Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

G. Adriányi et al., The Church in the Modern Age ( New York, 1981), pp. 63-77.

P. Hughes, Pope Pius the Eleventh ( New York, 1937).

K. S. Latourette, Christianity in a Revolutionary Age ( New York, 1958- 1962), IV, 176-189.

G. Lewy, The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany ( New York, 1964).

N. Micklern, National Socialism and the Roman Catholic Church ( New York, 1939).

J. Rovan, Le catholicisme politique en Allemagne ( Paris, 1956), pp. 212-252.


151
Mit Brennender Sorge (Extracts) March 14, 1937

Despite the 1933 Concordat, friction inevitably developed between Roman Catholicism and Hitlerism. Nazi condemnation of the Old Testament, conflicts over education, attacks on monastic clergy, and violations of the concordat were all issues leading to this protest of Pius XI. The government responded by closing or suspending the German firms that printed and published the encyclical. The letter was in German, addressed to the archbishops and bishops of Germany.

1. With deep anxiety and increasing dismay, We have for some time past beheld the sufferings of the Church, and the steadily growing oppression of those men and women who, loyally professing their faith in thought and deed, have remained true to her. . . .

* * *

[The failure of the 1933 Concordat to bring peace cannot be blamed on the church or the pope. Rather, the "lessons of the past years" disclose "machinations that from the beginning had no other aim than a war of exterininations." Where the pope planted peace, others sowed "discord, hatred, calumny," "secret and open enmity against Christ and His Church."]

6. . . . When once the time shall have come to place before . . . the world these Our endeavors, all right-minded persons will know where they have to look for those who kept the peace, and where for those who broke it. . . . We have stood faithful to the terms of the agreement. But . . . to change the meaning of the agreement, to evade the agreement, to empty the agreement of all its significance, and finally more or less openly to violate the agreement, has been made the unwritten law of conduct by the other party.

* * *

Extracts from Encyclical Letter (Mit brennender Sorge) of His Holiness, Pope Pius XI Issued March 14, 1937. Copyright © 1937, by the United States Catholic Conference, Inc., 3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017 and are used with permission. All rights reserved.

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