The Roman Catholic Church has beatified a German cardinal who denounced Nazi atrocities and the policies of Adolf Hitler during the height of the Third Reich's power in the 1940s.

Cardinal Clemens August von Galen was put on the final path to Roman Catholic sainthood Sunday in a ceremony at the Vatican.

In 1941, then-Bishop von Galen used the power of his pulpit to speak out against the Hitler regime. He was elevated to cardinal in 1946, but died one month later.

At St. Peter's Basilica today, Pope Benedict praised Cardinal von Galen for denouncing the Nazis and defending religious freedom, and for protecting Jews and others the Nazi regime tried to eliminate.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.