From Our German Correspondent
The confiscation of the whole property of many monasteries in Austria has been followed by a violent press campaign which indicates that the rumours about a forthcoming dissolution of all monasteries are not unfounded.
The whole Nazi press is full of insults against the Pope and the hierarchy, and things are worst in Austria, where eight months ago Cardinal Innitzer tried a policy of " appeasement " by "Heil Hitler " letters and loyalist statements.
Under the title "Church State in the State " Das Schwarze Korps attacks Cardinal Innitzer and accuses the Church of organizing a " competition " with National Socialism. The "competitive enterprises " of the Church are enumerated: "Christian " culture, " Christian " art, "Christian " literature, charity and morality. Therefore the Christians are described as " Separatists " and " Isolationists."
ALLEGED CRIMES The Benedictine Abbeys of Admont and St. Lambrecht are accused of an unbelievable number of crimes and offences.
The monks are alleged to have stolen valuable manuscripts in order to sell them abroad, to have piled up arms and munitions for use against eventual Nazi upheavals, to have deliberately closed down iron ore mines, and to have Ied immoral lives.
Sensational details are given of their relations with women and girls in the surrounding country and about the way in which they neglected their agricultural and other activities.
The allegation that they favoured deliberately the spreading of foot and mouth disease is one of the least sensational reproaches.
THE REAL REASON
After the experience of the past not one word is believed of these allegations. It is easy to see the real objective of the new anti-religious drive, because the article tells us how much land the abbeys owned and that such criminals cannot be allowed to keep that land. It has been confiscated by the Nazis. The article conies to this conclusion:
" These examples are just a few out of many. They prove that a clergy, which is morally corrupt, hostile to the state, criminal and uninterested in the destiny of the nation, is neither able nor willing to administer property which should belong to the German people.
"If we take it away from them, we do not take anything to which they could have a legitimate claim. They once received those properties from the territorial rulers in order to use them for the benefit of the country, but not in order to do damage to the people or to live an un-Christian and immoral life of laziness and luxury. Such a Church State' can rio longer be tolerated in Germany."