Santiago Cantera, prior of the Valley of the Fallen, has denied access to the Government to proceed with the exhumation of the remains of dictator Francisco Franco. According to the information advanced by The country, the Church has issued an official communiqué to the Government arguing the lack of agreement with the Franco family and that the Supreme Court still has to settle the matter in the judicial instance.
On December 11, the Minister of Justice, Dolores Delgado, requested the Church authorization to enter the Valley of the Fallen, giving a response time of 10 days. The Church responded with the aforementioned communiqué on December 26.
After the information published, the Government has released a statement in which they have stated that they were already waiting for "this attitude on the part of this religious, Santiago Cantera, whose ideological background is known." And he recalled that Cantera "was a candidate for the 1993 general elections and the 1994 European elections for the Spanish Independent Falange party."
The Executive has emphasized that "the obstructionist position of the prior Santiago Cantera will not prevent the process from taking its course, but evidently it will cause that the public opinion can arrive to consider that the Spanish church endorses in his whole the refusal of this old falangista candidate"
"Despite the inconveniences," the Government reiterates its intention to continue with the process of exhumation of the dictator, "respecting each of the guarantees to which the Franco family is entitled by law." "Within the procedures provided by the Government, the transfer of all legal requirements to the higher instances of the prior Santiago Cantera," the statement ends.
"Revenge of the past"
The prior Santiago Cantera, today the highest religious authority of the Valley of the Fallen and who can allow or prohibit access to transfer the remains of the dictator, has been shown on numerous occasions contrary to Franco's exhumation and that of the republican brothers Lapeña.
"It is a pity that some prefer to continue today engaged in revenge of the past and do not want to understand the sense of reconciliation, which can only be achieved under the redeeming arms of the Cross", the religious has sustained.
In JulyCantera had threatened the Government with denouncing for desecration of graves if it entered the basilica. His position is at odds with that of the Cardinal of Madrid, Carlos Osoro, representative of the Episcopal Conference.
Osoro, supporter of an agreed and discreet solution, lacks authority over the Valley of the Fallen, which depends on the Benedictine order. The only religious authorities above Cantera are Philippe Dupont, French abbot of the Benedictine Congregation of Solesmes, west of Paris, and Pope Francis.