Article 16 of the Reich Concordat of 1933 required Catholic bishops and priests to swear an oath of allegiance to the Third Reich. It read:
“Before bishops take possession of their dioceses they are to take an oath of fealty either to the Reich Representative of the State concerned, or to the President of the Reich, according to the following formula:…..
On July 20, 1933, at a formal ceremony in Rome, only six months after Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, Cardinal Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pius XII) on behalf of Pope Pius XI, signed the Reich Concordat between Nazi Germany and the Vatican, making it the first treaty between the new regime and a sovereign state. At the time,…..
Pope Pius XII’s role before and during the Holocaust, both as Pius XI’s Secretary of State and as wartime pope, is the subject of ongoing controversy. The controversy started at war’s end when the existence of ratlines, i.e., a system of Vatican approved escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe to avoid prosecution for war crimes, came…..