Catholic Church beatifies Nazi-resisting priest | Germany | News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 16.05.2011

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Catholic Church beatifies Nazi-resisting priest

A priest who defied the Nazis by continuing to practice Roman Catholicism despite a ban has been beatified by the Catholic church. Georg Häfner died in a concentration camp for his resistance to the Nazi regime.

Priests in front of picture of Häfner

A portrait of Häfner was unveiled during the ceremony

Georg Häfner, a priest who died at a concentration camp for defying the Nazi regime, was beatified by the Catholic church in a ceremony in Bavaria on Sunday.

Cardinal Angelo Amato came from the Vatican to carry out the beatification ceremony at the Würzburg Cathedral, in a service attended by around 2,000 people.

Häfner was honored by the church for his resistance to Nazi rule. Despite a ban on continuing to practice his religious duties as a priest in Oberschwarzach, which is near Würzburg, Häfner carried on and was arrested by the Nazis in 1941.

He was taken to the Dachau concentration camp near Munich, where he died of starvation and disease in 1942. Häfner was 42 when he died.

At the ceremony in Würzburg, Cardinal Amato praised Häfner for his "diligence and intelligence" for continuing to practice his faith in a time of oppression.

Author: Matt Zuvela (AP, dpa)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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