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Hitler and the Vatican by Peter Godman
notes & commentary by William P. Meyers

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Hitler and the Vatican: Inside the Secret Archives That Reveal the New Story of the Nazis and the Church. The Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York 2004. ISBN 0-7432-4597-0

“The consequences of the doctrine of the purity of blood seemed diabolical to the Jesuits. This led to the “grave error” of prohibiting marriages between Arians and those of “inferior race.” Worse still was the practice of sterilization and, most abominable of all, the “murder of unborn children” suspected of some physical defect.” [p. 68]

“… Hitler, who never ceased to be a nominal Catholic and who always denied that National Socialism wished to be, or become, a “mystical cult.”” [p. 69]

Pacelli: “The Church … cannot stand by without resistance when to your people … is preached the false and deceptive message of a new materialism of race instead of the joyous news of Christ’s teaching, and state institutions are misused to this purpose.” [p. 75] Here I think is the crux of the matter. The Vatican had no problem using violence in Spain and Germany against anarchists, atheists, socialists, communists, or even Protestants. But it wanted to do the brainwashing of youth: to establish the supremacy of the Pope over mere national leaders like Hitler.

A few prominent Catholic opponents of Hitler were killed on June 30, 1934, the same night SA leaders were killed by Hitler loyalists. [p. 74]

In 1935 some Nazis harassed some Catholics, but the Vatican remained quiet for fear of losing the special position it had obtained in Germany through the Concordat. Part of Nazi harassment stemmed from Church opposition to sterilization. [74-75]

Hudal [see above] linked Jews to Bolshevism and sought to form a common front with the Nazis. [p. 79] On Sept. 14, 1935, Orsenigo wrote Pacelli that under the Nazis “the Jews are destined to disappear from this nation.” [p. 80]

In July, 1935 Goring issued an edict “forbidding Catholic youth organizations to engage in any activity that was not of an exclusively religious nature.” The Nazis also tried clergy members on charges of immorality [haven’t we been doing that lately in the U.S.?] [p. 93]

“On March 19, 1936, Pius XI had condemned “atheistic Communism” in his encyclical Dilectissima nobis. [p. 96] Which reminds me that Godman carefully fails to inform the reader of Pius’s endorsement of fascist economics and social organization in Quadragesimo Anno.

The Vatican focused its attacks on Communism rather than National Socialism because of “the measures that had led to women being “emancipated from the bond of indissoluble marriage, from the care of children and from housework”” and measures “to take part in economic activities and political life with the same rights as men.” [p. 100]

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