Possible in Germany and Croatia
Did the Catholic Church help German Nazism? A look at the record.
“Antagonism to the Jews of today must not be extended to the books of Pre-Christian Judaism.”The Vatican’s definitive statement, “We Remember: Reflections on the Holocaust,” claims that Nazism was the antithesis of the Catholic church:
Just as, according to “We Remember,” the extermination of European Jews was an extreme manifestation of anti-Catholicism (!), so, according to the Vatican statement, leading German clerics fought Nazi antisemitism. Case in point: Bavarian Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber. (The Vatican statement’s praise for von Faulhaber is quoted and refuted later in this article.)
Not only does “We Remember” claim that the church fought Nazi antisemitism, but it quotes Pope John Paul II apparently absolving the Catholic hierarchy from responsibility for the belief (one of the foundations of Christianity) in Jewish culpability for the death of Jesus:
“In the Christian world – I do not say on the part of the Church as such – erroneous and unjust interpretations of the New Testament regarding the Jewish people and their alleged culpability have circulated for too long, engendering feelings of hostility towards this people.”Reading this remarkable statement, one is compelled to ask: if Christians did not get their belief in Jewish culpability from the Christian church, pray tell where did they get it?
Many people, including some Jewish leaders, have praised Pope John Paul II and “We Remember” for facing up to ‘errors’ made during the Holocaust.
But if the Church never aided, and indeed opposed, the Nazis, and never accepted even non-racial, religion-based hatred of Jews, then to what errors would the Vatican need to face up?
Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, answered this question when he was a top advisor to John Paul II:
“‘Even if the most recent, loathsome experience of the Shoah (Holocaust) was perpetrated in the name of an anti-Christian ideology, which tried to strike the Christian faith at its Abrahamic roots in the people of Israel, it cannot be denied that a certain insufficient resistance to this atrocity on the part of Christians can be explained by an inherited anti-Judaism present in the hearts of not a few Christians.’”So Joseph Ratzinger claims that: a) Nazism was “anti-Christian”; b) Christianity erred only by “a certain insufficient resistance” (notice the modifier, “a certain,” which limits the insufficiency - i.e., it wasn’t so very insufficient!) to Nazism, not by complicity or active support; c) even this error resulted from individual Christian’s religious hostility to Judaism – “an inherited anti-Judaism present in the hearts of not a few Christians” – which rather avoids the question: from whom did they inherit it, if not the church?
“As the Vatican authority itself and the most astute Catholics foresaw, Hitler never had any intention of respecting the Concordat, rather, with the exception of the strictly liturgical or para-liturgical functions, the rest of the Church’s activities were systematically hampered and later gradually suppressed.”While Gumpel creates a false impression, the Nazis did renege on some parts of the Concordat, especially over issues involving control of schools. And the German Catholic church did sometimes criticize Nazi policies, for example regarding forced sterilization (which contradicts Catholic doctrine) but not, as the Vatican now claims, over Nazi treatment of the Jews and of anti-Nazis, Jewish and non-Jewish. (Just for the record, the Vatican signed the Concordat after the Nazis issued their forced sterilization law, so later church protests over forced sterilization have a hollow ring.)
The fact that German Catholic-Nazi relations were not always smooth sailing does not mitigate the horrific truth that:
* By voting to give Hitler dictatorial powers, the Catholic Centre party (Zentrum) made it possible for Hitler to set up his dictatorship with a phony appearance of legality;
* By then dissolving Zentrum, the German Church eliminated the powerful party, through which many Catholics had opposed Nazism and through which they were trying to continue opposing Nazism up until the moment Zentrum was dissolved;
* By rescinding the ban on Catholics joining the Nazi Party, the Church made Nazism the only church-approved vehicle for political action;
* By drafting and signing the Concordat, the Vatican literally (i.e., in the form of specific rules, laid out in the Concordat, such as Article 16) ordered German Catholics to support the Nazis, telling millions of Catholics not only in Germany but worldwide that the Pope was allied with Fascism, meaning that they must ally with it as well;
* By giving Hitler their vote-winning support for his Enabling Act, dissolving Zentrum, rescinding the ban on Nazi membership, and drafting/and signing the Concordat, the Vatican wrapped Hitler in a cloak of Vatican acceptance at a crucial moment, when the infant racist state was suffering extreme international isolation.
Put yourself in the position of a 1933 German Catholic as you read the text of the contract between Nazi Germany and the Vatican, the Reichskonkordat. (See Vatican's watered-down translation at http://tinyurl.com/8js9c )
The German Catholic Church has rescinded its ban on joining the Nazi Party. The Catholic Centre party (Zentrum) has obeyed Vatican orders and dissolved itself. In the Reichskonkordat, the Vatican has promised that German Catholic educators will teach children to love the Nazi state (Article 21). It has requested and received the Nazi dictatorship’s promise to enforce internal Church decisions (Article 10), voluntarily making the Nazis the policeman of the church. Cardinal Bertram of Breslau has called on Catholics to avoid all subversive or illegal -- illegal by Nazi definition! -- activities.
And even clearer: the Reichskonkordat has ordered German Bishops to be loyal to and honor the Nazi state, to cause their subordinates to do likewise, and to seek out and prevent any actions that might threaten Nazism (Article 16), thus rendering Catholic bishops adjuncts of the Nazi political police.
How would you respond? Isn’t the Pope infallible, and didn’t the Pope, through his delegated subordinate, sign the Reichskonkordat, which reads:
– Mandatory pledge for newly appointed Catholic Bishops, Reichskonkordat, Article 16, translation by Samantha Criscione Prevent any harm!
Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI, wrote:
“...it cannot be denied that a certain insufficient resistance to this atrocity [the Holocaust] on the part of Christians can be explained by an inherited anti-Judaism present in the hearts of not a few Christians.”To be sure, there was “anti-Judaism” in the hearts of many Christians, but there was also anti-Nazism. With German Christians divided on Nazism, the Vatican intervened, committing every one of its thousands of German clerics to honor the Nazi dictatorship and hunt for actions that might harm it. Is Pope Benedict XVI, formerly the Vatican’s Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (previously called ‘the Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition’), and before that a German professor of Theology, perhaps unfamiliar with the Reichskonkordat? Or is Ratzinger faulting German Catholics for offering “a certain insufficient resistance” to Vatican orders?
Peter Gumpel, the Vatican’s main spokesman regarding Pope Pius XII and the Nazis, argues that “the Vatican authority itself and the most astute Catholics” expected the Nazis to renege on some or all of what they promised in the Concordat.
What if Gumpel is correct? Is he aware of the implications? What if, as Gumpel argues, “the Vatican authority itself and the most astute Catholics” expected the Nazis to renege on some or all of the limited promises the Nazis made in the Concordat, meaning that the Vatican had Zentrum vote for the Enabling act, had the German bishops lift the ban on Nazi membership, negotiated the Concordat, and dissolved Zentrum even though they expected Hitler to renege on promises such as church control of Catholic schools? Then what was the motive of the Vatican and the German Catholic hierarchy for taking actions which put the Nazis firmly in power, effectively pushing Catholics to join the Nazi party, and giving Hitler a document, signed by the Pope, which committed the German church to honor the Nazi Reich and ferret out and oppose actions that “might endanger it”?
Gumpel says that the astute people in the Vatican knew Hitler would not respect church independence, but really it did not require much astuteness; just the ability to read. Article I of the Concordat states:
“It [i.e., “The German Reich” – J.I.] acknowledges the right of the Catholic Church, within the limit of those laws which are applicable to all, to manage and regulate her own affairs independently, and, within the framework of her own competence, to publish laws and ordinances binding on her members.”The key phrase here is “within the limit of those laws which are applicable to all.”
The Reichskonkordat was signed July 20, 1933, four months after the Vatican-controlled Centre party (Zentrum) gave its support to the Enabling Act, thus making Hitler the dictator of Germany with the right to issue laws without parliamentary approval. And Zentrum had dissolved itself on July 6 - two weeks before the signing of the pact. So a) there was no possible parliamentary opposition to the Nazis because there were no longer any functioning parliamentary opponents and b) even if there had been, the Catholic party had voted to give the Nazis the authority to rule by decree. Thus, the promise to respect the partial autonomy of the Catholic church (e.g., in the running of Catholic schools) within the limits of law meant within the limits of whatever the Nazis decided. Having given Hitler the power to make laws at whim, one did not have to converse directly with God to know that the promise of Catholic rights under law wasn’t worth beans.
As Samantha Criscione argues (see footnote ), read as the end result of negotiations between parties hammering out an accord through mutual concessions, the Reichskonkordat was a catastrophic Vatican defeat. A defeat because Hitler got everything. He got the Vatican’s unqualified promise that the German Catholic church would love and honor the Nazi state and actively work to prevent actions that might endanger it, while the church got a promise of partial autonomy as long as the Nazis decided to allow it! By this standard, Eugenio Pacelli, later to become Pope Pius XII, was in the running for Worst Negotiator in History, signing away everything in return for nothing at a time when the Nazis were internationally isolated and running a state that had catastrophic financial debts, i.e., when Hitler very much needed a friendship treaty with the Vatican.
But read differently, read as the pro-Nazi faction within the Catholic church giving Hitler a weapon to help him suppress German anti-Nazi sentiment, including, indeed especially, inside the German Catholic church, whose party (Zentrum) had once opposed Nazism - the Concordat was a great success. Of course, there was no guarantee that at some point the Vatican and the Nazis would not come into conflict, despite their agreement on social and political questions and common desire to crush anti-Nazism. Even a marriage based on mutual interest may end in divorce. C’est l’amour.
For the Vatican and the Nazis, job #1 was to crush anti-Nazism, i.e., to crush the ideas that had annoyed the Vatican for a hundred and fifty years, and this document, which ordered German clerics to serve as adjuncts to the Nazi political police was a vital weapon in Hitler’s hands.
Vatican support for Nazism was apparent during the 1930s. Despite efforts to white out the past, a pictorial record survived. The pictures accuse.
“On February 10, 1939, Pius XI died, at the age of 81. [Vatican Secretary of State Eugenio] Pacelli, then 63, was elected Pope by the College of Cardinals in just three ballots, on March 2. He was crowned on March 12, on the eve of Hitler’s march into Prague. Between his election and his coronation he held a crucial meeting with the German cardinals. Keen to affirm Hitler publicly, he showed them a letter of good wishes which began, ‘To the Illustrious Herr Adolf Hitler.’ Should he, he asked them, style the Führer ‘Most Illustrious’? He decided that that might be going too far. He told the cardinals that Pius XI had said that keeping a papal nuncio in Berlin ‘conflicts with our honor.’ But his predecessor, he said, had been mistaken. He was going to maintain normal diplomatic relations with Hitler. The following month, at Pacelli’s express wish, Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo, the Berlin nuncio, hosted a gala reception in honor of Hitler’s 50th birthday. A birthday greeting to the Führer from the bishops of Germany would become an annual tradition until the war’s end.”
– From text excerpted from John Cornwell’s “Hitler’s Pope” and posted at http://emperors-clothes.com/vatican/hitlers.htm
Cornwell reports that he was given access to secret Vatican archives with the understanding that he would write a defense of Pius XII but changed his mind after studying the record.
The Catholic Centre party’s support for the Enabling act, which gave Hitler dictatorial powers; the Centre party’s subsequent decision to dissolve itself; and the signing of the Nazi-Vatican Concordat two weeks later - these actions told Catholics it was OK to work with Nazis or even to be a Nazi. This was a big boost for Nazi forces, not only in Germany but worldwide. Case in point: the Croatian Ustashi. When the German Nazis invaded Yugoslavia in 1941, the Ustashi terrorist organization set up the so-called ‘Independent State of Croatia.’ The Ustashi attempted to wipe out Yugoslavia’s Jewish population and made a full-scale attack on the Serbs, who were members of the Serbian Orthodox Church, bitterly opposed by the Catholic hierarchy that was the mainstay of the Ustashi. The Ustashi state went to war against the Serbs:
The above-quoted report describes German commanders as being shocked by Croatian Ustashi barbarity. However, the Germans used equally brutal methods to destroy Jewish villages in the Soviet Union after the German Nazi invasion. Perhaps the Germans were shocked because the people being slaughtered were perceived as human, that is, they were not Jews...
The forced conversion of tens of thousands of Serbs to Catholicism by the Ustashi regime proves its fanatically Catholic character; hence the ‘Independent State of Croatia’ is commonly referred to as a ‘Clerical-Fascist’ state. Since the Vatican controlled the Catholic hierarchy worldwide, and since the Croatian Catholic hierarchy accepted papal infallibility and organizational direction, how can we explain the Ustashi’s Catholic violence except as an expression of the policies of the Church under Pope Pius XII?
The Germans invaded Yugoslavia on April 10, 1941. According to the following report from the Yugoslav Embassy in Washington, Croatian Catholic Archbishop Stepinac helped the Ustashi terrorists create their pro-Nazi state. As in Germany, the stance taken by the Church hierarchy guided lower clergy and lay Catholics:
Croatian Ustashi fuehrer Ante Pavelic giving Nazi salute (far left) with Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac (far right) and other Catholic Church leaders
A Cardinal marches with the German Nazis
(Source: A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen.) There is a dispute as to whether the high-ranking Catholic clergyman marching between rows of SA men at a Nazi rally in Munich, pictured above, is Munich’s Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber or papal nuncio Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo.
Could it be that the Jesuit scholars who wrote “We Remember” never read Cardinal Faulhaber’s 1933 Advent sermons? If so, let me assist. I have the full text in front of me. The Cardinal’s position was precisely the opposite of what the Vatican claims.
What the Nazis called ‘race culture’ consisted of indoctrinating the population in belief in a fictional but nevertheless superior and glorious German volk and an equally imaginary but nevertheless evil and subhuman people, the Jews, and their subhuman agents, the Slavs and blacks. This so-called ‘culture,’ which is essentially modern racism elevated to the status of official doctrine, was supported by Nazi-sanctioned quacks, called ‘race scientists.’ To claim that someone endorsed Nazi ‘race culture’ but opposed Nazi antisemitism would be as silly as claiming that someone endorsed anti-black racism but opposed hatred of black people.
Keeping this in mind, here is what Faulhaber wrote about Nazi ‘race culture’ in the Vatican-authorized translation of the Advent sermons, published immediately after Faulhaber delivered them:
Faulhaber was making it perfectly clear: the Catholic church should have no objection to Nazi antisemitism and glorification of a German so-called Volk. (I emphasized ‘should’ because, while the translation reads, “there is no objection,” as my colleague Samantha Criscione argues in an as yet unpublished text, in fact when Bavarian Cardinal Faulhaber delivered the sermons, a great many Bavarian Catholics did have objections to Nazi ‘race culture’ and ‘racial research’; so not only was Faulhaber endorsing the core of Nazi hate gibberish, but, as Ms. Criscione argues, he, as the ranking Bavarian cleric, was ordering the hierarchy to crack down on Catholics who challenged Nazi racism. Thus the sermons were a blow to the anti-Nazi movement in Germany. Rather than opposing the Nazis, Faulhaber sounded the charge against their opponents in the church.
Faulhaber did dispute the demand raised by some Nazis that Christians reject the ‘Old Testament’ (the Torah). This was a practical matter. According to Catholic doctrine, with the death of Jesus Christianity inherited the mantle of “the true Israel” from the Jews, meaning that Christian scripture was a continuation of pre-Christian Jewish scripture - the Torah. If Christians rejected the Torah, they rejected the possibility of being the “true Israel.”
Notice how, in the Advent sermons, Faulhaber went out of his way to stress that by accepting the Torah as the work of God, Christians were not therefore accepting the Jews:
So Faulhaber was not saying Christians should reject racist attitudes towards Jews. He was saying he had no problem with “race culture,” but hatred of Jews should not extend to pre-Christian Hebrew religious texts, which were a Christian legacy of heavenly origin, and anyway, had nothing to do with the Jews.
Point, game, set, match.
Croatian Ustashi dictator Ante Pavelic with Franciscan monks. The Franciscan order was active in the genocide against Serbs, Jews and Roma.
Catholic clergy and Nazi
officials, including Joseph Goebbels (far right) and Wilhelm Frick (second
from right), give the Nazi salute. Germany, date uncertain.
[Photo source, Holocaust Encyclopedia,]
In 1933, under the leadership of its Cardinal Secretary of State, Eugenio Pacelli (who became Pope Pius XII), the Vatican negotiated a Concordat with Adolf Hitler. Catholic historian James Carroll writes:
As part of its Concordat with the Nazi regime, the Vatican had the huge Centre party, the Catholic party, which had previously opposed the Nazis, vote for the so-called ‘Enabling Act,’ which gave Hitler dictatorial powers, and then dissolve itself. Carroll writes:
In the above-quoted excerpt, Mr. Carroll seems to suggest that it was the “long-standing ambivalence” of the Catholic Church as an organization that had been, prior to the Reichskonkordat, “again and again... the source of impulses to protect Jews.” There are several problems with this.
First, the existence of a human impulse to decency, whether among Catholics or anyone else, is not proof of official policy. As a youthful participant in the US Civil Rights movement, I saw whites who objected to - and even took brave action to oppose - harsh treatment of black people. Such actions, while heartening, do not disprove the existence of an officially sanctioned system of abuse predicated on a theory (in this case, that blacks were supposedly less human). Similarly, of course many Catholics have been kind towards Jews and even drawn towards Jewish culture and thinking. But this does not contradict a 2,000 year policy of the Church hierarchy which has a) stigmatized Jews as “killers of Jesus,” which belief has fed and justified antisemitism, including the Nazi variety and b) discriminated sharply and/or subtly against Jews (e.g., the ghettos in which Jews were forced to live in the papal states) and c) conducted brutal campaigns against Jews (the inquisition is only one example.)
Second, the seeming ambivalence of the official Church is rooted in a doctrinal contradiction: since Christianity is presented as the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy, the Church hierarchy needs to have some Jews around, but it has not wanted them to prosper, or at least not for long, because ordinary Catholics might see that as evidence that God had not rejected the Jews for failing to accept Jesus as divine. This policy was first enunciated by St. Augustine, who cited Psalm 59: “Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.”
In other words, don’t wipe them out, or at least not all of them, because Catholic doctrine presents the Bible (i.e., Jewish scripture) as predicting the coming of Jesus. But scatter them (i.e., don’t let them return to Judah, let alone have a state there) and bring them down (make sure they suffer) so that Christians will see what happened to the Jews because they rejected the doctrine that Jesus was divine. And, by all means, provide a steady stream of much-publicized Jewish converts as proof of the benevolence and divinity of Christianity, the acceptance of which constitutes, according to Church doctrine, the salvation of Jews.
Thus the Vatican is perfectly capable of making statements against abuse of the Jews (who are presented as constituting “our Abrahamic roots” which is not necessarily a statement of brotherly affection, but can be one of religious self-justification!) even as it encourages - sometimes in the same statements - abuse of Jews. I am in the midst of writing a series on Pope John Paul II that deals in part with the above-described phenomenon. Three articles are posted:
Priests give Hitler salute at a Catholic youth rally in the Berlin-Neukolln stadium in August 1933.[Source: A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen]
Adolf Hitler greets his favorite, Ante Pavelic, leader of the Croatian Ustashi and soon to be fuehrer of the Ustashi state, upon Pavelic’s arrival at the Berghof for a state visit. (June 9, 1941)
Hitler had reason to smile. The Nazi German Army would invade Yugoslavia April 10; Pavelic’s Ustashi (Clerical-Fascist) forces would immediately set up a dictatorship based on fanatical Catholicism and so-called “racial purity.” By April 28th Croatian Archbishop Stepinac would issue a pastoral letter telling Catholics to support this Nazi-like dictatorship.
Croatian Catholic Cardinal Stepinac, front center, was a deputy in the Sabor, the pseudo-legislature of the Nazi-like Croatian Ustashi dictatorship.
After WWII, Yugoslavia put Cardinal Stepinac on trial. The Catholic Church fiercely defended Stepinac against the charge that he had helped the Ustashi even as the Vatican secretly worked with US military intelligence to help Ustashi war criminals escape from Europe, using a network known as the Ratline.
In 1991 the political heirs to the Ustashi took leadership of the Yugoslav Republic of Croatia and led a secessionist rebellion. They rehabilitated Ustashi leaders and renewed war against the Serbian people. The title of an Emperor’s Clothes article accurately describes the Western response: “The Media Suppressed the Truth about the Rebirth of Croatian Fascism.”
Just as the Catholic Church hierarchy helped to establish and lead the Ustashi ‘Independent State of Croatia’ during World War II, so the Church helped neo-Ustashi leaders create a new independent Croatia in the 1990s.When, in June 1991, neo-Ustashi extremists launched the Yugoslav wars of secession by attacking federal troops in Croatia, the Church hierarchy painted a sympathetic picture of the secessionists. A few days after the Croatians declared war, the Pope sent a letter to the Yugoslav government demanding it not suppress the rebellion. On June 29th, the Pope spoke to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square:
Over the next four years, independent Croatia drove about 600,000 Serbs from their homes, with never a word from the Pope protesting this “suffocat[ion] with force [of ] the rights and legitimate aspirations” of Serbs. About half the Serbs were expelled from Croatia proper and the other half from the neighboring territory of Krajina, claimed by Croatia; the overwhelmingly Serbian population of the Krajina had opposed the break-up of Yugoslavia.
The most explosive and violent act of ethnic cleansing occurred in August 1995, when the Croatian army, led by US forces, drove a quarter million Serbian residents from the Krajina.
The media talks endlessly about a supposed massacre in Srebrenica, the existence of which is contested, whereas the media very rarely mentions the liquidation of Serbian Krajina, the greatest act of genocide in Europe since World War II.
Three years after the eradication of the Krajina, the Pope was in Croatia, kissing the soil and beatifying the notorious Cardinal Stepinac. At a time when hundreds of thousands of ethnic Serbs, recently driven from their homes by the Croatian leaders, were living in poverty in refugee camps in Serbia, with no effort at reconciliation - let alone compensation - by Croatia, the Pope blessed the neo-Ustashi leaders with his presence and his words:
While beatifying Cardinal Stepinac, the Pope also beautified Croatian war crimes, speaking as if Croatia had not itself launched the wars of secession, and, in Orwellian fashion, praising Croatia for having a spirit of reconciliation:
He had met a genocide, and he called it love.
To read the case against Cardinal Stepinac, the man Pope John Paul II beatified in Croatia, go to
Hitler praying after a rally in Vienna
Pope John Paul II’s claim (quoted below) that Nazism was a “Godless” movement is false, as suggested by Hitler’s own words (also quoted below)
Pope John Paul II gave a speech at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, in which he claimed the Holocaust was carried out by people with a “Godless ideology”:
But the German Nazis embraced both the Protestant and Catholic religions. Below is a quote from Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Not only does he state that in the Nazi movement, “the most devout Protestant could sit beside the most devout Catholic, without coming into the slightest conflict with his religious convictions,” he also states that while the Nazis fought the Centre party (the Catholic party in Germany) during the 1920s, they did so for ‘racial’ and political reasons, not over religion. Later of course, in 1933, based on a decision taken in Rome, the Centre party went over to Hitler’s side and then dissolved itself. Hitler states that it was “the highest duty of the top leadership of the National Socialist movement to offer the sharpest opposition to any attempt” to involve the Nazis in fighting “Ultramontanism.” The term “Ultramontanism” is defined differently by different factions in the Catholic Church, but all agree that it means (at least) a Catholic Church organizationally/ideologically dominated by the Bishop of Rome, i.e., the Pope, who is viewed as infallible. So Hitler was saying the Nazis should *support* having the Pope dominate the Catholic Church even as he was fighting the Catholic party, the Centre party.
“When you see a cross...” Above is a page from the Nazi children’s book, Der Giftpilz (The Poisonous Mushroom). The caption reads, “When you see a cross, remember the gruesome murder of the Jews on Golgotha...”
[Excerpt from Nazi children’s book starts here]Contrary to Pope John Paul II’s remarks when he spoke at Yad Vashem, the Nazis were not “Godless.” This headline from the infamously antisemitic Nazi periodical, Der Stuermer, reads, “Declaration of the Higher Clergy. So spoke Jesus Christ: You hypocrites who do not see the beam in your own eyes.” [from Matthew 7:3-5] The cartoon depicts a group of Hitler Youth. The caption reads, “We youth step happily forward facing the sun... With our faith we drive the devil from the land.” The devil in question was, of course, the Jews.
(Source: US Holocaust Museum)
Hitler leaves the Marine Church in Wilhelmshaven.
Hitler at Nazi party rallyNote the (Lutheran) Frauenkirch or Church of our Lady in the background; the rally was staged as if to say Christianity was the foundation of the Nazi Party . Photo taken in Nuremberg, Germany (circa 1928).
[Posted at 20th Century History, from US Holocaust Museum]
Church & State
Bevor die Bischöfe von ihrer Diözese Besitz ergreifen, leisten sie in die Hand des Reichsstatthalters in dem zuständigen Lande bzw. des Reichspräsidenten einen Treueid nach folgender Formel:Source: “Bekanntmachung über das Konkordat zwischen dem Deutschen Reich und dem Heiligen Stuhl. Vom 12. September 1933” [Proclamation on the Concordat Between the German Reich and the Holy See of 12 September 1933] on the Reichsgesetzblatt (RGBl.) [Reich Legal Gazette] , Part II, n. 38, 18 September 1933, p. 679, followed by the German and the Italian text of the “Konkordat,” ibid., pp. 679-690.
 From “Falsifications in the translations and analyses of the Reichskonkordat,“ by Samantha Criscione. A work in progress, to be published on the website, Emperor’s Clothes.
 The Pope’s Speech at the Zagreb Airport, October 2, 1998, at
Archived at http://emperors-clothes.com/archive/popespeech.htm
www.tenc.net * Emperor’s Clothes
The end of "the Papal States"One can't understand the deal which the papacy made with the Fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, without understanding the history of the relationship between the papacy and the civil governments of the Italian peninsula during the prior hundred years. After having had political control of "the Papal States", a good portion of central Italy, for a thousand years or more, the popes were denied that control during the 19th century.[ excerpted from : http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?groupid=707&HistoryID=aa68>rack=pthc#ixzz0bOdqXaKY and http://ivarfjeld.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/ousted-pope-brought-back-by-the-fascists/ ]
First, the Papal States were taken away between 1797 and 1814 :
Between 1797 and 1809, a struggle between Pope Pius VI (1775-1799) and Napoleon, who emerged from the French Revolution as the emperor of France, resulted in the occupation of Rome by French troops, the removal of Pope Pius VI to France - where he died in 1799 - the annexation of all of the papal states into "the Napoleonic kingdom of Italy" and proclamation by Napoleon that the pope, Pius VII (1800-1823), no longer had any form of temporal authority. When Pius VII responded by excommunicating Napoleon himself and everyone else connected with this outrage, he was immediately arrested and removed to imprisonment in France. The entire Italian peninsula was under French control from 1809 to 1813 when Napoleon was defeated at Leipzig.
Then, the Papal States were returned between 1814 and 1869 :
The Papal states were returned to the Catholic Church by Catholic Austria and Pius VII returned to Rome in 1814, he and Popes Leo XII (1823-1829), Pius VIII (1829-1830) and Gregory XVI (1831-1846), and Pius IX (1846-1878) ruled over that territory for the next 65 years, except for a brief interlude when a short-lived Republic exiled Pius IX from Rome in 1848-49.
Finally, in 1871, the former Papal States were permanently taken away from the popes and absorbed into the modern nation of Italy :
Pope Pius IX convened the First Vatican Council in 1869, which decreed Papal infallibility. But that didn't make the pope invincible. On September 10 in 1870 Italy declared war on the Papal States. In October, Rome and the surrounding Campagna, voted for a union with the kingdom of Italy. Even the people who lived in Rome, voted against the Pope in a referendum. They wanted to be a part of the new Kingdom of Italy, with religious freedom, without a Pope as their religious head. Rome became once again, for the first time in thirteen centuries the capital city of a united Italy.
Pius IX ( 1846-1878 ) refused to accept these developments. He described himself as a prisoner in the Vatican. However the new Italian control of Rome did not wither, nor did the Catholic world come to the Pope's aid, as Pius IX had expected. In 1882, Pope Leo XIII ( 1878-1903) even considered moving the papacy to Trieste or Salzburg, two cities in Austria. However, he and his successors, popes Pius XII (1903-1914), Benedict XV (1914-1922) and Pius XII (1922-1939) continued to govern the Catholic Church from the 109 acre Vatican compound where they acted the part of victims hoping for someone to ride to their rescue, until 1929.
With this as the historical background, it's not surprising that the Catholic Church was willing to make a deal ("concordat") with Benito Mussolini, which became the model for its deal with Mussolini's partner, Adolf Hitler, four years later. As bad as these deals were, they were better - from the Vatican's point of view - than the hand that had been dealt to the church from the liberal revolutionaries of France and Italy, or what they could expect if the communists got their way in any additional Catholic countries.
King, Pope & DictatorThe Lateran Treaty of 1929 with Fascist Italy :
Pius XI, Pacelli, & Mussolini
"Holy See" ?
Isn't it amusing how English-speaking Catholic churchmen insist on translating the Latin "Sancta Sedes" into the meaningless "Holy See", instead of the correct, but silly–sounding "Holy Seat"?
a papal throne"In Italy , the Holy See (Pope Pius XI and Sec. or State Pacelli) had signed a pact with Mussolini in February, 1929, foreshadowing Pacelli's 1933 deal with Hitler. Negotiated and drafted by Pacelli's brother, Francesco, and his predecessor as Secretary of State, Pietro Gasparri, the accord, on the face of it and for the time being, ended the antagonisms that had existed between the Holy See (i.e. "Throne") and Italy since 1870.
According to the terms of "the Lateran Treaty", Roman Catholicism became the sole recognized religion in the country. Crucially, the agreement acknowledged the right of the Holy See (i.e. "Throne") to impose within Italy the new Code of Canon Law, the most significant expression of which, for Pius Xl, was Article 34, in which the state recognized the validity of marriages performed in church. The papacy was awarded sovereignty over the tiny territory of Vatican City (just 108.7 acres) along with territorial rights over several buildings and churches in Rome and the summer palace at Castel Gandolfo on Lake Albano. In compensation for the loss of lands and property, the Vatican was given the equivalent at the time of eighty-five million dollars. The powerful democratic Catholic Popular Party (the Partito Popolare), in many respects similar to the Center Party in German had been disbanded and its leader (Father) Don Luigi Sturzo, exiled. Catholics had been instructed by the Vatican itself to withdraw from politics as Catholics, leaving a political vacuum in which the Fascists thrived. In the March elections following the Lateran Treaty, priests throughout Italy were encouraged by the Vatican to support the Fascists, and the Pope spoke of Mussolini as "a man sent by Providence."
In the place of political Catholicism in Italy, the Holy See (i.e. "Throne") was allowed, under Article 43, to encourage the movement known as Catholic Action, an anemic form of clerically dominated religious rally-rousing, described ploddingly by Pius XI as "the organized participation of the laity in the hierarchical apostolate of the Church, transcending party politics." Article 43 stipulated, however, that Catholic Action would be recognized only so long as it developed "Its activity outside every political party and in direct dependence upon the Church hierarchy for the dissemination and implementation of Catholic principles." In a second paragraph, the article declared that all clergy and all those in religious orders in Italy were prohibited from registering in and being active in any political party.
In Germany in the late 1920s, well ahead of the Reich Concordat, Pacelli had also promoted Catholic Action, announcing its establishment at a Eucharistic rally in Magdeburg in 1928. As we have seen, Pacelli's distaste for political Catholicism – dating back to the era of Pius X and turbulent Church-State relations in France – was profound, if at this stage muted. His interest in the Center Party and indeed any Catholics within government in Germany, as became increasingly apparent, focused on the extent to which he could exploit them as negotiating counters (chips) to achieve a Reich Concordat favorable to the Holy See (i.e. "Throne"). The Lateran Treaty, drafted and negotiated by his elder brother, Francesco, with all its measures designed to cripple political and social Catholicism, contained all that Pacelli yearned for in a Reich Concordat.
Despite Hitler's confident assertions, the Vatican was by no means inclined toward the Nazi Party; the Holy See (i.e. "Throne") endorsed neither the implicit nor the explicit racism of National Socialism, and warned of its potential for establishing an idolatrous creed based on pagan fantasies and spurious folk history. The fact was, however, that Hence, pragmatically, the Vatican's estimation of any political party was colored by how it stood in relation to the communist threat. In this sense, quite ludicrously, even the Nazis' nominal association with socialism was enough to raise doubts about the party among certain naive Vatican monsignori. In I'Osservatore Romano, October 11, 1930, the editorialist declared that membership in the National Socialists was "incompatible with the Catholic conscience," adding, "just as it is completely incompatible with membership of socialist parties of all shades."
At the end of the day, however, Pius XI and Pacelli judged movements on the basis of their anti-left-wing credentials, which had led the Holy See (i.e. "Throne") to forbid the Partito Popolare to make approaches to the socialists in 1924, thus neutralizing its attempts to thwart Mussolini. After 1930, when the Center Party in Germany had more need than ever of creating stability by collaborating with the Social Democrats, Pacelli was pressuring the Center Party leadership to shun the Socialist Democrats and court the National Socialists. Insofar as the National Socialists had declared open war on socialism and communism alike, Pius XI and Pacelli were inclined to ponder the advantages of a temporary and tactical alliance with Hitler, a circumstance that Hitler would exploit to the full when his moment came." (Hitler's Pope, pp 114-116)
Although he had been a professed atheist, Benito Mussolini knew that he couldn't govern the country at the heart of the Roman Catholic world without finding a way to work with the Vatican. He had his marriage performed in a Catholic Church, had his children baptized and in 1927 was himself baptized.
"The Vatican and Fascism helped each other from the beginning. Pope Pius XI (1922-1939) ordered the leader of the Catholic Party (in Italy) to disband it (1926), the better to consolidate the regime of Mussolini. The latter negotiated the Lateran Treaty and Concordat with the Church (1926-1929). By virtue of the first, the Vatican became a sovereign state within Rome. While with the second (the Italian Concordat), the Church was granted immense privileges, and Catholicism was declared the only religion of Fascist Italy, which it wholeheartedly supported. Bishops took an oath of allegiance to the Fascist Dictatorship, and the clergy were ordered never to oppose it or incite their flock to harm it. Prayers were said in churches for Mussolini and for Fascism. Priests became members of the Fascist Party and were even its officers.
One of the main supporters of the Fascist-Vatican pact was Msgr. Eugenio Pacelli ( the future Pope Pius XII ), then in Germany. His brother, a canon lawyer, became one of the chief secret negotiators .
. . Later, the Papal Nuncio to Germany, Msgr. Eugenio Pacelli saw to it that his brother was made a Prince." (of Italy)
[ from http://www.reformation.org/holoc1.html ]
A few days after the signing of the Lateran Treaty (between the Pope & Mussolini) , Hitler wrote an article for theVolkisher Beobachter, published on 2/ 22/1929, warmly welcoming the agreement (which he would strive to emulate and enhance just four years later in hisReich Concordat with the same Pope Pius XI) :
"The fact that the Curia is now making its peace with Fascism, shows that the Vatican trusts the new political realities far more than (it) did the former liberal democracy with which it could not come to terms." Turning to the German situation, he rebuked the (Catholic) Center Party leadership for its recalcitrant attachment to democratic politics. " By trying to preach that democracy is still in the best interests of German Catholics, the Center Party . . . is placing itself in stark contradiction to the spirit of the treaty signed today by the Holy See."The conclusion of his rant contained a gross distortion as well as a remarkable intuition of future opportunities: "The fact that the Catholic Church has come to an agreement with Fascist Italy. . . proves beyond doubt that the Fascist world of ideas is closer to Christianity (i.e. Catholicism) than (to) those of Jewish liberalism or even atheistic Marxism, to which the so-called Catholic Center Party sees itself so closely bound, to the detriment of Christianity today and our German people."
(Another of Hitler's comments on the conclusion of the Lateran Treaty in 1929 is quoted by Scholder in "The Churches and the Third Reich", Vol I, p. 388: "If the Pope today comes to such an understanding with Fascism, then he is at least of the opinion that Fascism – and therefore nationalism – is justifiable for the faithful and compatible with the Catholic faith." (p. 115 Hitler's Pope).
click on the picture to learn about the book.
The 1933 Concordat between the Roman Catholic Church and Nazi Germany,
Pius XI, Cardinal Pacelli, & Hitler :
"Papen and Pacelli formally sign the Concordat in an elaborate ceremony at the Vatican. Reich Minister of the Interior Frick announces that now the entire German government is under the control of Adolf Hitler and that the Hitler salute is henceforth to be generally used as the German greeting. A number of contemporary historians consider this to be the day Hitler's dictatorship of Germany actually began.""In 1919, the Weimar Republic mandated that the state subsidy of churches should cease. But, in reality, this mandate was breached before the ink used to write it was dry. In the years leading up to Hitler's assumption of total state power, the most serious potential opposition to his mad solutions were those within Germany's Catholic and Lutheran churches who objected to the excesses of National Socialism. Historically, churches and religions have, more than once, played the role of society's only check against political oppression. Accordingly, governments have often harbored hostility towards them — particularly since they postulate a higher authority than the state.But Hitler circumvented that problem in 1933. In return for maintaining state support for the churches, Hitler secured an agreement that the churches would not oppose the National Socialists' rise to power. Practically overnight, both churches developed active participation in advancing the goals of the Nazis. The Lutheran press began to talk of the Jews as the "natural enemies" of Christianity. The Catholic Church even agreed to an oath of fealty to be taken by all bishops, agreeing "Before God and on the Holy Gospels, I swear and promise — as becomes a bishop — loyalty to the German Reich and to the state . . . and to cause the clergy of my diocese to honor it."
[ from www.freedommag.org/english/spegerm/page18.htm ]Far from being threatened by the Nazis, the government subsidy which the Catholic Church had enjoyed under his predecessors was tripled under Roman Catholic Chancellor Adolf Hitler.
"Between 1933, when he took office, and 1938 it rose from 150,000,000 marks a year to 500,000,000. 'What was your subsidy to the Churches', he asked of France, Britain, and America? He had never closed a church, and he left the Roman Church the richest land-owner in south and west Germany. It drew 1,500,000,000 marks a year from its property alone. (German papers give its wealth as $20,000,000,000). All that he asked was that priests should behave themselves as respectably as other citizens. "Paederasty and the corruption of children," he said, "are punished by law like other crimes in this state." The roars of applause in this case expressed the sentiment of practically the whole of Germany." [How The Cross Courted The Swastika For Eight Years, by Joseph McCabe, chapter IV.]
"After the Concordat between the Nazi regime and the Holy See (i.e. "Throne") had been concluded in the summer of 1933, Cardinal Faulhaber sent a handwritten note to Hitler, stating, "What the old parliaments and parties did not accomplish in 60 years, your statesmanlike foresight has achieved in six months. For Germany's prestige in East and West . . . this handshake with the papacy, the greatest moral power in the history of the world, is a feat of immeasurable blessing." These words were written – other German "princes of the Church" expressed themselves similarly – some time after the Nazi regime had abolished virtually all civil liberties, had dissolved all political parties other than its own, and had decreed the removal of "non-Aryans" from public service as well as from pastoral functions, all clearly steps toward the deprivation of citizenship rights of the Jews. These actions were never protested by members of the hierarchy, and expressions such as Faulhaber's could only bolster the regime and help sustain its policies."
[ from "The Silence of the Vatican And the Plight of the Jews," by
H. Brand http://www.wpunj.edu/newpol/issue30/brand30.htm ]
English version of the actual text ofJuly 20, 1933
the Concordat between the Holy See and the German Reich
In order to make it clear which party benefitted from which parts of this deal (and why each of them signed on to it), I have taken pains to identify the benefits derived by the Church in purple text on white background, the benefits derived by the Nazi government in white text on a purple background (i.e. the opposite), and the parts benefitting neither more than the other in black text on a white background.
Ray DubuqueHis Holiness Pope Pius XI and the President of the German Reich, moved by a common desire to consolidate and enhance the friendly relations existing between the Holy See and the German Reich, wish to regulate the relations between the Catholic Church and the State for the whole territory of the German Reich in a permanent manner and on a basis acceptable to both parties. They have decided to conclude a solemn agreement, which will supplement the Concordats already concluded with certain individual German states, and will ensure for the remaining States fundamentally uniform treatment of their respective problems.For this purpose:
His Holiness Pope Pius XI has appointed as his Plenipotentiary His Eminence the Most Reverend Lord Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, his Secretary of State.
The President of the German Reich has appointed as Plenipotentiary the Vice-Chancellor of the German Reich, Herr Franz von Papen.
Who, having exchanged their respective credentials and found them to be in due and proper form, have agreed to the following articles:
Article 1 The German Reich guarantees freedom of profession and public practice of the Catholic religion.
It acknowledges the right of the Catholic Church, within the limit of those laws which are applicable to all, to manage and regulate her own affairs independently, and, within the framework of her own competence, to publish laws and ordinances binding on her members.
Article 2 The Concordats concluded with Bavaria (1924), Prussia (1929) and Baden (1932) remain in force, and the rights and privileges of the Catholic Church recognized therein are secured unchanged within the territories of the States concerned. For the remaining States the agreements entered into in the present Concordat come into force in their entirety. These last are also binding for those States named above in so far as they affect matters not regulated by the regional Concordats or are complementary to the settlement already made.
In the future, regional Concordats with States of the German Reich will be concluded only with the agreement of the Reich Government. Article 3
In order to foster good relations between the Holy See and the German Reich, an Apostolic Nuncio will reside in the capital of the German Reich and an Ambassador of the German Reich at the Holy See, as heretofore.
[ see the official "explanation" of this article attached below ]
In its relations and correspondence with the bishops, clergy and other members of the Catholic Church in Germany, the Holy See enjoys full freedom. The same applies to the bishops and other diocesan officials in their dealings with the faithful in all matters belonging to their pastoral office.
Instructions, ordinances, Pastoral Letters, official diocesan gazettes, and other enactments regarding the spiritual direction of the faithful issued by the ecclesiastical authorities within the framework of their competence (Art. 1, Sect. 2) may be published without hindrance and brought to the notice of the faithful in the form hitherto usual.
In the exercise of their spiritual activities the clergy enjoy the protection of the State in the same way as State officials. The State will take proceedings in accordance with the general provisions of State law against any outrage offered to the clergy personally or directed against their ecclesiastical character, or any interference with the duties of their office, and in case of need will provide official protection.
Clerics and Religious are freed from any obligation to undertake official offices and such obligations as, according to the provisions of Canon Law, are incompatible with the clerical or religious state. This applies particularly to the office of magistrate, juryman, member of Taxation Committee or member of the Fiscal Tribunal.
The acceptance of an appointment or office in the State, or in any publicly constituted corporation dependent on the State, requires, in the case of the clergy, the nihil obstat of the Diocesan Ordinary of the individual concerned, as well as that of the Ordinary of the place in which the publicly constituted corporation is situated. The nihil obstat may be withdrawn at any time for grave reasons affecting ecclesiastical interests.
The official income of the clergy is immune from distraint to the same extent as is the official salary of officials of the Reich and State.
The clergy may not be required by judicial and other officials to give information concerning matters which have been entrusted to them while exercising the care of souls, and which therefore come within the obligation of pastoral secrecy.
The wearing of clerical dress or of a religious habit on the part of lay folk, or of clerics or religious who have been forbidden to wear them by a final and valid injunction made by the competent ecclesiastical authority and officially communicated to the State authority, is liable to the same penalty on the part of the State as the misuse of military uniform.
The present organization and demarcation of dioceses of the Catholic Church in the German Reich remains in force. Such rearrangements of a bishopric or of an ecclesiastical province or of other diocesan demarcations as shall seem advisable in the future, so far as they involve changes within the boundaries of a German State, remain subject to the agreement of the Government of the State concerned.
Rearrangements and alterations which extend beyond the boundaries of a German State require the agreement of the Reich Government, to whom it shall be left to secure the consent of the regional Government in question. The same applies to rearrangements or alterations of ecclesiastical Provinces involving several German States. The foregoing conditions do not apply to such ecclesiastical boundaries as are laid down merely in the interests of local pastoral care.
In the case of any territorial reorganization within the German Reich, the Reich Government will communicate with the Holy See with a view to rearrangement of the organization and demarcation of dioceses.
Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 11, ecclesiastical offices may be freely constituted and changed, unless the expenditure of State funds is involved. The creation and alteration of parishes shall be carried out according to principles with which the diocesan bishops are agreed, and for which the Reich Government will endeavor to secure uniform treatment as far as possible from the State Governments.
Catholic parishes, parish and diocesan societies, episcopal sees, bishoprics and chapters, religious Orders and Congregations, as well as institutions, foundations and property which are under the administration of ecclesiastical authority, shall retain or acquire respectively legal competence in the civil domain according to the general prescriptions of civil law. They shall remain publicly recognized corporations in so far as they have been such hitherto; similar rights may be granted to the remainder in accordance with those provisions of the law which apply to all.
[ see the official "explanation" of this article attached below ]
As a matter of principle the Church retains the right to appoint freely to all Church offices and benefices without the co-operation of the State or of civil communities, in so far as other provisions have not been made in previous Concordats mentioned in Article 2. The regulation made for appointment to the Metropolitan see of Freiburg (the Ecclesiastical Province of the Upper Rhine) is to be duly applied to the two suffragan bishoprics of Rottenburg and Mainz, as well as to the bishopric of Meissen. With regard to Rottenburg and Mainz the same regulation holds for appointments to the Cathedral Chapter, and for the administration of the right of patronage. Furthermore, there is accord on the following points:
1. Catholic clerics who hold an ecclesiastical office in Germany or who exercise pastoral or educational functions must:
(a) Be German citizens.
(b) Have matriculated from a German secondary school.
(c) Have studied philosophy and theology for at least three years at
a German State University, a German ecclesiastical college, or a papal college in Rome.
By agreement between Church and State, Paragraph 1, sections (a), (b)
and (c) may be disregarded or set aside.2. The Bull nominating Archbishops, Coadjutors "cum jure successionis", or appointing a "Praelatus nullius", will not be issued until the name of the appointee has been submitted to the representative of the National Government in the territory concerned, and until it has been ascertained that no objections of a general political nature exist.[ see the official "explanation" of this article attached below ]
Religious Orders and Congregations are not subject to any special restrictions on the part of the State, either as regards their foundation, the erection of their various establishments, their number, the selection of members (save for the special provisions of paragraph 2 of this article), pastoral activity, education, care of the sick and charitable work, or as regards the management of their affairs and the administration of their property.
Religious Superiors whose headquarters are within Germany must be German citizens. Provincials and other Superiors of Orders, whose headquarters lie outside Germany, have the right of visitation of those of their establishments which lie within Germany.
The Holy See will endeavor to ensure that the provincial organization of conventual establishments within the German Reich shall be such that, as far as possible, German establishments do not fall under the jurisdiction of foreign provincials. Agreements may be made with the Reich Government in cases where the small number of houses makes a special German province impracticable, or where special grounds exist for the retention of a provincial organization which is firmly established and has acquired an historic nature.
Before bishops take possession of their dioceses they are to take an oath of fealty either to the Reich Representative of the State concerned, or to the President of the Reich, according to the following formula: "Before God and on the Holy Gospels I swear and promise as becomes a bishop, loyalty to the German Reich and to the State of . . . I swear and promise to honor the legally constituted Government and to cause the clergy of my diocese to honor it. In the performance of my spiritual office and in my solicitude for the welfare and the interests of the German Reich, I will endeavor to avoid all detrimental acts which might endanger it."
The property and other rights of public corporation, institutions, foundations and associations of the Catholic Church regarding their vested interests, are guaranteed according to the common law of the land.
No building dedicated to public worship may be destroyed for any reason whatsoever without the previous consent of ecclesiastical authorities concerned.
[ see the official "explanation" of this article attached below ]
Should it become necessary to abrogate the performance of obligations undertaken by the State towards the Church, whether based on law, agreement or special charter, the Holy See and the Reich will elaborate in amicable agreement the principles according to which the abrogation is to be carried out.
Legitimate traditional rights are to be considered as titles in law.
Such abrogation of obligations must be compensated by an equivalent in favor of the claimant.
Catholic Theological Faculties in State Universities are to be maintained. Their relation to ecclesiastical authorities will be governed by the respective Concordats and by special Protocols attached to the same, and with due regard to the laws of the Church in their regard. The Reich Government will endeavor to secure for all these Catholic Faculties in Germany a uniformity of practical administration corresponding to the general spirit and tenor of the various agreements concerned.
[ see the official "explanation" of this article attached below ]
Where other agreements do not exist, the Church has the right to establish theological and philosophical colleges for the training of its clergy, which institutions are to be wholly dependent on the ecclesiastical authorities if no State subsidies are sought.
The establishment, management and administration if theological seminaries and hostels for clerical students, within the limits of the law applicable to all, is exclusively the prerogative of the ecclesiastical authorities.
[ see the official "explanation" of this article attached below ]
Catholic religious instruction in elementary, senior, secondary and vocational schools constitutes a regular portion of the curriculum, and is to be taught in accordance with the principles of the Catholic Church. In religious instruction, special care will be taken to inculcate patriotic, civic and social consciousness and sense of duty in the spirit of the Christian Faith and the moral code, precisely as in the case of other subjects. The syllabus and the selection of textbooks for religious instruction will be arranged by consultative agreement with the ecclesiastical authorities, and these latter have the right to investigate whether pupils are receiving religious instruction in accordance with the teachings and requirements of the Church. Opportunities for such investigation will be agreed upon with the school authorities.
With regard to the appointment of Catholic religious instructors, agreement will be arrived at as a result of mutual consultation on the part of the bishop unfit for the further exercise of their teaching functions, either on pedagogical grounds or by reason of their moral conduct, may not be employed for religious instruction so long as the obstacle remains.
The retention of Catholic denomination schools and the establishment of new ones, is guaranteed. In all parishes in which parents or guardians request it, Catholic elementary schools will be established, provided that the number of pupils available appears to be sufficient for a school managed and administered in accordance with the standards prescribed by the State, due regard being had to the local conditions of school organizations.
In all Catholic elementary schools only such teachers are to be employed as are members of the Catholic Church, and who guarantee to fulfill the special requirements of a Catholic school.
Within the frame-work of the general professional training of teachers, arrangements will be made which will secure the formation and training of Catholic teachers in accordance with the special requirements of Catholic denominational schools.
Religious Orders and Congregations are entitled to establish and conduct private schools, subject to the general laws and ordinances governing education. In so far as these schools follow the curriculum prescribed for State schools, those attending them acquire the same qualifications as those attending State schools. The admission of members of religious Orders or Congregations to the teaching office, and their appointment to elementary, secondary or senior schools, are subject to the general conditions applicable to all.
With certain reservations pending a later comprehensive regulation of the marriage laws, it is understood that, apart from cases of critical illness of one member of an engaged couple which does not permit of a postponement, and in cases of great moral emergency (the presence of which must be confirmed by the proper ecclesiastical authority), the ecclesiastical marriage ceremony should precede the civil ceremony. In such cases the pastor is in duty bound to notify the matter immediately at the Registrar's office.
The Church will accord provision to the German army for the spiritual guidance of its Catholic officers, personnel and other officials, as well as for the families of the same.
The administration of such pastoral care for the army is to be vested in the army bishop. The latter's ecclesiastical appointment is to be made by the Holy See after contact has been made with the Reich Government in order to select a suitable candidate who is agreeable to both parties.
The ecclesiastical appointment of military chaplains and other military clergy will be made after previous consultations with the appropriate authorities of the Reich by the army bishop. The army bishop may appoint only such chaplains as receive permission from their diocesan bishop to engage on military pastoral work, together with a certificate of suitability. Military chaplains have the rights of parish priests with regard to the troops and other army personnel assigned to them.
Detailed regulations for the organization of pastoral work by chaplains will be supplied by an Apostolic Brief. Regulations for official aspects of the same work will be drawn up by the Reich Government.
In hospitals, prisons, and similar public institutions the Church is to retain the right of visitation and of holding divine service, subject to the rules of the said institutions. If regular pastoral care is provided for such institutions, and if pastors be appointed as State or other public officials, such appointments will be made by agreement with the ecclesiastical authorities.
[ see the official "explanation" of this article attached below ]
Catholic members of a non-German minority living within the Reich, in matters concerning the use of their mother tongue in church services [sermons], religious instruction and the conduct of church societies, will be accorded no less favorable treatment than that which is actually and in accordance with law permitted to individuals of German origin and speech living within the boundaries of the corresponding foreign States.
[ see the official "explanation" of this article attached below ]
On Sundays and Holy days, special prayers, conforming to the Liturgy, will be offered during the principal Mass for the welfare of the German Reich and its people in all episcopal, parish and conventual churches and chapels of the German Reich.
Those Catholic organizations and societies which pursue exclusively charitable, cultural or religious ends, and, as such, are placed under the ecclesiastical authorities, will be protected in their institutions and activities.
[ see the official "explanation" of this article attached below ]
Those Catholic organizations which to their religious, cultural and charitable pursuits add others, such as social or professional interests, even though they may be brought into national organizations, are to enjoy the protection of Article 31, Section I, provided they guarantee to develop their activities outside all political parties.
It is reserved to the central Government and the German episcopate, in joint agreement, to determine which organizations and associations come within the scope of this article.
In so far as the Reich and its constituent States take charge of sport and other youth organizations, care will be taken that it shall be possible for the members of the same regularly to practice their religious duties on Sundays and feast days, and that they shall not be required to do anything not in harmony with their religious and moral convictions and obligations.
[ see the official "explanation" of this article attached below ]
In view of the special situation existing in Germany, and in view of the guarantee provided through this Concordat of legislation directed to safeguard the rights and privileges of the Roman Catholic Church in the Reich and its component States, the Holy See will prescribe regulations for the exclusion of clergy and members of religious Orders from membership of political parties, and from engaging in work on their behalf.
[ see the official "explanation" of this article attached below ]
Article 33(Signed) Eugenio, Cardinal Pacelli (Signed) Franz von Papen
All matters relating to clerical persons or ecclesiastical affairs, which have not been treated of in the foregoing articles, will be regulated for the ecclesiastical sphere according to current Canon Law.
Should differences of opinion arise regarding the interpretation or execution of any of the articles of this Concordat, the Holy See and the German Reich will reach a friendly solution by mutual agreement.
This Concordat, whose German and Italian texts shall have equal binding force, shall be ratified, and the certificates of ratification shall be exchanged, as soon as possible. It will be in force from the day of such exchange.
In witness hereof, the plenipotentiaries have signed this Concordat. Signed in two original exemplars, in the Vatican City, July 20th, 1933.
APPENDIX: The Supplementary Protocol
At the signing of the Concordat concluded today between the Holy See and the German Reich, the undersigned, being regularly thereto empowered, have adjoined the following explanations which form an integral part of the Concordat itself.
Article 3. The Apostolic Nuncio to the German Reich, in accordance with the exchange of notes between the Apostolic Nunciature in Berlin and the Reich Foreign Office on the 11th and the 27th of March respectively, shall be the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps thereto accredited.
Article 13. It is understood that the Church retains the right to levy Church taxes.
Article 14, Par. 2. It is understood that when objections of a general political nature exist, they shall be presented within the shortest possible time. If after twenty days such representations have not been made, the Holy See may be justified in assuming that no objections exist to the candidate in question. The names of the persons concerned will be kept confidential until the announcement of the appointment. No right of the State to assert a veto is to be derived from this article.
Article 17. In so far as public buildings or properties are devoted to ecclesiastical purposes, these are to be retained as before, subject to existing agreements.
Article 19, Par 2. This clause is based, at the time of signature of this Concordat, especially on the Apostolic Constitution, "Deus Scientiarum Dominus' of May 24th, 1931, and the Instruction of July 7th, 1932.
Article 20. Hostels which are administered by the Church in connection with certain Universities and secondary schools, will be recognized, from the point of view of taxation, as essentially ecclesiastical institutions in the proper sense of the word, and as integral parts of diocesan organization.
Article 24. In so far as private institutions are able to meet the requirements of the new educational code with regard to the training of teachers, all existing establishments of religious Orders and Congregations will be given due consideration in the accordance or recognition.
Article 26. A severe moral emergency is taken to exist when there are insuperable or disproportionately difficult and costly obstacles impeding the procuring of documents necessary for the marriage at the proper time.
Article 27, Par. 1. Catholic officers, officials and personnel, their families included, do not belong to local parishes, and are not to contribute to their maintenance.Article 27, Par 4. The publication of the Apostolic Brief will take place after consultation with the Reich Government. Article 28. In cases of urgency entry of the clergy is guaranteed at all times.
Article 29. Since the Reich Government has seen its way to come to an agreement regarding non-German minorities, the Holy See declares – in accordance with the principles it has constantly maintained regarding the right to employ the vernacular in Church services [sermons], religious instruction and the conduct of Church societies – that it will bear in mind similar clauses protective of German minorities when establishing Concordats with other countries.
Article 31, Par. 4. The principles laid down in Article 31, Sect. 4 hold good also for the Labor Service.
Article 32. It is understood that similar provisions regarding activity in Party politics will be introduced by the Reich Government for members of non-catholic denominations.
The conduct, which has been made obligatory for the clergy and members of religious Orders in Germany in virtue of Article 32, does not involve any sort of limitation of official and prescribed preaching and interpretation of the dogmatic and moral teachings and principles of the Church."(Signed) Eugenio, Cardinal Pacelli (Signed) Franz von Papen
At the Vatican City, July 20th, 1933.
[ English translation from www.newadvent.org/library/docs_ss33co.htm ]
Salient features of the 1933 Reichconcordat :
1) The right to freedom of religion.
2) The state concordats with Bavaria (1924), Prussia (1929), and Baden (1932) remain valid.
4) Unhindered correspondence between the Holy See (i.e. "Throne") and German Catholics.
13) The right of the church to collect church taxes.
14) "Catholic clerics who hold an ecclesiastical office in Germany or who exercise pastoral or educational functions must:
(a) be German citizens.
(b) have matriculated from a German secondary school.
(c) have studied philosophy and theology for at least three years at a German State University, a German ecclesiastical college, or a papal college in Rome.
[ All of which, except for the papal college. would be under strict Nazi control. ]
Article 16Before bishops take possession of their dioceses they are to take an oath of fealty either to the Reich Representative of the State concerned, or to the President of the Reich, according to the following formula : " Before God and on the Holy Gospels I swear and promise as becomes a bishop, loyalty to the German Reich and to the [regional - EC] State of . . .
"I swear and promise to honor the legally constituted Government and to cause the clergy of my diocese to honor it. In the performance of my spiritual office and in my solicitude for the welfare and the interests of the German Reich, I will endeavor to avoid all detrimental acts which might endanger it."How could the hierarchy have been expected to oppose Hitler's policies when they had been required by their church to swear "before God and on the Holy Gospels"not to do so ?
18) State services to the church can be abolished only by mutual agreement.
21) and teachers for Catholic religion can be employed only with the approval of the bishop.
22) Catholic religion is taught in school
31) Protection of Catholic organizations and freedom of religious practice.
32) Clerics may not be members of or be active for political parties.
33) "Should differences of opinion arise regarding the interpretation or execution of any of the articles of this Concordat, the Holy See (i.e. "Throne") and the German Reich will reach a friendly solution by mutual agreement." (LOL)
The Treaty of Versailles barred Germany from having mandatory military service, but in the event that mandatory military service should be reinstated, a secret annex to the Concordat relieved clerics from military duty.Only when the Nazi government violated the Concordat (and Article 31 in particular), did the clergy start to criticize Nazi policies (which the government interpreted as unpatriotic and a violation of Article 32).
1933 Concordat still in effect:After World War II, the validity of the Reich konkordat was unclear. In 1957, however, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany finally decided that the Concordat was still valid, making it thus the only bilateral treaty from the Nazi period that is still valid for Germany today.
[ Slightly paraphrased from http://reichskonkordat.biography.ms/ ]The following isThe Catholic League's attempt to deflect any criticism of the Catholic Church's leadership for the Reich Concordat - 1933 :www.catholicleague.org/pius/piusxii_faqs.html
"Why did Pacelli as Secretary of State under Pius XI, sign an agreement – a "concordat" – with the Nazis in 1933? Didn't this just serve to give legitimacy to the Nazi government?""Despite vocal opposition from the Catholic Church in Germany where National Socialism's racist views were routinely condemned as contrary to Catholic principles and Catholics were ordered not to support the party [ no source, and no actual quotation], by 1933 Hitler had become German chancellor [no mention of the important role played by Catholics in that event]. Pacelli was dismayed with the Nazi assumption of power and by August of 1933 he expressed to the British representative to the Holy See (i.e. "Throne") his disgust with "their persecution of the Jews, their proceedings against political opponents, the reign of terror to which the whole nation was subjected." [ only part of an actual quotation & no source enabling anyone to find out more] When it was stated that Germany now had a strong leader to deal with the communists, Archbishop Pacelli responded that the Nazis were infinitely worse. [ no source, and no actual quotation]At the same time, however, the Vatican was forced to deal with the reality of Hitler's rise to power. In June 1933 Hitler had signed a peace agreement with the western powers, including France and Great Britain, called the Four-Power Pact. At the same time Hitler expressed a willingness to negotiate a statewide concordat with Rome. The concordat was concluded a month later. In a country where Protestantism dominated, the Catholic Church was finally placed on a legal equal footing with the Protestant churches. [This is misleading, as the Catholic "Center Party" was bigger than the National Socialists and half of the country's Chancellors from 1919 on had been, like Hitler, Catholics.] Did the concordat negotiated by Pacelli give legitimacy to the Nazi regime? No. Forgotten is the fact that it was preceded both by the Four-Power Pact and a similar agreement concluded between Hitler and the Protestant churches. The Church had no choice but to conclude such a concordat, [even if that were true, there were choices to be made as to each of its provisions], or face draconian restrictions on the lives of the faithful in Germany. Pacelli denied that the concordat meant Church recognition of the regime. [ What does that prove?] Concordats were made with countries, not particular regimes, he stated. [Since when docountries – as opposed totheir official representatives – negotiate and sign treaties?] Pope Pius XI would explain that it was concluded only to spare persecution that would take place immediately, if there was no such agreement. The concordat also gave the Holy See (i.e. "Throne") the opportunity to formally protest Nazi action in the years prior to the war and after hostilities began. It provided a legal basis for arguing that baptized Jews in Germany were Christian and should be exempt from legal disabilities. Though the Concordat was routinely violated before the ink was dry, it did save Jewish lives." [ There is no explanation here as tohow the Concordat saved any Jewish lives; or any evidence that signing that agreement savedmore lives than opposition to Hitler's policies would have saved.]"The Vatican began to formally protest Nazi action almost immediately after the Concordat was signed. [no source, and no actual quotation provided ] The first formal Catholic protests under the concordat concerned the Nazi government's call for a boycott of Jewish businesses. [ no source, and no actual quotation provided ] Numerous protests would follow over treatment of both the Jews and the direct persecution of the Church in Nazi Germany. The German foreign minister would report that his desk was stuffed with protests from Rome, [ no source, and no actual quotation provided ] protests rarely passed on to Nazi leadership."
Daniel Goldhagen's response, in A Moral Reckoning [p. 43 ] :"The essential facts of the Pope's conduct are clear, even if what we make of some of them may be open to disagreement. As the Vatican's Secretary of State, Pacelli hastened to negotiate for the Church a treaty of cooperation, the Concordat, with Hitler's Germany.Completed, signed, and publicized to the world in July 1933 and formally ratified that September, the Concordat was Nazi Germany's first great diplomatic triumph. It included the Church's liquidation of the democratic Catholic Center Party (the forerunner of postwar Germany's governing Christian Democratic Party), effectively legitimating Hitler's seizure of power and his destruction of democracy, which Pacelli and Pius XI welcomed. Cardinal Michael Faulhaber of Germany reported on Pius XI's support for Hitler's measures in a report to the Bavarian bishops. Cardinal Faulhaber had been in Rome, where he observed on March 13 "the Holy Father [saying], with special emphasis: `Until recently the voice of the Roman Pope remained the only one to point out the serious danger threatening Christian culture which has been introduced into almost all nations. Thus, public praise for Hitler." [ sic ??? ]In March, Pacelli conveyed to Hitler, in the words of Germany's envoy to the Holy See, the Vatican's "indirect acknowledgment of the action of the Reich Chancellor and the government against Communism." The Concordat helped to legitimate the Nazi regime in the eyes of the world and consolidate its power at home.
One can't understand how and why the Roman Catholic Church came to make this deal or "concordat" with the devil, without being familiar with the following:
Hitler had come to the conclusion that Bismarck's Kulturkampf in the late 1800's had failed to defeat the Catholic Church because its direct assault on the clergy had only made martyrs of them. He once said, "One doesn't attack petticoats or cassocks." Thanks to his intimate acquaintance with the church, Hitler was wildly successful with his more subtle and diplomatic approach :
"We should trap the priests by their notorious greed and self indulgence. We shall thus be able to settle everything with them in perfect peace and harmony. I shall give them a few years' reprieve. Why should we quarrel? They will swallow anything in order to keep their material advantages. Matters will never come to a head. They will recognize a firm will, and we need only show them once or twice who is master. They will know which way the wind blows." [ Lewy, pp. 25-26]
In 1931, on a mission to the Vatican on Hitler' behalf , Hermann Goring assured the Secretariat of State that the leadership of his party "did not approve of the anti-Catholic utterances of certain of its members." Some of the bishops were inclined to blame subordinates, rather than Hitler, for problems they had with the party.
In order to secure Catholic support for "the Enabling Act", which gave him dictatorial powers on March 23, 1933, delivered a crucial speech before the Reichstag in which he made the following empty promises:
"The national government regards the two Christian confessions as the weightiest factors for the maintenance of our nationality. They will respect the agreements concluded between them and the federal states. Their rights are not to be infringed... – The national government will allow and secure to the Christian confessions the influence which is their due both in the school and in education. . . The government of the Reich, who regard Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and the moral code of the nation, attach the greatest value to friendly relations with the Holy See and are endeavoring to develop them." [ Lewy, pp. 25-26]
(By 1933, when Hitler was about to become Germany's absolute ruler, the Bishops' official statement) "began by stating that in the last few years the German bishops, out of concern for the purity of the Catholic faith and for the protection of the tasks and rights of the Church, had taken a negative attitude toward the National Socialist movement. The prohibitions and warnings issued were to have remained in effect as long and insofar as the reasons prompting their promulgation existed.
On April 26th, 1933 Adolf Hitler had one of his very rare intimate meetings with the Catholic bishops of Germany who were represented by Bishop Berning and Monsignor Steinmann. The participants in this meeting made some very historic statements."It has now to be recognized that public and solemn declarations have been made by the highest representative of the nationalist government, who at the same time is the authoritative leader of that movement, through which due acknowledgment has been made of the inviolability of Catholic doctrinal teaching and of the unchangeable tasks and rights of the Church. In these declarations the nationalist government has given explicit assurances concerning the validity of all provisions of the concordats concluded by individual German states with the Church. Without repealing the condemnation of certain religious and moral errors contained in our earlier measures, the episcopate believes it may trust that the above-mentioned general prohibitions and warnings need no longer be considered necessary.Catholic Christians, to whom the voice of their Church is sacred, do not require at this time a special admonition to be loyal to the lawful authorities and to fulfil conscientiously their civic duties while rejecting on principle all illegal or subversive conduct. . .(The clergy was instructed that Members of the National Socialist movement and party may be admitted to the sacraments) 'without being harassed on account of such membership . . . provided that there exist no general objections to their worthiness and that they are resolved never to agree to views or acts hostile to faith or Church. Similarly, the mere fact of belonging to that party does not constitute ground for refusing a church burial . . . (The instructions ended by emphasizing that) 'it remains the task of the Church, especially in times of political upheaval, to direct the eyes of the faithful upon the higher spiritual aims of man as taught by the Christian religion.'The bishops of overwhelmingly Catholic Bavaria, on April 10, issued differently worded instructions, calling for Christian obedience to the new Bavarian government, though they insisted that error and injustice would have to be criticized, especially the violent acts carried out by lower echelons and against the will of the highest authorities in Berlin. 'We have confidence that our clergy will avoid, in word and in conduct, in sermons and in burial addresses, whatever could be interpreted as disrespect for the government or as undignified obeisance.' The Catholic priest should by all means of pastoral care available to him "oppose the godlessness and immorality of the times and thus in his way support the plans of the nationalist government, which by means of governmental measures has promised to work for the spiritual renewal of our national life.' At a meeting of the Bavarian Council of Ministers on April 24 the Premier was able to report that Cardinal Faulhaber had issued an order to the clergy to support the new regime in which he (Faulhaber) had confidence." [ slightly paraphrased from Lewy, pp. 39-41 ] "He (Hitler) welcomed the opportunity to explain himself to a Catholic bishop, for he had been reproached with being an enemy of Christianity and this reproach had hurt him deeply. He was convinced that without Christianity one could neither run a personal life nor a state, and Germany in particular needed the kind of religious and moral foundation only Christianity could provide. But Hitler also had come to realize that the Christian churches in the last centuries had not mustered enough strength to overcome the enemies of both state and Christianity unaided. They had falsely believed that liberalism, Socialism and Bolshevism could be defeated by way of intellectual arguments. Hence he (Hitler) had decided to come to the Church's help and he had undertaken to destroy godlessness (liberalism) and Bolshevism. Occasional harshness might accompany this fight but that could not be avoided. After relaying this last sentence, Bishop Berning commented, 'He spoke with warmth and equanimity, here and there temperamentally. Not a word against the Church, for the bishops nothing but appreciation.'Hitler then touched upon the Jewish question and, again stressing the fundamental agreement between National Socialism and Catholicism, pointed out that the Church always had regarded the Jews as parasites and had banished them into the ghetto. He was merely going to do what the Church had done for 1,500 years.. Hitler suggests that his anti-Jewish actions are "doing Christianity a great service."Altogether, Hitler affirmed, he was personally convinced of the great power and significance of Christianity and he therefore would not permit the founding of another religion. . . Being a Catholic himself, he would not tolerate another Kulturkampf and the rights of the Church would be left intact.Concerning the school question, Hitler declared that he would never accept an entirely secular school system. Character could be built only on the basis of religion. We must have believers, Bishop Berning reports him saying. "We need soldiers, devout soldiers. Devout soldiers are the most valuable, for they risk all. Therefore we shall keep the parochial schools in order to bring up believers," and in this task Church and State must co-operate closely. Hitler also promised to continue the Catholic organizations if they promoted Christian ideas and at the same time maintained a positive relationship to the state and were public-spirited. But all residues of liberalism and Marxism would have to be eliminated.. . Hitler ended the talk by stressing the great importance he attributed to working closely with the Catholic Church." [ Lewy p. 51-52 ]
In "Constantine's Sword", the Catholic scholar, James Carroll, covers 1600 years of Roman Catholic Church antisemitism, but the following deals with its culmination in Nazi Germany:"That is why (Bishop of Trier) Bornewasser's support of the Nazi slate in the March 1933 election – again, opposing the Catholic Center Party – was so important. Once Hitler came fully into power that spring, however, Bornewasser's support, among Catholics, would become far from unique. In the Trier Cathedral, before a congregation of Catholic youth, the bishop declared that "with raised heads and firm step we have entered the new Reich and we are prepared to serve it with all the might of our body and soul."
This is the context in which to understand how the impulse of Bishop Korum, who in 1891 brought German Catholics to Trier to celebrate the Church's victory over and against the government, could be reversed in a generation by Bishop Bornewasser's invitation to Catholics to come and celebrate the Church's alliance with the government. The bishop gave ultimate expression to his enthusiasm by inviting Hitler himself to come to Trier for the solemn exhibition of the Seamless Robe (of Christ). On July 20, the very day the Reichskonkordat was signed in Rome, Hitler sent his regrets. Ironically, his declining to join the celebration probably had to do with his reluctance to be too closely identified with the Catholic Church, which, after all, had unsuccessfully lobbied for just such a concordat throughout the thirteen years of the Weimar Republic. German Catholics, aware of Hitler's own Catholic roots, had reason to take the treaty as a signal that their long ordeal of second-class citizenship, dating to the Kulturkampf, was coming to an end.
In Trier, Catholics were disappointed that Hitler would not attend. In his place, however, he sent the Catholic favorite, the man who had negotiated the Reichskonkordat. "Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen was among the pilgrims to the Cathedral of Trier," a contemporary account reports, "where the holy vestments of the Savior were exhibited late in July in the presence of 25,000 other pilgrims from all parts of the country. Colonel von Papen officially represented President von Hindenburg and Chancellor Hitler at Trier." Bishop Bornewasser and Papen together sent a telegram to Hitler on July 24 reconfirming their "steadfast participation in the work of resurrecting the German Reich'.
One of the best sources of information on Pius XII role in Hitler's rise to power is John Cornwell, who explains, for example, how much of an impact then Secretary of State Pacelli had in the formulation and enactment of the Concordat, in contrast to the German hierarchy.
"The German hierarchy and clergy had not been involved, nor had the Catholic Center Party or the German laity as individuals or at large. The bishops were even denied information about the fact (i.e. the very existence) of the negotiations. . . When Cardinal Bertram, president of the bishops' conference, petitioned Pacelli with a series of anxieties about the rumored negotiations on April 18, Pacelli did not deign to respond for two weeks. He merely confirmed that 'possible negotiations had been initiated.' Three weeks later, when the final points were being argued, Pacelli patently lied when he informed Cardinal Faulhaber of Munich that there had been merely talk of a concordat, but nothing concrete.Meanwhile, the Center Party was made all the more impotent by virtue of the absence from Berlin of its chairman, Ludwig Kaas, now based permanently in Eugenio Pacelli's apartments in the Vatican. It had been suggested to Kaas that he should resign, but he refused, arguing that 'it would upset things in Rome' - the clearest indication that one of the last great democratic parties in Germany was now being run at the whim of Pacelli." (from Vatican City) [ pp. 141-142 ]. . .And now, with the negotiations on the concordat far advanced, Pacelli decided to bring the German bishops into the picture. The occasion was anad limina visit to Rome by Bishop Wilhelm Berning of Osnabruck and Archbishop Gröber of Freiburg on May 18. Pacelli's choice of emissaries left nothing to chance. Both were Nazis sympathizers. The time had come, Pacelli told the two prelates, for all the German bishops to consolidate their view of the concordat.As it happened, a meeting of the German bishops had been scheduled for the end of May to review the standpoint of the episcopate toward the Third Reich. When they came together, however, the issue of the concordat, successfully stage-managed by Pacelli's two envoy bishops, dominated their deliberations. Berning and Gröber assured the assembled prelates that the Concordat was virtually complete and that the remaining focus of negotiation was the depoliticization clause. The Cardinal Secretary of State wanted their support, Berning told the bishops, and speed was of the essence.The fragmentary notes of Ludwig Sebastian, bishop of Speyer, indicate that there were fierce disageements at this critical meeting. Cardinal Schulte of Cologne objected that under the Nazi government `law and right' were nonexistent and 'no concordat could be concluded with such a government.' ; Bishop Konrad von Preysing distributed a memorandum to the conference reminding the bishops that the view of the world held by the National Socialist Party was completely at odds with that of the Catholic Church. 'We owe it to the Catholic people to open their eyes to the dangers for faith and morals which emerge from National Socialist ideology.' He asked for a pastoral letter setting out the errors of Nazism to be addressed to all Germany. It was essential, he said, to have such a letter to refer to 'in a conflict which is probably coming.' All too little, and too late.The objectors were a minority. The fact that Pacelli was involved in direct negotiations with Hitler inspired the bishops with a measure of confidence. All the same, they evidently saw the dangers of the depoliticization clause, Article 31, since the provision could ban any and every species of social action performed under the auspices and in the name of the Catholic Church. Rushed into a corner by Pacelli's envoy bishops, the hierarchy did not make their suggested revision a condition of acceptance. Following a persuasive plea by Archbishop Gröber, the German bishops endorsed the concordat, passing the responsibility back to Pacelli.As a result of the bishops' decision, a pastoral message drafted by Gröber was published on June 3 announcing the end of the hierarchy's opposition to the Nazi regime, provided that the state respected the rights and freedoms of the Church – notably in relation to Catholic schools and associations. On securing the agreement of the bishops, Gröber wrote to Kaas: 'Praise God, I succeeded in getting approval for the accompanying pastoral... A series of wishes were expressed - but l could easily reject them because they demand the impossible.'Cardinal Faulhaber brought the matter to a close by informing Papen that he was willing to yield on Article 31 because 'the concordat as a whole is so important, for instance [in the matter of] confessional (i.e. parochial) schools, that I feel that it ought not to fail on this point." [ pp. 144-146 ]
(In a letter to Chancellor Herr Hitler after the conclusion of the Concordat, His Eminence Cardinal Bertram wrote on behalf of the German Catholic hierarchy : "The Episcopate of all the German Dioceses, as is shown by its statements to the public, was glad to express as soon as it was made possible after the recent change in the political situation through the declarations of Your excellency (i.e. himself) its sincere readiness to co-operate to its best ability with the new government which has proclaimed as its goal to promote Christian education, to wage a war against Godlessness and immorality, to strengthen the spirit of sacrifice for the common good and to protect the rights of the Church."( from Universe, August 18th, 1933.)
James Carroll's response from "Constantine's Sword :" The role of Eugenio Pacelli ( the future Pope Pius XII ) in promoting the historic Code of Catholic Church Law, which he had be instrumental in creating :
Pacelli was one of two Vatican priests who spent more than a decade developing the Code of Canon Law, which was finally promulgated in 1917. [ Until then there had been no official body of law governing every aspect of Church life throughout the world]. Canon 218 defines the pope's authority as 'the supreme and most complete jurisdiction throughout the Church, both in matters of faith and morals and in those that affect discipline and Church government throughout the world.'In Europe, where church and state were traditionally intermingled, with much overlap of political and religious authority (schools, the appointment of those bishops), the implementation of the new code required the cooperation of governments, which led to Pacelli's next assignment. John Cornwell, Pacelli's biographer, points out that the task of negotiating treaties (concordats) that recognized the freshly claimed prerogatives of the papacy fell to Pacelli. In 1917, shortly after his consecration as bishop, and after having successfully concluded treaties with Serbia and other countries, Pacelli was sent to Munich as papal nuncio. Cornwell writes that his 'principal task in Germany was now nothing less than the imposition, through the 1917 Code of Canon Law, of supreme papal authority over the Catholic bishops, clergy, and faithful.'To that end, he set out to renegotiate existing concordats with the German regional states. Ultimately he hoped for a concordat with the German nation itself, one that would solidify Vatican power, especially in the matter of the appointment of bishops, which, as we have seen, had dogged papal–German relations going back to the eleventh century.The anti-Catholic suspicions of Protestants and liberals of the Weimar Republic, which governed Germany from 1919 until 1933, were not the only obstacle to the new definition of Church authority. Germany's bishops were accustomed to holding sway in their own sphere, and the Catholic Center Party, soon to be one of the most powerful institutions in Weimar, had always defined itself as a defender of the Catholicpeople, not simply of the institutional Catholic Church – a distinction that might not serve the Vatican's purposes under the new code.Since the Kulturkampf, the Center Party had become a truly successful political organization. In 1919, it drew six million votes, second only to the Social Democrats. Occupying the contested middle ground in the mounting chaos of the Weimar era, the Center would provide five chancellors in the ten governments that came and went from 1919 to 1933." [p. 496] . . . "But the leaders of the Center Party were not uniformly as malleable as Pacelli wanted them to be. For example, they consistently ignored Pacelli's and the pope's express wish that they keep the party out of coalitions with the left-wing Social Democrats . Once the new Code of Canon Law was imposed on German Catholics, with the approbation of the German state, it would end such defiance.The Cooperation between the Church and the Reich:[The preceeding ] is the fateful background to what followed when Hitler, soon after coming to power in early 1933, entered into treaty negotiations with Eugenio Pacelli, by then the powerful cardinal secretary of state." [p. 497 ]"A seismic shift had occurred in Catholic attitudes toward the Nazis, partly related to Hitler's having taken over the government, but also related to the Vatican's eagerness to deal with the Fuehrer. Within a week of his first cabinet meeting, in early March 1933, Hitler received a friendly message from Pacelli, who was moving quickly to take advantage of a long-awaited opportunity to achieve the Reichskonkordat. The message included, as the Vatican envoy told Hitler, 'an indirect endorsement of the action of the Reich chancellor and the government against Communism.'Even an indirect endorsement meant everything to Hitler as he sought to establish his legitimacy at home and abroad. In these early months of 1933, Catholic leaders went from being Hitler's staunch opponents to his latest allies. This transformation was dramatically symbolized by the fact that in 1932, the Fulda Episcopal Conference, representing the Catholic hierarchy of Germany, banned membership in the Nazi Party, and forbade priests from offering communion to anyone wearing the swastika; then, on March 28, 1933, two weeks after Pacelli offered his overture to Hitler, the same Fulda conferees voted to lift the ban on Catholic membership in the Nazi Party. The bishops expressed, as they put it, 'a certain confidence in the new government, subject to reservations concerning some religious and moral lapses.' Swastika bearers would now be welcomed at the communion rail. Cornwell writes, 'The acquiescence of the German people in the face of Nazism cannot be understood in its entirety without taking into account the long path, beginning as early as 1920, to theReich Concordat of 1933; and Pacelli's crucial role in it; and Hitler's reasons for signing it. The negotiations were conducted exclusively by Pacelli on behalf of the Pope over the heads of the faithful, the clergy, and the German bishops.' Pacelli's negotiations must be seen in the full context of the siege under which Roman Catholicism had found itself in Europe in the previous decades, but there was a distinction in his mind, and in his purpose, between a defense of the Catholic Church in Germany and a defense of the Vatican. Indeed, his disregard for the prerogatives of the local Church is indicated by his readiness to ignore, and even to deceive, important figures in its hierarchy. Whatever its stated goal, the effect of Pacelli's maneuvering was hardly to advance the standing of the German Catholic Church. 'When Hitler became Pacelli's partner in negotiations,' Cornwell observes, 'the concordat thus became the supreme act of two authoritarians, while the supposed beneficiaries were correspondingly weakened, undermined, and neutralized.'The first true beneficiary was Hitler himself. TheReichskonkordat, agreed to on July 8,1933 was his first bilateral treaty with a foreign power, and as such gave him much-needed international prestige, whether the Vatican intended it or not." (The Vatican newspaperL'Osservatore Romano published a statement on July 2 saying that the concordat should not be taken as a moral endorsement of Nazism, and Pacelli would make the same point later.) Yet the price Hitler demanded for the concordat was stiff: the complete withdrawal from politics (and therefore from any possible resistance to the Nazis) of all Catholicsas Catholics. In negotiations with German officials, Pacelli had offered the 1929 Lateran Treaty between Italy and the Vatican as a model for the concordat, and Hitler would surely have been aware that the pope had agreed there to Mussolini's demand that the anti-fascist Catholic political party,Partito Popolare, be suppressed. Bismarck had sought to have the Vatican disown theCenter Party, which it refused to do.
In his 2005 book,The Myth of Hitler's Pope, which purports to refute the scholars who point an accusing finger at Pope Pius XII, a rabbi named David Dalin, who teaches at the ultra-conservative Catholic Ave Maria University, argues on page 60 that
1) the Reich Concordat did NOT give any moral endorsement of Hitler's regime (because the Pope and the Vatican said that was not a consequence which they intended).It's hard to imagine any honest motive for Rabbi Dalin to misquote a passage which makes it clear that Carroll was arguing for the very opposite of what Dalin claims.
2) the demise of the Center party had nothing to do with the negotiations over the Concordat. And he offers as proof the statement by Carroll that " Even before the Concordat was formally signed, the Center Party ceased to exist.
See more at Hitlerspope.html.Now Hitler made that a key demand, and the Vatican acquiesced. On July 4, in the final run-up to the agreement, the leader of the Center Party, Heinrich Bruning, who had served as Germany's chancellor from 1930 to 1932, consented 'with bitterness in his heart to dissolve the party.' Hitler wanted the Center Party gone because it represented the last potential impediment to his program. In truth, Pacelli wanted it gone for the same reason – for the sake of his own program. But there is evidence that the unseemly rapidity of the Center Party's demise startled Pacelli, and, perhaps, embarrassed him. Even before the Concordat was formally signed, the Center Party ceased to exist.As would quickly become clear, the Nazis were prepared to stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Soon enough, blood would be flowing in the streets, the opposition press shut down, and the constitution abrogated. But in 1933, Hitler was not remotely what he would become, and the connivance of the Roman Catholic Church in these months of transition is part of what enabled him to emerge as a dictator. The Catholic people – there were more members of Catholic youth associations than there were of the Hitler Youth – were the last possible obstacle in Hitler's way. [p. 498-499] As a baptized Catholic himself, he (Hitler) would have been intimately aware of the courageous and wily history of the victorious Catholic campaign during the Kulturkampf. But instead of being called by the Church - by the pope himself - to 'passive resistance,' as their parents and grandparents had been, Catholics were encouraged to look for what they had in common with Nazis. And they would find it. The Reichskonkordat effectively removed the German Catholic Church from any continued role of opposition to Hitler. More than that, as Hitler told his cabinet on July 14, it established a context that would be 'especially significant in the urgent struggle against international Jewry.'The deep well of Catholic antisemitism would be tapped, to run as freely as any stream of hate in Germany. The positive side of the long-standing ambivalence, which had again and again been the source of impulses to protect Jews, would now be eliminated, allowing the negative side to metastasize. 'This was the reality,' Cornwell comments, ' of the moral abyss into which Pacelli the future Pontiff ' - he would become Pius XII in 1939 - 'had led the once great and proud German Catholic Church.' " [Hitler's Pope, p. 499-500 ]
"The concordat's significance to Hitler at that crucial moment is hard to overemphasize. 'The long drive against the alleged atheistic tendencies of our Party is now silenced by Church authority,' one Nazi Party organ crowed. 'This represents an enormous strengthening of the National Socialist government.' We saw thatL'Osservatore Romano had refuted (or denied) the claim that the concordat meant Church approval of Nazism, but the German bishops made it seem otherwise. [p. 504 ]The full import of the Vatican agreement with the Third Reich was perhaps best described by a later dispatch from those same bishops. They sent it from their formal meeting at Fulda two eventful years later. On August 20, 1935, the prelates defended Pius XI (1922-1939) by presuming to remind Hitler that His Holiness had 'exchanged the handshake of trust with you through the concordat - the first foreign sovereign to do so. . . Pope Pius XI spoke high praise of you . . . Millions in foreign countries, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, have overcome their original mistrust because of this expression of papal trust and have placed their trust in your regime.' Cardinal Michael Faulhaber of Munich, in a sermon in 1937, declared,
(Lewy, Guenter (2000).The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany, p.90)
'At a time when the heads of the major nations in the world faced the new Germany with reserve and considerable suspicion, the Catholic Church, the greatest moral power on earth, through the Concordat, expressed its confidence in the new German government. This was a deed of immeasurable significance for the reputation of the new government abroad.'
"Hitler had other reasons for welcoming the concordat, one to do with his plans for the army, and the other with his plans for the Jews. A 'secret annex' to the treaty, finalized some months after the promulgation and not publicized, granted Catholic clergy an exemption from any conscription imposed on German males in the event of universal military service. Since Germany was still expressly forbidden by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles to raise a large army, Hitler could regard this provision as the Vatican's tacit acquiescence before a campaign of German rearmament. As Papen wrote to Hitler at the time, this provision was important for Germany less 'for the content of the regulation than for the fact that here the Holy See is already reaching a treaty agreement with us for the event of general military service.” Papen concluded his brief on the secret annex with a note of smug ingratiation. 'I hope this agreement will therefore be pleasing to you ”.We noted earlier that an article in the July 2,1933, issue ofL'Osservato, Romano had insisted that no Vatican endorsement of Nazi teaching should be inferred from the Concordat, but Hitler himself saw it otherwise. The treaty with the Holy See had both spiritual resonance and political implication, for it was a world-stage rebuttal to those who accused him of being anti-religious, and it established diplomatic recognition for the famously neutral Vatican at a time when other powers were still eyeing him with suspicion." [p. 505]"Especially in hindsight, defenders of the Vatican's readiness to enter into such a treaty with Hitler insist that it was nothing more than realpolitik. diplomacy designed to safeguard the political and social rights of Catholics in a hostile climate, a way in which the Church hoped to temper Nazi extremes to the benefit of all concerned. In this view, Pacelli’s own wariness at the time of the treaty is emphasized. But is it conceivable that Pacelli would have negotiated any such agreement with theBolsheviks in Moscow? Gordon Zahn, the American scholar of Hitler-era German Catholicism, reports that Cardinal Faulhaber and other bishops dismissed such a notion, and in the act defined the concordat as a Church endorsement of the Nazi regime. Pacelli's defenders say he wanted the treaty as a basis for future protests against Nazi excesses, and indeed the Church would use it as such. But to Catholics in Germany at that pivotal time including leaders like (Bishop) Bornewasser, the concordat was, and would remain the soul of a compliant Catholic conscience that saw the way clear to support Hitler and his program. Even after the true nature of that program was laid bare, and after numerous provisions of the treaty had violated, the Vatican would never repudiate the concordat. Many bishops and priests, even through the paroxysms of the war, cited the intact Vatican treaty as a sign of the Third Reich's ongoing legitimacy, allowing – no requiring - German Catholics to carry out its orders.Despite the contrasts with the city's earlier prelates, it is probably no surprise that one of Hitler's most enthusiastic backers in 1933 should have been the bishop of Trier [Bornewasser]. Taking the long view, many Catholics saw the Vatican–Berlin agreement as promising a return to the “Sacrum Empirium” [Holy Empire] that had been given its first expression by Trier's own Constantine, and that had reached its apogee under the Holy Roman Emperor, whom Trier served as an elector. The shadow of Constantine had never fully lifted from Trier. TheAula Palatina, the enormous throne hall of his otherwise ruined palace, had been restored, as we saw, and transformed by the Prussians into a Lutheran church. The golden cross that hung in the vast imperial basilica had never seemed more full of implication. “In hoc signo”: Constantine's vision had changed the religious and martial nations forever.“Cross and Eagle”, about which we will see more, was the name of the Catholic group - consisting of bishops, priests, theologians, and politicians, including Papen - that saw the advent of the Third Reich as a way to restore the medieval ideal of a united throne and altar. That ideal had been lost to the hated forces of Enlightenment liberalism, which, as Catholics told themselves, invariably led to godless Bolshevism. If Hitler was anything, wasn't he the enemy of that?" [p. 506]"Catholic euphoria was widespread in the summer of the concordat. TheTe Deum (official hymn of thanksgiving) was sung in Catholic churches across the country. Once the treaty was formally ratified by both governments in September, a pontifical Mass was celebrated by the papal nuncio (Pacelli) in an overflowing cathedral in Berlin. Above the worshipers, flags emblazoned with the papal colors and the swastika hung side by side. It was a long way - although a short time - from the prohibition of the Nazis' wheel of a broken cross in church. The preacher at the Berlin Cathedral that day praised Hitler as 'a man marked by his devotion to God, and sincerely concerned for the well-being of the German people.' At least one bishop enlisted in the SS. Obviously, these churchmen had been deluded by Hitler, and they had deluded themselves." [p. 507]
But the Catholic Church made no attempt to revoke the Concordat and its loyalty clause during the Nazi regime. Indeed,the 1933 Concordat is the only diplomatic accord negotiated with the Nazi regime that remains in force anywhere in the world." [ from The Great Scandal, relations between the Roman Catholic Church and Nazism ]
The legend of Horst WesselHorst Wessel was a young Nazi who was assassinated for unknown reasons in 1930, before the Nazis came to power, and then made into a glorious martyr and a substitute for Jesus of Nazareth. Here's one example of the use the Nazis made of this "martyr": The official song of the Hitlerjugend (‘Youth of Hitler’)
at the Reichsparteitag 1934:
"We are Hitler’s joyous youth,
What need we Christian virtue!,
Our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler
Is always our redeemer!
No wicked priest can hinder us,
To sense that we are Hitler’s children;
We follow not Christ but Horst Wessel,
Away with incense and holy water!
The Church can go hang for all we care,
The Swastika brings salvation on Earth.."[ The lyrics appear to have changed considerably over the years. The above are quoted by Joseph Wulf, Literatur und Dichtung im Dritten Reich (Gütersloh: Sigbert Mohn Verlag, 1963), p. 299.]This was the organization that Catholics who had belonged to Catholic youth groups were allowed to join once Hitler came to power, the group that the future Pope Benedict XVI belonged to. How weak the Catholic clergy must have been to have accepted such humiliation without more of a fight!
See much MORE about this topic at :
www.Concordat Watch is a great site overseeing all of the concordats the Catholic Church has established throughout the world to exert its influence in any number of countries.
www.SpirituallySmart.com/nazi.html has a lot of great material, some of which I have used on this page.The 1939 Concordat with Fascist Spain : Pius XII & Franco :. . .one such blessing is cited by a report in Deutsche-Welle: "It was thus with great joy that it [the Catholic Church] watched Franco take power in 1939. The newly ordained pope Pius XII congratulated the victorious dictator Franco with enthusiasm. Pius XII said, ‘By lifting our hearts to God we together with your Excellency give thanks for the much desired victory of Catholic Spain. We hope that this precious land, now that peace has finally been attained, will return to the old Catholic traditions that made it so great. We grant your Excellency and the entire noble Spanish people our apostolic blessing.’ ”The Catholic Church’s campaign of beatifications in Spain began immediately after Franco’s victory in 1939. During the next 36 years of dictatorship, the Catholic Church was an integral part of the fascist state and justified its actions as a necessary purification of Spain of the red Antichrists. This relationship was formalised in 1953 with the signing of a church-state accord making Catholicism the state religion and according it enormous privileges.In the years prior to Franco’s death in 1975 and the collapse of his regime, the Church sought to distance itself from Franco’s state. The Church positioned itself in the camp of opposition to Franco as a revolutionary crisis broke out. It made public statements regretting having taken sides and of becoming part of the dictatorship."