3. Encyclical "Non abbiamo bisogno" of Pope Pius XI against Fascist Totalitarianism in Italy,
June 29, 1931
Original Italian text in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, year 1931, p. 285
The reconciliation between the Papacy and the Italian State, as embodied in the Lateran Treaty and Concordat (see Doc. No. 1 of this chapter), strengthened the Fascist movement at the close of its first governmental phase, which had been characterized by a limited toleration of certain other political elements in Italy. When a plebiscite, held on March 24, 1929, in an atmosphere strongly influenced by the reconciliation with the Vatican, sanctioned by an overwhelming majority the establishment of the "corporative" system in the economic and parliamentary structure of the country, the Fascists monopolized all political life aiming rapidly at the realization of their conception of the totalitarian State. But simultaneously the Concordat had to undergo a stormy test.
In the Concordat the Holy See had secured five important advantages for the Church in Italy as compared with the preceding state of affairs: (1.) The jurisdiction of the Church as a legal person, headed by the Papacy, was recognized both in principle and in various aspects deriving therefrom (Arts. 1, 3, 5, 14, 19, 21, 29, 31, 39 and others of the Concordat, and also Art. 23 of the Treaty the Lateran). (2.) All previous Italian legislation abolishing the religious Orders and forbidding the religious bodies to posses immovable property was rescinded by Arts. 29, 30, 31. (3.) Canon Law and ecclesiastical jurisdiction obtained full scope of authority in matrimonial matters (Art. 34). (4.) With their recognition of Christian doctrine as the basis of education, the Italian Government engaged to introduce compulsory teaching of religion in elementary and secondary schools, while the diplomas of the schools and Universities run by the Church were recognized by the State (Arts. 36, 35, 40). (5.) The organizations of the Italian "Catholic Action" were admitted to carry out non-political activities (Art. 43).
As far appointments to benefices are concerned, the Concordat explicitly acknowledges in Art. 19 the general principle (laid down in Can. 329 of the Codex Iuris Canonici of 1917) that the Pope nominates archbishops and bishops. Prior to each nomination, however, the Government must pronounce its nihil obstat, i.e. state that there are no objections against the candidate from the political point of view. The same applies to lower benefices of which the Ordinaries dispose (Art. 21), but a general exception is made for Rome and the suburban dioceses by Art. 23; there the Pontiff and the bishops are entitled to provide for all benefices quite freely. Simultaneously the Holy See forbade all Italian clergy to take any part in politics (Art. 43). There has never been in Italy a complete separation of Church and State in the material sphere of the clergy's position and this is maintained in the Concordat; consequently the State pledges itself in Art. 30 to subsidize the holders of poor benefices by means of governmental salaries.
Whereas the Lateran Treaty and most of the Concordat's clauses were to work smoothly between the two contracting parties, a violent contest flamed up very soon about one Article of the Concordat, putting the Fascist totalitarian ideology into conflict with the basic principles of the Church; the question at issue was the education of Italian youth. The youth sections of the Italian "Catholic Action" displayed a lively activity, encouraged by Pius XI, who was a great promoter of "Catholic Action" throughout the world. This provoked the jealousy of the Fascist Party, which accused the Catholic bodies of a tendency to duplicate some aspects of the tasks of the Fascist youth organizations, and thus to infringe the Party's monopoly of educating the young Italian generation in the ideology of the régime. In May 1931 a governmental decree ordered all Catholic youth offices to be closed and the Fascists started a campaign of intimidating violence against the leaders and members of the Catholic associations. The Pope issued on June 29, 1931, the present Encyclical Non abbiamo bisogno, in which he condemned the Fascist conception of education of youth as a "pagan worship of the State." A vehement conflict between the Vatican and the Italian government ensued.
The Encyclical consists of two main parts. The first is a polemic in which the Pontiff refuted the official governmental arguments, by which the attack against "Catholic Action" was motivated, branding them as mere pretexts; he stressed that it is a fundamental law for "Catholic Action" to keep out of politics and this law had not been transgressed in Italy. He pointed out that among hundreds of higher functionaries of "Catholic Action" in Italy only four could be found who had been prominent in the former Catholic Party of the "Popolari," dissolved by the Fascists; so that nobody could seriously affirm that the leaders of the "Popolari" were sheltered by "Catholic Action" and given an opportunity for political activity against the Government.
In the second main part of the Encyclical the Pope formulated the Church's position, founded on her immovable principles, to- ward the State's pretension to a monopoly in education and organization of the young. Such educational totalitarianism, says the Pope, is "Statolatry," a real pagan worship of the State, and it violates the sacred rights of souls and of the Church. It violates the right of souls to procure for themselves the greatest spiritual good according to Christian teachings, it violates the natural right of families to educate their children, and it violates the supernatural right of the Church bestowed on her by Christ Who had ordered her to go and teach all nations. Therefore, the Church cannot but resist unwaveringly such claims of the State.
Moreover, the Fascist measures violated positive law, namely Art. 43 of the Concordat (see its text under Doc. No. 1 of this chapter), and on this basis of positive International Law negotiations began between the Holy See and the Italian Government. Neither of the two contracting parties being anxious to destroy the fabric of the Lateran Agreements, a compromise was patched up in September 1931. The Fascist Government ceded in substance and confirmed the further and unmolested existence of "Catholic Action's" youth organizations. It obtained in return their reiterated promise to avoid all politics and the engagement not to use any other banner than that of the State; in addition, their ranks were cleared of all remnants of former politicians.
Since then the relations between Church and State in Italy, as based on the Concordat of 1929, have remained undisturbed with the exception of 1938 when the Fascists enacted racial anti-Jewish laws, imitating the example of Nazi Germany. This provoked a severe condemnation of racial principles by Pope Pius XI, particularly in the matrimonial sphere, largely reserved to Canon Law by Art. 34 of the Concordat. The controversy was reaching a sharp climax when Pope Pius XI died in February 1939. Against the opposition of his successor, Pius XII, Mussolini's Government maintained the racial legislation during the Second World War in spite of the Vatican's efforts to alleviate its hardships. After the fall of Fascism the Concordat was kept in force and has regulated the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Italian Republic without noteworthy difficulties.
The Encyclical against Fascist totalitarianism was destined primarily for the Italian clergy and faithful. It was, therefore, issued in Italian and is known under its initial Italian words "Non abbiamo bisogno"="We do not need."
(The following English copyright translation is reproduced by kind permission of the Catholic Truth Society, London.)
To our Venerable Brethren
the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, and other Ordinaries
in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See:
In defence of "Catholic Action."
POPE PIUS XI
GREETING AND APOSTOLIC BENEDICTION
We do not need to acquaint you, Venerable Brethren, with the events which have recently occurred in this Our Episcopal city of Rome, and throughout Italy, that is to say, in the very territory of which We are Primate--events which have had such a wide and deep repercussion, especially in all the dioceses of Italy and throughout the Catholic world. These occurrences can be summarized in very few and very sad words. An attempt has been made to strike a mortal blow at that which was and always will be dearest to Our heart as Father and as Shepherd of Souls; and We can--indeed We must--add that "the way in which it has been done offends Us still more." 1
In the presence and under the pressure of these events, We feel the need and the duty of turning to you, Venerable Brethren, and of, so to speak, visiting each one of you in spirit; first, to discharge Our urgent duty of fraternal gratitude, and, second, to satisfy another duty equally grave and urgent. We mean the duty of defending truth and justice in a matter which, inasmuch as it affects vital interests and rights of Holy Mother Church, concerns all and every one of you, Venerable Brethren, whom the Holy Ghost has called to govern the Church in union with Ourselves. In the third place We wish to tell you of Our anxieties for the future. Fourth, We would lay before you the conclusions and reflections forced upon Us by these events; and, finally, We invite you to share Our hopes and to pray with Us and with the Catholic world that they may be fulfilled.
A DUTY OF GRATITUDE
Interior peace, that peace which comes from the full and clear
1 E il modo ancor m' offende.
consciousness that one is arrayed on the side of truth and justice and is striving and suffering for them: that peace, which only God can give and which the world can neither give nor take away; that blessed and beneficent peace, thanks to the divine goodness and mercy, has never left Us; and We have full trust that it never will leave Us, come what may. Yet this peace leaves the way open to the most bitter trials. During the Passion, it was so with the Heart of Jesus, and it is so in the hearts of His faithful servants, as well you know, Venerable Brethren; and We also have experienced the truth of those mysterious words: "Behold in peace is my bitterness most bitter." 1
Your prompt, generous, and affectionate intervention, which does not cease, Venerable Brethren, the fraternal and filial devotion which you have expressed and, above all else, that sentiment of high supernatural solidarity, that intimate union of thoughts and of feelings, of intellects and wills, which your loving messages breathe forth, have filled Our soul with inexpressible consolations and have called forth from Our heart to Our lips the words of the psalm: "According to the multitude of sorrows in my heart, thy comforts have given joy to my soul." 2
Tributes of Sympathy For all these consolations, after God, it is you We thank, Venerable Brethren, you to whom We can say, as Jesus Christ said to your predecessors, the Apostles: "And you are they who have continued with Me in My temptations." 3 And in expressing Our gratitude to you, We wish also to perform the duty, most sweet to Our paternal heart, of thanking those multitudes of good and worthy children who, separately and collectively, as individuals and as members of various organizations and associations (especially the Associations of Catholic Action and of Catholic Youth), have sent Us so many and such affectionate tributes of devotion and sympathy, and of generous and practical conformity with Our directions and Our desires. It has been for us an exquisite satisfaction to see the Catholic Action organizations of all countries, both near and far, united round the common Father, inspired by a single spirit of faith, of filial sorrow and of generous impulses, all expressing their astonishment and grief in seeing Catholic Action societies persecuted and assailed here, in the very centre of the Apostolic Hierarchy, where its raison d'être is strongest. Here in Italy, as in all parts of the world where Catholic Action exists, Catholic Action is true to its solemn and authentic definition. Obeying Our watchful and assiduous instructions (which you, Venerable Brethren, have so
1 Isaias xxxviii, 17.
2 Psalm xciii, 19.
3 Luke xxii, 28.
largely seconded), it does not wish to be nor can be anything other than "the participation and the collaboration of the laity with the Apostolic Hierarchy." You will convey, Venerable Brethren, the expression of Our paternal appreciation to all your children in Christ--they are also Ours--who have shown themselves such good pupils of your schools and so good and pious towards their common Father as to inspire Us to exclaim: "I abound exceedingly with joy in all our tribulation." 1
The Support of the Episcopate
And to you, Bishops of each and every diocese in this dear Italy, We owe gratitude for the consolations which you have nobly vied with one another in giving Us by your letters which you lavished upon Us during the entire month just ended, and especially by your telegrams, so eloquent and so affectionate, on the feast-day of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. But We, in Our own turn, must send you condolences on account of what each one of you has suffered in seeing gardens of souls which the Holy Ghost has entrusted to your care and which you had tended with such loving zeal, suddenly swept by a devastating tempest. Your hearts, Venerable Brethren, immediately turned to Our own, to suffer with Us in Our afflictions; because you perceived that Our heart was as a centre in which all your suffering hearts met and converged and joined. You have manifested this sentiment to Us in clear, unmistakable, and affectionate ways, for which We thank you all, from the depths of Our heart. Particularly appreciative are We of the unanimous and most satisfactory and convincing proofs which you have brought to Us that the Italian Catholic Action societies, especially the Catholic Youth Associations, have remained docile and faithful to Our instructions and yours in refraining absolutely from any and every kind of party-political activity. And together with you, We express Our thanks to all your priests, to the members of religious communities, and to your laity, who have united themselves with you in so fine a showing of faith and filial piety. And in a special way We thank your Catholic Associations and chiefly the organizations of the young, down through all their groups, even to the smallest boys and girls. The smaller they are the dearer they are, and it is in their prayers that We confidently repose our trust.
You have understood well, Venerable Brethren, that Our heart was and is with you, with each one of you, with you and for you in sufferings, with you and for you in prayers, beseeching God in His infinite mercy to come to our assistance, and to draw new blessings
1 II Corinthians vii, 4.
and great blessings from this great evil which the ancient enemy of Good has unloosed.
DEFENCE OF TRUTH
Having thus satisfied the debt of gratitude for the consolations which We have received in Our affliction, We must now satisfy also that obligation which Our Apostolic Ministry imposes on Us as a debt to truth and justice.
Already on several occasions, Venerable Brethren, in the most solemn and explicit manner and assuming entire responsibility for what We were saying, We have protested against the campaign of false and unjust accusations which preceded the disbanding of the Associations of the young people and of the University students affiliated to Catholic Action. It was a disbanding which was carried out in such a way and by such methods as to give the impression that action was being taken against a vast and dangerous organization of criminals, although the young men and young women involved are certainly some of the best among the good, concerning whom We are happy and paternally proud to pay tribute still once more. It is noteworthy that even among the officers of the law charged to carry out these orders of suppression, there were many who were ill at ease and showed by their expressions and courtesies that they were almost asking pardon for obeying peremptory orders. We have appreciated the delicate feelings of these officers and We have reserved for them a special blessing.
But, in sad contrast with the manner of acting of these officials, how many acts of brutality and of violence there have been, even to the striking of blows and the drawing of blood! How many insults in the press, how many injurious words and acts against things and persons not excluding Ourself, have preceded, accompanied, and followed the carrying into effect of this lightning-like police-order which in many instances, either through ignorance or malicious zeal, was extended to include associations and organizations not contemplated in the superior orders, such as the oratories of the little ones and the sodalities of the Children of Mary. And all this sad accompaniment of irreverences and of violences took place in the presence of and with the participation of members of a political party, some of whom were in uniform, and were carried into effect with such a unison of action throughout all Italy and with such a passive acquiescence on the part of the civil authorities and the police as to make one necessarily suspect that some supreme authority had issued an instruction. It is easy to admit, and it was equally easy to have foreseen, that the limits of these directions could and would have, almost necessarily, been exceeded. We must needs refer to these painful and distasteful things, because there has been an attempt made to have the public and the world at large believe that the disbanding of the associations which are so dear to Us took place without incidents and almost as if it were a normal proceeding.
Attacks on Truth and Justice
But there have been other attacks on truth and justice on a larger scale. The inventions, falsehoods, and real calumnies diffused by the hostile press of the party, the only press which is free to say and to dare to say anything and is often ordered or almost ordered what it must say, were largely summarized in a message which was cautiously characterized as unofficial and yet was broadcast to the general public by the most powerful means of diffusion which exist at present.
The history of the documents prepared not in the service of truth, but in contempt of truth and of justice is a long and sad story. But We must affirm, with deep dismay, that in Our many years of active life as a librarian We have rarely seen an article so tendentious and so contrary to truth and justice in its references to this Holy See, to Italian Catholic Action, and particularly to the Associations which have been so harshly treated. If We should be silent and if We should not contradict these things--that is to say if We should permit them to be believed--We should be much more unworthy than We already are to occupy this august Apostolic chair; We should be unworthy of the filial and generous devotion which has always consoled Us and now more than ever consoles Us, that devotion of our dear children of Catholic Action, and especially of those dear sons and dear daughters--and, thanks be to God, they are numerous-who, because of religious loyalty to Our invitations and directions, have suffered so much and are still suffering, thereby the more greatly honouring the school in which they have been reared and honouring also their Divine Master and His unworthy Vicar. They have borne such glorious witness by their Christian conduct, even in the face of threats and of violences, that there is no doubt on which side real dignity of character, true strength of mind, real courage, and education are displayed.
A Wireless Message
We shall try to be as brief as possible in correcting the facile assertions of the above mentioned ["wireless"] message, and We say "facile" in order not to be obliged to say impudent. Its authors imagined that the majority of the public would have no possibility of controlling its accuracy. We shall be brief also, because many times, especially of late, We have spoken on questions which now come up again, and Our words have reached you, Venerable Brethren, and through you they have reached also Our dear children in Jesus Christ, as We trust also Our words will reach them in this present letter. Among other things, the above mentioned ["wireless"] message stated that the revelations of the hostile press of the [Fascist] party had been almost completely confirmed, at least in substance, by the Osservatore Romano itself. The truth is that the Osservatore Romano has, time after time, proved that the so-called revelations were either fabrications, or at least false in their interpretations of simple facts. It is sufficient to read without bad faith and with the modest capacity to understand.
The message further stated that it was ridiculous to try to make the Holy See appear as a victim in a country where thousands of travellers can testify to the respect shown towards priests, prelates, the Church and religious functions. Yes, Venerable Brethren, the attempt unfortunately would be ridiculous, just as it would be ridiculous to break through an open door; because unhappily thousands of visitors who always abound in Italy and in Rome have sadly observed the irreverences, oftentimes of an impious and blasphemous character, and the acts of violence and vandalism committed against places, things, and persons throughout the country and in Our very episcopal city; acts which have been repeatedly deplored by Us after We had had sure and precise information about them.
Attacks on "Catholic Action"
The message denounces the "black ingratitude" of the priests, who are against the party which has been (so the message says) the guarantee of religious liberty throughout all Italy. The clergy, the Bishops, and this Holy See have never failed to acknowledge everything that has been done during all these years for the benefit and advantage of religion; indeed, they have on many occasions expressed their genuine and sincere appreciation. But We and the Bishops and the clergy and all the faithful--in fact all citizens desirous of peace and order--have worried and suffered and are worrying and suffering in the presence of the systematic campaign all too quickly begun against the most reasonable and precious liberties of religion and of consciences such as were the attacks on Catholic Action and its different associations, especially those of the young. These attacks their culmination in the police measures taken against the organizations in the manner to which We have already alluded. They were attacks and measures such as to lead one seriously to doubt whether the former benevolences and favours were indeed actuated by a sincere love and zeal for religion, or whether they were not rather due to pure calculation and to an ultimate goal of domination. And if the question of ingratitude is to be considered, it should be rather the ingratitude now shown towards the Holy See by a party and by a régime which, in the opinion of the whole world, from the fact of establishing friendly relations with the Holy See, both gained a prestige and a credit in the country and outside it, which some people, both in and out of Italy, considered excessive, inasmuch as they deemed the favours on Our part too great, and the trust and confidence which We reposed too full.
The police measures having been put into extreme effect with their accompaniments and consequences of acts of violence and of irreverence--acts which were unfortunately acquiesced in and connived at by the guardians of public order--We suspended the mission of Our Cardinal Legate to the centenary celebration in Padua as well as the festive processions in Rome and in Italy. Such a decision was clearly within Our competence, and We saw such grave and urgent reasons for it that it became a duty, although We were aware that this action would require heavy sacrifices on the part of the good people, and would cause perhaps a greater pain to Ourself than to any other. How could the usual joyful and solemn festivals be held in the midst of such grief and sorrow as that which had struck the paternal heart of the common Father of all the faithful and the maternal heart of Holy Mother Church, in Rome, in Italy, and indeed in all the Catholic world, as became immediately plain from the truly world-wide manifestation, with you at its head, Venerable Brethren, of sadness and of sympathy? And how could We be otherwise than afraid for the respect and the safety of persons and of things most sacred when We were obliged to take into consideration the attitude of public authorities and officers of the law in the presence of so many irreverent and violent acts? Everywhere whither the news of Our decision went, the good priests and people displayed identical ideas and similar sentiments, and wherever they were not intimidated, or worse, they gave magnificent and for Us most consoling proofs of loyalty and grief by substituting for the festive observances holy hours of prayer, adoration, and of reparation in union with the sorrowing heart of the Holy Father. His intentions were prayed for in great gatherings of the people.
Parodies of Sacred Processions
We know what happened in those places where Our instructions did not arrive in time. "With the participation of the authorities," as the message reveals, some processions took place. But those "authorities" of the Government and of the party were the selfsame persons who had already assisted or were about to assist, silently and inactively, at definitely anti-Catholic and decidedly anti-religious acts--which is something the message does not say. The message, on the contrary, asserts that there were local ecclesiastical authorities who considered themselves in a position "to pay no heed" to Our prohibition. We do not know of any single local ecclesiastical authority who deserves the insult and the affront implied in these words. We do know, however, and We strongly deplore, the impositions, the threats, and the acts of force used or allowed to be used against local ecclesiastical authorities. We know of impious parodies of sacred processions, all of which were permitted to take place to the profound sorrow of the faithful and to the great amazement of those citizens who, desiring peace and order, were obliged to behold both peace and order undefended and even worse than undefended by those very persons who have both the solemn duty of defending them and a vital interest in doing so.
The message reiterates the argument which has been so often used in drawing a contrast between the situation in Italy and in other countries where the Church is really persecuted--"countries against which there have never been heard words spoken so strong as the words pronounced against Italy where religion has been restored." We have already said that We conserve, and shall still conserve a remembrance and an enduring gratitude for what has been done in Italy for the welfare of religion, a gratitude not lessened by the fact that, contemporaneously, a no less and perhaps greater benefit has accrued therefrom to the party and to the régime. We have stated and have repeated that it is not necessary (and would indeed oftentimes be decidedly injurious to the ends desired) that everything should be heard and known which We and this Holy See, through Our representatives and through Our brothers in the episcopate, have to say and have to remonstrate wherever the interests of religion demand it, and in the measure which, in Our judgment, the situation indicates, especially in those places where the Church is really persecuted.
And it was with a grief inexpressible that We saw a real and a true persecution break out in this Our Italy and in this very City of Rome against that which the Church and its Head have characterized as most precious and dear to them from the standpoint of liberty and of right. Liberty and right are the heritage of souls and especially of the souls of the young, entrusted to the Church in a particular way by the Divine Creator and Redeemer.
Nature of "Catholic Action"
As is well known, We have repeatedly and solemnly affirmed and protested that Catholic Action, both from its very nature and essence ("the participation and the collaboration of the laity with the Apostolic Hierarchy") and by Our precise and categorical directions and orders is outside and above all party politics. We have also affirmed and protested Our conviction that in Italy Our directions and orders have been faithfully obeyed and followed. The message says: "The assertion that Catholic Action has not had a true political character is absolutely false." On the discourtesy of these words We will not enlarge; and, if the case were not so lamentable, We should treat as ridiculous the untruthfulness and flippancy of what follows. Catholic Action, says the message, is a political party because it has banners, badges, identification cards and all the other external forms of a political party. But banners, badges, identification cards and other similar external appurtenances are to-day the most common things in every country of the world for the most varied kind of associations and activities which have nothing, and wish to have nothing, in common with politics, such as sports and professional organizations, civil and military clubs, commercial and industrial groups, and even school-children, such as those organized exclusively in a religious way like the little ones who belong to the Crusaders of the Blessed Sacrament.
The message itself betrays a consciousness of its own weakness and futility; and, hastening to save its argument, it adds three other reasons. The first reason is that the heads of Catholic Action were almost to a man members or heads of the Popular Party, which was one of the strongest opponents of Fascism. This accusation has been launched many times against Catholic Action, but always in a general way and without specifying any names. Whenever We have asked for precise data and for names, it has been in vain. Only a short time before police measures were taken against Catholic Action and in evident preparation for them, the hostile press, having no less evidently access to police reports, had published a series of alleged facts and names which are the pretended revelations referred to in the beginning of the message. These the Osservatore Romano duly denied and corrected, instead of "confirming" them, as the message asserts, in an attempt to mystify and deceive the public.
As for Ourselves, We already possessed, Venerable Brethren, information gathered long ago, as well as the results of a personal enquiry. Still, We felt it was Our additional duty to secure new information, and to make new investigations. Here are the positive results. First of all, We have found out that while the Popular Party was still in existence, and before the new [Fascist] party had asserted itself, it was decreed in 1919 that no one who had occupied a position of responsibility in the Popular Party could at the same time hold any directive office in Catholic Action. We have also found out, Venerable Brethren, that the cases of local ex-directors in the Popular Party who had subsequently become local directors in Catholic Action consist of four. We say four; and this infinitesimal number must be considered in the light of the fact that there are 250 diocesan committees, 4,000 sections of Catholic men, and more than 5,000 circles of Catholic youth. And We must add that in the four above cited instances the individuals concerned have never given any occasion for objection. Some of them are now sympathisers with the régime and the [Fascist] Party, and are favourably regarded thereby.
And We do not wish to omit mentioning another guarantee that Catholic Action abstains from politics, a reason well known to the Bishops of Italy. Catholic Action has been, is, and will always be, dependent upon the episcopate, under your direction, under you who have always assigned its ecclesiastical assistants and have nominated the presidents of the diocesan committees. Whence it is clear that in entrusting and recommending to you, Venerable Bishops, these Associations which have been assailed, We have not ordered and disposed anything substantially new. When the Popular Party was dissolved and passed out of existence, those who formerly belonged to Catholic Action continued to belong to Catholic Action, and they submitted themselves with perfect discipline to the fundamental law of Catholic Action, that is, abstention from every political activity. So did all those who on that occasion asked to be received as members. And with what justice and charity could all these people have been expelled or not admitted to Catholic Action when they possessed the necessary qualifications required by the Constitutions? The régime and the party which seem to attribute such a fearful and feared strength to those who belong to the Popular Party for political reasons, should show themselves grateful to Catholic Action, which removed them precisely from that sphere and required them to make a formal pledge not to carry out any political activities, but to limit themselves to religious action.
We, Church, religion, faithful Catholics (and not We alone), cannot be grateful to him who, after putting out of existence Socialism and anti-religious organizations (Our enemies, but not Ours only), has permitted them to be so largely re-introduced that the whole world sees and deplores them. They have been made even more strong and dangerous than before, inasmuch as they are now dissembled and also protected by their new uniform.
Necessity of Organization
The message asserts that Catholic Action was organized in a political way, and that it had nothing to do with "religious education and propaganda of the faith." Leaving aside the incompetent and confused manner in which the purposes of Catholic Action are thus described, all those who know and live the life of to-day will grant that there is no sort of initiative or activity, from the more spiritual and scientific bodies to the more material and mechanical ones, which does not find the necessity of organization and of organized action. And the fact that an organization exists does not mean from that very fact that the end and purpose of the organization is political.
"However," continues the message, "the strongest argument that can be used as justification for the destruction of the Catholic circles of Youth is the defence of the State, which is no more than the simple duty of every Government." There is no doubt of the solemnity and the vital importance of such a duty and of such a right. The first right is to do one's duty. But the receivers and readers of the message would have smiled with incredulity or wondered greatly if the message had added what is also true: that of the Catholic circles of youth which were the objects of the policemeasure, 10,000 were, or rather actually are, composed of girls and young women, with a total membership of about 500,000. Who can find a serious danger and a real threat to the security of the State in this? And it must be added that only 220,000 are inscribed as "effective members," more than 100,000 are little "aspirants," and more than 150,000 still smaller children, called "Benjamins."
There still remain the circles of the Catholic young men, that same Catholic Youth which in the publications of the youth of the [Fascist] party and in the circular letters of the so-called leaders of the party are represented and held up to ridicule and scorn (with what sense of pedagogical responsibility, to say only this, any one may see) as a swarm of "rabbits," only fit to carry candles and to recite rosaries in sacred processions. This perhaps explains why they have been in these recent days so many times, and with such ignobility on the part of their assailants, attacked and maltreated even to the shedding of blood, and left undefended by those who could and should protect them. If it were not for the harmlessness and peaceableness for which they have been sneered at, would their persecutors (sometimes armed) have dared to fall upon them?
If here is the strongest argument for the attempted "destruction" (the word does not leave any doubt about the intentions) of the heroic and noble associations of young men of Catholic Action, you will see, Venerable Brethren, that We could and should congratulate Ourselves on Our position, since the incredible absurdity of this argument is very clear. But unfortunately We are obliged to repeat that "iniquity hath lied to itself," 1 and that the strongest argument for the desired destruction must be sought in another field, for the battle which now is raging is not political, but moral and religious--essentially moral and religious.
It is necessary to close one's eyes to this truth and to set going the imagination in order to find politics where there is nothing but religion and morals, and to conclude, as does the message, that the absurd situation has been created of a strong organization at the orders of a "foreign Power, the Vatican, a thing which no Government in this world would have permitted."
The documents of all the centres of Catholic Action have been sequestered en masse. Correspondence that could be suspected to have some relation to the Associations affected, or even with those not affected, such as the oratories, continues to be intercepted and sequestered. Tell Us, therefore, tell the country, tell the world, what documents and how many of them there are, which treat of politics woven and directed by Catholic Action with all this peril to the State! We venture to say that none such will be found, unless they are read and interpreted in accordance with preconceived and unfair ideas, which are contradicted fully by facts, by evidence and by numberless proofs and witnesses. If and when there are any genuine documents found that are worthy of consideration, We shall be the first to take them seriously. But what fair-minded man will wish, for example, to charge a person with political activities and political actions dangerous to the State merely for making some complaint or deploring the harsh treatment inflicted so many times and in so many places on the Catholic Action Associations even prior to the time of these latest outbreaks?
On the contrary, there will be found among the sequestered documents proofs and evidences literally numberless of the profound and consistent religious character and of religious activity of all Catholic Action, and particularly so of the Associations of Youth
1 Psalms xxvi, 12.
and of University students. It will be sufficient to know and to read as We ourselves have done countless times the programmes, the reports, the proceedings of Congresses or "weeks" of religious study and of prayer, of spiritual exercises, and the frequenting of the Sacraments practised and promoted, of conferences in explanation of religion, of studies, of catechetical and apologetical activities, of co-operation in true and pure Christian charity, in conferences of St. Vincent de Paul, and in many other ways, such as zealous work for the missionaries abroad. In the presence of such facts and of such a documentation, with an eye and a hand on the reality of things, We say, as We have always said, that to accuse Italian Catholic Action of engaging in politics is a real and true calumny. The facts have demonstrated what was the real target aimed at when Catholic Action was struck, and what was the thing that was being prepared. Rarely has the fable of the wolf and the lamb been exemplified so strikingly; and history will recall it.
"A Foreign Power" We, certain on the point of being concerned with and restricting Ourselves to the field of religion, have never been able to believe that We could be considered as a "foreign power," especially by Catholics and by Italian Catholics. And thanks to this apostolic power which is now, unworthy though We be, entrusted by God to Us, the good Catholics of all the world consider Rome as the second country of each and every one of them. It is not so long ago that a statesman, who will remain certainly among the world's most celebrated men, a man neither a Catholic nor a friend of Catholicism, in a full political assembly said that he could not consider as a foreign power that authority which twenty million Germans revered, honoured, and obeyed. To say then that "no Government of the world would have permitted the continuance of the situation created in Italy by the existence of Catholic Action," it is necessary absolutely to ignore and to forget that in all other States of the world, as far as China, Catholic Action exists and lives, and the organizations frequently resemble even to the smallest details the Italian Catholic Action. In some countries the organization is even more highly developed than in Italy. In no State of the world has Catholic Action ever been considered as a danger to the State; in no State of the world has Catholic Action been so hatefully treated, so truly persecuted (We do not see what other word conforms to the reality of the truth of the situation) as in this, Our Italy, and in this, Our episcopal seat of Rome. An "absurd situation" indeed exists, but it has been created against Us, not by Us.
We have assumed a heavy and tedious task. But it has seemed to Us a definite duty of charity and of paternal justice. In this spirit We have fulfilled Our purpose of putting in their true light various facts and truths, which some children of Ours (perhaps through incomplete knowledge) had distorted and placed in a false light, causing harm to Our other children.
III ANXIETIES FOR THE FUTURE
There is one first consideration and conclusion. From all which We have explained and still more from the events themselves as they have been evolving, it results that the so-called political activity of Catholic Action, the alleged manifest or disguised hostility of some of its partisans against the régime and the party, as well as its being also "the eventual refuge and haven of those refugees who, up to the present, have been spared" by the régime because they have sheltered under the banner of Catholic Action, 1 and similar accusations are nothing but a cumulation of pretexts. We dare to say that even Catholic Action itself is only a pretext. That which was desired and that which has been attempted is to tear away from Catholic Action and, through this process, to tear away from the Church the young-- all the young. So true is this, that after all the talk about Catholic Action, aim was taken only at the Associations of the young. Nor were these attacks limited to Associations of the young affiliated to Catholic Action. Rough hands were laid also upon Associations of a simply devotional character, upon works of pure piety and of a primary catechetical nature, such as sodalities of the Children of Mary and patronages. So far did this go that in many cases the grossness of the acts was recognized by the perpetrators themselves as a blunder.
This essential point is abundantly confirmed from various sources. It is confirmed first of all by many antecedent statements made by personalities more or less responsible and also by persons representative of the régime and of the party, which have had their complete commentary and definite confirmation in the latest events.
This confirmation is made all the more explicit and categorical, We were almost about to say solemn and violent, by the individual who not only represents all, but who can do all, and who confirms it in official or quasi-official publications dedicated to the young, in interviews and in articles to be published abroad before they are published in Italy, and also, up to this very moment, by messages and by communications to representatives of the press.
____________________ 1 See communication from the [Fascist] Directory, June 4, 1931.
Another reflection immediately and inevitably presents itself. No attention has been paid to Our oft-repeated assurances and Our protests. There has been no attention paid to your protests and assurances, Venerable Brethren, concerning the true nature of Catholic Action and its work, and concerning the sacred and inviolable rights of souls and of the Church.
We say "the sacred and inviolable rights of souls and of the Church," and this is the reflection which concerns Us more than any other, being the most grave. Again and again, as is well known, We have expressed Our thought--or rather the thought of Holy Church--on these important and essential matters, and it is not to you, Venerable Brothers and faithful masters in Israel, that it is necessary to say more. But We must add something for the benefit of those dear people committed to your care whom, as shepherds of souls, you nourish and govern by divine mandate and who would hardly ever be able in these days, save for you, to know the thoughts of the common Father of their souls. We repeat: "The sacred and inviolable rights of souls and of the Church"; because this matter concerns the right of souls to procure for themselves the greatest spiritual good according to the teaching and under the formative work of the Church, the divinely appointed and sole mandatory of this teaching and of this work in that supernatural order which is established in the blood of the Redeemer and is necessary and obligatory for all of us if we are to share in the Divine Redemption. It concerns the right of souls so formed to share the treasures of the Redemption with other souls, thus participating in the activities of the Apostolic Hierarchy.
It was in consideration of this double right of souls that We lately declared Ourselves happy and proud to wage the good fight for the liberty of consciences, not indeed (as someone, perhaps inadvertently, has represented Us as saying) for "the liberty of conscience," which is an equivocal expression too often distorted to mean the absolute independence of conscience and therefore an absurdity in reference to a soul created and redeemed by God.
Besides, there is involved another right of the Church equally inviolable--the right to fulfil the imperative Divine Commission entrusted to her by her Divine Founder, to bring to souls, to bring to every soul, all the treasures of truth and of good, doctrinal and practical, which He Himself brought to the world. "Going therefore teach ye all nations . . . teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." 1
How great is the importance of childhood and adolescence in this
1 Matthew xxviii, 19, 20.
vabsolute universality and totality of the divine mandate to the Church, has been shown by the Divine Master Himself, the Creator and Redeemer of souls, by His example and particularly by those memorable words which are also so formidable: "Suffer the little children and forbid them not to come to Me . . . who believe in Me, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven . . . whose angels always behold the face of the Father who is in Heaven. Woe to that man who shall scandalize one of these little ones!" 1
Pagan Worship of the State And here We find Ourselves confronted by a mass of authentic affirmations and no less authentic facts which reveal beyond the slightest possibility of doubt the resolve (already in great measure actually put into effect) to monopolize completely the young, from their tenderest years up to manhood and womanhood, for the exclusive advantage of a party and of a régime based on an ideology which clearly resolves itself into a true, a real pagan worship of the State--the "Statolatry" which is no less in contrast with the natural rights of the family than it is in contradiction with the supernatural rights of the Church. To propose and to promote such a monopoly: to persecute for this reason Catholic Action, as has been done for some time more or less openly or under cover: to reach this end by striking at the Catholic Associations of Youth as has lately been done: all this is truly and literally to "forbid the little children to go to Jesus Christ," since it impedes their access to His Church and, where His Church is, there is Jesus Christ. This usurpation goes so far as to snatch the young from Christ and His Church even with violence.
The Church of Jesus Christ has never contested the rights and the duties of the State concerning the education of its citizens; indeed, We Ourselves have recalled and proclaimed them in Our recent Encyclical Letter on the Christian Education of Youth. Such rights and duties are unchallengeable as long as they remain within the limits of the State's proper competence, a competence which in its turn is clearly indicated and determined by the rôle of the State; this rôle, though certainly not only bodily and material, is by its very nature limited to the natural, the terrestrial and the temporal.
The universal and divine mandate with which the Church of Jesus Christ has been incommunicably and exclusively commissioned by Jesus Christ Himself, extends to the supernatural, the celestial, the eternal, and to that order of things which on the one hand is of the strictest obligation for every rational creature and
1 Matthew xix, 13; xviii, 1 et seq.
which, on the other hand, must, by the very nature of things, subordinate and co-ordinate to itself all else.
The Church of Jesus Christ is certainly acting within her mandate, not only when she puts into souls the first indispensable beginnings and elements of supernatural life, but also when she watches over the growth of this supernatural life according to the opportunities and the capacities, and in the ways and by the means which she deems suitable, even to the extent of preparing capable and efficient collaboration with the Apostolic Hierarchy. It was Jesus Christ Himself who made the solemn declaration that He came in order that souls might have not only some beginning or some element of supernatural life, but that they might have it in abundance. "I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly." 1
It was Jesus Christ Himself who laid the first foundations of Catholic Action, by choosing and educating the apostles and disciples as fellow-workers in His Divine Apostolate. And His example was at once followed by the first Holy Apostles as the sacred text itself proves.
Therefore it is an unjustifiable pretension and is, indeed, irreconcilable with the name and the profession of being a Catholic, to come to teach the Church and her Head what is sufficient and what must be sufficient for the education and Christian formation of souls and for promoting, especially among the young, the application of the principles of the Faith in social life. To this unjustifiable presumption is added very clear evidence of the absolute incompetence of the pretenders and their complete ignorance of the matters under discussion. Recent events must have opened the public eyes, since they have shown beyond dispute that instead of saving true religion and saving Christian and civil education, their work has ended rather in disruption and destruction.
Religious Instruction in Schools You know, Venerable Brethren, Bishops of Italy, from your pastoral experience that it is a grave and disastrous error to believe and to make believe that the work of the Church done by Catholic Action and through Catholic Action is superseded and made superfluous by the religious instruction given in the schools and by the presence of chaplains in the Associations of Youth of the [Fascist] party and of the régime. Both are certainly necessary. Without them the schools and the Associations would inevitably and quickly become, by logical and psychological necessity, pagan things. Necessary therefore they are; but they are not sufficient. As a matter
1 John x, 10.
of fact, by such religious instruction and such ecclesiastical assistance from the chaplains, the Church of Jesus Christ can develop only a minimum of her spiritual and supernatural effectiveness, and even this minimum is attained amid surroundings and in an environment which do not depend on the Church but are pre-occupied by many other kinds of teaching matters and by many other exercises in obedience to immediate superiors who are often little or not at all favourably disposed to religion, and who sometimes exercise a directly contrary influence both by their words and by the example of their lives. We have said that recent events have proved beyond the shadow of doubt that a few years have been sufficient to cause the loss and the destruction of the true religious sentiment and of education. We do not say of Christian, but simply of moral and of civil education. We have seen in action a species of religion which rebels against the directions of higher religious authorities and enjoins or encourages the non-observance of these directions; an attitude towards religion which becomes persecution and which tries to destroy all that the supreme Head of the religion is known to prize and cherish most; a feeling which permits itself and provokes others to speak insulting words and do injurious things against the person of the Father of all the faithful, even to the extent of shouting "Down with the Pope!" and "Death to Him!" which is an apprenticeship to parricide. Such a sham of religion cannot in any way be reconciled with Catholic doctrine and practice, but is something which must be considered contrary to both. The contradiction is most grave in itself and most destructive when it not only consists of external actions perpetrated and carried into effect, but when it also proclaims its principles and its maxims as the fundamentals of a social system.
External Practice of Religion
A conception of the State which makes the rising generations belong to it entirely, without any exception, from the tenderest years up to adult life, cannot be reconciled by a Catholic either with Catholic doctrine or with the natural rights of the family. It is not possible for a Catholic to accept the claim that the Church and the Pope must limit themselves to the external practices of religion (such as Mass and the Sacraments), and that all the rest of education belongs to the State.
The erroneous and false doctrines and maxims that We have just pointed out and deplored have cropped up many times during these last few years, and it is well known that We have never, with God's help, done any less than Our apostolic duty in exposing them and in confronting them with the just claims of true Catholic doctrine, and with the inviolable rights of the Church of Jesus Christ and of the souls redeemed by His precious Blood.
But notwithstanding the opinions and forecasts and suggestions which have come to Us from many sources worthy of the greatest consideration, We have always refrained from formal and explicit condemnations, and have even gone so far as to believe possible and to favour compatibilities and co-operations which, to others, seemed inadmissible. We have done this because We thought, or rather We hoped, in the possibility that We had to deal only with exaggerated assertions and actions which were sporadic and with elements which were not sufficiently representative--in other words, with assertions and actions which called for no more than the censure of their individual authors, or which had come out of exceptional circumstances. We did not conclude that they were the expression of a programme properly so called.
The latest events and the assertions which preceded these events, accompanied them, and interpreted them, take away from Us this fondly held supposition. Therefore We must say, and do hereby say, that he is a Catholic only in name and by baptism (in contradiction to the obligations of that name and to the baptismal promises) who adopts and develops a programme with doctrines and maxims so opposed to the rights of the Church of Jesus Christ and of souls, and who also misrepresents, combats, and persecutes Catholic Action which, as is universally known, the Church and its Head regard as very dear and precious.
The Fascist Oath
You ask us, Venerable Brethren, in view of what has taken place, what is to be thought about the formula of the oath which even little boys and girls are obliged to take, namely that they will execute orders without discussion from an authority which, as we have seen and experienced, can give orders against all truth and justice and in disregard of the rights of the Church and its souls, which are already by their very nature sacred and inviolable. Takers of this oath must swear to serve with all their strength, even to the shedding of blood, the cause of a revolution which snatches the young from the Church and from Jesus Christ, and which inculcates in its own young people hatred, violence, and irreverence without respecting (as recent occurrences have superabundantly proved) even the person of the Pope. When the question is posed in such terms, the answer from the Catholic point of view, as well as from a simply human point of view, is inevitably only one, and We, Venerable Brethren, do not wish to do otherwise than confirm the answer already given. Such an oath, as it stands, is unlawful. Faced as We are by grave anxieties, which We know are also yours, Venerable Brethren, especially those of you who are Bishops in Italy, We are pre-occupied first of all by the fact that so many of our children, young boys and young girls, are inscribed and have taken membership with that oath. We deeply pity so many consciences tortured by doubts (torments and doubts concerning which We have incontrovertible evidence) precisely because of that oath as it has been interpreted, especially after the recent occurrences.
Realizing the many difficulties of the present hour and knowing that membership in the [Fascist] party and the oath are for countless persons a necessary condition of their career, of their daily bread, and even of their life itself, We have sought to find a way which would restore tranquillity to these consciences, reducing to a minimum the external difficulties of the situation. It seems to Us that such a means for those who have already received the membership card would be to make for themselves before God, in their own consciences, a reservation such as "Saving the laws of God and of the Church," or "In accordance with the duties of a good Christian," with the firm proposal to declare also externally such a reservation if the need of it arose.
We would desire that Our prayer may move those chiefs of the party who decide its policy and give the orders. It is the prayer of a Father who is jealous for the consciences of so many of his children. Let the reservation just mentioned be included in the oath-formula. Better still, let the oath be dropped, seeing that an oath is an act of religion and that it is out of place on the membership-cards of a political party.
We have tried to speak with calm and with serenity and also with all clarity. However, We cannot be otherwise than concerned that We be well understood--We do not say by you, Venerable Brethren, who are always and now more than ever so united to Us in thoughts and in sentiments--but by everyone.
In everything that We have said up to the present, We have not said that We wished to condemn the [Fascist] party as such. Our aim has been to point out and to condemn all those things in the programme and in the activities of the party which have been found to be contrary to Catholic doctrine and Catholic practice, and therefore irreconcilable with the Catholic name and profession. And in doing this We have fulfilled a precise duty of Our episcopal ministry towards Our dear sons who are members of the party, so that their conscience may be at peace.
We believe then that We have thus, at the same time, accomplished a good work for the party itself. What interest and success can the party gain, in a Catholic country like Italy, through retaining in its programme ideas, maxims, and practices which cannot be reconciled with a Catholic conscience? The consciences of peoples, as of individuals, come home again in the long run and seek the paths which, for a short time or a long, have been lost from sight or have been abandoned.
Masonry and Liberalism
And lest it be alleged that " Italy is Catholic but anti-clerical," We will say something on this point. You, Venerable Brethren, who in the great and small Italian dioceses live in continuous contact with the good folk of all the country, you know and you see every day how (except when somebody deceives or misleads them) they are far removed from all anti-clericalism.
It is known by all who are familiar with the history of the country that anti-clericalism has had in Italy the importance and the strength conferred upon it by Masonry and Liberalism when these were the powers ruling Italy. But in our own day, on the occasion of the Lateran Treaties, the unparalleled enthusiasm which united and overjoyed Italians would have left no room for anti-clericalism if it had not been evoked and encouraged on the very morrow of the Treaty. During the recent occurrences, orders from high personages have switched anti-clericalism on or off, and this has been plain to all. There can be no doubt that a mere hundredth or even a thousandth part of the force used against Catholic Action will suffice to keep anti-clericalism in its place.
CONCLUSIONS AND REFLECTIONS
But other and very serious fears for the future concern Us. At a meeting which was most official and most solemn, and was held immediately after these last acts which were for Us and for the Catholics of all Italy and of all the world so sad and depressing, it was declared that "respect for the Catholic religion, and for its supreme Head, is unchanged." But the respect which is "unchanged" is that same respect which We have already experienced. It is the respect which has had its expression in vastly extended and hateful police-measures, prepared in the deep silence of a con- spiracy, and executed with lightning-like suddenness on the very vigil of Our birthday which was the occasion of many acts of kindness and of courtesy towards Us on the part of the Catholic world, and of the non-Catholic world also. It is the respect which has expressed itself in violences and in irreverences permitted to be perpetrated without let or hindrance. For what, therefore, can We hope? What things must We not expect? Many are asking if this strange method of speaking and of writing in such circumstances and so soon after such occurrences is not to be explained as irony. For Our own part We wish to exclude that hypothesis.
In the same context and in immediate relation with the "unchanged respect," there is an allusion to "refuges and protections" given to the still remaining opponents of the [Fascist] party, and "the directors of the 9,000 groups of Fascists in Italy" are ordered to direct their attention to this situation. More than one of you, Venerable Brethren, has already had experience and has given Us sad information about the effect of these remarks, these insinuations, and these orders, which have induced a new outbreak of hateful surveillance, of denunciations, and of intimidations. How, therefore, can We prepare for the future? What can We and must We not expect? We do not fear; because the fear of God expels the fear of man. But what is to be done if, as We have reason to believe, it has been decided that Our Catholic young people must not meet, even silently, save at the cost of bitter punishment for their leaders? What new thing, therefore, We ask Ourselves, does the future prepare and threaten?
A CALL TO PRAYER
It is precisely in this extreme of doubt and of foreboding to which men have reduced Us that Our every care vanishes, and that Our spirit opens to the most confident and consoling hopes, because the future is in the hands of God. God is with us; and "if God be for us, who is against us?"
A sign and sensible proof of the divine aid and favour We already see and taste in your helpfulness and co-operation, Venerable Brethren. If We have been well informed, it has been said recently that Catholic Action is now in the hands of the Bishops, and that there is nothing more to fear. And up to this point the statement is good, very good, except for that phrase "nothing more," which seems to imply that hitherto there was indeed something to fear, and except also that word "now," as if before and from the beginning Catholic Action was not always essentially diocesan and dependent on the Bishops (as We have above pointed out); and also for this, principally for this, We have always nourished the most certain confidence that Our directions were observed. For this reason, next to the promised unfailing divine assistance, We remain, and We shall remain in the most serene confidence, even if tribulation-let Us rather say the exact word--even if persecution shall continue and intensify. We know that you are, and you know yourselves that you are our Brethren in the episcopate and in the apostolate. We know, and you know, too, Venerable Brethren, that you are the successors of those Apostles whom St. Paul called, with words of towering sublimity, the "Glory of Christ." 1 You know that no mortal man, such as the head of a State or of a Government, but the Holy Ghost Himself has set you in the places which Peter has assigned to you to rule in the Church of God. These and so many other holy and sublime things that concern you, Venerable Brethren, are evidently ignored or forgotten by him who thinks of you and calls you, Bishops of Italy, " the officials of the State," from which the very formula of the oath which it is necessary for you to make to the Sovereign clearly distinguishes and separates you, for the oath especially states: "as is proper for a Catholic Bishop."
Great also, and truly a measureless reason for hoping for the best is the immense chorus of prayers that the Church of Jesus Christ has offered up from all parts of the world to the divine Founder of the Church and to His Blessed Mother for the Church's visible Head, the successor of Peter, just in the same way as was done twenty centures ago, when persecution assailed Peter himself--the prayers of pastors and of flocks, of clergy and of faithful, of members of religious orders, of adults and of youths, and of children, prayers in the most exquisite and efficacious forms; of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and eucharistic communions; of supplications and of acts of adoration and reparation; of spontaneous immolations and of sufferings endured in a Christian manner. The echo of these prayers reached Us during all those days immediately following the sad events, and brought Us great consolation, never so strong and so consoling as on this sacred and solemn day, dedicated to the memory of the Princes of the Apostles, on which day divine providence has disposed that We have been able to finish this encyclical letter.
In answer to prayer everything is definitely promised; and if the answer will not be the re-establishment of serene and tranquil relations, it will have its answer at any rate in Christian patience, in
1 II Corinthians viii, 23.
holy courage, in the infallible joy of suffering something with Jesus and for Jesus, with the youth and for the youth so dear to Him, until the Hour hidden in the mystery of the Divine Heart, which will infallibly be the most opportune for the cause of truth and of good.
And since so many prayers We must hope for everything, and since everything is possible to that God who has promised everything in answer to prayer, we have confident hope that He will illumine men's minds with truth and will turn their wills to good, so that the Church of God, which wishes to take nothing from the State of that which belongs to the competence of the State, will cease to be asked for that which is of the Church's competence-the education and the Christian formation of youth, as this is hers, not through human favour, but by divine mandate. She must always claim it with an insistence and an intransigence which cannot cease or waver, because it does not come from human desire or design or from human ideas changeable in different times and places and circumstances, but from the divine and inviolable decree. And we are inspired also by faith and confidence to believe that good will undoubtedly come from the recognition of such a truth and of such a right.
A Fruitful Co-operation
Father of all the redeemed, and Vicar of that Redeemer who, after having taught and commanded all to love their enemies, died pardoning those who were crucifying Him, We are not and never will be the enemy of any one; nor will Our true sons, those who wish to remain worthy of the name of Catholic. Yet Catholics will never be able to agree to adopt or to favour maxims or ways of thinking and of acting contrary to the right of the Church and to the welfare of souls, and therefore contrary to the rights of Almighty God. How preferable to this obstinate clash of minds and of wills would be a peaceful and tranquil union of thoughts and of sentiments! Such a union could not fail to translate itself into a fruitful co-operation of all for the true good and for the common good, and it would be rewarded by the sympathetic applause of the Catholics of all the world, instead of meeting, as at present, with universal blame and discontent.
We pray the God of all mercies, through the intercession of His Blessed Mother (who so recently smiled on Us from the splendours of her pluricentenary celebration), and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, that He will make us all to see that we ought all to do, and that He will give us the strength to put it into effect. May Our apostolic benediction, the augury and pledge of divine blessings, descend upon you, Venerable Brethren, on your clergy and on your people, and remain with you for ever.
Rome, from the Vatican, on the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, June 29, 1931.
PIUS PP. XI
4. Concordat between Pope Pius XI and the Hitler Government of Germany, July 20, 1933
Original Italian and German texts in Acta Apostolicae Sedis,
year 1933, p. 389
The position gained by Catholicism in Germany after the successful termination of the "Kulturkampf" (see Doc. No. 8 in Chap. VII) remained preserved until the end of the Hohenzollern Empire and also under the German Weimar Republic. It was backed by the influential Catholic Centre Party whose importance increased particularly after the First World War when this Party, being the decisive element between the Right and Left wings in the Parliament, supplied the German Republic with most of the Reich Chancellors. At that time Concordats were concluded between the Holy See and the three States where the majority of the German Catholics lived, Bavaria ( 1924), Prussia ( 1929) and Baden ( 1932), and a general Concordat, covering the whole of the Reich's territory, was envisaged. The Catholic influence in German politics lasted until the ascension of National Socialism to power in January 1933 and even then Adolf Hitler, having become Chancellor of the Reich, kept as Vice-Chancellor one of his predecessors at the head of the Reich's Government, the Catholic politician Franz von Papen.
At the same time, however, the unscrupulous drive of the National Socialist Party to obtain the majority in the Parliament and to lay the foundations of the totalitarian system in Germany, was directed equally against the Marxists and the Centre Party. In the middle of the terror which followed the burning of the "Reichstag" a general election was held in March 1933. The number of votes of the Centre Party shrank considerably under the Nazi pressure against its adherents and at the beginning of July the Party had to decide--like all the other non-Nazi Parties--on its own dissolution. But simultaneously with these events the Hitler Government was conducting, through the medium of the Vice-Chancellor Papen, negotiations at Rome concerning a general Concordat with the Holy See to settle the position of the Catholic Church in the whole of Germany. The negotiation took the shape of a compromise with Catholicism in which the "Fuehrer" was prepared to concede generous conditions to the Church in matters important to her conditions which were largely modelled on the example of Mussolini's concessions to the Church in the Lateran Concordat of 1929-see Doc. Nos. 1 and 3 in this chapter); in return he demanded the Vatican's acquiescence in the disappearance of the Centre Party and the prohibition of any participation of the German clergy in politics. On these lines the Concordat was signed on July 20, 1933.
The Concordat preserves continuity with the important arrangements which had regulated hitherto the legal position of the Church in Germany, such as the Weimar Constitution and the three previous Concordats with Bavaria, Prussia and Baden. The further validity of these Concordats is expressly maintained (Art. 2); from the German (so-called Weimar) Constitution of 1919 several passages of the Concordat are taken over literally, beginning with the general stipulation of its Art. 1 that "the Reich recognizes the right of the Catholic Church to regulate and manage her own affairs independently within the limits of laws applicable to all and to issue-within the framework of her own competence--laws and ordinances binding on her members."
The freedom of communication inside the Church was conceded by the German Government in the most liberal way. Art. 4 stipulates not only free contact between the German bishops and the Holy See but also between the episcopate and their faithful. Two important consequences follow from this: any governmental right of "placet" for the publication of Papal Bulls and other pronouncements is discarded; and the Article includes freedom of sermons and Pastoral Letters for the German clergy, and also of the Catholic press, at least in the form of diocesan gazettes and bulletins. The nomination of bishops is left to the Holy See in conformity with Canon Law; however, the Reich Government is to be asked beforehand whether it has not political objections against the prospective nominee (Art. 14). The exception made in Art. 14 for the archbishopric of Freiburg and the bishoprics of Rottenburg, Mainz and Meissen means that the Chapters of these places have a limited right of election to the respective Sees instead of Papal nomination. Both Arts. 4 and 14 are similar to the corresponding stipulations of the Italian Concordat of 1929.
In the sphere of education the interests of the Church are fully respected. Religious instruction in elementary and secondary schools is safeguarded; the existing Catholic confessional schools are guaranteed, the possibility of creating further ones secured; and religious Orders are declared free to undertake teaching activities
(Arts. 21, 23, 25). In matrimonial matters the German Civil Code of 1875 establishes the general rule that a compulsory civil wedding must precede an optional religious ceremony. This is maintained in Art. 26 of the Concordat with the proviso that in two exceptional cases this order can be reversed and the church wedding may precede the civil ceremony; among them the case of "moral emergency," explained in the Additional Protocol, is a novelty added by the Concordat (the case of grave illness had already been stipulated in the previous German legislation).
Again similarly to the Italian Concordat the associations of "Catholic Action" are permitted, but limited only to religious, cultural and charitable purposes, with strict exclusion of any political activity (Art. 31). As these associations were not yet developed by that time in Germany as they had been in Italy in 1929, a list of organizations falling under the scope of this Article was to be agreed later between the two contracting parties. Finally, Art. 32 embodies the requirement of Hitler's Government, accepted by the Pope, that the German clergy shall not be allowed to engage in any political work whatever. Surveyed in this way, the Concordat does not appear unsatisfactory for the Church and the Papacy, particularly if compared with the treatment which the German Protestant Churches had to undergo simultaneously on the part of the Nazis (cf. Commentary to Doc. No. 6 in this chapter). In the face of the "special conditions" in Germany, mentioned in Art. 32, the Centre Party could not be expected to resist successfully the drastic totalitarianism of the National Socialist movement. Consequently, the guarantees for the Church, contained in the Concordat, could seem to be the best possible substitute--in the given circumstances--for the disappearance of the traditional Catholic forces in German politics.
On the other hand, the Church's experience with Italian Fascism and its encroachments on the Lateran Concordat (see Doc. No. 3 in this chapter) made it doubtful whether the Nazis, equally totalitarian, if not more, would observe their engagements, particularly in the controversial matters of the Catholic press, organizations of "Catholic Action", and education of youth. Soon it became clear that these misgivings were justified. The enactment of the law on sterilization and other applications of their racial programme brought the Nazi movement into an inevitable conflict with the Church in the same year 1933 and when, in June 1934, the last remnant of Catholic influence was removed from the Reich Government with the person of the Vice-Chancellor von Papen, a period of flagrant infringements of the Concordat opened in Germany (see the Doc. No. 6 of this chapter).
His Holiness Pope Pius XI and the President of the German Reich, led by their common desire to consolidate and enhance the existing friendly relations between the Catholic Church and the State in the whole territory of the German Reich in a stable and satisfactory manner for both parties, have decided to conclude a solemn agreement which will supplement the Concordats already concluded with some particular German States ("Laender") and secure for the others the principles of a uniform treatment of the questions involved.
For this purpose His Holiness Pope Pius XI has appointed as his Plenipotentiary His Eminence the Most Reverend Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, His Holiness' Secretary of State; and the President of the German Reich has appointed as Plenipotentiary the Vice-Chancellor of the German Reich, Herr Franz von Papen; who, having exchanged their respective full powers and found them to be in due and proper form, have agreed to the following Articles:
Art. 1. The German Reich guarantees freedom of profession and public practice of the Catholic religion. It recognizes the right of the Catholic Church to regulate and manage her own affairs independently within the limits of laws applicable to all and to issue--within the framework of her own competence--laws and ordinances binding on her members.
Art. 2. The Concordats concluded with Bavaria ( 1924), Prussia ( 1929) and Baden ( 1932) and the rights and privileges of the Catholic Church recognized therein remain unchanged within the territory of the States ("Laender") concerned. For the rest of the States the provisions of the present Concordat shall be fully applicable. These provisions shall also be binding for the said three States in so far as they are relative to matters not regulated by the Concordats concluded with those States, or in so far as they complete the arrangements already made.
In the future, Concordats with individual (German) States shall be concluded only in consultation with the Government of the Reich.
Art. 3. In order to foster good relations between the Holy See and the German Reich, an Apostolic Nuncio will continue to reside, as hitherto, in the capital of the German Reich and an Ambassador of the German Reich will reside with the Holy See.
Art. 4. The Holy See shall enjoy full freedom in its contact and correspondence with the bishops, clergy and all other members of the Catholic Church in Germany. The same applies to the bishops and other diocesan authorities in their contact with the faithful in all matters of their pastoral office.
Instructions, ordinances, Pastoral Letters, official diocesan gazettes, and other enactments concerning the spiritual guidance of the faithful, issued by the ecclesiastical authorities within the framework of their competence (see Art. 1, par. 2) may be published without hindrance and made known to the faithful in the ways heretofore usual.
Art. 5. The clergy enjoy in the discharge of their spiritual activities the same protection of the State as State officials. The State will proceed according to general provisions of its law in case of any outrage directed against the clergy personally or against their ecclesiastical character or in case of any interference with duties of their office and, if necessary, will provide official protection.
Art. 6. Clerics and religious are exempt from the obligation to undertake public offices and such obligations as are incompatible with their clerical or religious status. This applies particularly to the office of magistrate, membership of jury in Law Courts, membership of Taxation Committees or membership of the Fiscal Tribunal.
Art. 7. A member of the clergy can accept an official function or appointment in the State or in any publicly constituted corporation dependent on the State only after having received the nihil obstat of his diocesan Ordinary, as well as that of the Ordinary competent for the place where the seat of the corporation is situated. For important reasons in which the interests of the Church are involved, the nihil obstat can be withdrawn at any time.
Art. 8. The official income of the clergy is exempt from distraint to the same extent as the official salary of the civil servants of the Reich and of the States.
Art. 9. The judicial and other authorities can not ask the clergy to give information about matters which have been entrusted to them while exercising the care of souls and which are consequently covered by the obligation of pastoral secrecy.
Art. 10. The wearing of clerical dress or of a religious habit by lay persons or by clerics or religious who have been forbidden to wear it on the strength of a final and valid decision of the competent Church authority--officially communicated to the State authorities--shall be punished by the State with the same penalties as the misuse of military uniform.
Art. 11. The present organization and delimitation of the Roman Catholic Dioceses in the German Reich remains as it is. If, however, the rearrangement of a bishopric or of an ecclesiastical province, or any other changes in the delimitation of dioceses appear necessary in the future, they will be subject to an agreement with the Government of the State concerned in case that they involve changes only within the boundaries of one German State ("Land"). In case of rearrangement or changes which exceed the boundaries of one German State, the agreement is to be made with the Reich Government, to whose care it shall be left to secure the consent of the State Governments in question. The same applies to the establishment of new ecclesiastical provinces or alterations therein if these involve several German States. The foregoing provisions are not applicable to the shifting of boundaries which is made only with regard to the local care of souls.
In case of a wider reorganization within the German Reich, the Reich Government shall consult with the Holy See with a view to such regrouping of dioceses and to their delimitation.
Art. 12. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 11, ecclesiastical offices can be freely established and altered if no subsidy is asked for from the State funds. The co-operation of the State in establishing and changing the parish communities shall proceed according to rules which have been arranged with the diocesan bishops; the Reich Government will endeavour to achieve a uniform formulation by the State Governments of their rules as far as it is possible.
Art. 13. Catholic parishes, parish and diocesan associations, episcopal sees, bishoprics and chapters, religious Orders and congregations, as well as institutions, foundations and property of the Catholic Church administered by ecclesiastical authorities, shall retain or acquire respectively juridical personality, recognized by the State according to the general provisions of Civil Law. They shall remain publicly recognized corporations as far as they have been such hitherto; the same rights may be granted to the others in accordance with the general law applicable to all.
Art. 14. As a rule, the Church has the right to appoint freely to all Church dignities and benefices without any co-operation on the part of the State or of the civil corporations, unless any other arrangement has been made in previous Concordats mentioned in Art. 2. As far as the appointment to the episcopal sees is concerned, the arrangement reached with regard to the Metropolitan See of Freiburg, in the diocese of the Upper Rhine, shall be applicable to the two suffragan bishoprics of Rottenburg and Mainz, as well as to the bishopric of Meissen. The same applies in the said two suffragan bishoprics as regards the appointments to the Cathedral Chapters and the settlement of the rights of patronage.
Furthermore, agreement has been reached on the following points:(i) Catholic clerics who enjoy a spiritual office in Germany or exercise there a pastoral or educational activity, must:
(a) be German citizens;
(b) have obtained a School Certificate (Certificate of Maturity) entitling them to study at a higher German school;
(c) have studied Philosophy and Theology for at least three years at a German State University, an academic ecclesiastical college in Germany or a Papal high school in Rome.
(ii) The Bulls containing appointments of Archbishops, Bishops, Coadjutors cum iure successionis or of a "Prelatus nullius" will not be issued before the name of the selected person has been communicated to the "Reichsstatthalter" in the State ("Land") in question, and before it has been ascertained that there are no objections of a general political nature against such a person. The conditions laid down above under (i), par. ( a ), ( b ), ( c ), can be discarded by mutual agreement between Church and State. Art. 15. Religious Orders and congregations are not subject, on the part of the State, to any particular restrictions as far as their foundation, their various establishments, the number of their members and their qualifications (save, however, for the provisions of Art. 15, par. 2), their pastoral or educational activity, their care of the sick and charitable work, the management of their affairs and the administration of their property are concerned.
Superiors of the religious Orders who have their official residence within the German Reich must have German citizenship. Provincials and Superiors whose official residence is situated outside the German territory have the right of visitation of their establishments in Germany, even if they have a foreign citizenship.
The Holy See will see to it that the organization of the provinces of various religious Orders, as regards their establishments in Germany, should be such as to avoid--so far as it can be done--the subordination of German establishments to foreign Provincials. Exceptions therefrom may be admitted by mutual agreement with the Reich Government, particularly in cases where the small number of establishments in Germany makes the formation of a German province impracticable or where special reasons exist for the maintenance of a provincial organization rooted in history and working well in practice.
Art. 16. Before taking possession of their diocese, the Bishops shall take an oath of loyalty either between the hands of the "Reichsstatt- halter" in the State ("Land") in question or between those of the President of the Reich, the formula of which shall be the following:
"Before God and on the Holy Gospels I swear and promise, as becomes a bishop, loyalty to the German Reich and to the 'Land' of . . . . . . I swear and promise to respect the Government established according to the Constitution and to cause the clergy of my diocese to respect it. In the due solicitude for the welfare and the interests of the German Reich, I will endeavour, while performing the spiritual office bestowed upon me, to prevent anything which might threaten to be detrimental to it."
Art. 17. The property and all other proprietary rights of the publicly recognized corporations, institutions, foundations and associations of the Catholic Church will be guaranteed according to the common law of the State. No building used for public worship can be demolished under any pretext or for any reason whatsoever, except if a mutual agreement has been reached beforehand with the competent ecclesiastical authority. Art. 18. Should the State payments in kind or money, which are made to the Catholic Church, whether based on law, contract, or any other special legal title, be discontinued, the Holy See and the Reich will proceed in due time beforehand to set up by amicable agreement the principles according to which the discontinuation is to be carried out. In this connection, a right derived from a legitimate traditional custom is to be considered as a special legal title. Such discontinuation, implying the cessation of a State payment or obligation, must be adequately compensated in favour of the claimant. Art. 19. Catholic Theological Faculties in State Universities shall be maintained. Their relationship to the Church authorities will be regulated by the provisions of the respective Concordats and by the Protocols annexed to them, with due regard to the ecclesiastical laws relative to these Faculties. The Reich will endeavour to secure for all German Catholic Faculties in question a uniform régime in accordance with the general spirit of the regulations concerned. Art. 20. The Church has the right--unless there is some other agreement--to establish theological and philosophical colleges for the training of clergy; if no State subsidies are claimed for these institutions, they will be dependent solely on the ecclesiastical authorities. The establishment, management and administration of seminaries and hostels for clerical students pertains exclusively-within the limits of the law applicable to all--to ecclesiastical authorities.
Art. 21. Catholic religious instruction in primary, vocational, secondary and higher schools is a regular subject of tuition and is to be taught in accordance with the principles of the Catholic Church. In religious instruction the patriotic, civic and social consciousness and sense of duty will be particularly stressed and cultivated, as this is generally done in the school training. The teaching programme of religious education and the selection of textbooks will be settled by agreement with the higher ecclesiastical authorities. These authorities will be given the opportunity to control, in harmony with the school authorities, whether pupils are receiving religious instruction in accordance with the teaching and requirements of the Church. Art. 22. Mutual agreements shall be arrived at between the bishops and the governments of German States ("Laender") with regard to appointment of the teachers of religion. Teachers who have been declared by the bishop unfit for the further exercise of their teaching function, either for pedagogical reasons or on account of their moral behaviour, must not be employed as teachers of religion as long as the obstacle remains.
Art. 23. The maintenance of the existing Catholic confessional schools and the establishment of new ones is hereby guaranteed. In all localities where parents or guardians request it, Catholic primary schools will be established if the number of their prospective pupils-considered from the point of view of the local school conditions-appears to be sufficient for the establishment of a school corresponding to the standards prescribed by the State legislation.
Art. 24. Only members of the Catholic Church who can be trusted that they will correspond to the special requirements of a Catholic confessional school, can be employed as teachers in all Catholic primary schools. Within the framework of the general professional training of teachers, arrangements will be made to guarantee the education and training of Catholic teachers capable of fulfilling the special requirements of Catholic confessional schools.
Art. 25. Religious Orders and congregations have the right to establish and run private schools within the limits of the general legislation and conditions laid down by law. The same qualifications as in State schools can be acquired in these private schools if they follow the teaching programme prescribed for State schools. Members of religious Orders and congregations are subject, with regard to their admission to teaching and to their employment in primary schools, to the general conditions applicable to all.
Art. 26. Pending a later and more detailed settlement of matters regarding matrimonial law, it is understood that a church wedding may precede the civil marriage ceremony not only in case of a grave illness of one of the fiancés which does not permit any delay, but also in case of great moral emergency (which, however, must be confirmed by the competent episcopal authority). In such cases, the parish priest is bound to report the matter at once to the Registrar's office.
Art. 27. A special and exempt pastoral ministry is conceded to the officers, employees and men of the German army and to their families. An army bishop will be in charge of this pastoral care. His ecclesiastical appointment will be effected by the Holy See after contact has been made with the Reich Government in order to select, by mutual agreement, a suitable candidate. The ecclesiastical appointment of military chaplains and other military clergy will be made by the army bishop after previous consultation with the competent authorities of the Reich. The army bishop can, however, appoint as military chaplains only such priests who have obtained, from their Ordinary, permission to engage in military pastoral work and who have obtained an appropriate certificate of fitness. Military chaplains have the rights of parish priests with regard to the troops and other army personnel assigned to their care.
An Apostolic Brief will be issued to regulate in detail the Catholic care of souls in the army. Regulations about the position of army chaplains as State officials will be issued by the Reich Government.
Art. 28. The Church will be admitted to pastoral visits and to the holding of Divine Service in hospitals, prisons, and similar public institutions. If a regular care of souls, requiring the appointment of clergy as State or public officials, is introduced in such institutions, this will be made by agreement with the higher Church authorities.
Art. 29. Catholic members of non-German national minorities living within the Reich will not be placed in a worse status with regard to the use of their mother tongue in Divine Service, religious instruction and Church societies, than is the corresponding legal and practical position of the population of German origin and speech living in the territory of the corresponding foreign State.
Art. 30. On Sundays and Holy days a prayer will be said for the welfare of the German Reich and its people in episcopal, parish, affiliated and conventual churches in the German Reich, immediately after the High Mass and according to the rules of the Church liturgy.
Art. 31. Catholic organizations and associations whose activity is devoted exclusively to religious, purely cultural and charitable purposes and which are, as such, subordinated to Church authorities, are protected as to their institutions and activities.
Catholic organizations which, apart from religious, cultural or charitable purposes, have other tasks such as social or professional aims, shall also enjoy the protection of this Article 31, par. 1, even though their organizations may be disposed in associations corresponding to States ("Laender"), provided they guarantee to develop their activities outside political Parties.
It is reserved to the Reich Government and the German Episcopate to determine, by mutual agreement, the organizations and associations which fall within the provisions of this Article.
In so far as the Reich and the States ("Laender") take charge of sport and other youth organizations, care will be taken to enable their members to discharge regularly their Church duties on Sundays and Holy days; and care will also be taken not to require them to do anything which would be incompatible with their religious and moral convictions and duties.
Art. 32. With regard to the special conditions existing in Germany and with regard to the provisions of the present Concordat guaranteeing legislation to protect the rights and privileges of the Catholic Church in the Reich and its States ("Laender"), the Holy See will issue ordinances by which the clergy and the religious will be forbidden to be members of political Parties or to be active on their behalf.
Art. 33. All matters regarding clerical persons or Church affairs which have not been mentioned in the preceding Articles will be settled, for the sphere of the Church, according to Canon Law in force.
Should a divergence arise, in the future, as to the interpretation or application of any provision of this Concordat, the Holy See and the German Reich will arrive at an amicable solution by mutual agreement.
Art. 34. This Concordat, whose German and Italian text have the same validity, shall be ratified and the ratifications shall be exchanged as soon as possible. It will enter into force from the day of such exchange.
In witness whereof, the Plenipotentiaries have signed this Concordat.
Given in two original copies.
In the Vatican City, July 20, 1933.
(Signed) Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli.
Franz von Papen.
THE ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL
When signing the Concordat concluded to-day between the Holy See and the German Reich, the undersigned, being duly empowered to do so, have formulated the following explanations which form an integral part of the Concordat itself.
With regard to Art. 3. In accordance with the exchange of Notes between the Apostolic Nunciature in Berlin and the Reich Foreign Office on the 11th and 27th March respectively, the Apostolic Nuncio to the German Reich shall be the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps accredited in Berlin.
With regard to Art. 13. It is understood that the right of the Church to levy taxes is guaranteed.
With regard to Art. 14, par. 2, sect. 2. It is understood that if objections of a general political nature exist, they shall be presented as soon as possible. Should they not be presented within twenty days, the Holy See will be entitled to believe that there are no objections against the candidate in question. Before an official announcement of the appointment is made, secrecy shall be kept about the candidates concerned. This Article does not establish for the State a right of veto.
With regard to Art. 17. In so far as buildings or land belonging to the State have been devoted to ecclesiastical purposes, they will continue to be devoted to them, with due regard, however, to the contracts which might have been concluded about them.
With regard to Art. 19, sent. 2. The basis referred to consists--at the time when this Concordat is being concluded--especially of the Apostolic Constitution Deus scientiarum dominus of May 24, 1931, and the Instruction of July 7, 1932.
With regard to Art. 20. Hostels connected with high and secondary schools and administered by the Church will be recognized, from the taxation standpoint, as being in practice ecclesiastical institutions in the proper sense of the word, and as parts of diocesan organization.
With regard to Art. 24. In so far as private institutions are able to satisfy--after the new regulations regarding the education of teachers--the generally applicable requirements of the State, the existing establishments of religious Orders and congregations will be given due consideration in the accordance of recognition.
With regard to Art. 26. A great moral emergency is considered as existing if the procuring in time of documents necessary for the wedding meets with obstacles which are either insuperable or whose removal would be disproportionately costly.
With regard to Art. 27, sent. 2. Catholic army officers, personnel and men, as well as their families, do not belong to the local parish communities and are not to contribute to their maintenance.
With regard to Art. 27, sent. 4. The Apostolic Brief will be issued in agreement with the Reich Government.
With regard to Art. 28. In urgent cases clergy shall be allowed to enter at any time.
With regard to Art. 29. Since the Reich Government has shown itself ready to make concessions with regard to non-German minorities, the Holy See declares--confirming hereby the principles which it has constantly maintained regarding the right of using the vernacular in the pastoral ministry, religious instruction and in the activities of Catholic associations--that it will keep in mind, when concluding future Concordats with other countries, the inclusion in them of provisions of a similar value for the protection of the rights of German minorities there.
With regard to Art. 31, par. 4. The principles laid down in par. 4 of this Article are equally valid for the Labour Service ("Arbeitsdienst").
With regard to Art. 32. It is understood that the same provisions, regarding activity in political Parties, will be enacted by the Reich for the non-Catholic confessions.
The conduct which has been stipulated as a duty for the German clergy and members of religious Orders in Art. 32 does not mean any restriction on their preaching and exposition of the dogmatic and moral teachings and principles of the Church, as it is their duty to do.
(Given) at the Vatican City, July 20, 1933.
(Signed) Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli.
Franz von Papen.
5. Corporative Constitutions of Austria (1934) and of Portugal
(1933, amended in 1935)
The original German text of the Austrian Constitution can be found in Bundesgesetzblatt fuer den Bundesstaat Oesterreich, No. 1 of May 1, 1934, and the original Portuguese text of the Portuguese Constitution (as amended on August 1, 1935) in Diario do Governo, No. 176 1st series, August 1935
Pope Pius XI's Encyclical Quadragesimo anno on the reconstruction of the social order (see above Doc. No. 2 in this chapter) was issued in 1931 at the time of a world-wide economic crisis which led in many States to serious social and political disturbances. The Encyclical made a deep impression on Catholic minds and in various countries attempts were made to translate its recommendations into political realities. Among them Austria and Portugal are particularly important because they went so far as to model their whole social structure on the lines suggested by Pius XI in the Encyclical; they did so by enacting Constitutions in which the corporative system was introduced in the social and political life of their respective States. In the Republic of Austria two large political Parties competed for power after the First World War. They were the Catholic Christian-Social Party and the Social Democrats (Socialists). In the later twenties the Catholic Party became clearly predominant but soon the waves of social and political unrest, provoked by the great economic crisis, began to affect Austria very seriously. These waves brought up the National Socialist movement in neighbouring Germany; many sympathizers with its ideas appeared in Austria and grew more and more numerous with the advance of Nazism in Germany. The ideology of the Nazis in Austria was identical with that of the German movement. So were their political aims with one addition: that the first and most urgent target of the Austrian Nazis was to achieve by all possible means the attachment of Austria to Germany. This being unacceptable to both Catholics and Socialists, a three-cornered situation developed in Austria; three strong political forces, mutually irreconcilable and hostile, faced each other in constant defiance, rendering normal government of the country more and more difficult. In 1933 the Nazis seized power in Germany and the year 1934 was critical for Austria. Her Government, composed of Catholics, had an energetic and popular leader, Chancellor Dollfuss. He was a strong believer in the ideas laid down in the social Encyclicals, particularly in Quadragesimo anno, and considered them as the best possible solution of his country's difficulties. But to achieve such a solution under the given circumstances he needed an authoritarian government which, in turn, pre-supposed a simplification of the internal situation in Austria. In 1933 he suspended the hardly workable Austrian parliament, dissolved the armed formations of the Socialist Party and proscribed the Nazi Party entirely, following a series of bomb outrages staged by its members. In February 1934 the Socialist Party was violently suppressed and on May 1, 1934, the Government of Chancellor Dollfuss, now authoritarian and supported by all Catholic political forces (who remained the only legal organizations in the country), enacted a new Constitution transforming Austria into a Corporative State. At the same time a Concordat with the Holy See, concluded in the preceding year 1933, was promulgated. The Constitution is a long document, complicated by the fact that Austria is a federal State and thus requiring many provisions to regulate the position of the respective component Lands within the Federation. The present text is a selection of its most important articles relative to religion and the corporative system. The Constitution states, in its Chapter II, the fundamental rights of citizens practically on the standard lines of Liberal Constitutions: freedom of assembly, association, speech, thought, etc., are guaranteed. These liberties, however, had to be mostly suspended for the time being, owing to the subversive activities of the dissolved political Parties. Religious freedom is also guaranteed (Art. 27); but as the Catholics totalled 94 per cent. of the Austrian population, the Catholic Church was given a special position through the inclusion of some important provisions of the Concordat in the Constitution (Art. 30, pars. 3 and 4). These concerned chiefly the juridical position of the Church in Austrian public law, school affairs, and guarantees for the material conditions of the Church in Austria; the ecclesiastical estates and property, as well as State salaries for the holders of poorer benefices (the so called "congrua") were safeguarded. The provisions relative to the corporative system are centred in Chapter IV, devoted to the federal legislation. According to them Austria ceased to be a parliamentary democracy whose Parliament would be elected by universal suffrage and have the right of sanctioning and defeating Governments, and of passing, altering or rejecting laws. Instead, the responsibility of the Government before the legislative organs disappeared altogether; thus the authoritarian principle was introduced, the executive power resting with a concentration of Catholic political elements, composed chiefly of the old Christian-Social Party and the "Heimwehren" (a movement modelled on the example of the Italian Fascists). Neither the federal organs of legislation nor the Diets in the Lands were to be elected by the population; a variety of these organs was created by the Constitution but their competence was limited. The vocational corporations, described in Art. 48, had still to be created; they were intended to participate in the legislative work in a fourfold manner: in the form of a federal consultative body for economic questions (Art. 48); in the form of a federal consultative body for cultural questions (Art. 47); as factors supplying members to the central legislative assembly of the Federation, the "Bundestag" (Art. 50); and as factors supplying members to the Diets in the Lands (Art. 108). The Constitution was an ambitious scheme, rather a blueprint, which would have required a period of peaceful evolution to be implemented and further elaborated. This, however, could not be achieved; a few weeks after its promulgation a Nazi revolt broke out resulting in great unrest all over the country and in the assassination of Chancellor Dollfuss. Under his successor, Dr. Schuschnigg, the internal situation in Austria steadily deteriorated. Faced with the open hostility of the Nazis and the underground opposition of the Socialists, the régime was unable to develop the corporative institutions and was forced to govern largely by autocratic decrees. In March 1938 the whole experiment collapsed together with the independence of Austria when she became the first victim of Hitler's aggressions and was incorporated into Germany. Considerably different was the evolution in another country which responded to the ideas of Pius XI soon after the publication of the Encyclical Quadragesimo anno. To Portugal Liberalism, introduced towards the middle of the nineteenth century, had brought much more evil than benefit. The resulting travesty of parliamentarianism, governmental instability, maladministration and exploitation by foreign capital only increased after the proclamation of a Republic in 1910; a constant succession of coups d'état followed and a oligarchy of inefficient politicians, largely inspired by Free Masonry, obtained the upper hand. Against this state of affairs a revolt was led by General Gomes da Costa in 1926 and a military dictatorship was established in which two men became the dominant figures: Gen. Carmona, President of the Republic, who was able to maintain the stability of the governmental system until his death in 1951, and Prof. Oliveira Salazar, the ideologist of the régime, nominated Minister of Finance in 1926 and Prime Minister since 1932. As an outstanding economist and Catholic sociologist, Dr. Salazar came to the conclusion that the ideas of the Encyclical Quadragesimo anno could be well adapted to the social conditions of his country and become the basis of its economic reconstruction. From this conviction the most successful attempt up to the present at the realization of the corporative State has developed. After having brought about a financial recovery of the Republic by a series of drastic budgets, Dr. Salazar enacted, in 1933, a Constitution which laid the foundations of the corporative structure in Portugal. When the first experiences had been gathered, the Constitution was amended in August 1935; the most important Articles of it are given below. Leaning on a strong and authoritarian executive power, established in 1926, it preserves a Parliament, the National Assembly, but stripped of the right to set up or overthrow Governments. It is elected by direct suffrage (Art. 85). However, as no political Parties are tolerated in Portugal, only governmental candidates can be elected, although the electorate is given the possibility to choose the most suitable among them. The National Assembly is competent to make, interpret, suspend and revoke laws. But every bill, submitted to the National Assembly, has to go first to the Corporative Chamber which shall express its consultative opinion thereon (Art. 103). According to the next Article the Government may require the advice of the Corporative Chamber also in matters which are settled by decrees only, not by laws. All through the Constitution, which sounds in numerous passages rather like a general political programme than a strictly legal document, many ideas of the two great Encyclicals, Rerum novarum and Quadragesimo anno, are clearly apparent. The family as a basic social unit is given great prominence: the education of children is placed primarily under its responsibility (Art. 12); the right to vote belongs only to heads of families (Art. 19); the introduction of family wages and construction of family houses will be encouraged by the State (Art. 14). The duties of the State are stated in a very explicit way: it shall strive for social progress (Art. 6, par. 3) and economic prosperity (Arts. 29, 31); it shall promote the development of corporative organizations (Art. 16); it shall respect private ownership but may intervene in it for important reasons (Art. 33); it shall take care to prevent unrestrained competition (Art. 34); it shall encourage the co-operation of property, capital and labour in economic undertakings (Arts. 35, 36); it shall not tolerate strikes or lock-outs but provide for arbitration in labour matters by independent tribunals (Arts. 38, 39--all these provisions relative to labour problems have been elaborated in a special law, called Statute of National Labour, enacted in 1933); and it shall prevent propaganda detrimental to the public weal (Art. 22). With regard to the Church it will keep the system of separation between Church and State, but the Church is given ample opportunity to found private schools (Arts. 46, 44). About the actual organization and competence of the Corporations little is said in the Constitution. This may be explained by the fact that they were only in statu nascendi at that time and that Dr. Salazar's policy has always been to avoid State pressure or standardization in their growth. The State is only to "co-ordinate, stimulate and direct" social activities (Art. 6, par. 2), and to promote the organic and spontaneous building up of Corporations in the administrative, cultural, moral and economic sectors of public life (Arts. 34, 102); but it is not to organize directly or enforce the movement. This absence of étatisme and the absence of a totali- tarian political Party, superimposed on all social organisms, is a basic difference between Salazar's structure in Portugal and Mussolini's in Italy which also claimed the name of a "corporative" system. Furthermore, the spiritual character of the Portuguese conception, stressing everywhere Christian moral law, and its ultimate ideal of Corporations entirely autonomous from State interference show its distance from the Fascist theories of State totalitarianism. The cautious evolution of Corporativism in Portugal has already achieved substantial results. In various sectors of national life the Corporations have been solidly established and display lively vitality. Within their framework workers and employers settle their questions of labour, salaries and collective contracts in a growing spirit of mutual understanding, thus moving towards that ideal of Salazar's "Estado Novo" which is a society divided vertically by solidarity of avocation and not horizontally by animosity and hatred of social classes.
Austrian Constitution of May 1, 1934
In the name of Omnipotent God, source of all rights, the People of Austria receives this Constitution, based on the corporative principle, for their Christian and German Federal State.
FUNDAMENTAL RULES Art. 1. Austria is a federal State. Art. 2. The Federal State of Austria is constituted on a corporative basis and comprises the city of Vienna, dependent directly on the Federation, and the following Lands: Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg.--
GENERAL RIGHTS OF CITIZENS
Art. 27. All inhabitants of Austria, able to profess a religion, enjoy full freedom of religious conviction and of conscience, as well as the freedom to practice their religion at home or publicly if this practice is not irreconcilable with public order and good morals. The profession of religious faith can not justify any infraction of civic duties. The enjoyment of civic and national rights, as well as the appointments to public posts, dignities and employment are independent from the religious confession (of the candidates). As far as posts in education are concerned, exceptions to these principles can be established by law. Nobody must be compelled to perform any religious act or to take part in a religious function. This rule does not apply to obligations which may be imposed by the family authority, the authorities in charge of education or any other legally constituted authorities. Nor does it apply to obligations regarding the attendance at religious ceremonies which follow from the exercise of a public office.
Art. 28. The adherents of a sect, which is not legally recognized in Austria as a religious body, can associate with a view of a regular worship or with a view of any other manifestation of their belief. Such a group has not the character of a religious community unless the sect in question is permitted by the State. When it is, the religious community assumes a juridical personality and has the right to claim the State's protection in the exercise of its religion; but it is subject to the State's supervision.
More detailed regulations will be provided by law.
A law will also fix the conditions under which a sect can become a religious body.
Art. 29. The Catholic Church, and other Churches and religious bodies recognized by law, enjoy a status regulated by public law. Any Church or religious body recognized by law enjoys the exclusive right for all its members to practice their religion collectively and publicly; to manage and administer their internal affairs independently; to preserve the ownership and enjoyment of their institutions, foundations and endowments intended for purposes connected with worship, education or charity. Their possessions and all other rights over their property are guaranteed. With the exceptions as embodied in Art. 30, general law is applicable in this matter. Any Church and religious body recognized by law is authorized to levy taxes destined for the discharge of its religious duties (or relative to the religious community). The co-operation of the State in levying these taxes is safeguarded, as well as the State's cooperation in the enforcement of all other obligations of the members in so far as they were fixed in agreement with public authorities or have legal existence in virtue of any legal title.
Art. 30. The affairs of Churches and religious bodies recognized by law, in which the interests of the State are also involved, are regulated by special legal provisions. In this connection other rights than those mentioned in Art. 29 may be recognized to each Church or religious body, according to their nature and general importance in the State. As regards the Catholic Church such regulation took place, in principle, in the agreement reached between the Federation and the Holy See. Articles 1 and 2; Art. 5, par. 1, sects. 1-3; Art. 6, par. 1, sects. 1-2; Art. 10, par. 1, sec. 1; Art. 13, pars. 1-4; Art. 14, 1st sentence and par. 1 of the annexed protocol; Art. 15, par. 1; and Art. 16, par. 1 of the Concordat concluded on June 5, 1933, between the Holy See and the Austrian Republic shall have the force of Constitutional law from the moment of their publication. As regards the other Churches and sects recognized by law, such regulation shall take place by means of a law after an agreement has been reached with them.
Art. 31. The State protects and fosters sciences and arts. All branches of knowledge and the teaching thereof are free. However, the obligations resulting from public employment are not affected by this provision.
Every citizen of the Federation as well as every juridical person within the nation is entitled to found training and educational establishments and to give school tuition, in so far as they fulfil the conditions required for this purpose by the law.
Tuition at home is not subject to any such requirements.
Any Church or religious community recognized by law has the right to give religious instruction to its members in schools and to exercise direct control over such instruction. Without prejudice to the rights bestowed upon it in virtue of Art. 30, the State enjoys the right of supreme direction and control over all educational establishments and institutions of faith, instruction and national formation. In this respect, it is particularly incumbent upon it to take care that children receive a religious and moral education and that they acquire the necessary cultural knowledge to make them capable men and good citizens.--
FEDERAL LEGISLATION AND ITS ORGANS
Art. 44. The legislative power of the Federation is exercised by the "Bundestag" (Federal legislative organ) which decides on bills which have been previously discussed by the "Staatsrat" (Council of State), "Bundeskulturrat" (Federal Cultural Council), "Bundeswirtschaftsrat" (Federal Economic Council) and "Laenderrat" (Council of the Lands), all of them consultative organs.
A. Consultative Organs
Art. 45. The consultative organs mentioned in Arts. 46-49 are competent to give their advice in so far as this is required according to the present Constitution; they are also competent for other duties which they are called upon to discharge according to the present Constitution.
1. "Staatstrat"--Council of State
Art. 46. The President of the Federation appoints the members of the "Staatsrat" for a period of ten years; they are selected among the most outstanding citizens of the Federation whose record and past services justify the hope that they will have a full and sound understanding of the State's needs and tasks.
The Federal Government does not propose candidates for appointment to the "Staatsrat"; such appointments, however, must be counter-signed by the Federal Chancellor.
In case of State officials who are still in active service the period of their function as members of the "Staatsrat" can be adjusted so as to correspond to the time which they still have to spend as officials in public service. Otherwise the Application Act [i.e. the law settling the details of the Constitution's entry into force] will determine the cases in which the activity of State Councillors ceases before the end of the period of ten years.
The term of the members of the "Staatsrat" can be renewed after the expiration of ten years.
The number of the members of the "Staatsrat" (State Councillors) should not exceed fifty nor fall under forty.
2. "Bundeskulturrat"--Federal Cultural Council
Art. 47. The "Bundeskulturrat" consists of representatives of Churches and religious communities recognized by law, of the teaching bodies in education and public instruction, and of scientific and artistic circles; their number is between thirty and forty.
Any citizen of the Federation aged at least twenty-six years, who has not been prohibited from becoming a member of the "Bundeskulturrat" by the federal law mentioned in par. 4 of the present Article, may be appointed a member of it.
Particular care is to be taken with regard to the composition of the "Bundeskulturrat" that parents of pupils take part in it within the framework of the representatives of the national education.
The federal law which regulates the particulars of the appointment of the members of the "Bundeskulturrat" (Federal Cultural Counsellors) has it for principle that only persons of guaranteed patriotism can be nominated.
3. "Bundeswirtschaftsrat"--Federal Economic Council Art. 48. The "Bundeswirtschaftsrat" is composed of representa-tives delegated by the corporations and professions; their number is between seventy and eighty.Any citizen of the Federation aged at least twenty-six years, who has not been prohibited from becoming a member of the "Bundeswirtschaftsrat" by the federal law mentioned in par. 3 of the present Article, may be appointed a member of it.The federal law which regulates the particulars of the appointment of the members of the "Bundeswirtschaftsrat" ( Federal Economic Councillors) has it for principle that only persons of guaranteed patriotism can be nominated.The present law determines the main corporative groups which shall send representatives to the "Bundeswirtchaftsrat" as follows:
agriculture and forestry;
industry and mines;
trades and crafts;
commerce and communications;
establishments of finance, credit and insurance;
The percentage of delegates of each corporative group shall be established with due regard to the number of members (employers and employees) belonging to each organization. However, any main group shall send at least three representatives.
4. "Laenderrat"--Council of Lands
Art. 49. Each Land sends as delegates into the "Laenderrat" its Governor ("Landeshauptmann") and the member of its Government who is in charge of the finances of the Land in question; the city of Vienna sends its Burgomaster as well as another representative, expert in municipal financial questions and designated by the Burgomaster.
In case that the Governor himself manages the finances of the Land, he decides who shall be the second representative of the Land in the "Laenderrat." If a member of the "Laenderrat" is temporarily prevented from attending the sessions of the "Laenderrat," he can delegate his powers to the other representative of that Land (or of the city of Vienna) in order to vote in his stead. In case of a protracted impediment the Governor shall send another member of the Land's Government to the "Laenderrat." In Vienna it is the Burgomaster who appoints the fresh member.
B. "Bundestag"--Federal Diet
Art. 50. The "Bundestag" consists of twenty delegates of the "Staatsrat," ten delegates of the "Bundeskulturrat," twenty delegates of the "Bundeswirtschaftsrat" and nine delegates of the "Laenderrat."The deputies who are to represent the "Staatsrat," "Bundeskulturrat" and "Bundeswirtschaftsrat" are chosen by means of ballot from among the members of those Councils, according to the rules laid down in the Application Act. The chairmen of these Councils have to be designated, compulsorily, as members of the "Bundestag." The member of the "Laenderrat" who is to represent the respective Land (or the city of Vienna) in the "Bundestag" is designated by the Governor of the Land in question (or by the Burgomaster of Vienna). Art. 51. The "Bundestag" is competent to decide on: bills presented by the Government and regarding laws in the material sense of the word; bills presented by the Federal Government and relative to the federal budget,
the issuing or conversion of federal loans,
disposition of federal property;
bills presented by the Federal Government and involving modifications of existing law, and State treaties which require promulgation by laws on the part of the State; bills presented by the Office of Comptrollers General ("Rechnungshof") and relative to the approval of accounts of the federal financial administiation; reports of the Office of Comptrollers General.
C. "Bundesversammlung"--Federal Assembly
Art. 52. The "Staatsrat," "Bundeskulturrat," "Bundeswirtschaftsrat" and "Laenderrat" convene at the seat of the "Bundestag" in public sessions as Federal Assembly ("Bundesversammlung") in order to propose the three persons out of whom the President of the Federation is to be elected; to receive the oath of the elected President of the Federation; and, furthermore, to decide on a declaration of war and to exercise the (other) attributes which the "Bundesversammlung" holds from the present Constitution.
Art. 53. Unless otherwise stipulated by the present Constitution, the "Bundesversammlung" is convoked by the President of the Federation. It is presided over by the chairman (or vice-chairman) of the "Bundestag."
The "Bundesversammlung" uses the Standing Orders of the "Bundestag."
Art. 54. The decisions of the "Bundesversammlung" are proclaimed by its chairman and counter-signed by the Federal Chancellor.
The decision concerning the selection of the three persons proposed as candidates for the election of the President of the Federation, as well as the Assembly's decisions relative to a declaration of war must be officially promulgated by the Federal Chancellor.--
PROCEDURE OF LEGISLATION
Art. 61. The Federal Government has the duty of transmitting, through the agency of the Federal Chancellor, the bills mentioned in Art. 51, sec. 1, to the organs of federal legislation.
The "Staatsrat" is bound to furnish advice on such bills within the period fixed by the Federal Government and to inform the Federal Chancellor thereof. The same obligation applies to the "Bundeskulturrat" with regard to all bills considered as exclusively or mainly cultural, and to the "Bundeswirtschaftsrat" with regard to those which the Federal Government considers as exclusively or mainly economic (obligatory advice--"Pflichtgutachten").
The Federal Government can transmit, through the agency of the Federal Chancellor, to the "Bundeskulturrat" and to the "Bundeswirtschaftsrat" bills which have an economic as well as cultural bearing, with a view to an obligatory advice; a period will be fixed by the Government within which the Federal Chancellor has to be informed of this obligatory advice.
The "Bundeskulturrat" and the "Bundeswirtschaftsrat" can not refuse to furnish an obligatory advice on a bill under the pretext that the form and the contents of the bill pertain to the province of the other consultative organ of federal legislation, or that the conditions required in par. 3 do not exist.
Consultative organs of federal legislation which are not bound, according to pars. 2 and 3, to furnish their advice, may state their opinion freely within a period fixed by the Federal Government and transmit it to the Federal Chancellor (optional advice--"Freigutachten").
In its recommendation expressed in the sense of the present Article (obligatory advice and optional advice), the "Staatsrat" shall state whether the bill is in conformity with the requirements imposed by the sovereignty of the State and by the common weal, as well as with the requirements of the expedient application of law. The "Bundeskulturrat" shall formulate its opinion from the cultural standpoint, the "Bundeswirtschaftsrat" from the standpoint of economic interests. The "Laenderrat" shall do so from the standpoint of the interests of the Lands.
Art. 62. After the advice mentioned in Art. 61 shall have been transmitted or the period fixed therefor expired, the Federal Government can submit its bill to the "Bundestag" through the agency of the Federal Chancellor.
The Federal Government shall fix a time for the decision of the "Bundestag."
In the "Bundestag" the bill is presented and defended by a member designated therefor. A counter-bill may be submitted. Then the bill is not discussed. The "Bundestag" passes or rejects the bill in question by its vote without any alteration in it.
As long as the "Bundestag" has not proceeded to the vote, the Federal Government can withdraw a bill at any time or make modifications in it, which, however, may not touch upon the substance of the bill.
Art. 63. The consultative organs of federal legislation shall not furnish any advice on bills mentioned in Art. 51, secs. 2-5. The Federal Government submits the bills referred to in secs. 2 and 3 of that Article directly to the "Bundestag," whereas the President of the Office of Comptrollers General ("Rechnungshof") submits those referred to in secs. 4 and 5 of the said Article. As regards the bills mentioned in Art. 51, secs. 2, 4 and 5, the "Bundestag" can discuss them at leisure, modify or withdraw them; but the bills referred to in sec. 3 of the same Article can only be either passed or rejected by the "Bundestag." If the bills in question have been submitted by the Federal Government, Art. 62, par. 4, is applicable.--
LEGISLATIVE POWER IN THE LANDS
Art. 108. The legislative power of the Lands is exercised by the Diet of each Land ("Landtag").
The Diets of the Lands are composed of representatives: of the Churches and religious bodies recognized by law, of persons active in the public instruction and national formation, of scientific and artistic groups, and of the Land's vocational corporations.
Any citizen of the Federation may become a member of the Diet if he has reached the age of at least twenty-six years and is not prohibited from becoming a member of the Diet by a law of the Land in question referred to in the present Article, par. 4. Those who are engaged in performing their military service, professional army officers and soldiers, and civil servants in charge of public security can not become members of a "Landtag."
In each Land a law of that Land shall fix the number of the members of its "Landtag," regulate the distribution of seats to the respective cultural communities mentioned in the present Article, par. 2, and to the main corporative groups referred to in Art. 48, par. 4; it will also establish a mode of convoking the members of the "Landtag" for sessions. This law shall apply the principles laid down in Art. 47, pars. 3 and 4, dealing with the "Bundeskulturrat," and in Art. 48, pars. 3 and 5, relative to the "Bundeswirtschaftsrat"; each main group shall have at least one representative.The "Landtag" selects its chairman and two vice-chairmen from among its members.Portuguese Constitution of April 11, 1933, as amended on August 1, 1935
THE PORTUGUESE NATION
Art. 5. The Portuguese State is a unitary and corporative republic based on the equality of its citizens before law, the free access of all classes to the benefits of civilization, and the participation of all the structural elements of the nation in its administrative life and the enactment of its laws. Equality before law comprises the right of provision with public employment according to capability or services rendered, and does not admit any privilege of birth, titular or other nobility, sex or position; however, it is subject, as far as women are concerned, to differences due to their nature and the well-being of the family and, as regards the obligations and privileges of the citizens, to differences which result from varying circumstances or natural conditions. Art. 6. It is a duty of the State: 1. to promote unity of the nation and establish order founded on law by determining and enforcing respect for the rights and guarantees derived from morals, equity, or law, for the benefit of individuals, families, local autonomous bodies, and other corporate, public or private entities; 2. to co-ordinate, instigate and direct all social activities and to promote due harmony of interests, provided that those of a private nature shall be lawfully subordinated to the general interest; 3. to strive for improvement in the condition of the least favoured classes of the society and to prevent their standard of life from falling below an adequate human minimum.--
Art. 12. The State shall ensure the formation and protection of the family as the source of the maintenance and development of the race, the first and elementary basis of education, discipline and social harmony, and, by its association and representation in the parish and the town, the foundation of all political and administrative order. Art. 13. The constitution of the family is based upon:
1. marriage and legitimate offspring; 2. equality of the rights and duties of husband and wife with regard to the maintenance and education of their legitimate children; 3. the obligation to register the marriage and the birth of children. The principles governing the persons and property of husband and wife, the authority of parents and its revocation, the right of inheritance in the direct or collateral line, and the right of maintenance, shall be formulated by Civil Law. Full rights necessary for the unity and solidity of the family shall be guaranteed to legitimate children; rights corresponding to their position shall be recognized to illegitimate children who can be adopted as offspring, and also to children about to be born, especially the right to maintenance, which shall be provided by those upon whom, after investigation, the duty is found to fall.
Art. 14. In order to protect the family, it appertains to the State and local bodies:
1. to promote the establishment of family households provided with separate homes under healthy conditions;
2. to protect maternity;
3. to keep taxation in harmony with legitimate family obligations and to encourage the adoption of family wages;
4. to assist parents in the discharge of their duties as far as instruction and education of their children is concerned, and to cooperate with parents by providing public institutions for education and correction, or by encouraging the establishment of private institutions destined for the same purpose; 5. to take adequate precautions for averting the corruption of morals.
Art. 15. The registration of the civil status of citizen is a matter pertaining to the State.
SECTION IV CORPORATIVE ORGANIZATIONS Art. 16. It shall be the duty of the State to authorize, unless prevented by existing legislation, all corporative organizations for intellectual, social and economic purposes, and to promote and assist their formation. Art. 17. The principal aims of the corporations, associations, or organizations, referred to in the preceding article, shall be scientific, literary, or artistic, or physical training; relief, benevolence, or charity; and technical improvement or unification of interests. The constitution of these bodies and the exercise of their functions shall be controlled by special regulations. Art. 18. Foreigners domiciled in Portugal may participate in the corporative organizations referred to, on conditions to be determined by law; they shall not be allowed, however, to share in the exercise of the political rights granted to these bodies.
SECTION V THE FAMILY, CORPORATIVE ORGANIZATIONS, AND AUTONOMOUS BODIES AS POLITICAL UNITS Art. 19. Families shall have the exclusive right to elect the parish boards. This right shall be exercised by the head of the family. Art. 20. All the component parts of the nation shall be represented in the corporative organizations through their appropriate organs, and it shall be their business to participate in the election of the municipal chambers and provincial boards and in the constitution of the Corporative Chamber. Art. 21. Under the political organization of the State the parish boards shall participate in the election of the municipal chambers, who will in turn help to elect the provincial boards. Local autonomous bodies shall be represented in the Corporative Chamber.
SECTION VI PUBLIC OPINION Art. 22. Public opinion is a fundamental element of the politics and administration of the country; it shall be the duty of the State to protect it against all those agencies which distort it contrary to truth, justice, good administration and the common welfare. Art. 23. The press exercises a function of a public nature and may not therefore refuse to insert any official notices of normal dimensions on matters of national importance, sent to it by the Government.
SECTION VII ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER Art. 24. Public officials shall be at the service of the community and not at the service of any party or organization of private interests; it is their duty to respect the authority of the State and cause others to do so. Art. 25. Employees of local autonomous bodies and of collective persons of administrative public utility, and likewise persons who work for public utility undertakings, shall be subject to the rule prescribed in the preceding article. Art. 26. Planned interruption of public services or those of collective concern shall involve the dismissal of the delinquents, apart from other liabilities which the law may prescribe. Art. 27. No one shall be allowed to hold a plurality of offices in the employment either of the State or local bodies, or of both, except on the conditions contemplated by law. Rules as to incompatibility, whether in regard to public offices, or to the exercise of other professions in conjunction with the same, shall be determined by a special law. Art. 28. All citizens shall be compelled to lend their services and co-operation to the State and local bodies in accordance with the law, and to contribute toward public burdens according to their means.
THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL ORDER
Art. 29. The economic organization of the nation must provide the maximum production and wealth for the welfare of society, and create a collective existence from which the State shall derive power and the citizens justice. Art. 30. The State shall regulate its economic relations with other countries according to the principle of appropriate co-operation, without prejudice to the commercial advantages to be obtained from particular countries, or the necessity for protection against external threats or attacks. Art. 31. It shall be the right and duty of the State to supervise the co-ordination and control of economic and social life with the following objects: 1. to establish a proper balance of the population, the professions, occupations, capital and labour; 2. to protect the national economic system from agricultural, industrial, and commercial ventures of a parasitic nature, or of a character incompatible with the higher interests of human life; 3. to secure the lowest price and the highest wage consistent with the fair remuneration of the other factors of production, by means of the improvement of technical methods, services and credit; 4. to develop the settlement of the national territories, protect emigrants and regulate emigration.
Art. 32. The State shall encourage those private economic activities which, when the costs are relatively equal, are the most profitable, but without detriment to the social benefit conferred by small home industries and the protection due to them. Art. 33. The State may intervene directly in the management of private economic operations only when it is essential to finance them and in order to secure greater social benefits than would otherwise be obtained. State undertakings carried on for the purpose of profit, even if they are working on the basis of free competition, shall likewise be subject to the stipulation laid down in the latter part of the present article. Art. 34. The State shall promote the formation and development of the national corporative economic system. Care shall be taken to prevent any tendency among its constituent parts to indulge in unrestrained competition with each other, contrary to their own just aims and those of society; they shall be encouraged rather to collaborate as members of the same community. Art. 35. Property, capital and labour shall fulfill a social duty in a system of economic co-operation and natural interest, and the law may determine the conditions of their use or exploitation in accordance with the common aim in view. Art. 36. Labour, whether unskilled or specialized or technical, may be associated in an undertaking, in any form that circumstances may render advisable. Art. 37. Only economic corporations which are recognized by the State may conclude collective labour contracts, in accordance with the law, and those made without their intervention shall be null and void. Art. 38. Litigation relating to matters affecting collective labour shall be dealt with by special tribunals. Art. 39. In their economic relation with one another, neither capital nor labour shall be allowed to suspend operations with the object of vindicating their respective interests. Art. 40. It is the right and duty of the State to protect morality, the wholesomeness of food and drink, and public health. The holding of a plurality of posts in private undertakings shall be discouraged as being contrary to public economy and morality. Art. 41. The State shall promote and encourage community concerns, and provident, co-operative and mutual benefit institutions.
EDUCATION, INSTRUCTION AND NATIONAL CULTURE
Art. 42. Education and instruction shall be obligatory and shall be the concern of the family in co-operation with public or private institutions. Art. 43. The State shall officially maintain primary, complementary, secondary and high schools, and institutions for advanced education. 1. Elementary and primary instruction is obligatory and may be given at home, or in private or State schools. 2. The arts and sciences shall be encouraged and their development, teaching and propagation favoured, so long as respect is maintained for the Constitution, the authorities and the coordinating activity of the State. 3. The instruction furnished by the State, besides instilling new physical vigour and improving the intellectual faculties, aims at the formation of character, of professional values as well as of every moral and civic virtue, the former in accordance with the principles of Christian doctrine and morals which are traditional in the country. 4. No authority shall be required for the teaching of religion in private schools.
Art. 44. The establishment of private schools on the lines of the State schools shall be free, but subject to State inspection; the schools may be subsidized by the State or authorized to grant diplomas if their curricula and the standard of their teaching staff are not inferior to those of the corresponding public institutions.
THE RELATIONS OF THE STATE WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE
RULES CONCERNING RELIGIOUS BODIES
Art. 45. The public and private practice of any religion shall be free. Religious bodies may organize themselves freely, in accordance with the rules of their hierarchy and discipline, in such manner as to form associations or organizations whose civil existence and juridical personality shall be recognized by the State. This shall not apply to the practices of any religious body which are incompatible with the life and physical integrity of the human individual and with good morals.
Art. 46. Without prejudice to the provisions of concordats in the matter of the Padroado, the State shall maintain the régime of separation in relation to the Catholic Church and any other religion or cult practised within Portuguese territory, and the diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Portugal, with reciprocity of representation. Art. 47. The State may not assign to any other purpose any chapel, building, appurtenance, or object of worship belonging to a religious body. Art. 48. Public cemeteries shall be secular in character, and ministers of any religion may freely practise their respective rites therein.--
POLITICAL ORGANIZATION OF THE STATE
THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
THE CORPORATIVE CHAMBER
Art. 102. A Corporative Chamber shall be constituted, composed of representatives of local autonomous bodies and social interests. These shall be regarded according to their essential branches --administrative, moral, cultural and economic; the bodies on which such representation is incumbent, the method of selection of the representatives, and the duration of their mandate shall be determined by law. If vacancies occur in the offices whose holders have, in that capacity, a seat in the Corporative Chamber, the respective interests shall be represented by the persons required by law or statute to replace them. The same principle shall apply to cases of disability. With the exception of the cases referred to in the preceding paragraph, vacancies occurring in the Corporative Chamber shall be filled in the same way in which the persons to be replaced were appointed.
Art. 103. The Corporative Chamber shall report and give an opinion on all motions or bills and on all international conventions or treaties brought before the National Assembly, prior to the commencement of their discussion in the National Assembly. The opinion shall be given within thirty days or within such period as the Government or the National Assembly shall fix, if the matter is considered urgent.
If no opinion is sent to the National Assembly on the lapse of the periods mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the discussion may be opened immediately.
Should the Corporative Chamber, while advising, on general grounds, the rejection of a bill, suggest its replacement by another one, the Government or any of the deputies may adopt the suggested bill, which shall be discussed jointly with the original one, without further reference to the Corporative Chamber. Should the Corporative Chamber suggest specific changes in the original or proposed bill, any deputy may adopt such changes as his own proposal.
Art. 104. The Corporative Chamber shall sit in plenary sessions or in separate sections of specialists; however, two or more of the sections may meet together, if the matter under examination requires it. The President of the Council [= Prime Minister] or UnderSecretary of State for Corporations, if any, the appropriate minister or ministers, their representatives, and the deputy presenting the motion or bill, may take part in the discussions regarding the same.
The sessions of the Corporative Chamber shall not be public.
Art. 105. The Government may ask the opinion of the Corporative Chamber on general decrees to be promulgated or bills to be submitted to the National Assembly; it may determine that the work of the section shall be continued or accomplished during postponements, interruptions and vacations in the legislative sessions; and it may request the convocation of all or some of the sections in order to make any communication to them. If bills, on which the Government has already heard the opinion of the Corporative Chamber, are discussed in the National Assembly, no new consultation of the Corporative Chamber shall be required.--
6. Encyclical "Mit brennender Sorge" of Pope Pius XI against
Nazi Totalitarianism in Germany, March 14, 1937
Original German text in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, year 1937, p. 145
Many articles of the National Socialist doctrine in Germany were incompatible with Christianity. Among them an emotional deification of the Nordic race, allegedly predestined to dominate other races, a passionate anti-semitism, unable to be brought to a halt even before the Jewish background of Christianity, and a tendency to glorify the old-Teutonic pagan past, formed a ideological mixture which gave birth to the movement of "German Christians." They aimed at a revision and, in fact, a de-Christianization of Christianity and they found their way into the ranks of the German Protestant Churches. Towards these Churches the Nazi leaders were free to use the established prerogatives of State power; they unified them, abolishing their autonomous territorial division according to the respective German Lands, and subjected them to the authority of a single "Reichsbischof" (Reich Bishop). Although the Nazis did not openly enforce the ascendancy of the "German Christians" inside German Protestantism, they prepared the ground for such a move by gradually arresting and putting in concentration camps the refractory Protestant elements who remained faithful to the traditional conceptions of Christianity.
On the Catholic side, the Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Faulhaber, became the spokesman of the whole episcopate when he condemned in a series of famous sermons, delivered at Christmas, 1933, and circulated all over the country, the fundamental errors contained in the racial theory and its "German Christian" offshoot. Thus the Catholic doctrinal position was firmly asserted.
In the meantime the impetus of the National Socialist movement went on unabated. The year 1934 saw the final establishment of its totalitarianism when the internal dissensions in the Nazi Party were overcome by the purge of June 1934 and when Adolf Hitler assumed the supreme power in the State after the death of President Hindenburg. Outside the all-embracing Party, Catholicism remained, entrenched behind the Concordat of 1933 (see Doc. No. 4), the only organized non-Nazi ideological force in Germany; and as such, it defied openly the basic principles of National Socialist theories.
Under these conditions a latent animosity of the Nazi totalitarians against the Catholic Church grew greater and greater. The Government moderated this hostility as long as it was endeavouring, with an all-out effort of propaganda, to bring about the return of the Saar territory to Germany; a plebiscite was to be held in this territory in 1935 and its population was overwhelmingly Catholic. But once the plebiscite was over and the Saar basin reunited with the Reich (in March, 1935), the campaign against the Catholic Church began in earnest.
Claiming as they did the totality of the soul of the German people and the monopoly of every type of association, the Nazis directed their campaign particularly against Catholic education and the "Catholic Action" organizations which had been conceded to the Church in the Concordat of 1933. They preferred indirect methods to a formal denunciation of the Concordat. The first of these devices was a heavy pressure on Catholic youth and parents to persuade them to withdraw from Catholic schools and associations, which were represented as endangering the unity of the nation. Another method consisted in staging spectacular trials of priests and especially members of religious orders for alleged smuggling of money out of the country or for sexual perversity; the aim was to discredit the clergy in general in the eyes of the faithful. Under the coercive influence of this campaign several consecutive public "ballots" were organized to decide whether Catholic schools should be maintained, particularly in Bavaria where 80 per cent. of the schools were Catholic. The result was that in 1937 only 4 per cent. of Catholic parents dared to vote in favour of their schools (as against 89 per cent. in 1933), and before the end of 1938 the last Catholic schools were closed. At the same time the organizations of "Catholic Action" were being gradually disbanded, hundreds of priests arrested on various pretexts, the diocesan Press limited practically to reprinting speeches of Nazi leaders, and Pastoral Letters confiscated or subjected to a heavy censorship when attempts were made to publish them or to post them in churches. All this was done in open disregard of the Concordat of 1933.
In order to stop the persecution the German bishops tried to arrive at some workable settlement with the Government in the spring of 1937. They failed and thereupon, on Passion Sunday, in March 1937, Pope Pius XI sent to them the Encyclical Mit brennender Sorge. Its text was smuggled into Germany, multigraphed there, and within three days secretly distributed to the clergy all over Germany by a remarkable achievement of efficient organization. A week after it had been issued, the Encyclical was read out, on Palm Sunday, in all German Churches.
The Encyclical is not a heatedly combative document. The Pontiff stressed in its introduction that he was speaking from a stand-point which was "unconcerned with the success or failure of the day" even at a time when the campaign against Catholic schools was reaching its climax in the Reich. The German episcopate still entertained hopes of some modus vivendi with the Nazis and counselled moderation. Consequently, the pronouncement is not directly polemical--as contrasted with the Encyclical Non abbiamo bisogno against Italian Fascism (see Doc. No. 3 in this chapter)--but diplomatically moderate in its allusions to the situation in Germany. This is understandable considering the fact that the Catholics in the Reich were only a minority (about one-third as against two-thirds of Protestants or indifferents) and that they were confronted with a formidable movement of fanatical nationalism whose attitude towards religion as such was, however, on the whole still hesitant.
The Pope, therefore, chiefly endeavours to clarify and define those points of the Faith which might have been rendered obscure or doubtful in German minds by the persistent invasion of Nazi ideology. So he deals with the National Socialist Weltanschauung, the racial doctrine, the Christian conception of the Incarnate Christ, attacks on the Old Testament, Revelation, the building of a "German National Church," invitations to apostasy, etc. And in a dignified and detached but uncompromising manner he appeals for resistance to the "neo-paganism" and concludes with the hope for its ruin and the Church's liberation.The Encyclical produced a deep impression in Germany and became a source of great moral support to the Catholics there. The first Nazi reaction was a cry for the denunciation of the Concordat on account of the Pope's interference with internal German affairs. But on second thoughts the Government did not do so and, on the contrary, the persecution of the Church somewhat decreased in the later years. The attitudes of both were stabilized during the period of the subsequent Second World War. Apart from considerations of wartime expediency, the Nazi régime was prompted to a greater moderation towards the Catholic Church by the fact that after the "Anschluss" of Austria and the occupation of Czech and Polish territories the percentage of Catholics within the German orbit became equal to, if not greater than, that of Protestants.After the fall of Nazism the Concordat of 1933 remained valid for Western Germany and, the totalitarian institutions and laws having disappeared, Catholicism was able to regain--according to the concluding prediction of the Encyclical Mit brennender Sorge--its former position at least in Western Germany.This Encyclical was destined primarily for the Church in Germany and was therefore issued in an original German text. Hence it is known under its first words in German "Mit brennender Sorge" = "With burning anxiety."(The following English copyright translation is reproduced by kind permission of the Catholic Truth Society, London.)
To the Venerable Archbishops and Bishops of Germany,
and to other Ordinaries
in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See:
On the situation of the Catholic Church in the German Reich.
POPE PIUS XI
GREETING AND APOSTOLIC BENEDICTION
INTRODUCTION 1. With deep anxiety and with ever growing dismay We have for a considerable time watched the Church treading the Way of the Cross and the gradually increasing oppression of the men and women who have remained devoted to her in thought and in act in that country and among that people to whom St. Boniface once brought the light of the Gospel of Christ and of the Kingdom of God.
2. This anxiety of Ours has not been lessened by the reports which the representatives of the reverend Episcopate dutifully and truthfully brought to Us on Our sick-bed. Besides much that is consoling and comforting in the struggle for religion which the faithful are now waging, they could not, in spite of their love for their people and country and their care to express a balanced judgment, pass silently over too much that is bitter and sad. When We heard their reports We could exclaim with the Apostle of Love in the deepest gratitude to God: "I have no greater grace than this, to hear that my children walk in truth" ( 3 John i, 4). But the outspokenness which befits the responsibility of Our Apostolic office and the determination to lay before you and the whole Christian world the real truth in all its gravity require Us to add: We have no greater concern and no heavier pastoral anxiety than when We hear that many forsake the way of truth (cf. 2 Pet. ii, 2).
3. When in the summer of 1933, Venerable Brethren, at the request of the German Government We resumed negotiations for a Concordat on the basis of the proposals worked out several years before, and to the satisfaction of you all concluded a solemn agreement, We were moved by the solicitude that is incumbent on Us to safeguard the liberty of the Church in her mission of salvation in Germany and the salvation of the souls entrusted to her--and at the same time by the sincere desire to render an essential service to the peaceful development and welfare of the German people. 4. In spite of many serious misgivings We then brought Ourselves to decide not to withhold Our consent. We wished to spare Our loyal sons and daughters in Germany, as far as was humanly possible, the strain and the suffering which otherwise at that time and in those circumstances must certainly have been expected. By Our act We wished to show to all that, seeking only Christ and the things that are Christ's, We refuse to none who does not himself reject it the hand of peace of Mother Church.
5. If the tree of peace planted by Us with pure intention in German soil has not borne the fruit We desired in the interests of your people, no one in the whole world who has eyes to see or ears to hear can say to-day that the fault lies with the Church and with her Supreme Head. The experience of the past years fixes the responsibility. It discloses intrigues which from the beginning had no other aim than a war of extermination. In the furrows in which We had laboured to sow the seeds of true peace, others--like the enemy in Holy Scripture ( Matt. xiii, 25)--sowed the tares of suspicion, discord., hatred, calumny, of secret and open fundamental hostility to Christ and His Church, fed from a thousand different sources and making use of every available means. On them and on them alone, and on their silent and vocal protectors, rests the responsibility that now on the horizon of Germany there is to be seen not the rainbow of peace but the threatening storm-clouds of destructive religious wars.
6. Venerable Brethren, We have not grown weary of presenting to the rulers who guide the destinies of your nation the inevitable consequences of tolerating or, worse still, of favouring such tendencies. We have done all We could to defend the sanctity of the solemn pledges, the inviolability of obligations freely entered into, against theories and practices which, if officially approved, must destroy all confidence and render intrinsically worthless every future pledge. When the time comes to place before the eyes of the world these endeavours of Ours, all right-minded persons will know where to look for the peace-makers and where to look for the peacebreakers. Anyone who has any sense of truth left in his mind and even a shadow of the feeling of justice left in his heart will have to admit that, in the difficult and eventful years which followed the Concordat, every word and every action of Ours was ruled by loyalty to the terms of the agreement; but also he will have to recognize with surprise and deep disgust that the unwritten law of the other party has been arbitrary misinterpretation of agreements, evasion of agreements, evacuation of the meaning of agreements, and finally more or less open violation of agreements.
7. Our moderation in spite of all this was not suggested by considerations of human expediency, still less by weakness, but simply by the wish not to root out with the tares any good plant, by the intention not to pronounce a public verdict before minds were ready to recognize its inevitability, by the determination not to deny definitely the loyalty of others to their pledged word, before the iron language of facts had torn away the veil which by deliberate camouflage covered and still covers the attack on the Church. Even to-day when the open war against the confessional schools, which were guaranteed by the Concordat, and the nullification of the freedom of ballot for those entitled to a Catholic education show the tragic seriousness of the situation in a field which is a vital interest of the Church, and an oppression of the conscience of the faithful such as has never before been witnessed, Our paternal solicitude for the well-being of souls counsels Us not to leave out of consideration any prospects however slight, which may still exist, of a return to the faithful observance of the pacts and to an agreement permitted by Our conscience. In accordance with the prayers of the most reverend members of the episcopate, we shall not weary in the future of defending violated right before the rulers of your people, unconcerned with temporary success or failure and obedient only to Our conscience and to Our pastoral office, and We shall not cease to oppose an attitude of mind which seeks with open or secret violence to stifle a chartered right.
8. However, the purpose of the present letter, Venerable Brethren, is different. As you have kindly visited Our sick-bed We now turn to you and through you to the faithful Catholics of Germany who, like all suffering and persecuted children, are very near to the heart of the Common Father. In this hour in which their faith is being tried like true gold in the fire of tribulation, and of secret and open persecution, when they are surrounded by a thousand forms of organized religious bondage, when the lack of truthful news and of normal means of defence weighs heavily upon them, they have a double claim to a word of truth and of spiritual encouragement from him to whose first predecessor Our Saviour addressed these deeply significant words: "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and thou being once converted, confirm thy brethren" ( Luke xxii, 32).
True Belief in God
Before all else, Venerable Brethren, see that belief in God, the first and irreplaceable foundation of all religion, remains pure and uncorrupted in German lands. He cannot be considered a believer in God who uses the name of God rhetorically, but he only who unites to that sacred word a true and worthy idea of God. Whoever with pantheistic vagueness identifies God with the universe, and materializes God in the world and deifies the world in God, cannot be reckoned a believer in God. Whoever according to an alleged primitive German pre-Christian conception substitutes a gloomy and impersonal fate for a personal God, denying God's wisdom and providence which "reacheth from end to end mightily and ordereth all things sweetly" ( Wisdom viii, 1) cannot claim to be numbered among believers in God. Whoever transposes Race or People, the State or Constitution, the executive or other fundamental elements of human society (which in the natural order have an essential and honourable place), from the scale of earthly values and makes them the ultimate norm of all things, even of religious values, and deifies them with an idolatrous cult, perverts and falsifies the divinely created and appointed order of things. Such a man is far from true belief in God and from a conception of life in conformity to it.
Direct your attention, Venerable Brethren, to the growing abuse shown in speech and in writing of using the thrice holy name of God as a meaningless label for a more or less arbitrary product of human research or aspiration, and labour amongst your faithful that such an error may be as vigilantly repelled as it deserves. Our God is the personal, transcendent, omnipotent, infinitely perfect God, one in the Trinity of persons and threefold in the unity of the divine essence, Creator of the universe, Lord, King and ultimate end of world-history, who does not and cannot suffer any other gods beside Himself.
12. This God has given His commandments in the manner of a sovereign. They are independent of time, space, country or nation. As God's sun shines on all the human race without distinction, so His law knows no privileges, no exceptions. Rulers and ruled, crowned and uncrowned, great and small, rich and poor, depend equally on His word. An essential consequence of the fullness of His rights as Creator is His claim to absolute obedience from individuals in whatsoever society they be. Such a claim to obedience extends to every sphere of life in which moral questions have to be settled in accordance with divine law and therefore with the adjustment of mutable human laws to the structure of the immutable laws of God.
13. Only superficial minds can fall into the error of speaking of a national God, of a national religion, and of making a mad attempt to imprison within the frontiers of a single people, within the pedigree of one single race, God, the Creator of the world, the King, and lawgiver of the peoples before whose greatness the nations are as small as drops in a bucket of water ( Isaias xl, 15).
14. The Bishops of the Church of Christ "ordained in the things that appertain to God" ( Heb. v, 1) must watch that such pernicious errors, which usually bring in their train even more pernicious practices, find no support among the faithful. It belongs to their sacred office to do all in their power to see that the commandments of God are regarded and obeyed as a necessary foundation of a moral and ordered life whether private or public; that the rights of the divine majesty, the name and the word of God, be not blasphemed ( Titus ii, 5); that blasphemies against God in speech, in writing or in pictures, as countless at times as the sand of the sea, be silenced; and that against the defiant Prometheus-like spirit of those who deny, outrage, and hate God, the propitiatory prayer of the faithful may never falter, for it rises every hour like incense to the Almighty and stays His hand of punishment.
15. We thank you, Venerable Brethren, your priests, and all the faithful who have done and are doing their duty as Christians in defending the rights of the divine Majesty against an aggressive neo-paganism which only too often is supported by influential persons. Our thanks are doubly heartfelt and are combined with a recognition and admiration for those who in doing this duty were accounted worthy of enduring temporal sacrifices and temporal sufferings for the cause of God.
True Belief in Christ
No belief in God will long be maintained pure and uncorrupted if it is not supported by belief in Christ. "No one knoweth the Son but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father, but the Son and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him" ( Matt. xi, 27). "This is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" ( John xvii, 3). Therefore no one can say: I believe in God, and that is enough religion for me. The word of Our Saviour allows no room for evasions of this kind. "Whosoever denieth the Son the same hath not the Father. He that confesseth the Son hath the Father also" ( 1 John ii, 23).
The fullness of divine revelation has appeared in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, in these days has spoken to us by his Son" ( Heb. i, 1, 2). The sacred books of the Old Testament are all God's word, an organic part of His revelation. Corresponding to the gradual unfolding of revelation there hangs over them the darkness of the time of preparation for the full noonday of the redemption. As is inevitable with books of history and law, they reflect in many details human imperfection, weakness, and sin. Besides much that is great and noble they relate the materialism and worldliness which appeared again and again in the people of the old covenant, who received the revelation and the promise of God. But for every eye not blinded by prejudice or passion, in spite of the human weakness of which Bible history speaks, the divine light of the way of salvation, finally triumphant over all error and sin, shines all the clearer. It is against this background, often a gloomy one, that the Eternal God's salutary instruction develops into perspectives which at one and the same time direct, warn, excite, cheer and bring happiness. Only blindness and self-will can close men's eyes to the treasure of instruction for salvation hidden in the Old Testament. He who wishes to see Bible history and the wisdom of the Old Testament banished from church and school blasphemes the word of God, blasphemes the Almighty's plan of salvation and sets up narrow and limited human thought as the judge of God's plans. He denies faith in Christ who truly appeared in the flesh, and who took His human nature from the people which was afterwards to nail Him to a Cross. He fails completely to understand the world-drama of the Son of God who as high priest set the divine action of His redeeming death in opposition to the evil deeds of those who crucified Him and thus made the Old Testament find in the New its fulfilment, its end, and that by which it is superseded. 19. The culmination of revelation in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is definitive and obligatory for all time; it admits no additions at the hands of men, and acknowledges no substitute whatever, and no replacement by the arbitrary "revelations" that certain contemporary prophets try to extract from the so-called myth of blood and race. Since Christ, the Messias, fulfilled the work of redemption, broke the dominion of sin, and merited for us the grace to become the sons of God, "there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved" ( Acts iv, 12) but the name of Jesus. Thus though a man should embody in himself all wisdom, all might, all the material power of the world, he can lay no other foundation than that which is already laid in Christ ( 1 Cor. iii, 11). He who sacrilegiously misunderstands the abyss between God and creation, between the God-Man and the children of men, and dares to place beside Christ, or worse still, above Him and against Him, any mortal, even the greatest of all times, must endure to be told that he is a false prophet to whom the words of Scripture find a terrible application: "He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them" ( Ps. ii, 4).
True Belief in the Church
Belief in Christ will not remain pure and uncorrupted if it is not supported and defended by faith in the Church, "the pillar and ground of the truth " ( 1 Tim. iii, 15). Christ Himself, God blessed for ever, erected this pillar of the faith. His command to hear the Church ( Matt. xviii, 17) and to hear through the words and commands of the Church His own words and His own commands ( Luke x, 16) is obligatory on men of all times and of all countries. The Church founded by the Redeemer is one for all peoples and for all nations; and under its dome, which like the firmament of God stretches over the whole universe, there is a place and home for all peoples and all tongues, and there can be developed all the qualities, aptitudes, tasks and vocations with which God the Creator and Redeemer has endowed individuals and societies. The mother-love of the Church is wide enough to see in the divinely planned development of such special gifts and callings rather the richness of variety than the danger of* divisions; she rejoices in the spiritual advancement of individuals and peoples; with a mother's joy and pride she perceives in their real achievements the fruits of education and of progress which she blesses and promotes whenever in conscience she can. But she knows, too, that limits are set to this freedom by the majesty of divine law that has willed and founded this Church as an indivisible unity in all its essential parts. He who violates this indivisible unity takes from the Bride of Christ one of the diadems with which God Himself has crowned her; he subjects the divine building that rests on eternal foundations to re-examination and remodeling by architects on whom the heavenly Father has bestowed no power.
21. The divine mission which the Church fulfills among men and must fulfil by means of men may be grievously obscured by the human--sometimes all-too-human--element which in certain times appears like tares among the wheat of the kingdom of God. He who knows the word of our Saviour about scandals and those who give them knows in what way the Church and each individual has to judge what was sin and is sin. But whoever bases his arguments on these reprehensible discrepancies between faith and life, between words and actions, between the exterior conduct and the interior attitude of individuals--even though they be many--and forgets, or even deliberately ignores, the vast sum of genuine effort forvirtue, of self-sacrifice, of brotherly love, the heroic striving forsanctity in so many members of the Church, displays a lamentable blindness and injustice. And when it becomes obvious that the rigid standard with which he judged the Church he hates is put aside, the moment he discusses other societies akin to him in sentiment or interests, then it becomes evident that in his alleged outraged respect for purity he is akin to those who, in the incisive words of our Saviour, observe the mote in their brother's eye, but do not see the beam in their own eye. But however far from pure may be the intention of those who make a career--often a despicable profession--out of occupying themselves with the human element in the Church, and though it be true that the power of the ecclesiastical official, resting as it does on God, is not dependent on his human or moral level, yet no epoch of time, no individual, no society, is free from the duty of an honest examination of conscience, of unrelenting purification, and of thorough renovation of mind and action. In Our encyclical on the priesthood, and in Our letters on Catholic Action, We have pointed out with earnest insistence the sacred duty of all members of the Church, especially members of the priesthood, of religious orders, and of the lay apostolate, to bring faith and conduct into that harmony required by the law of God and demanded with untiring emphasis by the Church. And to-day, too,
We repeat with the deepest seriousness: it is not sufficient to be numbered with the Church of Christ: men must living members of that Church--in spirit and in truth. And only they are such who are in the grace of the Lord and walk always in His presence, whether in innocence or in sincere and efficacious penance. If the Apostle of the Gentiles, "the vessel of election," kept his body under the rod of mortification in order that, having preached to others, he might not himself become a castaway ( 1 Cor. ix, 27), can there be for others any way but that of the closest union of the apostolate and of personal sanctification, for in their hands is placed the guardianship and the increase of the kingdom of God? Only so can men of to-day, and especially the adversaries of the Church, be shown that the salt of the earth and the leaven of Christianity has not lost its power, but is able and ready to bring to our contemporaries in doubt and error, in indifference and in spiritual bewilderment, weariness of faith, and separation from God, the spiritual renewal and rejuvenation of which--whether they admit it or not--they more than ever stand in need. A Christianity in which all its members keep watch over themselves, that casts aside every tendency to what is merely material and worldly, that takes the commandments of God and of the Church seriously, and that keeps itself in the love of God and in active love of one's neighbour, can and must be a pattern and guide to a world sick to its very heart, which looks for support and guidance if it is not to be overwhelmed in unspeakable ruin, in a catastrophe that surpasses everything imaginable.
22. All true and permanent reform has in the last resort originated in sanctity, from men who were inflamed and urged on by the love of God and of their neighbour; who by their great generosity in answering every call from God, and in making it real first of all in themselves, grew in humility and the conviction that they were called by God, and have enlightened and renewed the times in which they lived. When zeal for reform has not sprung from the pure source of personal singleness of heart, but has been the expression and explosion of passionate force, it has brought darkness instead of light, it has pulled down instead of building up, and has often been a starting-point for errors still more disastrous than the evils which it desired or claimed that it desired to correct. It is true the spirit of God breatheth where He will ( John iii, 8); He can raise up from stones those who are to fulfil His designs ( Matt. iii, 9; Luke iii, 8); He chooses the instruments of His will according to His plans and not according to the plans of men. But He who founded the Church and called it to life in the Pentecostal fire does not break in pieces the foundation of the institution for salvation He Himself planned. He who is moved by the spirit of God has for that very reason both outwardly and inwardly a respectful attitude towards the Church, that precious fruit of the tree of the Cross, the Pentecostal gift to a world in need of guidance.
23. In your territories, Venerable Brethren, voices are raised in an ever louder chorus, urging men to leave the Church, and preachers arise who from their official position try to create the impression that such a departure from the Church and the consequent infidelity to Christ the King is a particularly convincing and meritorious proof of their loyalty to the present régime. By disguised and by open methods of coercion, by intimidation, by holding out prospects of economic, professional, civil, or other kinds of advantages, the loyalty of Catholics to their faith, and especially of certain classes of Catholic officials, is subjected to a violence which is as unlawful as it is inhuman. With the feelings of a father We are moved and suffer profoundly with those who have paid such a price for their fidelity to Christ and to the Church; but the point has been reached where it is a question of the last and ultimate end, salvation or perdition, and here the only way of salvation for the believer lies in heroic fortitude. When the tempter or the oppressor approaches with the traitorous suggestion that he should leave the Church, then he can only answer, even at the price of the heaviest earthly sacrifices, in the words of our Saviour: "Begone, Satan: for it is written: The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve" ( Matt. iv, 10; Luke iv, 8). But to the Church he will speak these words: "O thou who art my mother from the earliest days of my childhood, my comfort in life, my advocate in death, may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I, yielding to earthly persuasions or threats, should turn traitor to my baptismal vow." Then to those who flatter themselves that they can reconcile with outward abandonment of the Church an interior loyalty to her, let the words of the Redeemer be a severe rebuke: "He that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven" ( Luke xii, 9; Matt. x, 33).
True Belief in the Primacy
Belief in the Church will not be kept pure and uncorrupted if it is not supported by belief in the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. At the very moment when Peter anticipated the other Apostles and disciples and professed his faith in Christ, the Son of the living God, came the answer of Christ, the announcement of the foundation of His Church, of the one Church on Peter the rock ( Matt. xvi, 18), rewarding him for his faith and for his confession. Belief in Christ, in the Church, and in the primacy are thus joined in a consecrated interdependence. Real and lawful authority is everywhere a bond of unity, a source of strength, a security against disruption and dis- integration and a guarantee for the future, and all this applies in the highest and noblest sense when in the unique instance of the Church such an authority has given to it the promise of the supernatural help of the Holy Spirit and His assistance, against which nothing can prevail. When persons who are not even united in faith in Christ entice you and flatter you with the picture of a "German national church," know that that is nothing but a denial of the one Church of Christ, manifest apostasy from the command of Christ to preach the gospel to the whole world, which can alone be accomplished by a universal Church. The historical development of other national churches, their spiritual torpor, their stifling by, or subservience to, lay power show the hopeless sterility which inevitably attacks the branch that separates itself from the living vine-stem of the Church. Whoever on principle gives to these false developments a watching and unflinching "No" is rendering a service not only to the purity of his own faith, but also to the welfare and vitality of his people. ________________________ [Note: Papal primacy]
No Transformation of the Meaning of Sacred Words and Ideas
25. You must have a specially watchful eye, Venerable Brethren, when religious ideas are emptied of their real content and are transformed into a profane meaning.
26. Revelation in the Christian sense means the word of God to man. To use this same word for the "subconscious tendencies" which come from blood and from race, for the "inspirations" of the history of a people, is in every case a cause of confusion. Such false coinage does not deserve to be received into the treasury of a faithful Christian.
27. Faith consists in holding as true what God has revealed and through His Church lays down for our belief: it is "the evidence of things that appear not" ( Heb. xi, 1). Joyous and proud confidence in the future of one's own people which everyone holds dear means something very different from faith in a religious sense. To employ one for the other, to substitute one for the other and on that ground to claim to be regarded as a "believer" by a convinced Christian, is an empty play on words, a deliberate confusion of terms, or even worse.
28. Immortality in the Christian sense is the survival of man after temporal death as a personal individual for eternal reward or punishment. Whoever uses the word immortality to mean only collective survival in the continuity of one's own people for an undetermined length of time in the future perverts and falsifies one of the fundamental verities of the Christian faith and shakes the foundations of every religious outlook which demands a moral ordering of the universe. Whoever does not wish to be a Christian ought at least to renounce the desire to enrich the vocabulary of his unbelief with the heritage of Christian ideas.
29. Original sin is the inherited, though not the personal, guilt of each one of the sons of Adam who have sinned in him ( Rom. v, 12) and lost grace and consequently eternal life, together with the propensity to evil which each one has to subdue and overcome by means of grace, penance, effort, and moral endeavour. The passion and death of the Son of God redeemed the world from the inherited curse of sin and of death. Faith in these truths, which are to-day made a target for the vulgar scorn of the enemies of Christ in your country, belongs to the inalienable substance of the Christian religion.
30. The Cross of Christ, though its very name, may have for many become a stumbling block and foolishness ( I Cor. i, 23), remains for the Christian the hallowed sign of redemption, the standard of moral greatness and strength. In its shadow we live: we kiss it in death: on our graves it will stand to proclaim our faith, to testify to our hope which reaches out towards eternal life.
31. Humility in the spirit of the Gospel and prayer for God's help are compatible with self-respect, self-confidence, and heroism. The Church of Christ, which in all ages up to those which are nearest to us counts more heroic confessors and martyrs than any other moral society, certainly does not need to receive instruction from such quarters about heroic sentiment and action. By foolishly representing Christian humility as a self-degradation and an unheroic attitude, the repulsive pride of these innovators only makes itself an object for ridicule.
32. Grace in a wide sense can be said to be everything which comes to the creature from the Creator. Grace in the proper and Christian sense of the word includes, however, the supernatural gifts of divine charity, the loving kindness and the work of God whereby He raises man to that intimate communion in His own life which the New Testament calls sonship of God. "Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called and should be the sons of God" ( I John iii, 1). The repudiation of this supernatural elevation to grace because of the alleged particular nature of the German character is an error, an open declaration of war on a fundamental truth of Christianity. To put supernatural grace on a level with the gifts of nature is to do violence to the language created and sanctified by religion. The pastors and guardians of the people of God will do well to oppose this spoliation of sacred things and this work of leading minds astray.
Moral Doctrine and Moral Order
33. The morality of the human race is grounded on faith in God kept true and pure. All attempts to detach the doctrine of moral law from the granite base of the faith in order to build it up again on the shifting sands of human regulations sooner or later bring individuals and nations to moral decadence. The fool who says in his heart "there is no God" will tread the path of moral corruption ( Ps. xiii, 1). The number of such fools who presume to separate morality from religion has to-day become legion. They do not perceive, or they do not wish to perceive, that by banishing confessional (i.e., clear and definite) teaching from instruction and education, by preventing its co-operation in the formation of social and of public life, they are treading the paths of moral impoverishment and decadence. No coercive power of the State, no purely earthly ideal, however great and noble, can in the long run replace the ultimate and decisive motives which come from faith in God and in Christ. Deprive of the moral support which comes from what is eternal and divine, from the elevating and consoling belief in Him who rewards all good and punishes all evil, any one who is called to make the hardest sacrifices, the surrender of his own petty self to the common good, and the result will be that innumerable men will not do their duty but will shirk it. The conscientious observance of the ten commandments of God and of the precepts of the Church--and these latter are only regulations derived from standards laid down in the Gospels--is for every individual an incomparable school of systematic discipline, moral strength and character-formation. It is a school that asks much but not too much. The God of mercy, when He as lawgiver declares "thou shalt," gives in His grace the power to do and to make perfect. To leave moral forces of such profound strength unused or deliberately to exclude them from the field of popular education is irresponsible co-operation in the religious starvation of a community. To hand over moral teaching to subjective and temporary human opinions instead of anchoring it to the holy will of the everlasting God and to His commandments means opening wide the doors to the forces of destruction. Thus to encourage the abandonment of the eternal principles of the objective moral law in the formation of consciences, in the ennobling of all the spheres of life and of all its ordinances, is a sin against the future of a people, and its bitter fruit will have to be tasted by future generations.
Recognition of the Natural Law
34. It is a trend of the present day to dissociate more and more, not only moral teaching, but also the foundations of law and justice from true faith in God and from the revealed commandments of
God. Here We have in mind especially what is usually called natural law, written by the finger of the Creator Himself on the tables of man's heart ( Rom. ii, 14, etc.), which sound human reason not blinded by sins and passions can read on these tables. By the commandments of this natural law every positive law, whoever may be the lawgiver, can be tested as to its moral content and consequently as to the lawfulness of its authority and as to its obligation in conscience. Those human laws which are irreconcilably opposed to natural law have an innate defect which can be cured neither by compulsion nor by any external display of force. By this standard we must judge also the fundamental principle: "Right is what is advantageous to the people." It is true a right meaning may be given to this principle if it is understood to mean that what is morally illicit can never be to the true advantage of the people. Even ancient paganism recognized that the maxim to be perfectly accurate should be inverted and should read: "Nothing is ever advantageous if at the same time it is not morally good, and it is not because it is useful that it is morally good, but because it is morally good it is also useful" ( Cicero, De Officiis iii, 30). This fundamental principle, cut off from moral law, would mean in relations between states a perpetual state of war amongst the various nations; in the life of the state it confuses advantage and right, and refuses to recognize the fundamental fact that man as a person possesses rights given him by God which must be preserved from every attempt by the community to deny, suppress, or hinder their exercise. To overlook this truth is to lose sight of the fact that the true common good is ultimately defined and discovered from the nature of man with its harmonious co-ordination of personal rights and social obligations, as well as from the purpose of society which is determined by the same human nature. Society is willed by the Creator as a means to the full development of the faculties of the individual, and a man has to make use of society, now giving and again taking for his own good and for the good of others. Nay more, those higher and more universal values which cannot be realized by individuals but only by society are intended by the Creator ultimately for the sake of the ultimate end of man, for his natural and supernatural development and perfection. Whoever transgresses this order shakes the pillars of society and imperils its tranquillity, security and even its existence.
35. The believer has an inalienable right to profess his faith and to practise it in the manner suited to him. Laws which suppress or render difficult the profession and practice of this faith are contrary to natural law.
36. Conscientious parents, aware of their duty in education, have a primary and original God-given right to determine the education of the children given them by God in the spirit of the true faith and in accordance with its fundamental principles and precepts. Laws or other regulations concerning schools, which take no account of the rights of the parents given them by natural law, or which by threats or violence nullify them, contradict the natural law and are essentially immoral.
37. The Church, the chosen guardian and interpreter of the natural law, cannot do otherwise than declare that the enrolment of pupils which have just taken place in circumstances of notorious coercion are the effects of violence and void of all legality.
To Youth 38. As the representative of Him who said to a young man in the Gospel: "If thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments" ( Matt. xix, 17) We direct especially fatherly words to youth.
39. By a thousand tongues to-day there is preached in your ears a gospel which has not been revealed by the heavenly Father: a thousand pens write in the service of a sham Christianity which is not the Christianity of Christ. The printing-press and the radio flood you daily with productions the contents of which are hostile to faith and to Church, and unscrupulously and irreverently attack what, for you, must be sacred and holy.
40. We know that many, many amongst you, because of your attachment to faith and Church, and because you belong to religious associations guaranteed by the Concordat, have had to endure, and must still endure, unhappy days of misunderstanding, of suspicion, of disgrace, of denial of your patriotic loyalty, of manifold injury to your professional and social life. We know well how many an unknown soldier of Christ is to be found in your ranks who, with broken heart, but with head erect, bears his lot and finds comfort solely in the thought that he suffers reproach for the name of Jesus ( Acts v, 41).
41. And to-day when new perils and trials threaten, We say to this youth: "If any one preach to you a gospel besides that which you have received" at the knees of a pious mother, from the lips of a believing father, from the lessons of a teacher faithful to God and to His Church, "let him be anathema" ( Gal. i, 9). If the State organizes a national youth association which is compulsory for all, then--without prejudice to the rights of religious associations--it is an obvious and inalienable right of the young, and also of their parents who are responsible before God for them, to demand that that association be cleansed from all activities hostile in spirit to Christian faith and to the Church, activities which up to the most recent times, and even at the present moment, place believing parents in a state of insoluble perplexity of conscience, since they cannot give the State what is demanded from them in the name of the State without taking from God what belongs to God.
42. No one has any idea of putting stumbling-blocks on the way leading German youth to the realization of true national unity, to the fostering of a noble love of liberty and steadfast loyalty to their country. What We attack and what We must attack is the intentional and systematically inspired opposition set up between these educational aims and the aims of religion. Therefore We say to this youth: sing your songs of liberty, but do not forget in them the liberty of the children of God. Do not allow the nobility of this irreplaceable liberty to pine away in the slave-chains of sin and sensuality. He who sings the song of loyalty to his earthly country must not become a deserter and traitor in disloyalty to his God, his Church, and his heavenly country. You are told much about heroic greatness, intentionally and falsely contrasted with the humility and patience of the Gospel; but why are you not told that there is a heroism in the moral struggle, that to keep baptismal innocence is a heroic act which ought to be appreciated as it deserves whether in the religious or the natural sphere? You are told much of human weaknesses in the history of the Church, but why are you not told of the great deeds which have accompanied her path across the centuries, the saints she has produced, the blessing which came to Western civilization from the living union between that Church and your people? You are told a great deal about athletic sports. Practised in moderation and discretion, physical training is beneficial to youth. But often to-day so much time is devoted to it that no account is taken of the complete and harmonious development of body and spirit, nor of the fitting care of family life, nor of the commandment of Sunday observance. With a disregard bordering on indifference the sacred character and peace of the Lord's Day, which are in the best German tradition, are taken away. We confidently expect from believing Catholic youth that in the difficult atmosphere of compulsory State organizations they will unflinchingly insist on their right to keep holy the Christian Sunday, that the care of physical fitness will not make them forget their immortal souls; that they will not allow themselves to be overcome by evil, but will strive to overcome evil by good ( Rom. xii, 21), that their highest aim will be to obtain the crown of victory in the race for eternal life ( 1 Cor. ix, 24).
To Priests and Religious
43. We address a word of special recognition, encouragement, and exhortation to the priests of Germany, on whom under their Bishops, rests the task of showing the flock of Christ in difficult times and in trying circumstances the right paths by daily sacrifice and apostolic patience. Be not weary, beloved sons and sharers in the divine mysteries, in following the eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, in His love and in His care, like the good Samaritan. Go on every hour in conduct undefiled before God, in untiring self-discipline and zeal for perfection, in merciful love for all entrusted to you, especially for those in danger, the weak, and the wavering. Be leaders of the faithful, supports of those who stumble, teachers of those in doubt, consolers of those who mourn, unselfish helpers and counsellors of all. The trials and sufferings through which your people has passed since the war have not been endured without leaving marks on its soul. They have left behind strain and bitterness which can be healed only slowly, and can be overcome only in the spirit of unselfish and active charity. This charity which is the indispensable armour of the apostle, especially in the contemporary world in its restlessness and confusion, We pray and beg God to bestow on you in abundant measure. This apostolic charity will make you, if not forget, at least forgive the many undeserved trials that are strewn more plentifully than ever before in your path as priests and pastors of souls. This understanding and merciful charity towards the erring and even towards the contemptuous does not, however, mean and can never mean that you should cease proclaiming, insisting on, and courageously defending the truth and applying it freely to the realities which surround you. The first and the most obvious gift of love which the priest has for the world is the service of truth, truth whole and entire, the unmasking and confutation of error whatever be its form or disguise. To renounce this task is not only to act as traitors to God and to your holy vocation, but a crime against the true welfare of your people and of your country. To all those who have maintained towards their Bishops the loyalty they promised at ordination, to those who in the fulfilment of their pastoral office have had to bear and still have to bear sorrows and persecutions-some even to bear imprisonment and condemnation to concentration camps--go forth the thanks and praise of the Father of Christendom.
44. Our paternal thanks are extended likewise to the religious of both sexes, and with Our thanks, Our deepest sympathy, in the fate that in consequence of measures taken against religious orders and congregations has taken many away from their beneficent and loved activities. If some have failed and shown themselves unworthy of their vocation, their misdeeds, condemned also by the Church, do not lessen the merits of the overwhelming majority of those who with unselfishness and in voluntary poverty have striven to serve their God and their people with complete self-renunciation. Their zeal, loyalty, and struggle for perfection, the active charity towards their neighbour, and the readiness to render help on the part of those religious whose activities were centred in pastoral work, in hospitals, and in schools, are and remain a glorious contribution to private and public welfare to which a later and more tranquil time will render more justice than does the troubled present. We feel confident that the superiors of religious communities will take occasion from their present trials and difficulties to implore from the Almighty an increase of growth and fruitfulness on their hard field of labour, through redoubled zeal, through a deepened spiritual life, through a holy earnestness in their vocation, and through true discipline according to their rule.
To the Faithful among the Laity
45. Before Our eyes stand the countless host of Our beloved sons and daughters for whom the suffering of the Church in Germany and their own suffering has in no way affected their devotion to the cause of God, their tender love towards the Father of Christendom, their obedience to their Bishops and priests, their joyful readiness to remain in future, come what may, faithful to what they have believed and what they have received as a precious heritage from their forefathers. From a heart deeply moved We send them Our paternal greeting.
46. In the first place We send it to the members of the Catholic associations who steadfastly, and at the cost of sacrifices that have often been grievous, have kept themselves true to Christ and have never been disposed to give up those rights which a solemn agreement had freely guaranteed to the Church and to themselves.
47. We address a particularly heartfelt greeting to Catholic parents. Their rights and their duties in the education of the children God has given them are at the present moment at a crucial point in a struggle than which none graver could scarcely be imagined. The Church of Christ cannot wait to begin to mourn and weep until her altars have been despoiled and sacrilegious hands have destroyed the houses of God in smoke and fire. When the attempt is made to desecrate the tabernacle of a child's soul, sanctified by baptism, by an anti-Christian education, when from this living temple of God the flame of belief is cast out and in its place is put the false light of a substitute for faith which has nothing in common with zeal for the Cross, then the spiritual profanation of the temple is at hand, and it is the duty of every believer to separate clearly his responsibility from that of the other side, and to keep his conscience clear from any sinful collaboration in such unhallowed destruction. The more adversaries strive to deny or gloss over their dark designs, the more necessary is a vigilant distrust and distrustful vigilance stimulated by bitter experience. The nominal maintenance of religious instruction, especially when controlled and fettered by incompetent people in the atmosphere of a school which in other branches of instruction works systematically and invidiously against this same religion, can never justify a faithful Christian in accepting freely such an antireligious educational system. We know, beloved Catholic parents, that there can be no question on your part of such a consent. We know that a free and secret ballot would mean for you an overwhelming majority in favour of the confessional school. Therefore in future We shall not grow weary of frankly reproaching those in responsible positions with the illegality of the coercive measures hitherto adopted and of demanding the right to allow a free manifestation of the people's will. Meanwhile do not forget this: no power on earth can free you from the bond of responsibility imposed by God that binds you to your children. No one of those who to-day are obstructing your educational rights, and who claim to take on themselves your educational duties, can answer for you to the eternal Judge when He puts to you the question: "Where are those I have given you?" May each one of you be able to reply: "Of them whom Thou hast given me, I have not lost any one" ( John xviii, 9).
48. Venerable Brethren, We are certain that the words which We in this decisive hour address through you to the Catholics of Germany will awaken in the hearts and in the actions of Our loyal children an echo answering the loving solicitude of their Common Father. If there is anything that We beseech of the Lord with special fervour it is that Our words may also reach the ears and the hearts and move to reflection those who have already begun to let themselves be beguiled by the flatteries and threats of the enemies of Christ and of His holy Gospel.
49. We have weighed every word of this Encyclical in the balance of truth and also of love. Neither did We wish by inopportune silence to be guilty of not having made the situation clear, nor by excessive severity to harden the hearts of those who since they are placed under Our pastoral responsibility are no less the objects of Our pastoral charity because they are now wandering in the paths of error and estrangement. Though many of these who have adapted themselves to the customs of their new surroundings have for their Father's house they have left and for the Father Himself only words of disloyalty, ingratitude, and even insult, even if they forget what they have thrown away, the day will come when the horror they will feel at their estrangement from God and at their spiritual desolation will weigh down these prodigal sons, and homesickness will bring them back to "God who rejoiced their youth" and to the Church whose maternal hand taught them the way to the heavenly Father. To hasten this hour is the object of Our unceasing prayers.
50. Just as in other times of the Church, this time too will be the harbinger of new progress and inward purification, when determination to profess the faith and readiness to endure sacrifices on the part of Christ's faithful is strong enough to oppose to the physical force of the oppressors of the Church an invincibility of interior faith the inexhaustibility of hope anchored in eternity, and the compelling omnipotence of active charity. May the holy season of Lent and Easter, which preaches recollection and penance and directs the eyes of the Christian more than at any other time to the Cross, but at the same time to the splendour of the Risen Christ, be for each and every one of you an occasion you will welcome with joy and eagerly use to fill the whole mind with the spirit of heroism, patience, and victory which shines forth from the Cross of Christ. Then the enemies of Christ--and of this We are certain--who imagine that the hour of the Church has come will recognize that they rejoiced too soon and were too hasty to dig her grave. Then the day will come when, instead of the premature hymns of triumph sung by the enemies of Christ, there will rise from the hearts and from the lips of the faithful the Te Deum of liberation: a Te Deum of thanks to the Almighty, a Te Deum of joy that the German people, even its members who to-day are in error, has trod again the homeward path of religion with a faith purified by suffering, that it has again bent the knee before the King of time and of eternity, Jesus Christ, and has girt itself in harmony with all men of good will of other nations to fulfil the mission assigned to it in the designs of the Eternal God for the struggle against those who renounce and destroy the Christian west.
51. He who searches the hearts and the reins ( Ps. vii, 10) is Our witness that We have no more heartfelt wish than the restoration of a true peace between Church and State in Germany. But if through no fault of Ours there is not to be peace, the Church of God will defend her rights and her liberties in the name of the Almighty whose arm even to-day is not shortened. Full of trust in Him "we cease not to pray and to beg" ( Col. i, 9) for you, the children of the Church, that the days of tribulation may be shortened and that you may be found faithful in the day of trial; and also for the persecutors and the oppressors that the Father of all light and all mercy may grant to them and to all who with them have erred, and are erring, an hour of enlightenment like that given to Saul on the way to Damascus.
52. With this prayer of supplication in Our heart and on Our lips, as a pledge of divine assistance and as a support in your difficult and responsible decisions, as an aid in the struggle, a comfort in sorrow to your Bishops, pastors of your faithful people, to the priests, to the religious, to the lay apostles of Catholic Action and to all your diocesans and not least to those who are sick and those in prison, We impart with fatherly love the Apostolic Blessing.
Given at the Vatican, on Passion Sunday, March 14, 1937.
PIUS PP. XI
7. Encyclical "Divini Redemptoris" of Pope Pius XI against Communist Atheism and Totalitarianism,
March 19, 1937
Original Latin and Italian texts in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, year 1937, p. 65
When Pope Pius IX condemned Communism in 1846, the ideology referred to in the Papal pronouncement was little more than the sketching of utopias which had been sometimes labelled as Communism in the previous centuries. Two years later it took a more concrete form when the German economist Karl Marx drew up a concise programme for the congress of the international "Federation of the Just," held in London in 1848. It was embodied in the famous "Communist Manifesto." A vast movement developed in the second half of the nineteenth century under the slogan "Proletarians of all lands unite" (first used at the said London congress of 1848), its leading spirits being the German-Jewish trio of apostles of social revolution, Marx, Engels and Lassalle. The political Parties which grew up all over Europe professing their ideas, usually adopted the name of Socialists or Social Democrats; in order to co-ordinate their policies they formed, in 1861, a general organization called the International, and in 1889 they established a Second and reformed International, from which some disparate tendencies (especially the Anarchists) were eliminated.
For the first time since the split of the Church by the Reformation a supra-national organization was created here, rooted in all European countries, and imbued with a common and semi-religious belief, the doctrine of the struggle between social classes, strongly appealing to the minds of people in the modern conditions of economic life. And for the first time an extensive movement appeared whose attitude toward Christianity amounted to a complete negation.
The First World War brought a severe test for the theory and practice of Socialism in all belligerent countries. Faced with the dilemma of their professed international solidarity and of the inescapable fact of their belonging to the respective national States, they mostly chose co-operation with the non-Socialist elements in the great war effort. But this attitude was sharply criticized by radical elements among them, particularly by a group of Russian exiles, known as the Bolsheviks, who had separated from more moderate Russian Socialists prior to the First World War. Claiming for themselves the guardianship of the pure Marxist doctrine, they advocated the termination of the "imperialist" war by means of revolutions inside the respective belligerent countries. When their leaders, particularly Lenin-Ulianov, were able to return to Russia after the collapse of Czarism, they changed their name into Communists, thus stressing their doctrinal continuity with the original Marxian programme of 1848. They seized power in Russia in November 1917 and encouraged with all means of modern propaganda the radical elements among the Socialists in other countries to form their own revolutionary Parties; when this met, in the disturbed conditions of post-war Europe, with a considerable response and Communist Parties emerged all over Europe, a Third, purely Communist International was constituted at Moscow in March 1919.
In the meantime the religious aspect of Russia was being radically changed. During the course of 1918 a series of sweeping decrees concerning Churches and religion was issued by the new Government. They deprived the Churches of all rights of property and the clergy of all civic rights, they prohibited them from running any charitable works and eliminated them entirely from education. Having thus effected a drastic separation of Church and State, the Communists changed their tactics. In the spring of 1919 the Party, now more solidly established in the governmental saddle than before, drew up an official programme of building up the totalitarian Communist State. With regard to religion, the aim was fixed as "complete emancipation of the working masses from religious prejudices." But this complete annihilation of religion-duly emphasized as contrasting with the conceptions of bourgeois democracy which left religion as the private concern of each citizen --was to be achieved by a carefully planned system; direct outrages to the sentiments of the believers were to be avoided, "for their result is only to strengthen religious fanaticism."
Following these tactics, the Communists proceeded on two separate lines. By means of a schismatic movement, called the "Living Church," they tried to disrupt the Russian Orthodox Church and make of it a tool in their hands; and at the same time they endeavoured, by a State-supported propaganda of atheism, to create conditions under which religion would be ultimately crushed and extirpated by a spontaneous pressure of atheistic "masses." On the first line they failed. In spite of governmental support, the proCommunist schismatics did not succeed in getting the upper hand inside the Orthodox Church; on the contrary, in the face of a firm attitude of the Orthodox hierarchy (led by Patriarch Tikhon and cruelly persecuted by the State police) and of the passive resistance on the part of the faithful, it was the "Living Church" which disintegrated and became discredited, instead of the old one. Thereupon the Government, realizing the failure, effected a rapprochement, in 1927, with the lawful hierarchy which was headed, after the death of Patriarch Tikhon, by Sergius, Metropolitan of Nijni Novgorod. Acknowledging his own and the Church's promises of loyalty to the régime, the Communist Government recognized him as de facto head of the Russian Church and allowed the formation of a Holy Synod to assist him.
But simultaneously, on the second line, a systematic and efficient propaganda was conducted by the Communist Party in which especially the schools, organizations of the youth, and the State-sponsored "League of the Godless" were allocated a prominent role. After several years of preparation, the moment was judged opportune in 1929 to stage a pitched offensive. A law, promulgated in April 1929, worsened considerably the position of the Church. Church communities were allowed to exist only on a strictly local and very precarious basis; in each locality at least twenty guarantors had to report every year that they were prepared to carry on the religious activities in the locality at their own expense; any religious instruction whatsoever, in schools or elsewhere, was prohibited; and a multitude of vexatious regulations was introduced concerning the local religious communities, with any infraction of them having for consequence the termination of the community and closing down of their church. The decree was the signal for a violent campaign of all atheistic forces, grouped in the "Anti-religious Front." All over the Soviet Union demonstrations were organized by this Front, which were to represent a "spontaneous" upheaval of the masses against religion. Following many petitions, the authorities closed down thousands of churches, transforming them into cinemas, clubs or anti-religious museums, and many terrorized local communities had to discontinue their worship. The campaign provoked a wave of indignation in the world and, together with the Pope, many Catholic bishops voiced their protests by means of Pastoral Letters.
A few years afterwards the first application of Communist revolutionary methods to Catholicism place in Europe during the Spanish civil war which started in 1936 (see on the previous persecution of the Church in Mexico, largely Communist-inspired, Doc. No. 8 in this chapter). In the middle of this war and under the impression of grave anti-religious excesses, perpetrated in the Communistdominated parts of Spain where ten bishops and thousands of priests and religious were killed, Pope Pius XI issued, in March 1937, the Encyclical Divini Redemptoris on atheistic Communism, reproduced below.
The Encyclical marks no innovation in the Church's attitude toward the Communists. The theories of Communism had already been condemned by Popes Pius IX and Leo XIII, so that Pius XI did not need to add anything in this respect; but he felt the necessity to place before the faithful and the whole Christian world a comprehensive exposé of the evils of this doctrine, of the Catholic standpoint towards it, and of the remedies by which these evils could be arrested and healed. Accordingly, the Encyclical consists of three main parts.
In the first (pars. 11-35) the Pope shows, in a few paragraphs of remarkable limpidity, the basic features of the antithesis between Catholicism and Marxism, as professed and practised by the Communists. These imply historical and dialectical materialism, class warfare, denial of human freedom, degradation of matrimony and family, and the drive to a Godless society. Then the Pope explains (22-27) the factors which have enabled this huge error to spread so disturbingly: abuses of Liberalism, world economic crisis, skilful Communist propaganda, and lack of efficient ideological defence against it. Reviewing the record of the Communists in Russia, Mexico and Spain, he emphasizes that never before has human history witnessed a similar systematic rebellion against religion in its any form whatsoever. But despite all this the Pope feels optimistic about the final fate of the Communists. Man cannot, he says, repudiate God and Natural Law with impunity; if a section of humanity does so, their society will sink into chaos and no terrorism can stop this process, for terrorism can not prevent the moral corruption of such a society (32-34).
The second main section of the Encyclical (36-53) opposes to the errors of Marxism the fundamental concept of human society as taught by the Church. God is the sovereign reality; Man received from God inalienable rights (the right to integrity of life and body, the right to acquire the necessities of life, the right to pursue the end which God had assigned to him, the right of association, and the right to own and use private property); the marriage and family are of Divine institution; so is civil society, existing for the sake of Man--and not Man for the sake of society. As regards the improvement of economic order, the Pontiff points to the principles contained in the two social Encyclicals and refers to the latter for more details (see the Encyclical Rerum novarum in Chap. VII, Doc. No. 10, and the Encyclical Quadragesimo anno in this chapter, Doc. No. 2 ).
Finally, Pius XI turns to the practical counter-action and remedies against Communism (54-111). The best remedy should be a reform of Catholic life, both private and public, its deeper spiritualization, and the promotion of charity and social justice. Sharply reproving the selfishness of some Catholic employers (pars. 70, 76) and reminding the workers of their own duties of charity, he repeats the two great recommendations of the Encyclical Quadragesimo anno for securing social order: family wages and "corporations." While warning against the fallacious devices of Communist strategy (the allusion to a recent change in the Bolshevik legislation--par. 81-apparently refers to the so-called Stalinist Constitution of the Soviet Union, enacted in 1936, which proclaimed, in its Art. 124, freedom of worship together with the freedom of anti-religious propaganda), the Pope concludes by assigning to each factor of the Catholic community, clergy, "Catholic Action," professional and working men's organizations and State organs, their part to play in the crusade for God.
The Encyclical Divini Redemptoris was the first of three Papal pronouncements, issued in March 1937, against three different types of contemporary anti-religious oppression (the other two are the Encyclicals Mit brennender Sorge concerning Nazi Germany, and Nos es muy relative to Mexico--see Doc. Nos. 6 and 8 of this chapter). In its effects it fulfilled the purpose for which it was intended; it has become the ideological basis of Catholic defence against Communism, and a source of inspiration and hope for the whole Christian world.
Meanwhile in Russia, soon after the publication of the Encyclical Divini Redemptoris, another anti-religious campaign was unleashed in 1937, similar to that of 1929-30. It lasted a few months and then, suddenly, the tide turned. The danger of a general war, looming over Europe in 1938, caused the Soviet Government to revise its tactics towards the Church. A milder course was adopted in religious matters and when the Second World War broke out and was eventually waged on Russian soil, the Russian Orthodox Church, in turn, made show of a wholehearted participation in the war effort in full loyalty to the State. She was rewarded by a series of concessions. Atheistic journals were restricted, taxation of religious communities alleviated, and many churches, later even seminaries, were re-opened. In 1943 a Council of the Orthodox hierarchy was allowed to meet; it elected the acting Patriarch Sergius regular "Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia" and when he died, in 1945, another Council elected Alexius, Metropolitan of Leningrad, in his stead. In August 1945 a decree was promulgated which repealed various anti-religious provisions of the previous legislation; so the parishes and dioceses were permitted again to own property (which implicitly meant the re-acknowledgment of their juridical personality), tolling of church bells was allowed and the existence of monasteries recognized. As a result, the Orthodox Church regained much of her former strength. She has been able to re-establish a total of more than eighty bishoprics (as against twenty-eight bishops in 1939) with many thousands of priests and parishes. At the same time, however, the anti-religious education, particularly in schools and youth organizations, goes on unabated and atheism remains the creed and aim of the Bolsheviks as before.
This stage of Communist tactics toward the Orthodox Church, originating in considerations of war expediency but kept after the war, may be explained by the growing subservience of the Russian episcopate to the régime and by the fact that the Soviets realized the political usefulness of the Orthodox Church in their post-war political expansion in Europe, particularly in the Balkans. It may also be explained by the need of the Soviets for the Orthodox Church as a useful ally in the great struggle against Catholicism in which they have engaged since the Second World War. Before this war the number of Catholics under direct Soviet rule in Eastern Europe had been very small; but after the war the aggrandizement of Russian power, both in annexed territory and influence on the "satellite" States, brought many Catholics under totalitarian Communist domination (cf. Doc. No. 12 in this chapter). This resulted in an inevitable conflict with the Catholic Church led by the Holy See, during which Pope Pius XII formulated a general excommunication of Communists in July 1949 (see Doc. No. 11 of this chapter).
(The following English copyright translation is reproduced by kind permission of the Catholic Truth Society, London.)
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