Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Church Against the Nazis

I've always been taught that Hitler was a Catholic and that the Catholic Church practically smiled upon the Holocaust or at least mindlessly acted as a puppet signing agreements with the Reich government. But I was reading today Pope Pius XI's Mit Brennender Sorge - "With Burning Concern" and it's very interesting to realize that it was the last message of the Pope read in all the Catholic parishes in Germany before their persecution by the Nazis (which was of course minimal in comparison to other religious persecution - Jews, and shared by Protestant Christians as well - see Confessing Church, Barmen Declaration, Bonhoeffer and Barth). I just found a few passages interesting that debunked what I'd been taught.

Against Racism
"10. This God, this Sovereign Master, has issued commandments whose value is independent of time and space, country and race. As God's sun shines on every human face so His law knows neither privilege nor exception. Rulers and subjects, crowned and uncrowned, rich and poor are equally subject to His word. From the fullness of the Creators' right there naturally arises the fullness of His right to be obeyed by individuals and communities, whoever they are. This obedience permeates all branches of activity in which moral values claim harmony with the law of God, and pervades all integration of the ever-changing laws of man into the immutable laws of God."

Against Deism and Spinoza
"7. Take care, Venerable Brethren, that above all, faith in God, the first and irreplaceable foundation of all religion, be preserved in Germany pure and unstained. The believer in God is not he who utters the name in his speech, but he for whom this sacred word stands for a true and worthy concept of the Divinity. Whoever identifies, by pantheistic confusion, God and the universe, by either lowering God to the dimensions of the world, or raising the world to the dimensions of God, is not a believer in God. Whoever follows that so-called pre-Christian Germanic conception of substituting a dark and impersonal destiny for the personal God, denies thereby the Wisdom and Providence of God who "Reacheth from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly" (Wisdom viii. 1). Neither is he a believer in God. "

Against Racism
8. Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community - however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things - whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.


On the Cross of Christ:
"26. The cross of Christ, though it has become to many a stumbling block and foolishness (1 Cor. i. 23) remains for the believer the holy sign of his redemption, the emblem of moral strength and greatness. We live in its shadow and die in its embrace. It will stand on our grave as a pledge of our faith and our hope in the eternal light."

Against "Secular" Morality/State Ethics and the banning of Catholic/Christian Education:

"29. It is on faith in God, preserved pure and stainless, that man's morality is based. All efforts to remove from under morality and the moral order the granite foundation of faith and to substitute for it the shifting sands of human regulations, sooner or later lead these individuals or societies to moral degradation. The fool who has said in his heart "there is no God" goes straight to moral corruption (Psalms xiii. 1), and the number of these fools who today are out to sever morality from religion, is legion. They either do not see or refuse to see that the banishment of confessional Christianity, i.e., the clear and precise notion of Christianity, from teaching and education, from the organization of social and political life, spells spiritual spoliation and degradation. No coercive power of the State, no purely human ideal, however noble and lofty it be, will ever be able to make shift of the supreme and decisive impulses generated by faith in God and Christ.... A merciful God, who as Legislator, says - Thou must! - also gives by His grace the power to will and to do. To let forces of moral formation of such efficacy lie fallow, or to exclude them positively from public education, would spell religious under-feeding of a nation. To hand over the moral law to man's subjective opinion, which changes with the times, instead of anchoring it in the holy will of the eternal God and His commandments, is to open wide every door to the forces of destruction. The resulting dereliction of the eternal principles of an objective morality, which educates conscience and ennobles every department and organization of life, is a sin against the destiny of a nation, a sin whose bitter fruit will poison future generations. "

I love my Church.


  1. I spent the first half of my life as a devout Catholic and even as a priest, but the more moral I get, the further I feel I must be from the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Far from being enemies of the Nazis, the leadership of the Nazi regime was a virtual Catholic men's group, a chapter you might say of the Knights of Columbus or Knights of Malta:
    Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Josef Goebbels, Reinhard Heydrich, Rudolf Hoess, Julius Streicher, Fritz Thyssen (who bankrolled the Nazi rise to power), Klaus Barbie, and Franz Von Papen were all Roman Catholics, as were
    + Leon Degrelle who headed the Nazi state of Belgium,
    + Emil Hacha who headed the Nazi state of Bohemia-Moravia,
    + Ante Pavelic who headed the Nazi state of Croatia,
    + Konrad Henlein who headed the Nazi state of Sudetenland,
    + Pierre Laval and then Henry Petain who headed the Nazi state of Vichy-France.
    + the priest, Msgr. Josef Tiso, who headed the Nazi state of Slovakia.
    (who wasn't even defrocked after the defeat of the Nazis).
    Although these were among the most visible Catholic lay people in their countries at the time, did Pope Pius XII excommunicate a single one of them? NO. How can anyone say that this pope did "all that he could", when he failed to take this obvious measure so as to make it clear to the millions of Catholic faithful who were enabling the Nazis to carry out their campaigns of mass murder, not only against Jews, but against their fellow Catholics in Poland, that they should have no part in these monstrous of crimes and most mortal of sins? Apologists for Pius XII who claim that their crimes caused these people to be "automatically excommunicated" miss the point that excommunication isn't intended to tell GOD who is a Catholic and who isn't but to tell THE FAITHFUL whom to shun.
    On the other hand, after the Nazis were defeated and no longer posed any threat to the pope, the Vatican, or the Catholic Church anywhere, did Pope Pius XII allow the Vatican to be used to protect thousands of Catholic war criminals such as the above to escape punishment for their war crimes? YES. Whose side was the pope on?
    # Here are some of the more infamous war criminals the Vatican protected from prosecution: Adolf Eichmann, "the architect of the Holocaust", ,
    # Alois Brunner , referred to as his "best man" by Eichman,
    # Dr. Josef Mengele, "the Angel of Death" ,
    # Franz Stangl, commandant of the Sobibór and of Treblinka extermination camp ,
    # Gustav Wagner assistant to Franz Stangl,
    # Klaus Barbie, "the Butcher of Lyon" ,
    # Edward Roschmann, "the Butcher of Riga",
    # Aribert Heim, Mauthausen concentration camp's "Dr. Death",
    # Walter Rauff, believed responsible for nearly 100,000 deaths
    # Andrija Artuković, "the Himmler of the Balkans"
    # Ante Pavelić, head of Catholic Croatia, arguably the most murderous regime in relation to its size in Axis-occupied Europe.

    For much, much, much MORE, see my http://CatholicArrogance.Org/RCscandal

  2. According to Dr. Ian Kershaw a leading Third Reich Historian, Hitler and Goebbels were not Catholics - though they were baptized as such, and actually planned to destroy all Christian Churches in Germany. And actually Col. von Stauffenburg who led the German Resistance against Hitler in the July 20th plot did so out of a deep conviction from his Roman Catholic faith.

    I'm also afraid that an argument from silence doesn't work either. The Church not excommunicating someone doesn't mean they support them. As well Hitler and others mentioned weren't even in Communion with Rome and so therefore couldn't be excommunicated in any meaningful way anyhow. Furthermore 43% of the German population voted for the Nazi Party, should the Church have excommunicated all of them?

    I'm sorry but the logic doesn't add up, and I checked out the site. I read on Papal infallibility and all it said was 'the Church teaches: There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church' and then assumes that this statement is so offensive that it must be wrong, I see nothing wrong with it. But I'm kind of a Traditionalist. Thanks for the comment and concern but I'm afraid I have to disagree with you.