally you have the executions of certain individuals after the war who were judged to have committed capital crimes. I suppose we would need to look at specific cases. But I would caution you not to underestimate the vast scale of crimes committed in the name of Anarchy, Communism and Joseph Stalin. Nor the sheer animosity to the Church and all things Catholic (there’s a famous photo of some anarchist riflemen apparently trying to ‘execute’ Our Lord by putting his statue in front of a firing squad).

I know that Communists have been working tirelessly to propagate a myth that Franco was an evil Fascist who cruelly oppressed freedom-loving servants of democracy and liberty. They’ve been selling that since before 1936 even. They even talked a bunch of American citizens into going over there and fighting under Stalinist command (and of course the lives of the brigaderos were casually thrown away in wasteful Communist assaults). But they did win the propaganda war, even among brother Catholics.

How sad. :frowning:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit