SPAIN: Youths attack Catholic school, threaten to burn priests alive

Have you seen this?

From CNA:

Madrid, Spain, Oct 19, 2012 / 10:40 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A group of young people shouting, “Where are the priests? We’re going to burn them at the stake,” attacked the Mary Help of Christians Salesian School in Merida, Spain, leaving one teacher wounded.

According to the Salesian Press Office in Spain, the incident occurred at 1:20 p.m. local time on Oct. 18, when “some 100 young people entered the premises of the Mary Help of Christians Salesian School in Merida.” Nearly 1,000 K-12 students attend the school.

“Custodial workers and some teachers at the school tried to stop the group, but 10 of them were able to gain entrance to the school building, shouting insults against the institution, pushing staff members who were in their way and attempting to disrupt the normal school day,” the Salesians said.

Principal Marco Antonio Romero told the newspaper El Mundo that the young people’s intention was to pull down the crucifixes. “More public education and less crucifixes,” they shouted.

The attackers carried flags from the Spanish Civil War, shouted insults at the teachers and professors and tried to steal several laptop computers from classrooms, the newspaper reported.

The red, yellow and dark purple flags were the same ones used by the Republican faction, left-wing radicals and anarchists during Spain’s bloody, anti-clerical conflict that led to the deaths of thousands of priest, seminarians, religious and laypeople between 1936 and 1939.

During the attack on the school, one teacher suffered minor wounds while trying to keep the young people from entering her classroom.

The Salesians said steps will be taken to prevent any kind of such attacks in the future and that they will be filing a lawsuit against the assailants. “This kind of conduct cannot be allowed in a constitutional state.”

Oh yah?  It can’t be allowed?  Right.

The movie about the Cristeros, For Greater Glory, is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.

It is pretty good.  It concerns what all we Catholics have to start thinking about. UK HERE.

And there is the movie about the founder of Opus Dei which deals with the Spanish Revolution.  There Be Dragons.  More directly pertinent to the topic of the post, since it is set in Spain.  Horrible.  UK HERE.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. “The movie about the Cristeros, For Greater Glory, is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray. It is pretty good. It concerns what all we Catholics have to start thinking about.”

    I saw that you got the movie through a generous donor, but did you review it? Did I somehow miss that?

  2. disco says:

    The phrase “rumors of wars” comes to mind

  3. Johnno says:

    The errors of Communism continue to spread and spread and spread. Our Lady of Fatima predicted the Spanish Civil War as the true start of WWII!!!

    Please Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI! Use your authority to order the world’s bishops to spend 5 whole minutes joining you in consecrating Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart!!!

  4. PA mom says:

    I would be more interested to know where they are from, than what they are carrying.

  5. mschu528 says:

    Considering this and what happened in Posadas, Argentina two weeks ago, anyone who is not already praying the Leonine Prayers after Mass please start to do so!

    O God, our refuge and our strength,
    look down in mercy on Thy people who cry out to Thee;
    and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary,
    Mother of God, of St Joseph her Spouse,
    of Thy blessed Apostles Peter and Paul,
    and of all the Saints,
    in mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners,
    and for the liberty and exaltation of our holy Mother the Church.
    Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

  6. Kerry says:

    “…what happened in Posadas, Argentina two weeks ago”. Um, what happened?

  7. Joseph-Mary says:

    I would also highly recommend Warren Carroll’s book on the Spanish Civil War called THE LAST CRUSADE. In only 6 months in 1936, fifteen bishops, more than 6,000 priests, seminarians, monks and nuns were martyred. It was teh greatest bloodletting in so short a time since the early persecutions of the Church. More than 200 of these martyrs have been beatified. Tens of thousands of churches, chapels, and shrines were pillaged or destroyed. This is what comes of the demonic hatred for the Church and for her religious and for all she stands for.

  8. drea916 says:

    My uncle escaped from Cuba when he was nine (he’s in his 60’s now). He tells a story about how him and his family were at Mass one time and the communists came in and grabbed the priest, dragged him outside, chained him to the fence, poured gasoline and set him on fire. He has other stories, but I’ll leave it at that. These things happened once, not too long ago, and they can happen again.

  9. Legisperitus says:

    And some people don’t believe in devils.

  10. Traductora says:

    PA Mom, the thing that’s particularly unnerving is that these people were members of IU, Izquierda Unida (United Left), a legitimate political party. In other words, we’re not talking about crazy radical “Occupy Madrid” members, but about a standard political party, granted, an extremely leftist one, that seems to think of death threats as a political expression.

    That was one of the things that happened in the lead-up to the Spanish Civil War, too: members of leftwing political parties suddenly abandoned the political process and began to actively harass not only politicians but individuals they perceived as conservative. Don’t be surprised when the Dems start doing it here.

  11. Emilio III says:

    IU may be a “legitimate political party”, but it used to be known as PCE (Spanish Communist Party). The school principal also said that he knows all the boys involved. “They use our sports facilities and go camping with us.” They will be charged.

  12. Geoffrey says:

    “This kind of conduct cannot be allowed in a constitutional state.”

    I disagree. That is exactly where it can happen. Imagine if Spain had an orthodox Catholic monarch with some power.

  13. Lucia Maria says:

    Johnno at 4:02 pm.

    The consecration was done years ago by JPII. It’s now up to Catholics to observe the Five First Saturdays in order to fulfill Our Lady’s requests.

  14. Matt R says:

    I would argue that there’s something about trying to maintain a constitutional state in an incredibly selfish and superficial manner that fosters the use of violence as an asset to legal political maneuverings (legal in the sense that the law allows them, regardless of whether the people benefit, like in Weimar Germany). There’s a fascinating mix of history and spirituality at work. Just reading about Germany, Spain, Mexico, Russia, and a host of other countries-on Wikipedia even-is incredibly sad and it’s terrible what people do when they forget about Christ, and either reject him (outright, like Communists) or use Him for their close-minded ideology (conservative nationalists in places like Spain, who reject Him subversively).
    Traductora, don’t pigeonhole the Dems as the only group capable of violence, or at least the only group capable of starting it.

  15. Gratias says:

    “Arderéis como en el treintaiseis”. You will burn as in 36. History repeats itself.

    If you want to learn about what happened to Catholics during the Spanish civil, read the magnificent trilogy of novels by José Maria Gironella:

    1) The Cypresses Believe in God: Spain in the Eve of the Civil War, Ignatius Press

    2) One Million Dead

    3) Peace after War

  16. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Heaven help us!

    Stockpiles of fire extinguishing canisters and K-9 trained dogs in every church and Catholic school in these areas will have to be next.

  17. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Johnno,

    Our Lady of Fatima predicted the Spanish Civil War as the true start of WWII!!!

    Did she?

    Didn’t Our Lady only said that World War II would start in the pontificate of Pope Pius XI? But then that allow a, somehow, quite easier explanation [facing, e.g. that Spain was neutral in WWII], because indeed it was all in Pius XI’s pontificate when Hitler breaking treaties remilitarized the Rhineland, evaded Austria, and blackmailed the Powers to allow him take the Sudeten districts, and then still he took them from Czechoslovakia by force; of which especially the last action was absolutely similar to the invasion of mainland Bohemia and of Poland; the latter only being the final point when the Western Allied decided that two blackmails are enough, and declared war.

  18. asshur says:

    Thanks God it is (still) an isolated incident. Although the Left in Spain is, in the last ten years or so, actively un-learning the lessons of the Civil War, and the recourse to attack the Church when bereft of ideas has become again usual, violent anticlericalism is still very uncommon.
    The most disturbing aspect of the incident is the fact that IU seems even to have publicly defended their militants involved. But, alas, IU nowadays is a radical haven for “republican” nostalgics.
    A couple of precisions about the persecution of the Church during the Civil War in the republican field. From the aprox. 50000 victims of the Red Terror more than 6500 where consecrated persons, killed -sometimes very sadistically- just for their Faith.
    Although it might sound surprising, many catholics found a safe harbour in the Communist Party during this time (and until they went post-modern Left, courting -or at least not offending- catholics was a common policy in the PCE)

  19. SKAY says:

    “don’t pigeonhole the Dems as the only group capable of violence, or at least the only group capable of starting it.”
    They do seem to be the ones threatening violence during this election.
    From Catholic Online–

    “The Social Networking device Twitter has recently been flooded with hundreds if not thousands of “tweets” vowing to assassinate GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney should he win the election. Ostensible supporters of President Barack Obama have continued to threaten riots, among other social upheavals in the event of a Romney election victory – and federal agents are taking these threats very seriously.”

  20. Spaniard says:

    Firstly, Spain needs prayers. Loads of prayers. Because “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more”.
    Spain was gifted to be the defender of the Faith, and the Land of Mary.
    @PA mom and @Traductora: unfortunately, this kids are no isolated case. They don’t even represent IU. They represent what Spain is since it turned its back on God. I’m not exagerating: I live here, and I am young enough to live among those who would really be ready to burn the priests: you can’t possibly imagine the anticlericalism that exists in my country among the younger generations!!
    Our Lady of el Pilar, pray for us

  21. Spaniard says:

    And “There be dragons” is not the best movie… Tries to leave politics outside the movie, thus watering down the conflict and what really happened. But anyways, priests are killed in the movie. At least that is real

  22. Amerikaner says:

    A precursor.

  23. Johnno says:

    Lucia Maria:

    That is untrue. Pope John Paul II only consecrated the world several times. Not Russia explicitly as the object of the consecration, and never with the cooperation of the entire world’s bishops, whom he did not force, and they largely ignored his request to join him. The consecration of Russia has never been done according to the instructions God gave the Church, as even John Paul II admitted when he prayed to God to “Enlighten especially the peoples of which you await our Consecration and our offering.” following the world consecration in 1984 that many assume was the end of that story and which was his final attempt. John Paul II later further admitted “we cannot Consecrate Russia apart by itself. We have consecrated all of the nations and we have added a special mention for the nation which Our Lady was expecting the consecration.”

    This inability of the Popes and bishops to together publicly in union perform a short consecratory prayer for a single object of consecration and mention it by name, as consecrations require, is the most baffling thing throughout this entire affair. One can only attribute its inability to an extremity of political correctness and ecumenism to go along with the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ and the promises made to say nothing with regards to Russia or Communism, or something more diabolical… some speculating that during John Paul II’s long sojourn against Communism, the Communists perhaps secretly threathened John Paul II not to act upon the consecration or else people would die and his own life would be threathened. Which explains all the roundabout consecration attempts by John Paul II to fulfill this, but never doing so.


    The Spanish Civil War was relevant to Portugal being spared of its bloody conflict when the Bishops vowed to consecrate Portugal to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart if they were spared from the conflict and scourge of Commmunism and war. This war broke out in 1936. Some Fatima commentators state that Our Lady might’ve seen the Spanish Civil War as the explosive point of this great persecution of communism specifically that will continue to affect us today. Our Lady of Fatima was concerned with Communism. So as far as the conflict with communism was involved, the Spanish Civil War could be considered that start.

    But you’re correct, and I’m wrong with regards to WWII, in that it specifically regards Germany. It was actually the series of annexations and other minor conflicts that were the beginning of WWII specifically. She prophecized the start of this larger world conflict as beginning with that of a night illuminated by a great and strange light. Which is said to have occurred in late Jan of 1938. It is said that during that same night, Stalin’s interrogators were interviewing a man in prison who revealed to them Germany’s plan to dominate Europe and that the Soviet Union could use it to their advantage once France and England wore themselves out. All this happened during the reign of Pius XI.

  24. chantgirl says:

    Spain certainly needs prayers. The youth unemployment rate is around 53% . If enough young, idealistic people are desperate, they might resort to violence or revolution. Some opportunists are always looking to exploit the desperation of the masses as well. Prayers for the Church and the hurting people of Spain, and Greece as well, are in order.

    I can only imagine what misbehavior the US would see if we had a similar debt crisis.

  25. chantgirl says:

    Correction- the US already has a debt crisis on its’ hands. We just haven’t seen the spark that lights the bonfire yet.

  26. Matt R says:

    @SKAY, you really take tweets seriously? No, I care about the people that actually take the time to express their ideology and organize violence-militias and such.
    Any group is capable of becoming violent, and I wish we as Catholics could avoid any alliances of convenience on social issues towards groups that otherwise we should loathe.

  27. Sissy says:

    Matt R said: “Any group is capable of becoming violent”

    While theoretically true, Matt, some groups are far more likely than others to engage in violet behavior. And those who sit around talking about it all the time are probably more likely than the Mommy and Me group down at the local church. The Secret Service takes it seriously. It is a fact that there have been numerous flash mob incidents over the last year; it isn’t irrational to worry about threats of riots and mayhem in connection with the upcoming election.

  28. amsjj1002 says:

    drea916’s post reminds of something the Venerable Archbishop Sheen wrote. I read it in college years ago, but the image of that ghost bishop has stayed with me to this day:
    I would be in my seat early each morning in the Council and my interest generally was riveted on those who had suffered for the Church. I delighted in seeing Bishop Thomas Quinlan, the Columban bishop from Korea, of whom an American general said that every time he saw him during the war he had a man on his back. Forty-nine bishops from Red-ruled countries received permission to attend the Second Vatican Council. The greatest number came from Poland and Yugoslavia; other bishops were from Cuba, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and East Germany. Only one of the three cardinals whose nations had been taken over by communism was present, namely, Cardinal Wyszynski, the Primate of Poland, the Archbishop of Warsaw. One of the most striking of all those from Red-dominated countries was a Yugoslav bishop who had had gasoline poured over him and then had been set afire. His appearance almost resembled that of a walking ghost. But to those of us who came from the affluent countries of the West, and I am sure from other parts of the world, the greatest inspiration came from those dry martyrs who died a thousand deaths to testify to the Faith that was represented by all in that Council.
    Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen (2008) p. 300

    Sometimes it seems silly to think things like this could happen here and then sometimes it doesn’t. I think of the martyrs of past times, and the confessors who weren’t martyred but suffered greatly, and cannot imagine undergoing what they went through, it’s terrifying to me to the point where I didn’t know what to pray for, that we be spared this or that we be able to endure it? Either one seemed too presumptuous for little me to decide. So now I pray that God’s will be done, but, oh my beloved Saints, give me strength to endure it!

  29. Traductora says:

    Spaniard, I have always felt that Spain has always been under the heaviest attack of all European countries because Spain was called by God to spread the Faith. And Spain did that – I live in St Augustine, Florida, which was founded by Spain in 1565. And the first thing they did when they landed was to celebrate Mass, and then, while there were certainly political and military issues between Spain and the other European powers who were attempting to move into the New World that had been discovered by Spain, they began to evangelize the Indians. Florida had a mission chain that was 200 years earlier than those in California, and there where some tens of thousands of Indians converted or affected by it. This was all destroyed by the attacks of Protestant British colonial forces from South Carolina and Georgia in the early 18th century.

    But Spain had a mission, and I think it still does, and that’s why Satan attacks so hard.

  30. GoZagsGo says:

    I recently watched There Be Dragons and was very impressed. I was intrigued by the character of St. Josemaria Escriva and it made me want to read a good, detailed biography of him. Father, do you or your readers have any good suggestions for said biography? I’ve looked around a bit and plan on reading his own writings, but really have no measure of judgement when looking for biographies.

  31. amsjj1002 says:

    GoZagsGo, I recommend reading the book by Cesare Cavalleri, “Immersed in God” which is a long interview with the Venerable Alvaro del Portillo about the then Blessed Josemaría Escríva.

    Also the DVD “Meeting Saint Josemari?a Escriva?”, a collection of abridged films of six meetings in different countries and a short biographical film. They were recorded from 1972 to 1975, the year he died. I especially like it b/c one gets to hear and see him in his own words, so you can come away with your own impressions of him.

  32. Matt R says:

    My question is then, if Democratic Party-followers are far more likely to engage in violence during and after the election, please, tell me which trade unions, activist groups, etc are preparing their followers to do violence through mobs or paramilitary groups. Otherwise, it’s really just a bunch of speculation right now. I think many leftist groups lost their revolutionary basis, and made themselves extreme social democrats. Also, guys like Noam Chomsky lead the left, outside of the Democratic mainstream. He is very against this dedication to ideology required to launch violent attacks. So, I don’t see much of a basis for violence. Having just finished the rise of Hitler and Stalin in class, I’m pretty unhappy with the direction the country is headed in. So please don’t get me wrong, but I just don’t see widespread violence occurring.

  33. Lucia Maria says:

    Johnno, 24 October 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Sadly, many people believe what you believe with regards to the Consecration of Russia. I repeat, however, the Consecration has been done.

    I would strongly recommend reading Fatima for Today by Father Andrew Apostoli, with a Forward by + Raymond Leo Burke. In Chapter 15, Fr Apostoli goes through the issues with the controversy over whether or not the Consecration was done.

    JPII felt that Our Lady of Fatima had saved his life (but more, actually gave his life back to him) when Mehmet Ali Agca tried to kill him in 1981. He read the Third Secret and recognised himself in the prophecy. In 1981 he composed a prayer to Our Lady, called an Act of Entrustment, with Russia included as a special reference, but not mentioned by name. It was pre-recorded by the Pope (he was still recovering from his shooting) and broadcast in Saint Mary Major in Rome, June 7, 1981.

    On May 13, 1982, JPII went to Fatima to thank Our Lady personally at her shrine for saving his life and repeated the Act of Entrustment, exactly one year after the assassination attempt. Letters had been sent out to the world’s bishops for them to join him in the consecration, but had not arrived in time for them to be able to do so. During his homily, he said:

    Today John Paul II, successor of Peter, continuer of the work of Pius [XII], John [XXIII] and Paul [VI], and particular heir of the Second Vatican Council, presents himself before the Mother of the Son of God in her shrine at Fatima. In what way does he come? He presents himself , reading again with trepidation the motherly call to penance, to conversion, the ardent appeal of the Heart of Mary that resounded at Fatima 65 years ago. Yes, he reads it again with trepidation in his heart, because he sees how many people and societies – how many Christians – have gone in the opposite direction to the one indicated in the message of Fatima. Sin has thus made itself firmly at home in the world, and denial of God has become widespread in the ideologies, ideas and plans of human beings … But for this very reason the evangelical call to repentance and conversion, uttered in the Mother’s message, remains ever relevant. It is still more relevant than it was 65 years ago! It is still more urgent!

    The last consecration, the one that actually fulfilled Our Lady’s request, was done on March 25, 1984, on the Feast of the Assumption at the closing ceremony for the Holy Year of the Redemption. Letters had been sent to the world’s bishops three months in advance. JPII had even asked Orthodox bishops to join in and a number of them did so. He very carefully prepared by reviewing all the consecration texts and even consulted with Sister Lucia herself (and had also spoken to her in person when he was in Fatima in 1982).

    From the book, Fatima for today:

    Bishop Amaral of Leira told Father Robert Fox, an American expert on Fatima, that during the consecration there were moments when the Holy Father paused. When he thanked the Pope later for consecrating the world, John Paul II said “and Russia”. Many Fatima observers have concluded that the Holy Father … consecrated Russia with the bishops in the spoken words of the prayer, as well as with the silent words in his heart.

    JPII asked what Sister Lucia thought of the consecration that was to be done, would it fulfill Our Lady’s request – her answer was “that now the Holy Father will do all that is in his power.” The book says that JPII was happy with this reply.

    After all, if the Pope did all that he could and it was not enough, then the consecration could never be made by him or by any other pope.

    There were rumours that Sister Lucia did not approve of the consecration, so she put her approval in writing. She said, “Afterward people asked me if it was made in the way Our Lady wanted, and I replied: “Yes.” From that time, it is made!”

    Still doubts continued to circulate, so JPII requested that Sister Lucia meet Archbishop Tarcisco Bertone, the secretary of Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith on Nov 17, 2001.

    … Bertone asked Sister Lucia about those who were gathering signatures to petition the pope to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She answered:

    Given the petition’s stated purpose, the Carmelite community simply threw it away. I’ve already said that the consecration Our Lady wished for was performed in 1984, and that it was accepted by Heaven.

    Basically, the consecration has been done and now it’s up to us, the people to perform our part of Our Lady’s request, which is to perform the Five First Saturdays devotion, which the book explains is a formation program for Catholics. All we have to do on the first Saturday of every month for five months consecutively, is to go to confession (within 8 days of Saturday), receive Communion, recite 5 decades of the Rosary and keep Our Lady company for 15 minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.

    I’d really recommend getting that book!

  34. Sissy says:

    Matt R: “if Democratic Party-followers are far more likely to engage in violence during and after the election, please, tell me which trade unions, activist groups, etc are preparing their followers to do violence through mobs or paramilitary groups. ”

    Now you are changing the ground of the argument, Matt. You have a habit of doing that. First of all, a commenter above says “ostensible supporters of President Obama have threatened violence” [which is true], and you extend that remark to claim the someone made the assertion I quoted above. You are creating a strawman and then challenging others to disprove something no one claimed.
    Second, I’m not the FBI or Secret Service. If I already knew which particular group was actively planning violence, it would be incumbent upon me to be talking with LEO, not chatting on a blog. But not knowing about an actual imminent plan doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Do you only prepare for problems that are already happening? That isn’t prudent.
    Now, to your general point, an Obama supporter named J.Z. Knight is quoted this morning as saying “F*&^ the Catholic Church. We will bring them terror.” Catholics would be foolish, given history, to dismiss this sort of talk as an empty threat. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Best to be aware. The New Black Panther Party has made similar threats. SEIU leadership has made similar threats. I’m sure there are others.

  35. bookworm says:

    “an Obama supporter named JZ Knight”

    Whose claim to fame is that she is a well-known “spiritual channeler” of a spirit named Ramtha. In other words she’s about in the same league with Bhagwhan Shree Rajneesh, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (the Transcendental Meditation guy), various psychics, etc. She has enough of a following to make her wealthy but I would say most people, liberal or conservative, don’t take what she says very seriously.

  36. Sissy says:

    bookworm, the fact a supporter of Obama is a certified loon doesn’t change what he/she said. Some might argue that it would be a loon who would commit violence as a result of a lost election, don’t you think? We aren’t going to see rational, reasonable people rioting, are we? Res ipsa.

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