Vatican City A German bishop known as the "Lion of Muenster" for his courageous anti-Nazi sermons during World War II took a step on the road to sainthood when he was beatified Sunday in St. Peter's Basilica.
Pope Benedict XVI hailed the "heroic courage" of Clemens August von Galen and described the churchman, who condemned anti-Semitism, as a model for those in public roles today.
Von Galen died in 1946, at age 68, a few weeks after Pope Pius XII raised him to the rank of cardinal.
Some Jews have claimed that Pius XII did not act forcefully against the Holocaust. The Vatican has denied this.
"Von Galen feared God more than man, and this gave him the courage to say and to do things that many intelligent persons did not do in that period in Germany," Benedict said in his native German.
The pope came to the basilica at the end of the ceremony to greet churchmen, public officials and pilgrims who came from Muenster and elsewhere in Germany.