Church in Spain refuses archives access to those who want to relive Civil War


The Church in Asturias in Spain has announced that out respect for the privacy of Catholic families, it will not open the parish archives to the indiscriminate research requested by Judge Baltasar Garzon, who wants to produce a list of those killed during the Spanish Civil War and the post-war years.


Church officials said that access to the parish archives by government officials would constitute “indiscriminate research that could harm the privacy of information protected for over 75 years, according to Church norms.”  In addition, some families do not want to make the information about their deceased loved ones public.


The vicar general of the Diocese of Asturias, Father Juan Antonio Menendez, explained that family members “can always request the death certificates of their loved ones, but the parish registry constitutes a living archive, and the registry as such cannot be opened for research.”  “The general norms of the Church distinguish between the living archive and the historical archive, which is open for research,” he explained.

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