Catholic Fascism: 1930s Austria


What’s this?! I don’t understand this.

Do you think that Gerald is being unfair to the Catholic Church?


No, not at all. I’ve read the same sort of thing elsewhere. I think his remarks are very moderate.

While reading them, I was reminded of the trouble the Papacy had had with the idea of democracy as a legitimate form of government the previous century, so it wasn’t too surprising to find the Austrian bishops rejecting it; disappointing, but not surprising. The Church has a habit of denouncing a thing, tolerating it because she cannot ban it, then finding excellent reasons to support it. :slight_smile: ##




There’s no such thing as Catholic Fascism.


I’ve seen photos of Catholic priests in
Franco Spain, Ustashi Croatia, and Nazi Germany
giving the fascist salute. In the case of Germany,
these priests were going against the instructions of Pius XI,
and also the latest picture I saw dated from 1934, even before Hitler launched the Night of the Long Knives.

Seeing priests give that salute is shocking, but we ought not read into it that they supported everything those governments endorsed, not by a long shot. Plenty of people in other countries who hate the United States would be infuriated to see pictures of a Catholic priest saluting the flag.

As in every generation, too, there was a lot of private interpretation of prophecy happening in the 30s and 40s.
Some people, such as the Belgian Leon Degrelle, privately interpreted the prophecies of Saint Malachy about the Great Catholic Monarch and the Angelic Pope to mean Pope Pius the 12th (angelic pope) and Adolf Hitler (Great Catholic Monarch, born in Austria, nominally Catholic–though in reality a pagan)
and supported Nazi-ism. There are photographs of Degrelle, once the head of the Catholic youth (JOCIST) movement in Belgium giving the Nazi salute at a pro-Hitler rally. Disgusting, and without the support of the Magisterium. Every church has it’s more extreme members, unfortunately.


Here’s a fascinating article about the geopolitical forces that tore apart Austria and undermined its Catholic culture and society:

The Holy Christian Emperor Who Died in the Cold of Exile

They were not exactly free to choose their own destiny. I’m not inclined to judge them too harshly.


I find the thoughts of Dietrich von Hildebrand, who lived through these events, to be most helpful:

From the Wartime Memoirs of Dietrich von Hildebrand 1933-34

Excerpts from von Hildebrand’s The Jews and the Christian West

closed #8

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