Many Catholic organisations and even private individuals in England have been receiving weekly news sheets from the Catholic Press-Service "Deo et Patriae," Berlin.
Our German Correspondent writes: The Catholic Press-Service " Deo et Patriae," is organised and financed by the Ministry of Propaganda, but there are unfortunately four or five priests who cooperate. The history of " Deo et Patriae " is as follows : There used to be in Berlin a Dutch Catholic press office under the direction of Fr Vriens, a Franciscan friar who was in charge of the Dutch and Flemish Catholics living in Berlin. Fr. Vriens was sympathetic to the Nazis (although far less than " Deo et Patriac " now, and at a time when persecutions were less general). Eventually Fr. Vriens's superiors forbade him to continue his work.
A German priest, Fr. Leonards, of Prenzlau, one of the few Nazis among the clergy, took over the business and enlarged the service, adding a German edition to the Dutch. With Nazi money a French, English and Spanish edition were added later.
The hierarchy has taken the following measures concerning the " Deo et Patriae office : -
First the Dutch Hierarchy issued a warning against the press-service and forbade Catholic newspapers to make any use of it. (As a matter of fact, no Catholic newspaper in Holland has ever used it, and the Dutch Nazi paper, net Nationaal DagNatl. is the only Dutch paper to take over its items.) No Priest Now
The Bishop of Berlin, Mgr. Preysing, forbade Fr. Leonards to remain editor and to contribute articles. Then another priest, Fr. Scholz, took over the editorship. The Bishop forbade him as well to do it. There is now, apparently, no priest connected with the editorship Both Fr. Leonards and Fr. Scholz are now quoted as "councillors" (in the Dutch edition the word is " readgevers "= advisers).
As there is nothing in the Codex furls Canonici forbidding priests to give "advice" (but only to write for the press without the authorisation of the Bishop), nothing more can be done for the moment.
The Osservatore Romano has several times deprecated the existence of " Deo et Patriae " which is in fact nothing but a suboffice of the Ministry of Propaganda.