Foner on Bishop Sheen

March 6, 2010

To the Editor:

Responding to a New York Times story of December 10, 2009, “Remembrance, and Maybe Sainthood, for Bishop Fulton J. Sheen,” I was a member of a delegation, headed by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, that went to Spain early in 1964 to act as observers at the trial of the Carabanchel Ten, who had been arrested and were later convicted for trying to organize unions in Franco Spain. I had a different perspective on Bishop Sheen and on the Catholic Church’s unrelenting and successful campaign to prevent the United States and its European allies from lifting the embargo on the legally elected Spanish government. Had they not succeeded, it might have prevented Franco’s allies from launching World War II, and I and millions of my compatriots, if we were fortunate to have survived, might not have had to spend three to four years in the military prosecuting the war against fascism.

Bishop Sheen

If, as the article states, it takes 30 years for Bishop Sheen to achieve sainthood, it took at least that time for the Spanish people to rid themselves of the yoke of fascism. As a side note, on the day we arrived in Spain, its Prime Minister, Carrero Blanco, was assassinated when the car in which he was driving to his office was blown up. The underground press reported that Carrero Blanco had tried to get to heaven, but was only able to reach the fifth floor. That was about the only glint of humor in what was otherwise a dismal period for the Spanish people.

Henry Foner

Brooklyn, NY


One Response to “ Foner on Bishop Sheen ”

  1. Scott Quinn on July 2, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    If you went to Spain in 1964, you most definitely were not there when Carrero Blanco was blown up by terrorists. That was a decade later.