Declaration made today, October 30, by Holy See Press Office Director Greg Burke:

“Regarding the meeting held yesterday by the Secretary of State of the Holy See and the Vice President of the Government of Spain, I would like to state the following: Cardinal Pietro Parolin does not oppose the exhumation of Francisco Franco, if the competent authorities have so decided, but at no time did he say anything about the place of burial. It is true that Mrs. Carmen Calvo expressed her concern about the possible burial in the cathedral of Almudena and her desire to explore other alternatives, also through dialogue with the family. The Cardinal Secretary of State thought this solution was appropriate. ”

(JFL: Francisco Franco was a Spanish general who ruled over Spain as a military dictator from 1939, after the nationalist victory in the Spanish Civil War, until his death in 1975. This period in Spanish history is commonly known as Francoist Spain.

By the 1950s, the nature of his regime changed from being openly totalitarian and using severe repression to an authoritarian system with limited pluralism.[18] During the Cold War, Franco was one of the world’s foremost anti-Communist figures: his regime was assisted by the West, and it was asked to join NATO. After chronic economic depression in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Franco presided over the Spanish miracle, abandoning autarky and pursuing economic liberalization, delegating authority to liberal ministers.[19]

Franco died in 1975 at the age of 82. He restored the monarchy before his death, which made King Juan Carlos I his successor, who led the Spanish transition to democracy. After a referendum, a new constitution was adopted, which transformed Spain into a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy. H was buried in the Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen), a colossal memorial built by the forced labour of political prisoners in order to honour the casualties of the Spanish Civil War

On 24 August 2018, the government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez approved legal amendments to the Historical Memory Law stating that only those who died during the civil war will be buried at the Valle de los Caídos, resulting in plans to exhume Franco’s remains for reburial elsewhere. Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo Poyato stated that having Franco buried at the monument “shows a lack of respect … for the victims buried there”. The government gave Franco’s family a 15-day deadline to decide Franco’s final resting place, or else a “dignified place” will be chosen by the government.[104] The family finally agreed.[105] On 13 September 2018, the Congress of Deputies voted 176-2, with 165 abstentions, to remove Franco’s body from the monument. (wikipedia)



In off-the-cuff remarks to the synod plenary about 8 pm Saturday evening, at the end of a gruelling final day of work on the Final Document, Pope Francis spoke briefly.

He began: “I too have to say thank you to everyone. To Cardinal Baldisseri, Monsignor Fabene, the delegated presidents, speakers, the undersecretaries who I said had ‘left their skin’ in the preparatory document, now I believe that they leave the bones to us … thanks to the experts and we saw how we pass from a martyr text to the commission martyr, that of editorial staff, who has done so much effort so much penance have done this. Thanks to all of you, the listeners, and especially the young people who brought their music to the classroom – music is the diplomatic word to say noise.”

He then said he had “two little things to say”.

“First: to reiterate once more that the Synod is not a Parliament. It is a protected space for the Holy Spirit to implement. This is why the information that is given is general, and not the most particular things – the names, the way of saying things – which are those with which the Holy Spirit works in us … and this was a protected space … it was Spirit at work here.

“Second, the result of the Synod is not a document, we are full of documents. I do not know if this document out something, but yes I know what it must do in us, it must work in us. We have made the document, we have studied it, we have approved it. Now the Spirit gives us the document to work in our heart. We are the recipients of the document. Not people … For this document to work, to pray with the document, to study, to ask others for light, but it is mainly for us. We are the first recipients, there is the spirit that has done all this and returns to us. Do not forget that.”

Francis then added a third item:

“The third thing. I think of our Mother, the Holy Mother Church. The last three numbers (of the final document) on holiness show what the Church is, our mother is holy, but children are sinners. We are all sinners. And do not forget that expression of the fathers, the caste meretrix, the Holy Church, the Holy Mother with sinful children. And because of our sins, always the great accuser who takes advantage of the first chapter of Job turning, looking for who to accuse, in this moment he is accusing us and this accusation becomes persecution as well (…) the president of today says it, his persecuted people (…)and also becomes another type of persecution, constant accusations to dirty the Church. The Church does not get dirty. Yes children, we are all dirty, but Mother does not. Now is the time to defend the Mother, and the Mother defends herself from the great accuser with prayer and penance because of this I asked to pray the Rosary, to pray to St. Michael the Archangel (…) is a difficult time because the accuser through us attacks the Mother and you don’t touch the Mother.”

Some have seen this third item as a reference to the devil, to Satan, infiltrating the Church in a number of ways. Others saw this as a reference to the evils of the clerical sex abuse cases that have surfaced over the years, becoming especially painful after the Pennsylvania Report and the McCarrick case in the U.S.

And yet others saw this as a clear reference to Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano whose three missives with accusations against those in the Vatican – even at the highest level – who knew about and covered up McCarrick, were seen as “attacks” on the Church.

Interesting to ponder as these were off-the-cuff remarks.