Pope Beatifies Three Nuns Killed In Spanish Civil War
VATICAN CITY (AP) _ Pope John Paul II on Sunday beatified three nuns killed by anti-Franco forces during the Spanish civil war.
About 15,000 people, including 630 priests, 34 bishops and six cardinals, attended the ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica. The ceremony marks the first step toward possible sainthood.
Carmelite nuns Maria Pilar, 59, Maria Angeles, 31, and Teresa, 27, were shot to death July 24, 1936, in Guadalajara by leftist forces fighting Gen. Francisco Franco.
The pope said the three were killed ″out of hatred for the Catholic religion.″
Vatican officials said nearly 7,000 members of the clergy and religious orders, including 13 bishops, were killed in the Spanish civil war. Applications for beatification have been initiated in about 1,000 cases.
Pope Paul VI suspended the cases in 1964 to protest the Franco regime.
Italian news reports said some Spanish politicians were opposed to the beatification on grounds it would open old wounds caused by the civil war.
The pope Sunday also beatified Cardinal Marcelo Spinola y Maestre, founder of the ″Servants of the Divine Heart″ and archbishop of Seville, where he died at 77 in 1906, and Monsignor Manuel Domingo y Sol, described by the pope as the ″apostle of the priestly vocation″ who died in 1909 at age 73.