CNA Staff, Oct 13, 2020 / 02:31 am America/Denver (CNA).
A German archdiocese said Monday that it is preparing to open the beatification cause of a member of the White Rose anti-Nazi resistance group.
A spokeswoman told CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, Oct. 12 that the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising was “in the middle of the preparation process for a beatification procedure” for Wili Graf, who was executed in 1943.
Graf oversaw recruitment to the White Rose movement, a non-violent group led by students including Hans and Sophie Scholl and inspired by St. John Henry Newman’s writings on conscience.
Graf, a medical student, was arrested and sentenced to death on April 19, 1943. For the next six months, the Gestapo interrogated him, but he refused to disclose details about the resistance movement. He was executed -- probably by guillotine -- on October 12, 1943, at the Stadelheim Prison in Munich.
The Archdiocese of Munich and Freising confirmed its preparations to advance his cause on the anniversary of his death. The archdiocese opened a preliminary investigation in 2017. For the past three years, theologians and historians have investigated Graf’s life and writings. When this stage is completed, the next step will be the opening of the beatification cause.