216 priests, religious and deacons described the detentions as ‘unjust’

Cardinal Antonio CaƱizares said it was ‘morally unacceptable’ for nations to ‘claim independence unilaterally by their own will’

Catalan nationalism is the latest fashionable cause. But its history is one of bloodshed, greed and anti-clericalism

Not to say anything for fear of offending one side or another looks like cowardice

The Archbishop of Barcelona said he loved the region ‘as well as the Spain and Europe we belong to’

‘Many of us feel intense pain, as if a dagger had been thrust into our guts,’ said Cardinal Antonio CaƱizares of Valencia

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They suggested that the Archbishop of Barcelona and the Abbot of Montserrat could chair talks with Spain

However, Catalan bishops defended the vote and criticised the actions of Spanish police

Violent clashes broke out as Spain tried to stop a separatist referendum