Page 7, 15th May 1936

15th May 1936
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Page 7, 15th May 1936 — To Enslave Catholics
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To Enslave Catholics

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Truth About The German

Concordat

From Dr. WALDEMAR GURIAN

National Socialism proceeds against the Church by pretending to respect her as a religious institution and even to protect her. Has it not done her the service of concluding a Concordat and of driving off the godless Bolshevist?

Alas, for National Socialism the Concordat is the legal enslavement of the Church. It is used to prevent the faithful from realising their danger and to make them believe that their difficulties are merely transitory. The Nazis do not say : " The Church shall be taken from the People." They are too clever for that. But they do aim at taking the People from the Church.

This is their object : To turn German Catholicism into a Church without a People, and thus to cripple her, to weaken her influence and to rob her of her apparently respected independence.

HISTORY OF THE PERSECUTION

The fight against "Sectarianism" is said not to be religious war on the Church because of the existence of the Concordat, and the value which Hitler places on outward good relations with the Holy See and the bishops.

An attempt is made to distinguish between the " politics-mongering " lesser clergy and the Church itself.

Only occasionally are the bishops openly attacked.

Cardinal Faulhaber, for his famous sermons in 1934; the Bishop of Miinster, in 1935; and this year in an article published at the end of April by Heydrich, an S.S. man and an official in the Gestapo or secret police (who bears a large share of responsibility for the events of June 30).

This article declares that the attitude of some German princes of the Church to the plebiscite of March 29, when they proclaimed that "Yes" did not signify agreement with the regime's religious policy, "is more dangerous than many an act of high treason on the part of communists."

But such open ponderous attacks are unusuaL Even Heydrich pretends to refer only to the "politics-mongering Church officials."

National Socialism realises that a frontal attack on the Church would serve her purpose—hence Hitler in his book pours scorn on such methods.

How It Began

Directly after his seizure of power, Hitler made efforts to dispel the open conflict which had arisen between him and the bishops, on account of their warnings against the ideological dangers of National Socialism. He made solemn and binding promises; he affirmed the validity of the different regional concordats, and that not only in the letter of the law.

The bishops thereupon withdrew their warnings, and the negotiations for a national concordat came to an unexpectedly speedy conclusion.

The tactics of National Socialism were crystallised by the Concordat, which proceeded to work out very differently for the other party to the transaction. For the Concordat has not smoothed away the conflict, nor does it protect ecclesiastical rights—whose preservation, indeed, is to the interest of the secular power: on the contrary, it is used as a weapon against the Church.

A Nazi Interpretation

It is significant that the Minister Frick had the effrontery to declare that the Con7ordat's recognition of German laws requires the Faithful to approve of the steriisation law, which the encyclical Casti T.onnubii condemns.

The negotiations regarding the position )f Catholic associations, which the Con7ordat anticipates, have not yet come to

conclusion. The interim has served for :he achievement of a series of faits accomplis.

Catholic Youth Attacked

An intensive propaganda is being carried on by the all-powerful state, and the party which rules it, for the relentless forcing of young people into the Jungyolk, so that the Catholic associations are robbed of the rising generation; their members may not go for organised rambles, may not wear badges of membership, nor parade their membership in public. In February, 1936, permission to sell the Catholic weekly journal Michael was withdrawn, so that its appearance had to be discontinued.

All this takes place under the banner of he fight agOnst political Catholicism, and he Concordat, according to National >ocialist notions, only protects Catholics who are alsO loyal to the state. When it S openly violated (as, say, by the prohibiion of pastoral letters, which in 1934 night not be read aloud, and since then nay be printed in ecclesiastical papers )nly, and not in daily papers) National iocialism defends itself by denying the vioation, and affirming the need for protecion against the excesses of political 7-atholicism. And, of course, the right to kilns the latter is reserved to National

>ocialism. Hence it can describe anyhing it does not like as political Catho

icism. This system persists, despite the rotests of the bishops against the abuse if the phrase.

The same pretence serves as a reason for systematic onslaughts ou the prestige of the Church. The Church is "respected" only in the hope of gdining votes. Thus Dr. Goebbels sang the praises of the German bishops before the Saar plebiscite; and afterwards a solemn protest was made against even a partial attribution of the favourable result to them. And this "respect" does not interfere with the systematic slandering of the clergy and religious orders.

Attempts are made to confuse the Faithful by saying: This is not a Kulturkampf—or the bishops would be sent packing and there would be no papal nuncio in Berlin.

Currency Laws

In 1935 it was attempted, by means of actions against priests for violation of the currency laws, to create an impression that the Church, in its avarice, was hurting materially the Fatherland in its distress.

In 1936 there were more of these currency law actions; but now they were bolstered up by tharges of immorality.

Heydrich, the Berlin Director of the Prussian Secret Police, asks sarcastically in the article already quoted: "Whether these monks, now more thr a 100 in number, who are facing the judge on account of the most foul and disgusting moral outrages, also have the approval of the Church on the grounds that it is for the Church's sake that they break the laws of the people and the state."

The Amnesty

This article appeared after the recent amnesty, which included in its scope priests who had been sentenced to not more than six months' imprisonment on account of utterances inimical to the state. It is clear that this amnesty was mere camouflage, and that the persecution is to continue.

NEWSPAPERS MUST BE READ

Order to German Farmers

From Our German Correspondent The publishers of Nazi papers have asked the minister of agriculture, Herr Walter Darre, to assist them in fighting what they consider to be a very bad custom of German peasants, a custom as prejudicial to the prestige of the National-Socialist State as to their own interests: In the summer months many farmers and other people do not read newspapers. What is worse they stop their subscriptions, alleging that they have no time to read the paper and that they do not want to waste their money.

Herr Darre, peasant leader of the Reich and minister of agriculture, is full of indignation that there should be farmers who find hay-making more important than reading the articles of Dr. Goebbels. Therefore he has just published an appeal —and in Nazi Germany an appeal means a categorical order—where he says:

A German's Duty

" Owing to the increased work in the summer months many farmers and country-people believe that they cannot give time to their permanent information on matters of politics, culture and economics, so that they discontinue the subscription of their newspapers and magazines. Such an interruption in subscribing to papers can in no way be justified. Every farmer risks considerable disadvantages, if he ignores publications which are important for him. Ignorance of laws and decrees has been again and again rejected by the tribunals as an excuse. Tribunals have stated that every citizen must be expected to follow carefully the daily press and the special publications. , It is a natural duty of citizenship for every farmer and peasant to read his papers regularly, even in summer and in spite of the increased work of the season."




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