MONKS are refusing to grant the Spanish government access to the Valley of the Fallen, which it needs in order to exhume dictator Francisco Franco’s body.
In a letter to the government, the prior of the abbey on the Valley of the Fallen, Santiago Cantera, said: “[The] abbey does not authorise access to the Basilica.”
The Abbey of the Valley of the Fallen sits on ground under which Franco is buried. The land was declared sacred by Pope John XXIII.
The move comes after Spain’s Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the government to remove the former dictator’s body from underneath the monument and rebury it in a graveyard in Madrid.
Cantera said that the high court’s decision breaches religious freedom, as the basilica is a ‘sacred place.’