VATICAN STATEMENT ON EXHUMATION OF SPANISH GENERAL FRANCO
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. 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.
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. The family finally agreed. On 13 September 2018, the Congress of Deputies voted 176-2, with 165 abstentions, to remove Franco’s body from the monument. (wikipedia)