Catholic Prelate's Ten Challenges
From Our German Correspondent The Vatican has asked for prudence and circumspection, it is understood, in the interpretations of the diplomatic trouble between itself and the Reich.
Relations between the two States have been strained for some months. The bubble burst a fortnight ago when the American Cardinal Mundelein made his sensational anti-Nazi speech.
The last-minute cancellation of the German papal nuncio's return to Rome and his official visit to Baron von Neurath to express the Pope's sorrow at the death of the sailors of the " Deutschland " were clearly intended as gestures of peace.
It is reported that the Holy See has replied to the last German note, dated May 29, in which it was stated that " the normal cultivation of relations between the German Government and the Vatican is checked."
The nature of the reply has not been made public, and Vatican official circles refuse even to confirm that it was sent, emphasising that the matter is grave, and the greatest prudence should be observed in interpretations and commentaries on the crisis. It is, however. stated that a solution is far from having been found, and that none should be expected in the near future.
" Moral " Revolution
Despite the patience of the Holy See, Nazi Germany has in no way abated its violent attack which centres round the alleged immorality of the Catholic clergy.
It would be impossible to recapitulate all the latest evidence of this monstrous charge.
Last Sunday, Rosenberg called for a " moral revolution," accused the enemies of the regime of " hiding behind the large backs of the religious organisations," spoke of " hypocritical ecclesiastics flirting with Marxism," and claimed for the State exclusive control over education. On the same day, Dr. Frick, Minister of the In
terior, made the same educational claim, and Herr Koch, Nazi head in Prussia, spoke to a Nazi congress of the " dirty kitchen politics of the priests."
Even so, speeches of representative Nazi figures fall far shoat of the vituperation of some of the Press. Thus the Vtilkischer Beobachter special correspondent, Rudolf Jung. after ridiculing the Catholic participation in the World Exhibition, asks what will be shown in the Catholic Pavilion at the Exhibition when it opens. He wonders whether the Catholic Church will demonstrate there hew priests commit immorality crimes with children in sacristies . .
Protest from All Pulpits
In the face of such an avalanche of calumnies, the Church has not been silent.
Last Sunday the twenty-two German Bishops made. a declaration which was read from all pulpits, protesting against the broadcast speech of Dr. Goebbels, and proved with figures that the Minister's allegations were unjust exaggerations and generalisations-. There are 21.461 secular priests and 4,174 regular priests in Germany. Of them 21 secular priests and one regular priest have been sentenced in the immorality trials; of 28 secular priests and 8 regular priests the trials have not yet come to an end. Even if all of them were guilty, there would be altogether 58 such regrettable cases among a total number of 25,635 priests. Dr. Goebbels talked of the immorality of Ile; clergy and referred to " thousands of cases."
The Ten Questions But the most important statement has come from Mgr. Conrad Groeber, Archbishop of Freiburg, in Breslau, who is a member of the Council of State of the Rein a
pastoral letter he sets the German Government a number of questions.
1. Why are so many cases being tried together, since many of them should have been despatched long age? Is it not possible that the Encyclical MU Brennencter Sorge has had something to do with this?
2. Why was the reputation uf the accused persons publiely taken away before the trial was finished? Why were not unjust allegations contradicted with the same prominence as the original accusations in the Press?
3. Why does the whole of the German Press publish the testimonies of the witnesses for the prosecution and the extremely severe indictment of the State Prosecutor. and slur over or leave out the important testimonies of witnesses for the defence?
4. Will the publication for weeks on end of full details of immorality trials do the morals of the German people any good at all?
5. Is there any link at till between priests and religious accused of immorality and laymen accused of the sanie effences? The number of laymen in prison On auch charges is undeniably much greater, and vet the trials of religious are given more publicity. Again, contrary to the usual enstom, full details are given of their past life, and photographs and caricatures of them appear in the papers. Foreign prieste charged with the same crimes are nut given unel full pub.. lity% Why is this?
Why is it spread in non-Christian circles that such crimes among priests and religious have increased? In this way the impression is rgriuvpetn . that only the Catholic Church is m
7. Why, since this terrible evil has,spread so much, does the State not unite all its members capable of lighting against the evil, instead of trying to throw all the blame on the Catholic Church?
8. Why pretend that this is only a measure to weed out the undesirable elements in the Church, since we have conclusive proof that it is really an attempt to deal her a mortal blow?
9. Does tite German State forget that there are many people abroad who deplore this insidious propaganda, which makes them dislike Germany? Is it really possible o carry on a cultural campaign by such means? Only the Communist Press is sympathetic, and this constitutee a grave danger.
10. Does the State think the Church can be beaten in this way? The methods of the State do not deceive the people, and they only serve to make them believe that there is no justice.