Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has issued a great letter on the threshold of Lent.
As I read it, the Archbishop’s reference to the history of the Church in German with the Nazi state and the 1933 , could be not only warning about our compromises with the three perennial enemies of the soul, but also on the current compromises with the the state in China. It also could be read as a warning about compromising with the world in the matter of Communion for the divorced and remarried. I suspect that that wasn’t the Archbishop’s intention, but the principle he underscores can be applied to many burning contemporary issues.
Caput - Letter - Catholic - Philly - Emphases
Here is Caput’s letter which can be found at Catholic Philly with my emphases and comments.
History is a great teacher, sometimes in unusual and very personal ways. Here’s an example.
Passages - Text - Article - Church - Reich
A few problematic passages in the text do exist. Article 14.2 obliges the Church to consult the German Reich on the appointment of archbishops and coadjutors. Article 16 requires new bishops to take an oath of loyalty to the state. But details like these weren’t unknown in Europe’s historical context. The concordat’s guarantees of Church freedom to profess and practice the Catholic faith, and to pursue Catholic education and social ministries without interference, are extensive, explicit, and generous.
They were also empty. The Reich began violating the deal almost as soon as the ink on the treaty was dry. State pressure on Church life was so harsh by 1937 — just four years later — that Pius XI’s encyclical, Mit brennender Sorge (“With burning concern”) had to be smuggled into the country. It was read from all of Germany’s pulpits on Palm Sunday of that year. In it, the Holy Father condemned the Reich’s (Nazi-directed) neo-paganism, race hatred, “Aryanized” Christianity, widespread attack on human...
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