Bishop Who Denounced Hitler Is Beatified

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A German bishop known as the "Lion of Muenster" for his courageous anti-Nazi sermons during World War II took a step on the road to sainthood when he was beatified Sunday in St. Peter's Basilica.

Pope Benedict XVI hailed the "heroic courage" of Clemens August von Galen and described the churchman, who condemned anti-Semitism, as a model for those in public roles today. Von Galen died in 1946, at age 68, a few weeks after Pope Pius XII raised him to the rank of cardinal.

Von Galen spoke out against the Nazi campaign to exterminate the mentally ill and handicapped, and Saraiva Martins hailed the bishop for denouncing the Nazi regime's "death machine" during what were "very difficult times for the German church and nation."

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