Inside the Church during WWII

July 25, 2011

The Role of Pope Pius XII

By Harry Schnitker, Ph.D.

To many, the role of Pope Pius XII during the Second World War, and in particular his action or lack of action on behalf of the Jewish people, are the sum-total of the history of the Catholic Church during the war. This is, of course, nonsense. Whilst it is true that the Church is led by the Pope, it is not true that the Pope is the Church. This has been recognized by Popes ever since Innocent III adopted the title, ‘Servant of the Servants of Christ’, as one of the official titles of...

(Read more)

July 18, 2011

The Church and the Spanish Civil War

By Harry Schnitker, Ph.D.

In many respects, the war that ripped apart Spain between 1936 and 1939 was the testing ground for the fate awaiting the Church across Europe during the Second World War. Here were all the ingredients that marked the Church’s experience between 1939 and 1945. Spain had long been torn between liberals and conservatives, and one of the hallmarks of a liberal ‘progressive’ viewpoint was a pronounced anti-clericalism. Almost invariably, this meant that the Church in Spain, as...

(Read more)

July 11, 2011

The threat from Communism

By Harry Schnitker, Ph.D.

“He thought that once the economy had been put right, everything would automatically be put right. His real error is materialism: man, in fact, is not merely the product of economic conditions.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Turning Point for Europe, 1994) With his customary restraint, this is how the then Cardinal Ratzinger evaluated Marx and his legacy, some years after the utopia which he had brought into being had collapsed around its own flaws. If Pope Benedict XV had been...

(Read more)

July 04, 2011

Prelude: Inside the Church during WWII

By Harry Schnitker, Ph.D.

With an industrialized violence that claimed untold lives in indescribable fashion, the old world came to an end. It did so in four long years, years that saw the gradual and increased erosion of all that mankind had held sacred on the European Continent for many centuries. Warfare had been brutal before, but not since the Thirty Years’ War had there been such an all-encompassing disaster, and not since Napoleon had the map of Europe been so decisively redrawn.The Great War of 1914-1918...

(Read more)

June 27, 2011

The Catholic Church in the Second World War

By Harry Schnitker, Ph.D.

I would like to begin this new series with a look back to last year, and to the event that, for Catholics, will be one of the abiding memories of 2010: the state visit of the Holy Father to the United Kingdom. In his first address of the visit, in Edinburgh, Pope Benedict XVI broached a subject that has very personal meaning to him. Referring to the Nazis, he said, "I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the Truth in love, opposed the Nazis and...

(Read more)

« Previous page      Back to index    

Recent activity:

Follow us:

Check out Catholic News Agency Polls on LockerDome on LockerDome