BERLIN (Aug. 28)
Germany’s Catholic bishops, in a defiant pastoral letter read in all churches, today demanded an end of Nazi Anti-religious persecution which they charged was designed to “eradicate Christianity” and supplant it with an un-christian doctrine.
The document, drafted by the by shops during their conference at Fulda, charged that the Nazi authorities did not even refrain from insulting the “personal honor” of Pope Plus, and emphasized the prelates’ determination to resist efforts to intimidate them. Today efforts are afoot to destroy faith, the aim being to wreck Catholicism,” The letter said. “We are condemned to the fate of the Christians in the catacombs by moves intended to mark the beginning of the end.”
Catholic sources pointed out that the Nazis, after a comparative respite of several months, had renewed their attacks on the church. This was brought home by the fact that 300,000 copies of the Nazi party’s pamphlet on the Pope’s entourage, alleging that the Vatican is allied to Jews, Bolsheviks, Freemasons and democrats, had been distributed in the last eight weeks. The bishops demanded a cessation of religious persecution, after listing the various types of oppression to which the church has been subjected. Everywhere, even in school textbooks, the great and good points of the catholic faith are eradicated or interpreted from a racial viewpoint while its allegedly bad aspects are spotlighted or exaggerated, the churchmen maintained. The campaign against the Catholic Church also is evident in the German marriage laws, which the German bishops cannot recognize, it was declared.