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 began at war’s end when the existence of ratlines, a system of Vatican approved escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe to avoid prosecution for war crimes, came to light. It intensified in the early 1960s when…..
Notwithstanding the passivity of most European Christians during the Holocaust and the active participation of others, clearly, there were in Germany and in every Nazi-occupied or allied European country, people — clergy, religious and lay — who behaved humanely, even heroically. These righteous people bore witness that compassion and decency still existed in what had become hell on earth. Despite…..
Shaken by Germany’s military defeat in War World I, the humiliating terms of the Versailles Treaty, and the social and economic turbulence of the 1920’s and ‘30’s, most Germans yearned for better days, including restoration of their nation’s dignity and power. In this context Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Party, with its promise of strong central leadership, a better way…..
During the Third Reich several Roman Catholic prelates were known as “Brown Bishops” (brown being the official color of the Nazi movement), because of their enthusiastic support of Nazism, including Konrad Gröber of Freiburg, Adolf Bertram of Breslau (photo above), Michael Buchberger of Regensburg, Antonius Hilfrich of Limburg and Military Bishop Franz Josef Rarkowski . Clearly, their…..
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…..
Pursuant to church practice (not doctrine) in the 19th century, a Jewish child baptized, with or without parental knowledge and consent, could not be returned to the custody of non-converted parents. Accordingly, Jews entering the House of Catechumens, a residence for converts located in Rome and in other Papal States were required to have their children baptized. Between 1814 and 1818, according to David I. Kertzer,…..
As modern anti-Semitism began to take shape in the latter third of the nineteenth century, the Church was a major player. According to David I. Kertzer, author of “The Popes Against the Jews,” (photo above) in Pope Pius IX’s war on Modernism, no weapon was more effective than the Catholic press, which at the time consisted of hundreds of…..
Like Yugoslavia and Hungary, Czechoslovakia was a political entity created at the end of World War I, a so-call Versailles state. It included the Czech provinces of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia. Despite its multinational population and conflicted relations with neighboring countries, all of which coveted its territory, Czechoslovakia remained a functioning parliamentary democracy until 1938. On September 29,…..
I have been asked to reflect on two questions: What has it been like being a Catholic male? What am I thinking now?
I am a cradle Catholic, youngest of five children, born in 1945, to Italian immigrant parents in Rochester, NY. Our home was within walking distance of three churches, St. Andrews, St. Philip Neri,…..
Institutional Model of Church
Ecclesiology is the study and theory of what constitutes the Church. Cardinal Avery Robert Dulles, author of Models of Church, characterized the Council of Trent (medieval) paradigm (or model) of church as institutional /hierarchical, symbolized as a pyramid. This model defined the Church until Vatican Council II in…..