Page 2, 5th November 1971

5th November 1971
Page 2
Page 2, 5th November 1971 — Franco warns Church critics

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Franco warns Church critics

FROM A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT GENERAL FRANCO has warned the Catholic Church in Spain to stop "rocking the boat" by questioning its wisdom in supporting his Nationalists during the Civil War of 1936 to 1939.

Fle reminded critics from within the Church in a speech last week that the Nationalist side fought the war with the full support of the Church, which awarded it the title of an anti-Communist "crusade."

He issued his warning during celebrations marking the 38th anniversary of the founding of the Right-wing Falange movement.

"If some people try to detract from the true nature of our war of liberation," he said, "doing this in the vain hope that new generations . . . could be led along paths of confusion, weakness and disorientation, they could ruin all that we have achieved in those years of effort, work and peace."


The warning came six weeks after a conference of Spanish bishops and priests had charted what looked like a new course for the Church in Spain. They went on record as favouring a separation of Church and State and supported the granting of full human rights to the Spanish people.

Even more important, a ma jority of delegates but not enough for the required twothirds majority — supported a resolution asking the Spanish people for "pardon" for the Church's alliance with the Nationalists during the Civil War. Instead, the resolution said, the Church should have remained neutral, trying to mediate between the warring sides.

With his designated successor Prince Juan Carlos sitting beside him, General Franco, who is 78, also said: "Youth must be ready to take over when its hour arrives . . external circumstances, our situation before the array of nations is incredibly favourable today compared with the past."

NO HINT He gave no hint as to when Juan Carlos, 33, would take over as King of Spain and new Chief of State. During a mass meeting on October 1 Franco said he intended to stay in power "as long as God gives me life and clarity of judgment."

He reasserted his determination to stick to the authoritarian principles which have marked his 35-year regime and ruled out the idea that political parties should again be allowed in Spain. "The nation," he said, was to remain "A society of civil order and peace, without class struggle, without deviations of party and without separatism which can only grasp a hold in small groups controlled from abroad."

Papal honour for history professor

Aknighthood in the Order of St. Gregory the Great has been conferred by the Pope on Prof. H. P. R. Finberg. Prof. Finberg is a member of the National Liturgical Commission and of the International Committee on English in the Liturgy.

He was head of the Department of English Local History at Leicester University until retiring in 1965.

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