Did Francisco Franco, who established Catholicism as the State religion of Spain, consider Hitler a "son of the Catholic Church" who "died while defending Christianity"? If so, why?
Hitler acted contrary to what Pope Pius XI wrote in his March 14, 1937, encyclical on Nazism, Mit brennender Sorge, e.g. where it says:
- Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community - however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things - whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.
Despite this, Francisco Franco, Head of Spain, allegedly said on 3 May 1945:*
Adolf Hitler son of the Catholic Church died while defending Christianity. It is therefore understandable that words cannot be found to lament over his death, when so many were found to exalt his life. Over his mortal remains stands his victorious figure. with the palm of the martyr, God gives Hitler the laurels of Victory.
*This is quoted on p. 25 of this book (hardly a credible source), which says it was published in the Spanish press the day after Hitler died (which isn't 3 May 1945, is it?), and in the last scene of this documentary, but I have never seen the original newspaper article.
Is this a spurious quote, or does this reflect Franco's views of what Hitler's religion is?