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How bizarre How bizarre
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-12-25 09:29:49
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Buried in snow bank survives

bizzare_snowbank_400Donna Molnar, 55, was last seen when she left her home west of Toronto in a snowstorm to get baking supplies. Her van was found abandoned by the side of a windswept rural road late the next day. Police scoured the nearby area for two days and said they had all but given up hope on Monday when a search dog called Ace began to bark at a snowdrift about 200 meters from where the van had been found.

Rescuers approaching the spot found Molnar, who was suffering from hypothermia. She is now in hospital in serious but stable condition. "That deep snow may very well have been what insulated her enough to keep her core temperature high enough that she survived the three days," said Staff Sergeant Mark Cox of the police force in Hamilton, Ontario. Cox told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp that it appeared Molnar had become disoriented in the snowstorm and may have left her vehicle to get help.

Santa worked for somebody!

*************************

Smell money under a Hants housing estate

bizzare_oil_400VAST oil reserves worth millions of pounds are believed to lie beneath one of Britain’s biggest housing estates. Oil giant Northern Petroleum Ltd claims the sprawling estate at Havant, Hants, is a potential oasis of “black gold”.

Now it wants to set up a two-acre exploration site outside the local B&Q superstore. But last night residents were skeptical over the prospect of becoming like the Ewing family in TV hit Dallas.

And for some Santa had oily presents

*************************

Legal to peebizzare_piss

People should ignore signs telling them that it is legal to urinate in certain public places in Nottingham, the city council said. The signs, which were put up by pranksters in and around Nottingham, are designed to look official.

They feature a toilet sign and include the words: "Public Urination Permitted After 7.30pm". Nottingham City Council is now urging the public to ignore the notices as it sets about removing them.

Somebody must be pissed


   
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Sand2008-12-25 09:40:57
Perhaps the free urination sites will become too popular to remove. Long lines will appear on New Years Eve to use the sites and new insight will be brought to the old saying of "Minding your pees and queues".


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-25 11:59:13
The cynics of old waited for no legalizing notices; they simply urinated and defecated in public. In that respect the neo-cynics have made some progress over those of old; they now wait for the bad habit (what the Greeks called vice to distinguish from good habits or virtues)to be declared legal before engaging in it. Indeed, not everything is progress, but often enough there is progress and this is surely one case. The authority have every right to be pissed, albeit they may bring a urinal as an exhibition in a museum and call it artistic display.


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-25 12:19:49
P.S. In fact, they may urinate publicly in the museum or put some lipstick on a pig and call it "action art." Perhaps that is what the cynics called it too.


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-25 12:22:17
Be that as it may,

MERRY CHRISTMAS


Sand2008-12-25 12:51:45
Throughout Christian history the dogma disdained normal healthy body functions and praised masochism with self flagellation and other forms of psychopathological self deprivation and personal suffering. That point of view seems to be still around, unfortunately.


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-25 15:53:33
I never met Mr. Dogma. Was he one of the voices of Christmas eve? What did he look like? Does he piss and defecate like every human being, which is to say every body?


Sand2008-12-25 16:10:56
It seems, insofar as Catholics are concerned, You can't teach an old dogma new tricks.


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-25 16:17:11
And that is what's all about; Catholic smearing and bashing parading as historical and philosophical arguments. Why not be a bit more honest and admit as much and perhaps start a Club and a blog titled "Catholic Bashing and Smearing in Plato's Cave?"


Sand2008-12-25 17:03:33
I am not smearing Catholicism by citing history which truly records most horrific behavior by its administrators nor the exercises annually of people flagellating themselves to despise their flesh. This is not my imagination. You yourself expressed admiration for a monk who desired to undergo a major operation without anesthetics as an expression of religious faith. It seems the facts are not pleasant for you either and so you cannot face them.


Sand2008-12-25 17:05:02
I'm sure Plato would have been astounded to find Catholics in his cave.


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-25 18:57:46
As repeatedly mentioned before to deaf ears it would appear, when you are ready to face ALL the facts and not what you cherry pick to support your bias and slander, then a rational dialogue may begin.


Sand2008-12-25 19:17:22
I'm afraid the premise is faulty. It's you that refuses to face ALL. Telling me that the Catholic Church is involved in doing very many good things does not excuse the bad behavior of the organization throughout history or at present. It's like telling me that Himmler was good to his wife and kids.


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-25 19:40:09
Let's put to the test your assurance that you don't cherry pick and are willing to put on the table all the facts. When you write about "...the bad behavior of the organization [the Church]throughout history," you obviously mean the whole of its history. That reveals a bias agains religion, any religion; it is bad simply because it is religion. As Mao put it to the Dalai Lama "religion is poison," period. Now, since this Church is some 2000 years old and not dead yet, to the chagrin of it detractors and bashers, could you tell me what was the bad behavior of its first three hundred years or so before it became the official religion of the Roman Empire, when Christians were being persecuted and thrown to lions in the Colosseum simply for believing what they believed. When you find the intellectual integrity to answer that question honestly, and desist from the slander "troughout its history" an honest dialogue cannot possibly begin. That would requiry a Chamberlain going to appease a bully who will stop at nothing to impose his ideology and will.



Sand2008-12-25 19:56:53
Why restrict yourself to the first 300 years? Or are you cherry picking?


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-25 21:17:25
Test concluded. I thought so.


Sand2008-12-26 05:50:16
A test to demonstrate your rock solid smugness?


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-26 09:53:03
Indeed, it was a short test as it usually is when one is unwilling or unable (because burdened by ignorance)to put on the table all the facts. Before they can be put on the table they have to be known first. As previously pointed out: if all the facts are not mentioned, only selective ones, then one is either in bad faith (dishonestly bashing and slandering)or one does not know the facts while giving the impression that one knows them. When the facts are presented and one does not accept them because they don't conform to one's nefarious, then bad faith can be safely assumed.


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-26 09:54:25
Errata: nefarious agenda.


Sand2008-12-26 10:09:49
Putting all the facts on the table means a full consideration of the entire history of Christianity, not limiting it to a couple of hundred years.


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-26 23:50:05
Very well, let us put on the table, together with your slanderous insinuation that the Catholic Church was a co-conspirator with Hitler, this excerpt from a well documented and researched article titled Faith and Fatherland by Thomas McGovern:

“it is appropriate to recall the heroic resistance offered by the Church to the persecution carried out in the name of National Socialism.
From the beginning the Catholic Church was one of the main targets of Hitler's policy of annihilation; the totalitarian aims of National Socialism would not tolerate any opposition or allow any other organisation compete for the loyalty of the German people.
The Gestapo were active everywhere, even to the extent of intruding into confessionals to trap priests into making unguarded statements. Priests were kept under active surveillance. As a consequence hundreds of clergy were arraigned before Nazi courts of summary jurisdiction and condemned to death or internment in concentration camps. [1]
In Dachau alone, no fewer than 2,771 priests were imprisoned, of whom at least 1,000 died from hunger, disease or illtreatment. Acts of brutality, torture and murder were commonplace in these camps, yet they were the context of daily acts of heroism, as in the case of Maximillian Kolbe in Auschwitz, or the secret and daring ordination in Dachau of Karl Leisner, the young seminarian from Munich. [2]
The majority of the priests interned in Dachau were of Polish origin; however, apart from German nationals, there were large numbers of French, Czechs, and Austrians. Dachau was host to priests from all over Nazi occupied Europe. (continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-26 23:50:35
Seminarians from these same countries were drafted in as part of forced labour gangs in Germany.
No less than 4,000 priests were put to death during these years, either as 'political saboteurs', or, after incarceration in concentration camps, by hanging, starvation, mishandling, lack of medical aid, or as victims of medical experiments including euthanasia. It is a story of courageous and heroic resistance against the overwhelming power of a police state. [3]
In this context also the memory of a great German ecclesiastic deserves to be recalled for his heroism at another level. Count Clement August von Galen was bishop of Münster, the ecclesiastical capital of the strongly Catholic region of Westphalia and the Lower Rhine in Northwest Germany. He took a consistently courageous stand against the policies of Hitler and the Gestapo, and was unrelenting in his criticism of them. His immense prestige at home and abroad was what ultimately saved him from the extermination that many of his own priests suffered.
At that time one of the directors of propaganda in the British War Office was Brig. General R. L. Sedgwick, a convert to Catholicism. He recalls that the bishop's sermons provided the War Office with the most powerful anti-Hitler propaganda. [4] During the war the BBC sent out transmissions specifically targetting the forty million German speaking Catholics. Day after day the radio broadcasts from London drove home the point of Hitler's hatred for Catholicism. The bishop's sermons, he says, were like manna from heaven in the propaganda war against the Nazis. The BBC transmissions, drawing on these sermons, also endeavoured to show that National Socialism constituted a grave threat to the family and the religious ideals which it enshrined


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-26 23:57:00
These are the first five of the thirteen endnotes to the above mentioned article:

1. cf Lewy, G., The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany, London 1964, pp.170-172
2. cf Homiletic and Pastoral Review, February 1983, p.48-49
3. cf J.C. Conway, The Nazi Persecution of the Churches 1933-1945, London 1968, pp.298-299, and note 24, p. 447
4. cf Portmann, H., Cardinal von Galen, London 1957. This is a translation by R. L. Sedgwick of the original German biography entitled Kardinal von Galen, Ein Gottesmann seiner Zeit, published in 1953 in Münster; it is the main source of the biographical material used in this article


Sand2008-12-27 05:24:21
The raw and simple fact is that antisemitism is a product of the Catholic Church that characterized Jews as "Christ killers" for centuries before Hitler and Nazism. Jews were not permitted to mingle with the population nor be employed in many common occupations and were condemned for being the people necessary to function as bankers in a commercial society for hundreds of years before Hitler. Antisemitism was not invented by the Nazis but by the Catholic church and it provided the fertile ground for the Holocaust. This cannot be denied.


Sand2008-12-27 06:56:39
Although Hitler did not practice religion in a churchly sense, he certainly believed in the Bible's God. Raised as Catholic he went to a monastery school and, interestingly, walked everyday past a stone arch which was carved the monastery's coat of arms which included a swastika. As a young boy, Hitler's most ardent goal was to become a priest. Much of his philosophy came from the Bible, and more influentially, from the Christian Social movement. (The German Christian Social movement, remarkably, resembles the Christian Right movement in America today.) Many have questioned Hitler's stand on Christianity. Although he fought against certain Catholic priests who opposed him for political reasons, his belief in God and country never left him. Many Christians throughout history have opposed Christian priests for various reasons; this does not necessarily make one against one's own Christian beliefs. Nor did the Vatican's Pope & bishops ever disown him; in fact they blessed him! As evidence to his claimed Christianity, he said:

"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.

-Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 13:03:31
As expected the very words of Hitler, the greatest liar and deceiver that ever lived, are dug up to prove the conspiracy between the Church and Nazism, ignoring the documentation of the extermination of 4000 priests in concentration camps and holding on to the bias and the slander, so much the worse for documentation. To continue with the excerpt by Thomas McGovern to disprove the blatant lie that it was only a few lower clergy that got in trouble with Hitler but the higher clergy was in conspiracy with him, let us see what McGovern has to say about Cardinal of the Church Clement August von Galen:

“Clement August von Galen was born in 1878 in Oldenburg in Westphalia, in the castle which had been the seat of the family for three centuries. The von Galens had a long tradition of deep loyalty and of practical service to the Church. Following studies at the seminaries of Innsbruck and Münster, he was ordained to the priesthood in Münster cathedral in 1904. Little did he realize that thirty years later he would become the acknowledged leader of Catholic Germany as a consequence of his courageous sermons from the pulpit of this same cathedral.
1933 was the key year in the growth of National Socialism. In January Hitler became chancellor of Germany. In February the Nazis took over the key positions in government and began to dominate the whole country. On February 28, after the burning of the Reichstag, Hitler, under the plea of preventing communist terrorist activities, persuaded President Hindenburg to issue a decree effectively taking away the basic freedoms of every German citizen. This led to the passage of the Enabling Bill which abolished parliament and gave the cabinet total legislative power.


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 13:05:57
(continued from above)
On March 23 Hitler gave a policy statement in which he promised, among other things, to work for peaceful relations between Church and State. Five days afterwards the German bishops, in a joint statement, said that though they maintained a negative attitude to Nazism in the past, in view of the public guarantee of Hitler in the Reichstag a few days earlier to respect Catholic doctrine and the rights of the Church, they now believed that the previous general warnings and prohibitions were no longer necessary.
The way was now prepared for the signing of the much desired concordat between Germany and the Vatican, with the prospect of substantially improved conditions for the Church. It was ratified on 10 September 1933, but it was no defence against the Nazi determination to wipe out all Catholic influence outside the sacristy - in the schools, in the press, in youth and professional organisations. (continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 13:06:31
The Catholic episcopate was not alone in failing to perceive the totalitarian goals of the Nazi movement. The Protestant churches, most of the intellectuals, and many people abroad showed the same political naivety. [5] Hitler resented the influence of the Church, in particular its strong bonding with German Catholic youth. He would use the Church as long as it furthered his own political ends, but, as history was to demonstrate, he hadn't the slightest scruple in using terror, suppression, murder and liquidation where the aims of the Church clashed in any way with his own. He hated and despised the Christian faith and his long term plan was to bring about its extinction.
On 2 September of this fateful year of 1933, Clement August von Galen's nomination as bishop of Münster was announced. His appointment was well received by clergy and laity alike. It was already clear that a comprehensive attack on the faith was inevitable, and there was an intuitive awareness among the faithful of Münster that a man of von Galen's courage and fearlessness was needed to stand firm against the assault of National Socialism.”


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 13:12:52
(continued from the top)
Von Galen paid close attention to the literature of National Socialism, and in his first Lenten Pastoral (January 1934) he opposed the fundamental doctrine of the new politics, the worship of the race.
A few weeks later he sat down to write his Easter Pastoral; he was now much more certain of where National Socialism was leading - the systematic destruction of the faith in Germany. Consequently he saw that it was absolutely necessary to speak very clearly, and to use all the authority and resources of his episcopal office to open people's minds to what was happening. The Pastoral was read in a solemn manner, in the presence of the bishop wearing his mitre, with crozier in hand. It was listened to by a crowded congregation in expectant silence. The pastoral was unambiguous: 'Hell itself is let loose with its deceit', the bishop warned, 'which may even mislead good men'. (continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 13:14:49
The Struggle against National Socialism
At the end of May 1935 von Galen wrote to the governor of Westphalia protesting against a proposed rally in Münster at which Rosenberg, the chief Nazi ideologue, was scheduled to speak. 'The overwhelming Christian population of Westphalia', he said, 'could regard the appearance of Rosenberg only as an outright provocation, designed to pour contempt on their holiest and most cherished religious convictions'. [6]
On July 7 the massive rally was held in Münster's main square, in front of the bishop's palace. Von Galen was denounced as a reactionary and as a leader of a political brand of Catholicism which refused to recognise that times had changed. [7]
Catholic Münster replied the next day with a huge procession. Von Galen addressed the crowds and told them that he would never yield to the enemies of Christianity and the persecutors of the Church. When the day for the big procession of 1936 arrived, the police, mindful of the huge crowds von Galen had drawn the previous year, roped off the cathedral square to prevent large numbers of people from assembling. Von Galen went to the pulpit of the cathedral and thundered his indignation: 'Can the shepherd be severed from his flock? Can the police divide Catholics from their own bishop by ropes and chains?' (there were loud shouts of no! from the crowd at this) 'They can't be divided... Sorrowful times, my dear people of Münster are at hand but I know that steadfastness will prevail'. (continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 13:15:15
Campaign against the Church
It was in 1936/37 that the ideological campaign against the Church reached its peak before German efforts began to be concentrated primarily on the Nazi military objectives. The cult of Hitler as the future saviour became for many a substitute for Christian faith. An ersatz theology was built up on Nazi theories of race and soil, and a new pagan liturgy was created to substitute 'outdated' Christian ceremonies.
The campaign of vilification of the clergy was intensified in the Nazi press. Readers were fed with sensational allegations of sexual immorality among priests and members of religious orders. 'Immorality trials' were staged in courts and, by ingenious spacing, were made to appear as an unbroken series of clerical offences.
Priests were pilloried as idlers and criminal offenders. The bishop of Münster was a particular target of this invective. Groups of thugs, organised by the Gestapo, threw stones at the windows of his residence at night, singing obscene songs specially composed to ridicule von Galen, to the accompaniment of the noise of breaking glass. The degree of surveillance imposed on Catholic bishops, both over their private lives as well as their official activities, was unprecedented even by Nazi standards, especially during the war years. [8]
The Nazis gradually and effectively destroyed the independence of the Catholic daily press by a series of draconian laws. From April 1935 articles with a religious content had been banned. The Catholic weeklies were still published but the net began to tighten around these also. In 1936 the publication of pastoral letters was banned.


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 13:22:35
Endnotes:
4. cf Portmann, H., Cardinal von Galen, London 1957. This is a translation by R. L. Sedgwick of the original German biography entitled Kardinal von Galen, Ein Gottesmann seiner Zeit, published in 1953 in Münster; it is the main source of the biographical material used in this article
5. cf Lewy, p.98
6. cf Conway, ibid., p.21
7. Ibid, p.127
8. cf Conway, p.243
9. cf Conway, p.268
10. In August 1940 the bishops conference appealed to Rome for help. On November 28 the Holy Office published a decree which stated that the direct killing by public authority of those who had committed no crime, but who, from mental or physical incapacity were unable to benefit the state, was against divine and natural law.
11. cf Conway, p.281, note 57
12. Actes et Documents du Saint Siège relatifs à la seconde guerre mondiale, II, p.230, published by Vatican City Press 1965-1975, 9 parts, 10 vols: eds. Blet, Martini, Schneider, and Graham. This gives the full documentation related to the pontificate of Pius XII and the Second World War. The translation of the letter is from O'Carroll, M., Pius XII: Greatness Dishonoured , Dublin 1980, p.118
13. Two other German cardinals were appointed at the same consistory, Preysing of Berlin, and Frings of Cologne.
Section Contents Copyright © Thomas McGovern 1997-2000
This version: 17th January 2003


Sand2008-12-27 17:58:24
This from the site at
http://www.nobeliefs.com/ChurchesWWII.htm
Where much more can be found.

The Catholic Church during WWII
Jewish persecutions: banning Jews from working for public office, the enforcement of wearing yellow badges, the Jewish ghettos, burning of synagogues, and the extermination of Jews remind us of the atrocities committed by Nazis in WWII. However the atrocities above do not pertain to Nazi actions but rather the practices of Catholicism, centuries before Hitler came into power.
The seeds of Christian hatred for Jews begins from the readings of the New Testament and the persecutions began when the Church first held power to enforce its dogmas. The Biblical Paul, for example, put the blame of Jesus's death entirely on the Jews. In the first epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians (2:14-15), it says, "the Jews who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets...." Also the gospel of John, makes it clear that the Jews represent an enemy (and John 8:44 puts the devil as the father of the Jews). Many prominent priests used Paul's epistles and the gospels as Biblical justification for Jewish persecution.
Historical Christianity makes it clear that the Jews formed an essential part of early Christian theology. Examples include the letter of Barnabas (circa 130), Justin the Martyr's "Dialogue with the Jew Trypho" (circa 160), Tertullian's treatise against the Jews (circa 200), Orgin's work against Celsus (circa 250). The sermons by John Chrysostom in 387, especially, show an indigence against the Jews. Origen had written, "The blood of Jesus falls not only on the Jews of that time, but on all generations of Jews up to the end of the world." John Chrysostom wrote, "The Synagogue is a brothel, a hiding place for unclean beasts.... Never has any prayed to God.... They are possessed by demons." [Cornwell, pp. 24-25]


Sand2008-12-27 18:01:00
A site which details much more neutrally the relationship pf the Catholic Church to the Nazi regime can be found at http://www.nobeliefs.com/ChurchesWWII.htm


Sand2008-12-27 18:11:43
The site continues:

When Christianity became officially accepted for the state in the 4th century, the Christians began to act against the Jews. Constantine imposed heavy penalties on anyone who visited a pagan temple or converted to Judaism. Mixed marriages between Jews and Christians were punished by death. In the Codex Theodosianus of Theodosis II (408-450), it forbade Jews to hold any public office. It first came from Justinian who legalized the burning and pillaging of Jewish synagogues by Christian bishops and monks (often canonized later). Thomas Aquinas, in the treatise De regimine Judaeorum ad Ducissam Brabantae, made it acceptable for popes and kings to dispose of property belonging to the Jews.
Compelling Jews to wear yellow badges came from an invention of the Catholic Church. The Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 set up the Inquisition along with enforcement of Jews wearing a yellow spot on their clothes and a horned cap (pileum cornutum) to mark them as the murderers of Christ and to remind them of their descent from the devil. During the Black Death plague which ravaged Europe in the 14th century, the Catholic clergy aimed its blame at the Jews claiming they worked for the Devil and had poisoned the wells and springs. Their extermination compares with the pogroms that took place in the 20th century under Hitler. During the Spanish Inquisition, the Catholic Church directed its actions against the baptized Jews, the marranos. They forbade them to hold any office in the Church or the state; many suffered torture or death.
Popes have traditionally supported anti-Jewish acts and beliefs. Pope Paul IV in the sixteenth century established the Roman ghetto (another Catholic invention). For more than two centuries afterward, Catholics humiliated the Roman Jews and degraded them at the annual carnival. In the same century, Pope Gregory XIII instituted enforced Christian sermons insulting Judaism. [Cornwell, p. 299]. In a Papal custom Popes performed an anti-Jewish ceremony on their way to the basilica of St. John Lateran. Here the Pontiff would receive a copy of the Pentateuch from the hand of Rome's rabbi. The Pope then returned the text upside down with twenty pieces of gold, proclaiming that, while he respected the Law of Moses, he disapproved of the hard hearts of the Jewish race. [Cornwell, p. 27]


Sand2008-12-27 18:15:10
The site continues:

Forcing Jews, and heretics into the Catholic faith, of course has always served as a hallmark of Catholicism. When they could not legally use strong-arm tactics they used propaganda. Although most people associate the term with Hitler, propaganda actually came as an invention by the Catholics long before the Nazis, from the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, an organization established by Pope Gregory XV in 1622.
In the 1930s, as the Catholic leaders listened to Hitler's rhetoric against the Jews during his appeal for power, his speeches condemning Jews only correlated with the Church's own long history of Jewish hatred. Indeed, in Hitler's meeting with Bishop Berning and Monsignor Steinmann on April 26, 1933, Hilter reminded his Catholic guests that the Church, for 1,500 years had regarded the Jews as parasites, had banished them into ghettos, and had forbidden Christians to work for them. Hitler said he merely intended to do more effectively what the Church had attempted to accomplish for so long. [Lewy]
It should come to no surprise that at no time before or during Hitler's rise did the Catholic Church speak up against such talk. Sadly the Church remained mostly silent, with its main objections concerned with its own power structure in Germany. Thus it aimed to prevent loss of control and, indeed, to gain Church control through an expansion of papal power, control of appointment of bishops, and the control of Catholic schools. This self-serving interest gave the Vatican an impetus to form an agreement with Germany. In this sense, Hitler actually saved Catholicism in Germany, especially considering that Bismark before him had begun a Kulturkampf ("culture struggle"), a policy of persecution against Catholicism. [Cornwell, p.14]


Sand2008-12-27 18:18:45
The site continues:
The Reich Concordat between Hitler and the Vatican:
In 1917, Eugenio Pacelli, later to become Pope Pius XII, resided in a nunciature in Munich, directly opposite to what was later to become the Brown House, the cradle of Nazism. There he showed his first inkling of his unsympathetic feelings toward the Jews when he refused to come to the assistance of Jews and calling them a "Jewish cult." [Cornwell, p.70]. In a typewritten letter, he described "a gang of young women, of dubious appearance, Jews as like all the rest of them, hanging around in the offices with lecherous demeanor and suggestive smiles." [Cornwell, p.75] In the 1920s Pacelli presented his credentials to the Weimer government where he stated, "For my part, I will devote my entire strength to cultivating and strengthening the relations between the Holy See and Germany." Pacelli's stay in Germany with his familiarity with their political, religious, and racist views must have influenced his later work to unify Catholicism with Germany.
In Italy, the Holy See signed a pact (drafted by Pacelli's brother and Pietro Gasparri) with Mussolini in February 1929, known as the Lateran Treaty. Hitler had taken note of the Lateran Treaty and hoped for an identical agreement for his future regime. [Cornwell, pp.114-115] The Vatican encouraged priests to support the Fascists and the Pope spoke of Mussolini as "a man sent by Providence." The Church has a history of pacts with criminal states as the Holy See signed treaties with monarchs and governments regardless of slavery, inhumanity, or torture they may have induced upon fellow human beings. Even Mussolini's attack on Ethiopia on October 3, 1935 was not condemned by the Holy See. Nor did Pius XI restrain the Italian hierarchy from war enthusiasm. "O Duce!, declared the bishop of Terracina, "today Italy is Fascist and the hearts of all Italians beat together with yours." [Cornwell, p.175]
In the 1930s, Pacelli and his associates negotiated with the Nazis to form a contract which got signed in 1933 as the Reich Concordat with the approval of the Pope. Note that the Catholic hierarchy believes in the infallibility of Popes in matters of faith and morals (ever since the First Vatican Council of 1870). This Concordat with its Papal infallible authority had arguably neutralized the potential of 23 million Catholics to protest and resist and which helped Hitler into legal dictatorship. [Cornwell, p. 4] After the agreement, Hitler, mimicking Pacelli fourteen years earlier stated, "I will devote my entire strength to cultivating and strengthening the relations between the Holy See and Germany." [Cornwell, p. 136] (Hitler, spent more time and effort on the concordat with Pacelli than on any other treaty in the entire era of the Third Reich [Cornwell, p. 150]). This Concordat gave Germany an opportunity to create an area of trust with the Church and gave significance to the developing struggle against international Jewry. According to John Cornwell, this papal endorsement of Nazism helped seal the fate of Europe which makes it plausible that these Catholic prejudices bolstered aspects of Nazi anti-Semitism. [Cornwell, p. 28]


Sand2008-12-27 18:21:31
The site continues:
The Concordat and the following Jewish persecutions resulted in the silence of the Pope and the bishops. Cardinal Faulhaber of Munich, referring to the Nazi attacks on the Jews, wrote to Pacelli, confirming that protest proved pointless since it could only extend the struggle to Catholics. He told Pacelli, "Jews can help themselves." [Cornwell, p. 140] Most bishops and Cardinals were Nazi sympathizers as were bishop Wilhelm Berning of Osnabruck and Archbishop Grober of Freiburg (Pacelli's choice for emissaries).
On April 25, thousands of Catholic priests across Germany became part of an anti-Semitic attestation bureaucracy, supplying details of blood purity through marriage and baptism registries in accordance with the Nazi Nuremberg laws which distinguished Jews from non-Jews. Catholic clerical compliance in the process would continue throughout the period of the Nazi regime. [Cornwell, pp.154] Any claimed saving of all-too-few Jewish lives by a few brave Catholics must stand against the millions who died in the death camps as an indirect result of the official workings of the Catholic body.
After Kristallnacht (where Nazis broke Jewish store windows and had synagogues burned) there issued not a single word of condemnation from the Vatican, the German Church hierarchy, or from Pacelli. Yet in an encyclical on anti-Semitism, titled Humani generis unitas (The Unity of the Human Race) by Pope Pius XI, a section claims that the Jews were responsible for their own fate. God had chosen them to make way for Christ's redemption but they denied him and killed him. And now, "Blinded by their dream of worldly gain and material success," they had deserved the "worldly and spiritual ruin" that they had brought down upon themselves. [Cornwell, p. 191] Cardinal Theodor Innitzer, archbishop of Vienna warmly received Hitler in Vienna after his triumphal march through the capital where he expressed public satisfaction with Hitler's regime. [Cornwell, p. 201] Meanwhile, Cardinal Bertram sent Hitler an effusive telegram, published on October 2 in the Nazi newspaper Volkischer Beobachter, "The great deed of safeguarding peace among the nations moves the German episcopate acting in the name of the Catholics of all the German dioceses, respectfully to extend congratulations and thanks and to order a festive ringing of bells on Sunday." [Cornwell, p. 202]


Sand2008-12-27 18:24:11
The site continues:
After the death of Pius XI, the electoral procedure to elect another pope had begun. The March 1939 election favored Pacelli and four days later, Pacelli made it clear that he would handle all German affairs personally. He proposed the following affirmation of Hitler:
To the Illustrious Herr Adolf Hitler, Fuhrer and Chancellor of the German Reich! Here at the beginning of Our Pontificate We wish to assure you that We remain devoted to the spiritual welfare of the German people entrusted to your leadership.... During the many years we spent in Germany, We did all in Our power to establish harmonious relations between Church and State. Now that the responsibilities of Our pastoral function have increased Our opportunities, how much more ardently do We pray to reach that goal. May the prosperity of the German people and their progress in every domain come, with God's help, to fruition!
Pacelli became a crowned Pope on March 12, 1939 (Pius XII). The following month on April 20, 1939, at Pacelli's express wish, Archbishop Orsenigo, the nuncio in Berlin, opened a gala reception for Hitler's fiftieth birthday. The birthday greetings thus initiated by Pacelli immediately became a tradition; each April 20 during the few years left to Hitler and his Reich, Cardinal Bertram of Berlin would send "warmest congratulations to the Fuhrer in the name of the bishops and the dioceses in Germany," to which he added "fervent prayers which the Catholics in Germany are sending to heaven on their altars." [Cornwell, p. 209] By this time Pacelli could call on the loyalty and devotion of a half-billion people, of which half the populations of Hitler's new Reich had become Catholics, including a quarter of the SS. At this time bishops, clergy, religious, and faithful had bound themselves to the Pope, and by his own self estimation, served as the supreme arbiter of moral values on earth. [Cornwell, p. 215]


Sand2008-12-27 18:26:43
The site continues:

Throughout the war, not only did Catholic priests pay homage to Hitler and contribute to the anti-Semitic feelings, several priests also protected Nazis from criminal charges. For example, Nazi sympathizers such as Bishop Alois Hudal helped Nazi criminals escape to South America by assisting them with false papers and hiding places in Rome. Father Dragonovic worked with the U.S. Army's Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) to organize the escape of the Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie to South America. Barbie had also lived under Dragonovic's protection in San Girolamo for about a year.
Catholic Croatia's Atrocities:
In 1941 Croat Fascists declared an independent Croatia. Italy and Hungary (also a fascist state) joined forces with Hitler for a share of Yugoslavia. Hitler had issued his plan for a partitioned Yugoslavia, granting "Aryan" status to an independent Croatia under the Catholic Ante Pavelic. This resulted in a campaign of terror and extermination conducted by the Ustashe of Croatia against two million Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, and Communists between 1941 and 1945 (Note that the Croats were Roman Catholics, the Serbs were Orthodox Christians). According to Cornwell, "Pavelic's onslaught against the Orthodox Serbs remains one of the most appalling civilian massacres known to history."
From the outset, Pope Pius XII and the Vatican knew of the racist and anti-Semitic statements made by the Croats even as the Pope met with Pavelic and bestowed his papal blessing. Not only did the Croatian Catholic clergy know the details of the massacre of the Serbs and the virtual elimination of the Jews and Gypsies but many of the priests took a leading role! Monks and priests worked as executioners in hastily set up concentration camps where they massacred Serbs. These killings had gotten so brutal that even the Nazis protested against them. By the most reliable reckoning, the Catholic fascists massacred 487,000 Orthodox Serbs and 27,000 Gypsies between 1941 and 1945 in the independent State of Croatia. In addition, approximately 30,000 of the 45,000 Jews died in the slaughter.


Sand2008-12-27 18:29:43
The site continues:
At no time did the Vatican make an attempt to halt the forced conversions, appropriation of Orthodox property, or the mass killings. Croat priests had not only sympathized with the fascist massacres but took part in them. According to Cornwell, "Priests, invariably Franciscans, took a leading part in the massacres. Many went around routinely armed and performed their murderous acts with zeal. A father Bozidar Bralow, known for the machine gun that was his constant companion, was accused of performing a dance around the bodies of 180 massacred Serbs at Alipasin-Most." Individual Franciscans killed, set fire to homes, sacked villages, and laid waste the Bosnian countryside at the head of Ustashe bands. In September of 1941, an Italian reporter wrote of a Franciscan he had witnessed south of Banja Luka urging on a band of Ustashe with his crucifix." In the Foreign Ministry archive in Rome there sits a photographic record of atrocities: of women with breasts cut off, gouged eyes, genitals mutilated; and the instruments of butchery: knives, axes, meat hooks. [Cornwell, pp. 253-254] Not only priests, but nuns also sympathized to the movement. Nuns marched in military parades behind soldiers with their arms raised in the fascist salute.
From the very beginning the Catholic clergy worked in collaboration with the Ustashe. Archbishop Stepinac got appointed spiritual leader of the Ustashe by the Vatican in 1942. Stepinac, with ten of his clergy held a place in the Ustashe parliament. Priests served as police chiefs and officers of in the personal bodyguards of Pavelic. There occurred frequent BBC broadcasts on Croatia of which a February 16, 1942 typical report stated: "The worst atrocities are being committed in the environs of the archbishop of Zagreb [Stepinac]. The blood of brother is flowing in streams. The Orthodox are being forcibly converted to Catholicism and we do not hear the archbishop's voice preaching revolt. Instead it is reported that he is taking part in Nazi and Fascist parades." [Cornwell, p.256] The French cardinal Eugene Tisserant, a Slavonic expert, told a Croat representative on March 6, 1942, "that it is the Franciscans themselves, as for example Father Simic of Knin, who have taken part in attacks against the Orthodox populations so as to destroy the Orthodox Church in banja Luka...." [Cornwell, p. 259]


Sand2008-12-27 18:32:20
The site continues:
Even though petitions against the Catholics and their massacres got sent to Pius XII, not once did Pacelli, the "infallible" Pope, ever show anything but benevolence toward the leaders of the Pavelic regime. His silence on the matter matched his silence about his knowledge of Auschwitz.
To this day, there occurs ethnic cleansing, outbreaks of war and intense bitter feelings between Croats and Serbs. The religious organizations in the area must bear the major responsibility for these intolerances, atrocities and wars.

Yes there occurred some brave protests by priests and nuns against Nazism and their Jewish attacks but they came few and far between. For example, Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (a Jewish convert also known as Edith Stein) wrote a letter to Pius XI begging him to "deplore the hatred, persecution, and displays of anti-Semitism directed against the Jews, at any time and from any source." Her letter drew no response. Faulhaber defended converted Jews, but not all Jews. Catholics point to the canonized friar, Maximilian Kolbe, who voluntarily took the place of another person in a concentration camp, but conceal the point that he took the place of a gentile, not a Jew; nor do we hear that he had served as editor of an antisemitic Catholic journal. We also have bishops such as Jozsef Midszenty of Hungary who openly condemned the Nazis after they invaded his country.
We should, of course, always applaud individuals against oppression, but the few protests cannot, by any standard, serve to absolve Christianity, much less honor it.
The deploring fact remains: the major body of the Catholic Church in Germany, that being popes, priests, nuns, and Catholic lay-people supported Hitler and anti-Semitism. Catholicism had links to government organizations, right-wing nationalism, including Fascism and Nazism. Moreover, most every right-wing dictator of the period had been brought up a Catholic: Hitler, Horthy, Franco, Petain, Mussoline, Pavelic, and Tiso (who has served as a Catholic priest). Catholic bishops and cardinals throughout the war expressed anti-Semitic views even as the actions against the visibly persecuted Jews increased. In 1936, for example, Cardial Hlond, primate of Poland, opined: "There will be the Jewish problem as long as the Jews remain." Cardinal Maglione, even though he recognized the hellishness of Hitler, justified himself with the private view that "Hitler and all his diabolic works may be the process of the casting out of the devil in the subconscious of the German race." [Cornwell, p. 282] Slovak bishops issued a pastoral letter that repeated the traditional accusations that the "Jews were deicides," and evidence exists that anti-Judaism occurred in the heart of the Vatican. [Cornwell, p. 280] Pope Pius XII, his campaign of silence and subterfuge, his fanatical urge to complete a Concordat and to assist Hitler into legal dictatorship, shows his complicity with the Nazi Government. And at no time did the bishop of Rome make a single liturgical act for the deported Jews of Rome. Even after the lost war for Germany and upon hearing of the death of Adolf Hitler, Adolf Bertram, the cardinal archbishop of Berlin ordered all the parish priests of his archdiocese "to hold a solemn Requiem in memory of the Fuhrer and all those embers of the Wehrmacht who have fallen in the struggle for our German Fatherland, along with the sincerest prayers for Volk and Fatherland and for the future of the Catholic Church in Germany." [Cornwell, p. 317]


Sand2008-12-27 18:35:48
The site continues:
Even though petitions against the Catholics and their massacres got sent to Pius XII, not once did Pacelli, the "infallible" Pope, ever show anything but benevolence toward the leaders of the Pavelic regime. His silence on the matter matched his silence about his knowledge of Auschwitz.
To this day, there occurs ethnic cleansing, outbreaks of war and intense bitter feelings between Croats and Serbs. The religious organizations in the area must bear the major responsibility for these intolerances, atrocities and wars.

Yes there occurred some brave protests by priests and nuns against Nazism and their Jewish attacks but they came few and far between. For example, Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (a Jewish convert also known as Edith Stein) wrote a letter to Pius XI begging him to "deplore the hatred, persecution, and displays of anti-Semitism directed against the Jews, at any time and from any source." Her letter drew no response. Faulhaber defended converted Jews, but not all Jews. Catholics point to the canonized friar, Maximilian Kolbe, who voluntarily took the place of another person in a concentration camp, but conceal the point that he took the place of a gentile, not a Jew; nor do we hear that he had served as editor of an antisemitic Catholic journal. We also have bishops such as Jozsef Midszenty of Hungary who openly condemned the Nazis after they invaded his country.
We should, of course, always applaud individuals against oppression, but the few protests cannot, by any standard, serve to absolve Christianity, much less honor it.
The deploring fact remains: the major body of the Catholic Church in Germany, that being popes, priests, nuns, and Catholic lay-people supported Hitler and anti-Semitism. Catholicism had links to government organizations, right-wing nationalism, including Fascism and Nazism. Moreover, most every right-wing dictator of the period had been brought up a Catholic: Hitler, Horthy, Franco, Petain, Mussoline, Pavelic, and Tiso (who has served as a Catholic priest). Catholic bishops and cardinals throughout the war expressed anti-Semitic views even as the actions against the visibly persecuted Jews increased. In 1936, for example, Cardial Hlond, primate of Poland, opined: "There will be the Jewish problem as long as the Jews remain." Cardinal Maglione, even though he recognized the hellishness of Hitler, justified himself with the private view that "Hitler and all his diabolic works may be the process of the casting out of the devil in the subconscious of the German race." [Cornwell, p. 282] Slovak bishops issued a pastoral letter that repeated the traditional accusations that the "Jews were deicides," and evidence exists that anti-Judaism occurred in the heart of the Vatican. [Cornwell, p. 280] Pope Pius XII, his campaign of silence and subterfuge, his fanatical urge to complete a Concordat and to assist Hitler into legal dictatorship, shows his complicity with the Nazi Government. And at no time did the bishop of Rome make a single liturgical act for the deported Jews of Rome. Even after the lost war for Germany and upon hearing of the death of Adolf Hitler, Adolf Bertram, the cardinal archbishop of Berlin ordered all the parish priests of his archdiocese "to hold a solemn Requiem in memory of the Fuhrer and all those embers of the Wehrmacht who have fallen in the struggle for our German Fatherland, along with the sincerest prayers for Volk and Fatherland and for the future of the Catholic Church in Germany." [Cornwell, p. 317]


Sand2008-12-27 18:39:04
Sorry for the repeat. A computer glitch.

The site continues:
The followers of the Catholic Church, the common German Catholic citizens also had ingrained into them a loyalty to the Church and to Germany. Most of them held anti-Semitic views. Many of the police battalions that formed execution squads came from religious men. According to Goldhagen, "some of the men who went to church, prayed to God, contemplated the eternal questions and recited prayers which reminded them of their obligations to other humans; the Catholics among them took communion and went to confession. And when they went at night to their wives and girlfriends, how many of the killers discussed their genocidal activities?" [Goldhagen, pp.267-268].


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 18:42:26
The site, with a wholly different version of the events continues:

Personal Life
"What were the sources of the bishop's courage and vision during these difficult years? We get some idea of this aspect of von Galen's life by a consideration of his personal piety. He had a deeply supernatural view of life, an attitude impressed on his mind from early childhood. The great truths of God's intervention in human history were constantly before his mind, reinforced by daily reading of the Scriptures. On the other hand, he had a simple piety which expressed itself in love for the Blessed Eucharist, in devotion to the Rosary, to relics and pilgrimages. He was very conscious of the effects of original sin, and consequently he not only went to confession frequently as an antidote, but lived a deep spirit of self-denial with regard to food and creature comforts. He did the Stations of the Cross every Friday afternoon. He renewed the consecration of his diocese to the Sacred Heart, a devotion which grew and matured deeply in his soul, especially during the difficult war years.
The priests of his diocese appreciated the way their chief pastor preached against the new heathenism, and how he supported them in their personal trials. The Nazi campaign against his priests was unrelenting.(continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 18:46:50
Von Galen was well aware that in saying what he said, he was not just going to be pilloried in the press; he knew he was playing with his life. It is difficult for us today to appreciate the extent of the Nazi tyranny. His fearlessness in speaking out as he did is a measure of the greatness of the man.
He said that because he was bound by his oath as bishop to uphold the moral order, he had to speak out publicly against the acts of the Gestapo. He finished off with an uncompromising warning:
'We demand Justice! If this plea is unheard and unheeded, if the rule of true justice is not brought back, our German nation will, notwithstanding the bravery of our soldiers and their splendid victories, collapse from internal corruption and uncleanness'.
Von Galen's secretary, who was present at St Lambert's for the sermon, recalls the scene. The bishop prayed for several minutes before he mounted the steps of the pulpit. There was a quiver in the first few sentences; after that he spoke with a great strength and serenity. The tall pastoral figure left an impression of great dignity with his commanding presence. His voice had the sound of thunder as the challenging words fell on the expectant congregation, some trembling, some gazing at him with tears in their eyes. Protest, indignation, fiery enthusiasm followed each other in successive waves. The calm, the self-assurance, and latent power which characterized his delivery that morning in St Lambert's, and which was undoubtedly a gift of God in those unnerving circumstances - all this accompanied him during the rest of his struggle against the Nazi regime. (continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 18:49:59
Piety and Spiritual Life:
Von Galen did not suddenly develop the virtues of courage and daring to an heroic degree in the summer of 1941. Only a few months after his appointment in 1933, he was already being praised as a fearless fighter against National Socialism. His episcopal motto Nec laudibus nec timore (not to be influenced either by the praise or fear of men) was a very appropriate one. He possessed strong, natural leadership qualities from his youth, and this, together with a capacity for fearlessness in any situation, gave that dimension of power and energy to his personality which grew with experience of the episcopal office. He had a positive sense of superiority in relation to his opponents which was based on the conviction of doing God's will. It was not a haughty superiority which is often associated with people of his aristocratic background; it was rather a dignity that sprang from strength of character fortified by the grace of God.
There was a combative side to the bishop's make-up, a certain harshness and rigidity of character, but it was tempered by an unusual depth of tenderness. The pain and misfortune of others often brought tears to his eyes. He could be deeply moved by witnessing the religious devotion of others, or by expressions of appreciation and gratitude; at times he could cry like a child.
Not only had he great prestige abroad and among Catholics in Germany; among the German bishops themselves he was regarded as the most important Church leader of their country.


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 18:51:15
Destruction of the Cathedral:
In October 1943 his cathedral was destroyed by Allied bombing. After a relatively quiet period of a year the bombardment of the city began again in September 1944. Because of the damage to Münster the bishop and the diocesan administration had to move out to Sendenhorst, a small town about 20km to the south east of the city. As the weeks wore on and the Allies advanced, the bombardment of the towns became more and more intense. Von Galen was saddened by the constant flow of bad news, of destruction and death.
On Easter Sunday, 31 March 1945, American tanks rolled into Sendenhorst. On 12 April von Galen went to Münster for the first time since it had been occupied by the Americans. His purpose was to make a public protest against the excesses of the Russian and Polish workers. These were the thousands from the forced labour camps who had been released by the Allies after the retreat by the Germans. They had been very badly treated and now, unrestricted by the military, were taking their revenge on their former persecutors, by plundering, torturing and murdering the inhabitants.
He had a mountain of correspondence to deal with from all parts of Germany. There were queues waiting for him at all hours of the day, with all the anxieties of a people devastated by the war and its terrible consequences. Reporters came from all parts of the world trying to get interviews with the bishop who had defied the Nazi regime, and who had lived to tell the tale. (continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 18:54:16
Home to Die
After visiting a number of German prisoner of war camps in Italy, he returned to Germany, and on the afternoon of Saturday 16th March, his 68th birthday, he arrived home in triumph to his episcopal city. Fifty thousand people had congregated around the great mountain of rubble which had once been his cathedral. He responded to all the addresses of welcome and congratulation with a simple dignity. Neither he nor the vast crowd who listened with pride and joy to his words realized that this was to be the great bishop's valedictory address. His fight, he told them, had been made possible by the unshakeable faith of the people of Münster; it was the steadfast spirit of his indomitable diocese that was the cause of his being alive that day. When he returned to his rooms after the fireworks display he didn't feel well.
The following day, Sunday 17th, he said a pontifical high Mass. His last words to the faithful of Münster were an exhortation to papal loyalty, especially to the reigning pope, Pius XII. The choir sang the Te Deum in celebration.
Unfortunately he wouldn't allow a doctor to be called until the Tuesday morning. The diagnosis was serious and the operation revealed a perforation of the appendix and intestinal paralysis. Only a miracle could save him. He died on Friday 22 March.


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 18:54:41
He lay in state for four days in the Church of St Maurice during which an unending procession filed past the catafalque. It is not difficult to imagine the sense of loss which these people felt; the only man who could stand up for their rights was now dead.
On March 28 the solemn burial took place. The same crowd which just a short week before had shouted their joy at the return of their cardinal in triumph from Rome, now stood silent and stunned in the ruined streets of Münster, as the huge coffin, drawn by four horses, passed on its way. The cardinal's last resting place was the von Galen chapel amid the ruins of his cathedral, where the remains of a former prince bishop, Christoph Bernard von Galen, had been interred in the seventeenth century. As his coffin was lowered into the ground, a mighty volume of sound rose up from the vast crowd as they sang the great Easter hymn, Wahrer Gott wir glauben Dir. It resounded through the ruins of the cathedral, as an expression of the unconquerable hope of the Catholics of Münster.
On 19 October 1956 Mgr. Keller, his successor in the see of Münster, ordered the opening of the diocesan process for the beatification of Clement August Cardinal von Galen.


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 18:58:28
This excerpt belongs in the middle of the excerpt:

Cardinal:
"The Sunday before Christmas it was announced on radio that Pius XII was going to create thirty new cardinals, among them von Galen. He would be the first bishop of Münster ever to wear the purple. The announcement was greeted with enthusiasm all over Germany. [13]
That he had earned it was the unanimous verdict of the Catholic world. After his famous 1941 sermons, letters arrived by the hundred at the episcopal palace to thank the bishop of Münster for his courageous stand. Now five years later, letters of congratulation poured in by the thousand, rejoicing in the honour conferred on von Galen. They were from people in every stratum of society and every walk of life - academics, soldiers, non-Catholics, non-believers, government representatives, etc. (continued below)




Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 18:59:24
Rome
On Wednesday 20 February the new cardinals went to the Sistine Chapel for the conferring of the biretta and the cappa magna. There was an unforgettable moment during this ceremony when the British and American cardinals went up to their German counterparts to congratulate them. Cardinal Spellman, aware that the German mark was worthless in Rome, paid for the expenses of the impoverished German cardinals in the Eternal City and, with typical magnanimity, arranged for an American air force plane to take them back to Frankfurt.
On the Thursday morning the cardinals received the red hat from Pius XII in St Peter's in the public consistory. The new cardinals processed from the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, where they had taken the oath always to defend the rights of Holy Church, to the main altar, where the Holy Father was already enthroned. Each national group in the huge congregation greeted their cardinal with applause. When the towering figure of von Galen slowly mounted the steps to the papal throne there was a veritable explosion of applause from the whole congregation; un applauso trionfale, the newspapers described it. The Holy Father imposed the red hat, and, as he leaned forward to embrace von Galen, whispered, 'God bless you, God bless Germany'. When he turned to face the vast crowd he was greeted with a storm of applause, led by the other cardinals, which lasted several minutes. The crowd in St Peter's that morning were conscious they were witnessing a unique event, the recognition of moral courage on a par with that of the Roman martyrs of the nascent Church.


Emanuel Paparella2008-12-27 19:25:22
FINAL COMMENT:

So, now we have on the table two versions of the issue of the alleged Church cooperation and conspiracy with the Nazis. Obviously they cannot both be true. The reader can make up his/her own mind as to which is the biased one. The fanatics on both sides of the spectrum (those who believe that the truth is whatever they say it is: the religious and the anti-religion bigots) will insist on their version, no doubt. Those who have not made truth conveniently relative to people and circumstances and have an open mind, can judge where the truth lies. The truth indeed is often ambiguous and not a Manichean black and white absolute certitude typical of those obsessed with an ideology, but it ought to be not that difficult to distinguish those who are searching for it from those who have a personal bias and agenda and an ax to grind; those who do "light unto themselves" as Dante put it. The self-appointed guardian of political correctness in this forum has been at it from the beginning of his misguided and fallacious contributions and did so with impunity for a while, and was upset that somebody would come along and wish to put on the table the whole record and not his cherry picked facts; he even went to contribute to another site in protest for a while continuing there his casting of aspersion and slander. Then he returned, unrepentant and boorish as ever with personal insults and argumenti ad hominem, which is his stock in trade. The unbiased reader can now better judge for him/herself.


Sand2008-12-27 20:09:01
What would you bet that's not the final comment?


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