CNA Newsroom, Jul 20, 2023 / 09:20 am
On Thursday, July 20, the Catholic Church marks the 90th anniversary of a deal made in Rome on a hot summer day in 1933 between Hitler’s Germany and the Holy See: the Reichskonkordat. It’s a treaty that is both historically significant and relevant today because it has never been abrogated.
Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, the apostolic nuncio to Germany, addressed the Reichskonkordat anniversary in a speech delivered in Berlin last month, reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner.
The nuncio strongly defended the treaty while acknowledging its complex history: “The Holy See looks back on the existence of this concordat with satisfaction today, even though its origin fell into the early era of the Nazification (Gleichschaltung) of cultural, social, and political life in Germany.”
The Reichskonkordat — like all concordats — governs relations between the Catholic Church and other states, in this case, Germany. Its 34 articles confirm the recognition of the Catholic religion, the freedom of ecclesiastical administration, the protection of religious orders and congregations, the regulation of sacramental marriage, and the guarantee of Catholic religious practice and education.