Examining the nature of political opposition on the part of Christian ecclessiastical bodies in the twentieth century demonstrates that while churches have adapted to a variety of political systems, no church can compromise with the state when its "mission" is at stake: those factors which are minimally essential for its survival. These would include the liberty of priests, nuns, and other clerics to carry out their sacerdotal tasks, the preserTation under church control of its facilities, control of the contents of its own theology, and other ability to enforce adherence to the core sexual-marital ethics of the religious body. While everything else may be open to negotiation-as the case or Lutheran Church policy under Bishop Zoltan Kaldy in socialist Hungary makes clear1-when a state infringes on these core interests, church resistance is sharp, as the Nazis discovered in 1937 when Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical, "Mit Brennender Sorge." The pontiff condemned the regime for the establishment of the German Christian Movement with its neo-pagan trappings and racist ideology, the wholesale arrest of Catholic priests, and the closure of Catholic schools, and declared:
Whoever raises race or nation or state or state form or the agents of state authority or other values of human communal life-which within the terrestrial order have an essential and honorable place-to the highest norm of all, taking it out of the merely temporal scale of values to turn it into a religious value, making it the object of idolatry, inverts and adulterates the God-created and divinely ordained scheme of things.2
However, "mission" interests must be distinguished from "programmatic" interests, which embrace social values which the church wants to see protected (for example, specific human rights, the proscription of abortion or gay/lesbian marriage, etc.). A case study of the two principal churches of Germany-the Roman Catholic and the EvangelicalLutheran-in the postwar period demonstrates that while the Evangelical Church has displayed more resilience under authoritarian systems, the Roman Catholic Church has tended to be much more politically active in democratic systems, openly voicing criticisms of the government and taking stands that oppose popular preferences. Differences in the theological mindset of Catholics and Evangelicals make for dif ferences in the understanding of programmatic interests. For the Roman Catholic Church, the distinction between "the flock" (baptized Catholics) and those "outside the flock" is fundamental. Accordingly, while Catholic prelates give high priority to the needs of "the flock," non-Catholics are treated as distinctly less important, indeed possibly of no interest to the Church at all. During the Second World War, for example, Catholic prelates in Germany and Croatia took few steps to protest the incarceration and liquidation of Jews and other nonCatholics,3 but protested vehemently once the position of the Catholic Church was threatened. Michael Cardinal Faulhaber, Archbishop of Munich, took the Nazi regime to task on this issue, declaring on New Year's Eve 1941:
While Catholic soldiers serve at the front standing shoulder to shoulder with other German men, bearing the same burdens and trials, and bringing the same heroic sacrifice of blood; while the Catholics at home make the same sacrifices, contribute to the same collections whether required or voluntary-the Church is being treated with constant suspicion, spied upon and subjected to special regulations; Church and parochial facilities are commandeered as if they were nothing more than private residences.4
The leitmotiv of Catholic political behavior in authoritarian systems is not opposition, but compromise-though not without limits.
For Germany's Protestants, on the other hand, the understanding of "programmatic" interests was fundamentally shaped by the concept of the "two kingdoms"-a concept articulated by both Martin Luther and John Calvin. …