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srpskinacionalisti.com • Тема - Vatican politics and war
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Vatican politics and war

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Порука: 1784
Приступио: авг 2003
Место: НС, Велика Србија

Vatican politics and war

Порука радикалнс 24.3.2005. 2:16

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/ ... i_n8934116

Vatican politics and war
Human Quest, Jan/Feb 2001 by Swomley, John M


The Vatican has had for many years the possibility of being a peaceful church, winning converts by persuasion, financing its own clergy and church activities and creating the impression that it was neither hostile to nor sought special favors from any state or political leaders. This approach could be called a peaceful or nonviolent ethic, in contrast to an ethic of power. The Vatican thus far has sought control over nations by concordats, political intrigue, and even espousing or condoning war and massacre of non-Catholics. In the recent century it had concordats or other agreements with Serbia, with fascist governments in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Croatia.

A concordat is a pact between the Vatican and a nation-state whereby the Vatican gains certain political and financial benefits in return for support of a policy or arm of the national government. Such a concordat in a nation with numerous Catholics is also helpful in getting their allegiance or in curbing opposition to the government..

The first concordat of importance in the period 1900 to 2000 was Serbia, a majority of whose members were members of the Orthodox church and a minority were Roman Catholics. Serbia agreed to let the Vatican apply its new authorization Code of Canon law to Catholics in Serbia, including the appointment of bishops. It agreed that Catholics would have freedom of worship, religion and religious education. What Serbia wanted was the abrogation of the long-term protectorate included in the rights to name bishops, to educate priest in Austria-Hungary and even to invade Serbia to protect Catholics.

The concordat which Eugene Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII, drafted was clearly to curry the favor of

Serbia, whose government wanted to eliminate any ties between Catholics and Austria. Serbia wanted the Vatican approval which included direct Vatican control over Catholics in the Balkans and the concordat would shift control of the Balkans to Serbia without any excuse for Austria to intervene. There is little doubt that the tensions between Austria and Serbia led to World War I. After Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by a Serbian in Sarajevo, there came the declaration of war. The concordat was signed June 14, 1914, only four days prior to the assassination.

Another of the early concordats was signed in 1924 in Bavaria when the Bavarian state accepted the Vatican's Code of Canon Law as the basis for the appointment of bishops, archbishops, and other lesser church leaders, not only of religious schools but of religious instruction in the educational system. In addition, the state agreed to protect the advance the church and its institutions forever, including paying the salaries of the clergy. The person who negotiated this concordat was Pacelli, later Cardinal Secretary of State.

The next concordat was the Prussia. Because of protestant resistance, Pacelli would not get control of the Prussian schools or the appointment of bishops, but he did get the right to nominate three bishops. The Cathedral canons were also allowed to nominated bishops, and the canons made the final decision. The concordat was signed in June 1929, a few months before the beginning of the Great Depression following the New York stock market crash.

However, in Italy, instead of a concordat, a Lateran Treaty was negotiated and signed in February 1929. According to that treaty, Roman Catholicism is the only recognized religion in Italy. The church was given 108.7 acres and complete control over it as Vatican City. The treaty also banned any Catholic participation in politics. Nevertheless Pope Pius XI encouraged priests throughout Italy to support the Fascists and even spoke of Mussolini as "a man sent by God." In effect the Lateran Treaty and that papal support of Fascism removed ant obstacle to his invasion of Ethiopia and other countries.

The Lateran Treaty also gave Hitler the idea that he could negotiate a similar treaty. The negotiation dragged on for months. During this time pope praised Hitler's anticommunist crusade. Pacelli was in direct negotiations with Hitler despite the German bishops' reluctance. Hitler demanded and got a provision that permitted him to ban any form of political social action performed by Catholics, which meant the disbanding of the Catholic Center Party, a substantial independent and democratic party. In return Hitler agreed to Catholic intervention in German schools and to authorize the cost of educating Catholic students from primary through secondary education. Cardinal Pacelli, who had become the Vatican Secretary of State in 1930, signed the concordat July 20, 1933 after Hitler had begun persecuting Jews, including those who had earlier converted to Catholicism. Also, in spite of Pius XI's Casti Connubi, a doctrine about the sanctity of human life, Pacelli signed the pact after Hitler's law was adopted for "Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring." This included the sterilization of hundreds of thousands of persons with mental retardation and physical problems such as blindness. In other words, Cardinal Pacelli sold out to Hitler by giving him a blank check to destroy democracy, persecute the Jews and in effect to do anything that Hitler viewed as a political decision. This was a clear assertion of Vatican power, as neither the German bishops nor the Catholic Center Party were able to thwart the Vatican bureaucracy. In March, 1939, Pacelli became Pope Pius XII.

In 1941 Hilter permitted Croatian Fascists to declare an independent state under Ante Pavelic and his Ustashis, who began a campaign of extermination against an estimated million of Serbian Orthodox Christians as well as Jews and Communists.

There were numerous other atrocities such as torture and butchery of captives. Priests frequently led the massacres. Some bishops, including Archbishop Stepinac, encouraged mass conversion of the Orthodox to Catholicism. Pope Pius XII and others in the Vatican were well informed of the mass killings and mass conversions to the Catholic church and did not object in any way. Stepinac had even received delegations of Ustashi and their leader, Pavelic. The pope gave him his personal blessing. When the war ended Pavelic, aided by Catholic priests, arrived in Rome where he was in frequent meetings with Montini, a future pope.

Pope John Paul II is also tarnished by his appointment of Archbishop Pio Laghi to Argentina, where he and the majority of Catholic bishops collaborated in the "dirty war" against people suspected of being proCommunist. Thousands lost their lives. John Paul II even visited Argentina during that period and refused to intervene.

When new conflicts arose in the Balkans in the 1990's Catholic Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia. John Paul II was the first to recognize an independent Croatia and was of apparent assistance to Croatia when it wanted a group of retired US military officers to train the Croatian army.

In other ways John Paul II built his power by silencing critics or those who disagree with his position, among them Fr. Hans Kung, Fr. Charles Curry, Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen. Moreover he silenced or destroyed the careers of liberation theologians in Latin America.

In 1998 John Paul II visited Zagreb in Croatia for the express purpose of beautifying Stepinac as a first step to his sainthood.

Without this historical record it would be difficult for many people to believe that popes who make public professions of piety and claims of sacredness of life could ever encourage war and the sacrifice of Jews, Communists and Orthodox Christians, among others. Yet it is evident that from the record of papal preference for power that even the Vatican campaign against the use of contraceptives and abortion facilitates patriarchal power over women.

It is no wonder that many Jews and Christians resent John Paul II's consideration of sainthood for Pius XII and John Paul's beatification of archbishop Stepinac, who presided over Catholic atrocities in Croatia. And for those who know of John Paul's role in the war against "suspected leftists" in Argentina, it is ironic that he would now become the champion of life, albeit chiefly fetal life.

One cannot read Penny Lernoux's book, People of God; or John Cornwell's Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII: or Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, The Nazis and Soviet Intelligence by Mark Aarons and John Loftus- or Emilio Mignone's The Witness to the Truth: The Complicity of Church and Dictatorship in Argentina, without realizing that the primary activity of the Vatican is seeking power over others rather than promoting the message of Jesus of Nazareth.

A number of popes have covered their power drive by a devotion to the Virgin Mary. For example, Pope Pius XII announced in 1950 that "the Immaculate Mother of God, Mary, ever a virgin, when the course of her life was run, was assumed in body and soul to heaven." Pope John Paul II has repeatedly referred to "Our Lady of Fatima" and of her protection of him. It is not surprising that devotees of Mariology and those who believe in her apparitions will also overlook papal sins of power because of their, and the pope's, devotion to Mary.

Is it impossible for religious and political leaders to function successfully in our world of conflict and difference by using peaceful methods and persuasion instead of seeking alliance with military power and major nationstates? The religious leader whose name comes to mind in Gandhi, who not only set India free from British control, but was the model for at least fifty other nations to end foreign control. A second religious leader whose nonviolence led millions of African Americans out of racial segregation was Martin Luther King.

There have also been political leaders in countries such as South Africa, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland that have not relied on military alliances or concordats and have not threatened their neighbors to achieve political favors.

Copyright The Human Quest Jan/Feb 2001
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.
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