Thursday, December 13, 2007

Catholicism, Anti-Semitism & The Concordat With Hitler

AUGUSTINE - " ...a central tenet of Augustine's theology of Jewish witness was the Diaspora, the idea that Jews were never to return to Jerusalem. That they had been allowed to do so under the Muslims was essential to the Muslim desecration of the Holy Land " ( p.253 James Carroll )

" For anyone who believes that human agency or free will exists, the assumption or claim that Germans were not agents, did not have free will, because the views that they held they had learned from their culture is philosophically bizarre. All people have views imparted to them by their societies ,including fundamental foundational models of thought about which they are not even aware . If this claim nullifying agency is correct about Germans before or during the Nazi period, than it would also be true for all people at all times, and therefore we could never speak of agency because there would be none. : ( p. 17, Goldhagen )

As we see here from this quote of St. Augustine European Christians in the eleventh century were not just appalled because the Muslims had taken possession of Jerusalem ,the most sacred Christian city in the Holy Land , but also that the Muslims had permitted the Jews to return to Jerusalem. Therefore European Christians believed there was a need to reclaim the Holy Land not just from the Muslims but also from the Jews who had been allowed to return to Jerusalem & to the Holy land to live in relative peace ( in comparison to how the Jews were treated in most of Europe ) alongside the Muslims - this in the view of the Christian Church was a desecration of the Holy Land.

Adding to this insult to Christianity was the fact that there were Christians who also lived in the Holy Land content to live with Jews & Muslims . It then becomes more understandable why the Crusaders killed not just the Muslims during the Crusades but as well all the Jews & Christians who lived in the Holy Land for centuries before the arrival of the Barbaric Hordes of Crusading Christians .

As we have seen anti-Semitism was embedded in Christianity from the beginning & that the Catholic Church did nothing to discourage such hatred & intolerance of the Jewish people . In fact the Catholic Church was one of the primary institutions which through its teachings & its official journals such as " Civilta cattolica " in the 19th to the 20th century helped to spread & even deepen the suspicions & hatred of the Jews . The Jews were time & again characterized as being involved in a world wide conspiracy to control all the nations of the world & to undermine & destroy Christianity . These attitudes towards the Jews existed before the Age of Modernity & the rise of Nazism & Fascism which also blamed the Jews for all that they believed was wrong with Modern Culture .

The Catholic Church along with the Nazis & Fascists & others believed that the liberalizing of laws in the ninteenth century in regard to the Jews had only made matters worse & so the solution to the Jewish Problem as they saw it had to be the creation of even sterner measures against the Jews . But there was a problem since sterner measures against the Jews over the centuries or giving Jews more freedom did not lessen, in their view, the Jews ability & desire to corrupt & destroy Christendom as it were. Therefore from their point of view that however they treated them the Jews were still able to influence those in positions of authority or would cause plagues & commit ritual murders & being immoral they spread their immorality & are a corrupting influence on society. The analogies to an infestation or a disease which the Church had once used were now taken up by the Nazis & the Fascists . Other groups would also come under attack as having a corrupting influence on society but they considered The Jews as the worst of all based on a bizarre twisted form of reasoning which appears to be pathological rather than logical.

As Spain had expelled the Jews during the time of the Reconquista it was now believed by many that the Jews should be driven out of Europe . They had hoped this might happen as a result of harsher laws & intimidation by way of the pogroms in Russia & elsewhere .

. Stalin like the Tzars of Russia used the irrational hatred of the Jewish people for his own purposes that is as 'scapegoats' for all that had gone wrong with the Communist Revolution .

The Tzars claimed the Jews were responsible for all the unrest in their country rather than accept that times were changing & that the people believed that there was a need for major reforms . The Russian people believed that they like the citizens of other European countries & the people of the United States were entitled to certain rights as citizens & that they no longer would allow themselves to be treated as serfs or slaves .

It seems odd to say the least that the Jews were accused of being the hidden hand controlling the Anarchists , Nihilist , Liberals, socialist & capitalists they at the same time were accused of being fanatical Bolsheviks & Communists . But the Jews refused to leave or did not have the means to leave en masse or had no where to go. Most of the countries in the world showed no willingness to take large numbers of Jews.

The West in general held the view that the Jews were the cause of the fall of the Tsar & the success of the Bolshevik Revolution. Later The Bolsheviks believed the Jews were out to sabotage the Revolution.

Note the publication in Russia in 1919 of the notorious anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion which was supposed to be irrefutable evidence of Jewish treachery & showed that the Jews were involved with a secret conspiracy to take over the world.

1933 the Vatican signs The Concordat with Germany recognizing Hitler's Regime before any other country or other Christian Churches.

The CONCORDAT Between The Third Reich & The Vatican - Making a deal with the Devil ? Did the Pope see Hitler as the Hope for the Future in that with Hitler's help the tide of Pernicious Modernity could be turned back at last. Once the liberal , humanist & secularism of Modernity were defeated then all would be returned to the glory days of the Church in Medieval Times . If this is so so did the Pope expect Hitler to marginalize the Protestant churches as well. So for all intents & purposes the Inquisition was being renewed with vigour & this time would not appeal to half measures but would carry out its historical aims to their ultimate & final conclusion ie the destruction of the Jews , liberals, Bolsheviks , heretics , evolutionists , atheists, homosexuals & labor Unions all other perceived enemies of the Poe, The Vatican & the Catholic Church .

The Vatican was quick to ally itself with Hitler once he took power in 1933.
When Hitler took power in Germany in 1933 many countries were hesitant about recognizing his Regime as legitimate but once the Vatican recognized the Third Reich as legitimate it became easier for other countries to follow suit . Surely the Vatican was well aware of how this action would be interpreted by other countries .

Pope Pius XII when he was the Vatican's Secretary of State " hastened to negotiate for the Church a treaty of cooperation, the Concordat, with Hitler's Germany." ( p. 43, Goldhagen ) What are we to make of the eagerness of the Vatican to be the first to formally recognize the Nazi Regime . Both were anti-liberal anti- communist anti-union & anti-Semitic & all other aspects ideas saw the forces of Modernity as pernicious

" 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. " (p. 43, Goldhagen ) And as part of the agreement the Catholic Political Party was disbanded by the order of the Pope & the Vatican . By doing so it became difficult for the Catholic German churches to organize protests by the Catholic Priests & Bishops & their congregations against particular policies of the Nazi of which they did not approve. In general the message from the Vatican was that the Churches & all German Catholics were to support the Nazis or to remain silent.

Even after Hitler had begun his war of Aggression & the Nazis had started their ruthless program against various groups including the Jews the German Catholic Churches & those outside Germany were no merely reluctant to oppose Hitler but because of the Vatican's stance they in fact defended Hitler's policies appealing to the Concordat between the Pope & the Vatican in 1933 as justification.

"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 " ( p. 506, Carroll )

" cross and the Eagle...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, Carroll)

As for the Catholic Church opposing Hitler or merely staying neutral the facts point towards collusion and cooperation :

" two weeks after Germany set off World War II by attacking Poland, the German Bishops issued a joint pastoral letter, which reflected their belief in the justness of this aggressive war, which was for the conquest of Lebensraum- " In this decisive hour we encourage and admonish our Catholic soldiers in obedience to the Fuhrer, to do their duty and to be ready to sacrifice their whole person . We appeal to the faithful to join in ardent prayers that God's providence may lead this war to blessed success and peace for the fatherland and people. " ( p. 132, Goldhagen )

The Catholic Church after the war & up to the present has denied any knowledge of the Death Camps & the slaughters in the Ghettos but again this is not quite true . There were various Jewish representatives who pleaded with the Pope to speak out publicly & to condemn the actions of Hitler & the Nazis . Other churches had stood up to Hitler & manged to save the Jews in their jurisdiction. Tiny Denmark after being occupied refused to hand over its Jewish citizen and were able to save them from deportation and the Germans did not retaliate to any great extent.

" As to the Holocaust itself, Pius XII was briefed regularly about the details of the unfolding mass annihilation of the Jews , which he knew about almost from the start' ( p. 44, Goldhagen )

" During the height of the deportations, in April 1942, the Slovak bishops collectively issued a pastoral letter that essentially justified the deportation of the Jews as Christ Killers" ( p. 65, Goldhagen )

"...May 1945...Germany's Cardinal Bertram, upon learning of Hitler's death, ordered that in all the Churches of his archdiocise a special requiem, namely " a solemn requiem mass be held in commemoration of the Fuhrer " so that his catholic flock could pray to the Almighty in accord with the requiem's liturgy, that the almighty's son, Hitler be admitted to paradise " ( p. 200, Goldhagen )

" Instead of condemning the German criminals with even an iota of the ire that it and its clergy heaped upon innocent Jews, the Church maintained its criminal solidarity with them . Even the German defeat did not change this. " ( p. 175, Goldhagen )

" Highly placed members of the Church systematically aided the leading slayers of European Jewry in escaping justice by providing them with false documents and shepherding them to South America. The roster of Vatican transgressions including seeking clemency for convicted war criminals; hiding fugitives on Vatican properties; and abetting the escape of mass murderers by appointing Nazi sympathizers inside the Church to critical positions . " p. 175 Goldhagen

As already metioned the Vatican was quick to recognize Hitler's regime but the Vatican has been a bit slower in recognizing the State of Israel:

" When the state of Israel was declared in 1948, L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's newspaper reflecting the Church's unabated eliminationist policy spirit, imperiously announced to the world, including to the remnants of the slaughtered Jewish communities of Europe seeking a safe home: "Modern Israel is not the true of Biblical Israel, but a secular state ...Therefore the Holy Land and its sacred sites belong to Christianity, the True Israel. "
For decades the Vatican would not even utter the country's name. "( p. 239 Goldhagen )

" During the decades after Israel's founding. the Church did recognize virtually every other country in the world, one tyranny after another including atheistic communist states and many mass murdering regime for example , in Central and South America during the 1970s & 1980s but bot the political state of the Jews." ( p. 239 Goldhagen )

also see:


Religious Tolerance .Org

Other References:

ANTISEMITISM: THE LONGEST HATRED, Robert S. Wistrich, pub. 1992

A Moral Reckoning :The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, pub. 2002

Constantine's Sword : The Church & the Jews by James Carroll, pub. 2001

The Catholic Church By Hans Küng -Translated by John Bowden, pub. 2001

The Popes Against The Jews: The Vatican's Role in The Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism, By David I. Kertzer pub. 2001


The Horizon History of Christianity, by Roland H. Bainton pub.1964.

Warrant For Genocide : The Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of The Elders of Zion, by Norman Cohn 1967 & revised 1996.

also see Jewish-Christian
& of particular interest at this website on anti-Semitism in the New Testament see the article Removing Anti-Jewish Polemic
from our Christian Lectionaries: A Proposal by Norman A. Beck

see On Martin Luther's Anti-Semitism
Martin Luther's dirty little book:On the Jews and their lies A precursor to Nazism by Jim Walker

and also see:
Medieval Sourcebook: St. John Chrysostom (c.347-407) Eight Homilies Against the Jews

And from the website Catholic Answers: Just War Doctrine

and for more in depth coverage of the Holocaust & Anti-Semitism see the following websites:

The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Dedicated to 12 million Holocaust victims who suffered and died
at the hands of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime

Antisemitism Research Resources
This Web site provides annotated links and original material about antisemitism and the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion website Thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands, of Jews have died because of this infamous forgery.Rabbi Joseph Teluskin Jewish Literacy

Anti-Semitism of the "Church Fathers"


take care,

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