PRESS RELEASE

Msgr Schraven Foundation the Netherlands

First phase of the declaration of beatification of Bishop Frans Schraven completed.

Amid great interest from people present as well as the press, bishop Frans Wiertz of Roermond (the Netherlands) sealed the dossier for the declaration of beatification of the in China murdered bishop Frans Schraven and 8 companions. With firm pressure the Episcopal seal was pressed in the hot lacquer while those present held their breath for a moment wondering if it would succeed. With it the first phase of the process in Holland, which was started on march 23, 2013 with the erection of the ecclesiastical court, was completed. The dossier, counting more than 1000 pages, will now be sent to Rome for the continuance of the process. One of the historians commented on the dossier. The contents of the dossier deal with the central question of whether Bishop Schraven and his companions were martyred because of their faith. In order to get an answer to this question more than 60 archives were requested and looked into. With the aid of investigators in China and Japan the truth about the gruesome murder on October 9, 1937, in the town of Zhending in China could be uncovered. The doubt, which existed in Europe for more than 70 years became no longer justified, since a report was found in Rome in which a Japanese priest concedes that the murder was perpetrated by soldiers of the Japanese army. People are touched when hearing what took place on that fatal day. After an earlier refusal by Bishop Schraven to make women refugees available to the Japanese soldiers for their pleasure, it is now clear that after their arrest, and standing on a truck to be taken away, they were given a choice: '300 women and girls or their lives'. Once again Bishop Schraven must have refused. A little later they were burned alive.

In his sermon during the Eucharistic celebration before the closing session Bishop Wiertz said: "In Bishop Schraven we have an example of a person who would radically stand up for the protection of girls and women against sexual violence. That example should be followed worldwide." He expressed the hope that soon followers of the resistance to sexual violence would be able to call on the intercession of the beatified Bishop Frans Schraven.

Website English version: www.mgrschraven.nl

back to previous page