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  #46  
Old Feb 7, '12, 5:44 am
carn carn is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaninchen View Post
Well, yes but . . . compare Mit brennender Sorge with Divini Redemptoris.
As Nazism and Communism are both wrong from Churchs point of view, what is wrong with speaking out against both?

One must not confuse evidence indicating that the actions by the Church against Nazism were timed wrong, inefficient or too weak with evidence indicating the Church collaborated actively with the Nazis.

If the Church leadership in 1937 feared Communism more than Nazism that was an error of judgement of the Church leaders not an error of morality.

(And considering that in 1937 the communists had for the past 10 years butchered millions and the Nazis in 1937 had so far butchered few, the error is at least understandable, although still an error.)
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  #47  
Old Feb 7, '12, 6:26 am
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Subrosa Subrosa is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

I have been following this thread without comment, it is a very interesting and important discussion of history.

I have two links. The first is the Vatican archive first opened in 2002. It is extensive and needs to be translated...Acts and Documents of the Holy See Relative to the Second World War

The second is an article published on a Jewish archival library site, providing a Jewish perspective...http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/...st/Marrus.html.


I hope that this contributes to the ongoing discussion.

God bless,
Subrosa
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  #48  
Old Feb 7, '12, 9:58 am
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Kaninchen Kaninchen is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

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As Nazism and Communism are both wrong from Churchs point of view, what is wrong with speaking out against both?
That wasn't the point, the point was the difference in approach.
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  #49  
Old Feb 7, '12, 1:32 pm
carn carn is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

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Originally Posted by Kaninchen View Post
That wasn't the point, the point was the difference in approach.
A group being effectively at war with you and slaughtering millions requires a different approach than a group you have something like a cease-fire with and which is not slaughtering millions so far - unles of course one has hindsight and knows that the second group would start slaughtering millions soon.

Never forget that up to 1938/39 few people saw that the Nazis were the monsters we know them to be today. Mussolini ruled Italy since 1922 and while being a ruthless dictator was not perceived as a danger to the world like communism was. And Hitler was perceived to be just like Mussolini in the beginning.
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  #50  
Old Feb 7, '12, 3:17 pm
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Kaninchen Kaninchen is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

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Originally Posted by carn View Post
A group being effectively at war with you and slaughtering millions requires a different approach than a group you have something like a cease-fire with and which is not slaughtering millions so far - unles of course one has hindsight and knows that the second group would start slaughtering millions soon.

Never forget that up to 1938/39 few people saw that the Nazis were the monsters we know them to be today. Mussolini ruled Italy since 1922 and while being a ruthless dictator was not perceived as a danger to the world like communism was. And Hitler was perceived to be just like Mussolini in the beginning.
Oh, I think there's a key to understanding a lot of what happened in looking at the two encyclicals - after all, fascism put itself forward, from the outset, as the great bulwark against communism and the Church/Pius XII (secretary of state when the encyclicals were published) was between a rock and a hard place throughout.

What I don't think it's possible to say - because, by 1937 it was pretty clear just what kind of regime the NSDAP was creating - is that the Church was taking the kind of clear and thoroughgoing moral stand in 1937 that some people suggest (which it did when talking about the Soviets).

If one was being cynical, one might suggest that it was one thing to denounce a system where few Catholics were around as opposed to a system were many millions were around. On the other hand, the NSDAP leadership lived in great fear of its own people (legacy of the 'stab in the back' legend of 1918 and exemplified by the 'guns and butter' policies of the regime) so a stronger encyclical might have had more positive results - we'll never know.
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  #51  
Old Feb 7, '12, 7:13 pm
utunumsint utunumsint is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaninchen View Post
Oh, I think there's a key to understanding a lot of what happened in looking at the two encyclicals - after all, fascism put itself forward, from the outset, as the great bulwark against communism and the Church/Pius XII (secretary of state when the encyclicals were published) was between a rock and a hard place throughout.

What I don't think it's possible to say - because, by 1937 it was pretty clear just what kind of regime the NSDAP was creating - is that the Church was taking the kind of clear and thoroughgoing moral stand in 1937 that some people suggest (which it did when talking about the Soviets).

If one was being cynical, one might suggest that it was one thing to denounce a system where few Catholics were around as opposed to a system were many millions were around. On the other hand, the NSDAP leadership lived in great fear of its own people (legacy of the 'stab in the back' legend of 1918 and exemplified by the 'guns and butter' policies of the regime) so a stronger encyclical might have had more positive results - we'll never know.
Many in the church in Germany were terrified of the Nazis. Speaking out against the regime, even in the early days, could get you killed. Many of the German bishops did not want such a strong statement from the Pope, because it was their lives at risk, not the Pope's or the Italians, or the English. The Nazies also tended to punish the weakest of the weak in reprisal for official statements against their regime.

Under Pius XI with the consent of the German Church, he drafted Mit Brennender Sorge, to chastise the Nazi party, with the help of the future Pius XII.

The direct results of Mit brennender Sorge was attacks against Catholic Church

1-A progressive banning of all Catholic Education, and teaching institutions.
2-In December 29 1937 a decree ordering the closure of 82 Catholic Teaching establishments affected around 15 000 students.
3-Public schools were also attacked to prevent religious teachings. In March 1938 the Bavarian government drafted a law concerning the inspection of all academics in which all teaching positions were banned from Non Arians.
4-April 2nd, 1938 the government of Berlin told directers of teaching schools that they did not have to listen to complaints from ecclesiastical authorities against lay teachers.
5-In Austria, the day after its Annexation, the religious persecution was even worse, because they refused to apply the Catholic Concordate signed in 1933 to Austrian Catholics.
6-Salzbourg Catholic School was closed.
7-The theological faculty of Innsbruck was dissolved.
8-The brothers who ran Catholic schools were expelled.
9-Nuns were expelled in the same way, and even from hospitals.
These are only some of the first persecutions for Catholics in Austria.

In Vienna a cardinal bishop was expelled from his Cathedral, and insulted on the way out. The day after, his episcopal residence was invaded and sacked.

People were no allowed to send their kids to religious schools.
Kids were forced to sign documents declaring their formal observance of Rosenberg's neo-paganism.

In 1939 when Pius XI was elected, a solemn Encyclical like Mit brennender Sorge was no longer possible. The Pope met with three of the five German Cardinals that had originally drafter Mit brennender Sorge. Given the dissaster that had occured after that encyclical, they decided they needed to develop a new strategy when dealing with Hitler.

At the beginning of the meeting of March 6th, Cardinal Faulhaber said this:

"We doubt sometimes if within the upper echelons of the Nazi Party, that they want peace at all. These men constantanly act as combatants, who look for any excuse whatsoever to do battle. Particularly, when it comes to the Church. But, I believe, equally, that we the bishops, we have to act as though we see non of this. This is why we are greatful to you, Holy Father, for your initiatives towards peace."

The Pope responded:

"We will see, and try out this experience. If they want battle, we are not afraid. But we wish to see if there is any possibility to obtain peace.
But we cannot sacrifice our principles. When we have tried everything, and if he, nevertheless, constinues to want war, then we will defend ourselves.
But the world must know that we did everything we could to live in peace with Germany.
However, this is not all. This initiative to obtain peace responds also to an interior necessity from our side.
If they refuse, we will have to fight. I am not afraid. The same thing goes for arctiles from the press. (There had just been provocative articles condemning the church and the papacy in the German media). They can shot at us all they want. Personally, I am indifferent."

The Pope said something similar in the second conference with the bishops, but with new reasons:

"It is easy to destroy, but when it comes to build, God knows that concessions need to be made. We will not establish good relations with them without some concessions on our part."

God bless,
Ut
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  #52  
Old Feb 7, '12, 7:22 pm
utunumsint utunumsint is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

Here is how one case played out. On the subject of Euthanasia, Pope Pius ordered his curia to issue quiet and brief statements condemning it. Following this very brief statement, the following events occurred.

In Germany, July 1941, all Jesuits and religious of Munster were imprisoned, and while this happened, they also took 800 mentally handicap patients and transported them from a hospital on the pretext of bringing them back to their family to protect them from bombings. They were actually taken to a Nazi death camp.

The local bishop, Von Galen, called a spade a spade. Ethanasia is murder, the imprisonment of the religious was a crime. Such actions bring about the wrath of God. It is a violation of the 5th commandment.

Quote:
For those who continue to provoke the judgment of God, those who blaspheme our faith, those who scorn the commandments of God, those who lead our young people astray, those who deliver our brothers and sisters to death, with them we wish to avoid being punished, we wish to extricate ourselves from their influence, so that we will not be contaminated by their thoughts and impious actions, so that we do not become their accomplices, and we do not fall with them when their judgment comes. May the just God make fall on them who do not want what God wants. Oh God, make us known in that day, before it is too late, what can serve to bring peace.
Pius' response to this sermon was
Quote:
It causes us great consolation and satisfaction that we have not felt for a long time on this path of suffering that we follow along with the church in Germany.
And on another occasion
Quote:
Quote:
We have read the letter ourselves with profound edification. And often, also, we know the echo that it has produced in the people, this illumined and courageous word from bishop Von Galen. And we know that his words are extremely efficacious and necessary to sustain the force of the moral resistance of the faithful.

But I have to ask myself, what the pope was thinking... Chronologically the massacre of those 800 mentally handicapped persons and the imprisonment of all those religious came right after the Pope's brief curial message condemning Euthanasia. I'm wondering if he felt personally responsible for all those death. Perhaps he was thinking, "If I had only kept my mouth shut, those people would still be alive..."

God bless,
Ut
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  #53  
Old Feb 7, '12, 11:39 pm
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Kaninchen Kaninchen is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

utunumsint

I did say that the Church/Pius was between a rock and a hard place.

For all you say, though, about what the NSDAP regime did in Germany and Austria (whose population, unlike the non-NSDAP-voting Catholics of Germany, were wildly enthusiastic about embracing the Reich), Polish Catholics were dying in huge numbers - not because they were Catholics but because they were 'subhuman' Slavs - from 1939 onwards. Where was the encyclical on that?

The trouble with discussing this subject is that it can start, never mind end-up, with a kind of "The Church was guilty!"/"The Church was innocent!" argument where the truth is more "It's really rather complicated."
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  #54  
Old Feb 8, '12, 12:35 pm
utunumsint utunumsint is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

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Originally Posted by Kaninchen View Post
Polish Catholics were dying in huge numbers - not because they were Catholics but because they were 'subhuman' Slavs - from 1939 onwards. Where was the encyclical on that?
About Poland, I wrote this in a pervious thread that includes quotes from the Papal archives for World War II.

Quote:
In 1942, Sapieha wrote a letter to the Pope and gave it to a chaplain. The letter contained a stark description of the horrors facing the Poles in 1942. Fearful that he would be killed if the letter was captured, he sent a follow up message to the chaplain asking him to destroy the letter. The chaplain did this to the original copy, but decided to ignore the spirit of the request, and made a copy of the letter before destroying it. Although doing so put both himself and Sapieha at risk, it does give us a powerful description of circumstances in 1942.

"Our condition is in truth the most tragic: denied almost all human rights, delivered to cruelty from men deprived of all human sentiments, we live in a horrible terror of deportation, of incarceration in so called concentration camps, from which few leave alive. In these camps, millions upon millioins of our best brothers are detained, and that without any forme of process and without any crimes. Among them is found a great number of priests, both secular and religious. According to the law, we are deprived of almost all that is necesary for life, because what is legally distributed is not sufficient for the minimum requirements of life. Right now, we suffer a plague of contagious Typhus that is growing because the medicine that we are given is faulty, and the authorities are content to make promises, but in reality they segregate the sick [presumably to leave them to die without care]. Given these conditions, is it astonishing that these men are angry and exasperated, and that a large group of them are going to communism, or other such movements?"

In the circumstances, anti papal propaganda finds fruitful ground. Despite this, the Polish people still maintain faith in the justice and mercy of God.

He ends the letter "Animated with such sentiments, we wish you and we promise to you as the vicar of Christ, faithful obedience, an application of zeal in the accomplishment of our pastoral duty, invincible constancy, and inviolable in the confessioin of Christ our Lord."

Other words of bitter condemnation an exiled Polish priest, Mgr Radomiski dated September 14th 1942 in Egland who too quickly believed all that was said about the Pope "Over so many centuries we have been a shield for Christianity, we have spread generously our blood for the faith, and now the pastor of sheep does not find one word to condemn these men and their daily crimes, but he regards with dry eyes the death which snatches away his sons." This, along with many other unfounded and unresearched accusations came in this letter.

The reason for the presceptions were clear. German propaganda. Even the Papal letters smuggled to the bishops, were never read to the people by the bishops. Sapieha says "We greatly deplore that we are not able to communicate to the faithful the letters from your holiness, but such acts would furnish a pretext for new persecutions and we have already victims who are susspected of communicating with the Holy See."

Maglione responded to Radomiski's letter in a much more irritated tone than for those that came from the "Heart of the Cyclone" [Poland] as it was soon to be called. "The Holy Fatther, encircled every day and from all directions with sufferings, believed that one suffering at least, more bitter than all the rest, would be spared him: namely that never would his beloved sons would question or doubt the love that he brings to them. And yet he has received this blow from those whom he cherishes, and so this sad state crucifies him without sessation. His only consolation is that he is exampt of the fault with which he is reproached; he forgives those who do not realize what they are doing, and he offers to god for their good the bitterness that they have poured into his heart. This is the vengeance of love." Concerning Radomiski's accusation that the Pope, in exchange for his silence, had bargained with Hitler for distribution of the "Obesservatore Romano" in Poland, Maglione has this to say "That news so pattently false is given credit among men who have as duty the task to research and defend truth, and to protect the holy see, if such a person has good sense, cannot be see that such things are deplorable!!. For the rest, whatever are the ways and variations in public opinion, none of this deters our august Pontif, who spends his strength in Christ whom he takes as his example, to distribute abundantly his consolations worthy of his ministry, and in the government that has been confided in him, he has made one law supreme, the salvation of souls always and in every place, wether the years pass gently by, wether they come with extreme duress and menace."


"In watching over the catholic Church, his holiness has had but one norme, and discards all other things that are not in accord with it. Those then who judge rightly and know all that the Holy See has done for the Polish people cannot but praise, and if they complain, they proffess lies and contradict truth."

"If you ask why then, the documents sent by the august pontif to the bishops in Poland are not published, know that it is because we have judged it good to follow the same normes that these bishops themselves observe. They, in effect, as we see it, do not publish them because they fear that their sheep to whom have been entrusted to them, become victimes of new and even harder persecutions. Is this not the way we should act? Should the Holy Father make worse the sufferings of the Polish People?"

God bless,
Ut
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  #55  
Old Feb 8, '12, 1:43 pm
Warloff Warloff is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

Here is what the Canadian Jewish Chronicle had to say about the Church's views on Nazism in 1938:



Here is what the Catholic Church in Germany had to say about the Nazi state (sorry for small print):



Here is the first major organization with an international reputation to provide hard numbers on the Holocaust:



And here is what the Nazis thought about the Church:



If you look at American, Fascist, Catholic, and Jewish publications from this period they all agree that the Church and the Popes were strongly opposed to Nazism and Jewish persecution.

If anyone can provide newspapers from this period to the contrary please do so.

Last edited by Warloff; Feb 8, '12 at 2:01 pm.
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  #56  
Old Feb 8, '12, 3:03 pm
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Kaninchen Kaninchen is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

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Originally Posted by utunumsint View Post
About Poland, I wrote this in a pervious thread that includes quotes from the Papal archives for World War II.
Which shows what exactly?
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  #57  
Old Feb 8, '12, 3:14 pm
utunumsint utunumsint is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

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Which shows what exactly?
Your comment about asking for an encyclical for Poland. It helps to explain the silence.

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  #58  
Old Feb 8, '12, 3:24 pm
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Kaninchen Kaninchen is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

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Originally Posted by utunumsint View Post
Your comment about asking for an encyclical for Poland. It helps to explain the silence.

God bless,
Ut
Something of a stretch as an explanation, 'don't say anything about huge numbers of Poles being killed in case we provoke the Germans into killing even more of them' (they were all going to be annihilated, anyway, after the Final Solution To The Jewish Problem' was completed).
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  #59  
Old Feb 8, '12, 3:44 pm
meltzerboy meltzerboy is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

Have your friend read "The Myth of Hitler's Pope" by Rabbi David Dalin, which convincingly debunks "Hitler's Pope" by John Cornwell. Also, Ronald Rychlak's "Hitler, the War, and the Pope," among other recent books and journal articles, as well as newspaper articles of that era. There is significant scholarly research which demonstrates that the Church and the Pope saved about 800,000 Jewish lives, and this is not revisionist history. The former beliefs of the Church's collaboration with the Nazis, as well as rampant Polish antisemitism, are no longer tenable.
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  #60  
Old Feb 8, '12, 3:50 pm
Warloff Warloff is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Nazi Party?

More articles on Pope Pius XII from World War II:







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