By Peter Hofschroer
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Extra resources for 1815 The Waterloo Campaign: Wellington, His German Allies and the Battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras
Fritz kept Pacelli from making real headway until the bishop died at the end of 1931. 76 The Reichskonkordat emerged, as had the three state concordats, through a diplomatic power play engineered by a handful of men who nominally acted on behalf of Catholic Germans while excluding them from the deal making. Even the episcopate, not to mention the lower clergy and laity, were held at arm’s length during negotiations. 77 Although Hitler’s explicit enemy before 1933 was primarily communism and its sympathizers, not the Church, the Nazi Party’s success in the 1932 Reichstag elections pushed Pacelli to resume efforts to secure a national concordat.
He feared for the rights of the Catholic Church in Germany and a continued loss of Catholics to an openly antiChristian ideology. He found an ally in the Catholic politician Franz von Papen, who became chancellor in July. 78 36 WEHRMACHT PRIESTS The Bishops and the Reichskonkordat The concordat came into existence almost entirely without the bishops’ input. Hitler had partially pacified the episcopate in his speech to the Reichstag in March 1933, leading to the Enabling Act. ”79 The bishops still worried, however, and in mid-April 1933 Bertram wrote to Hitler expressing his apprehension about the future of Catholic lay organizations in Nazi Germany.
He also condemned socialism for its attacks on private property, enshrined as just and necessary in both sacred and natural law. 31 Leo XIII’s fi n-de-siècle charge against socialism moderated in the first two decades of the twentieth century. 32 In the wake of the Russian Revolution and through the chaos of the civil war that followed, Benedict XV and his successor, Pius XI, attempted to reach a private agreement with the Soviet state. From the end of the war through the 1920s, no explicit judgment of the socialist or communist movements, or the latter’s Russian variant, Bolshevism, came from the Holy See.