Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez plans to “reshape” the Los Caidos Valley. If the project is not definitively stopped, the Benedictines—whose brave opposition to the exhumation of the body of General Franco has been publicized—are more than ever in the line of fire.
Located about fifteen kilometers from the Royal Monastery of El Escorial, the Basilica of the Holy Cross of Los Caidos is hidden in the stone where it was dug. A monumental cross 100 meters high, visible for 40 miles in all directions, towers above it.
Since its opening in 1959, the basilica has been entrusted to the care of a community of Benedictine monks who are part of the Benedictine congregation of Solesmes, France. The monks were suddenly thrust into the political and media scene several months ago, as soon as they expressed their opposition to the exhumation of the remains of General Francisco Franco. The legal steps they took proved futile.
Their opposition could now cost them dearly: the Spanish prime minister plans to withdraw the basilica’s concession from the Benedictines. Especially since another exhumation procedure is under consideration by the government: that of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, a fervent Catholic, founder of the Spanish Falange, executed in the prison of Alicante at the age of 32 years by the Republicans on November 20, 1936. Which could motivate new opposition from the Benedictines, as tenacious as the first.
One more corpse—just as embarrassing as that of the Caudillo—for a Pedro Sanchez, who, over the months seems to specialize in funeral services: a bad omen for the few days before the legislative elections, scheduled for November 10, 2019.