Catholics Stole 300K Babies From Mothers
Secret network sold kids to more devout couples
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2011 3:09 PM CDT
The Almudena Cathedral in Madrid, Spain.   (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

(Newser) – A secret network of priests, nuns, and doctors have stolen up to 300,000 babies from mothers in Spain and sold them to other parents, a BBC documentary shows. Their scheme: Tell the mother her baby died in childbirth, and sell the newborn to a more devout and wealthy couple. The practice started in General Franco's dictatorship as an effort to rob politically "dangerous" families of their children, but continued into the 1990s, the Daily Mail reports.

Hundreds of families who lost babies in Spanish hospitals are demanding investigations, but no coordinated probe is underway—so regional prosecutors are plowing through 900 cases. "The situation is incredibly sad for thousands of people," one journalist says. "There is very little political will to get to the bottom of the situation." Among the horrors revealed so far: exhumed baby graves that contain animal bones, and an ice-cold baby corpse—kept by Catholic nurses to show grieving mothers after childbirth. (Click through to read about a Catholic bishop charged with failing to report child abuse.)

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Catholic Church Stole Babies From Mothers in Spain: Documentary is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 71 comments
Aug 27, 2013 12:34 AM CDT
Teh catholic church is not at all about God and Jesus - its about perpetuating its power and influence here is a brief history of xtiantiy, mostly catholic. Over the ages the chuch makes most of Islam look like pikers re the crimes ordered from Rome
Oct 17, 2011 6:51 PM CDT
Thank God the Catholic church is so moral, or this would be disturbing.
Oct 17, 2011 5:18 PM CDT
I just hope there's an extra hot place in hell for these people.