The German Catholic Church has now finally admitted something with regards to their behaviour during the Nazi Era and WW2. Although it would have been better if they had just been open and honest as the file on the Pope at the time is yet to be read….what an eye opener that will be.
I am not saying that every priest helped the Nazis, indeed there are some priests who took in Jewish children and baptized them to hide them from the gestapo, hid families and some who were murdered whilst trying to do the work of god and protect the weak.
The church states it did not share the Fuhrer’s racial ideology but did help the soldiers, officers and no doubt the Government as they went about their everyday task of murdering…..and if that is not sharing the same ideals then I don’t know what is.
There is proof again and again of catholic priests in German uniform accompanying the Wehrmacht on the front and no doubt watching the atrocities and one has to ask why did they not stop it? Why did they not follow the teachings of Christ?
A 23 page report does not go into detail of how Hitler rose to the position of Chancellor but does look at the role of the Bishops, priests and nuns many of whom acted as nurses. They openly followed the work of the nazis and Pope Pious XII was often accused and still is of doing nothing. There are those who say his quiet diplomacy was the way….it was that quiet that nobody heard a sound.
We are now looking at the roles of not only the Nazis in wartime but also such areas as the church and the lack of help it gave. As I say do not include them all as their is one man who has a film dedicated to him and that is Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty in the Scarlet and the Black. He was a big Irishman who put his life on the line throughout the war to rescue not only Jewish people but people of all faiths and allied servicemen. He even when the war was over spirited the family of the Commandant out….Colonel Herbert Kappler who had murdered not only the innocent but also innocent friends of the Monsignor. Yet he did not turn his back on the family and after the war Kappler had one visitor month in and month out….a true man of god. Kappler was received into the catholic church by Monsignor O’Flaherty. If you ever have the chance to see the film…watch it as it is one of those feel good types.
However, it is a rare film on what happened in the catholic church and whilst we are some 75 years since VE Day, and some say the world needs to move on…..I disagree. When an institution that has billions in the bank, a billion souls on its books and such a heavy influence then they need to be honest about the wrongs they have done, as well as trumping the rights as they are not backwards in coming forwards on that.
I was christened a catholic but it is an alien entity to me and I would not know mass but rather as a child I enjoyed the very small working mens mission methodist church and then I married a jewish man who they accepted happily. The catholic church informed my sister in law when she took it upon herself to ask them to christen my children (which would never happen) that in the eyes of God we are not married and the children are illegitimate….but to be honest I didn’t give two hoots what an unmarried childless man thought.
The church is too stuck in its own sense of righteousness and they are centuries behind the times and they need to stop pontificating the doctrines to those who easily follow it, and to open up more quickly the files held on all those who helped the nazis….after all the rats line escape for nazi war criminals was aided by Cardinal Alois Hudal and no doubt many more within vatican city.
When the church is honest with its followers and itself then we will see a church that is at peace with its past…that includes the molestations and all the other wrongs it has done, but until it does I think it is a cruel place that crushes people and souls.