SOLEMN CONDEMNATION OF NAZI PHILOSOPHY Tendencies Towards Peaceful Settlement
From Our Germa
n Correspondent For the first time in the history of the Church, the official text of an encyclical of the Holy Father has been drafted in German. It will be known under the name of the Encyclical Mit brennender Sorge. [Last week. by a transposition of copy at the press, the Papal Encyclical was wrongly named in the Catholic Herald.—EDITOR.] Before 1931 all such messages were written in Latin. The Encyclical Non abbiamo bisogno of June 29, 1931, which condemned certain theories and practices of Italian Fascism, particularly in the realm of education, and denounced certain treaty violations of Signor Mussolini's Government, was the first document of that kind that appeared in a language other than Latin. \
The new Easter Encyclical on Mexico uses the Spanish language. So it seems to be the intention of the Holy See to use henceforth the different national languages for Encyclicals and similar documents which are to be made known to all Catholics in certain countries and to use the Latin language only for Encyclicals addressed to the whole world.
Full Condemnation " We have weighed each word of this Encyclical on the balance of Truth and Charity." Even if the Holy Father had not said this expressly, it would be obvious for any Catholic that in such an Encyclical each word is important. The Holy Father is not accustomed to talk in the style of the Nuremburg speeches. He is eager to avoid all exaggerations, all unnecessary harshness and all premature condemnations. In the light of this fact, the Encyclical Mit brennender Sorge has an extremely significant meaning.
It is the condemnation of many essential parts of the Nazi ideology, so that one may say that it amounts practically to a solemn condemnation of the National-Socialist philosophy of life.
Only a small portion of the Encyclical is against Germany's continuous violations of the Concordat; the larger part refers to false and dangerous doctrines which are officially spread in Germany and to which the Holy Father opposes the teaching of the Catholic Church. The word National Socialism does not appear at all in the document. The Pope has not tried to give a full analysis of the National Socialist doctrine. That would, indeed, have been impossible, as the Nazi movement is relatively young and it is doubtful whether certain ideas are " official " and essential parts of its doctrine or not.
But one thing is beyond any doubt: If you take away from the National Socialist " faith" those false dogmas which have solemnly been condemned by the Holy Father in his Encyclical, the remainder will not deserve to be called National Socialism. The Nazi leaders will be the first to state that.
Yea and Nay
What has been so far the reaction of the
Nazi circles? The Catholic Herald has already referred to an article which appeared in the Volkischer Beobachter of March 22, which claims that treaties cannot be respected under all circumstances, but that they can and must be broken, if higher values, particularly the fundamental principles of National Socialism, blood, race, community of the nation and so on, are at stake.
The article explained that the famous clau.sula rebus sic stantibus can be advocated by Germany, i.e., that doubtful theory which says that treaties lose their value, if the circumstances under which they were concluded change.
When the Concordat was signed, the German Government expected that German Catholics would becorrie all round supporters of National-Socialism. That has, however, not been the case. By their complaints about alleged persecutions, German Catholics have even supplied the foreign press with material for anti-German campaigns.
" A treaty concluded with the Vatican is not sacrosanct. untouchable and eternal in itself. It has to adapt itself to life and evolution, unless it is to become meaningless. A yea which was once pronounced with regard to a treaty can legitimately become, under the pressure of a new situation, a clear nay."
Avoiding a Rupture
What value is to be attributed to that article, which was of a brutal frankness and a cynical Macchiavellism? It appeared only in the Berlin edition of the chief organ of the Nazi party. Neither the Munich edition of the same newspaper, nor the other dailies which usually reprint such articles, inserted it.
Hitler has not yet decided what to do. Some of his counsellors try to persuade him to declare the Concordat as null and void. Others reply that that would do immense damage to Germany's prestige in the world, particularly to its relations with Austria and to its influence in Nationalist Spain. Moderation and prudence are advocated by them. There is, unfortunately, no hope that the German Reich will come back to a full respect of its Concordat obligations and that the Nazis will give up those of their doctrines which have been condemned by the Pope in the new Encyclical. But it is well possible that a definite denunciation of the Concordat and a rupture of diplomatic relations between Berlin and the Holy See will be avoided, at least for the time being.
In Other Countries
The Easter issue of the Volkischer Beobachter contained a front page article which did not refer expressly to the Concordat and to the last Encyclical, but which advocated in rather vague terms peace between the State and the Churches. Let us quote one sentence:
The Church has eventually admitted that the earth turns around the sun, although that did not originally fit into her system of doctrines. She will have to admit as well that there is and will be a National Socialist State with a dynamic political ideology of its own, although for the moment that does not fit into her system.
52,500,000 FROM RUSSIA French Workers' Leader's Accusation
Nothing could have been more sensational than the accusation of Jacques Doriot against the French Communist Party.
Doriot, now the leader of an anti-Communist workers' party, was once a Communist himself. Relying on his knowledge of what went on in the past he has accused the French Communist Party of having received no less than two and a half million pounds from Moscow.
This is not an idle accusation for propaganda purposes, for Doriot asked Parliwnent to appoint a Commission to enquire into the matter and stated that he would bring his witnesses to prove his charges.
The French Parliament, once so energetic about enquiring into the financial resources of the capitalist Press, rejected Doriot's motion by a majority of over a hundred—the Government's majority.