Leaders to call on Pope to stop dictator Franco’s burial at landmark cathedral in Spain

Image of incident in the resort of El Arenal de Llucmajor. Credit: Protecció Civil Llucmajor

THE Spanish government is turning to the Vatican in its bid to stop dictator Francisco Franco being buried at a famous Madrid cathedral, should his remains be exhumed.
Deputy prime minister Carmen Calvo will travel to Rome to meet with the Pope’s second in command Pietro Parolin, to discuss the matter with the heads of the Catholic Church.
Last week, Franco’s family demanded his body be reburied at La Almudena Cathedral, next to the Royal Palace, which the government has argued would undermine the object of exhumation from the Valley of the Fallen.
It is also feared the move would create a new pilgrimage site for the dictator’s supporters, posing a security risk.
Socialist Party (PSOE) government officials would prefer he was moved to a less prestigious location, such as El Prado cemetery where his wife is buried.
But with no legal grounds to prevent the landmark cathedral move, ministers are pinning their hopes on church leaders.
It has been reported Calvo also intends to discuss properties that the government suspects are fraudulently owned by the Catholic Church under laws approved by Franco.
The archbishop of Madrid, Carlos Oslo, agreed not to prevent the exhumation back in July, but has since claimed the church can’t stop Franco’s relatives from moving his body to La Almudena.
It is believed that should the government find a legal reason to stop the transfer, the church will support it, as it did with the exhumation.
But at the moment, its only argument is the security risk it might pose, which could be rejected by the courts.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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