The Pope declares martyrs of the French priests victims of the Commune of Paris | world news

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has said five Catholic priests who were killed during the revolutionary Paris Commune government that took control of Paris in 1871 were martyrs killed out of “hatred for the faith.”

The declaration of martyrdom means that the five priests can be beatified, the first big step towards eventual canonization, without the Vatican having to confirm a miracle attributed to their intercession.

In announcing Francis’ decree on Thursday, the Vatican identified only two of the priests: Enrico Planchart and Ladislao Radigue. The other three priests belonged to two other religious orders. They were all killed on May 26, 1871, in Paris.

The Commune of Paris was hostile to the Catholic Church, which it accused of “complicity in the crimes of the monarchy”. He confiscated church funds, seized church property, and arrested hundreds of priests, nuns, and monks.

Although it only ruled for two months, the Commune was very influential – notably in separating church and state, a policy that exists today in another form. During this time, some 26 churches were closed and many Catholic schools were forced to become secular.

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When the French National Army regained control, the Communards, as they were known, shot many priests and the Archbishop of Paris in retaliation during what became known as the Bloody Week.

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Joan D. Boling