Recently, a 101-year-old man was convicted in Germany of more than 3500 counts of accessory to murder. However, the instrumental role of the Vatican in Hitler's rise to power is well-documented, yet to date, the Vatican has not been charged with accessory to murder. Perhaps it's the most globally recognized "Religious War" of the 20th century that was carried out by the Nazi Germany party in cooperation with the Vatican Church. As with the case of the Third Reich, the Nazi party engaged in crimes against religious minorities including Jews, Gypsies, and Jehovah's Witnesses, resulting in the estimated death of some 6 million. These acts were both instigated and supported by the Vatican during its beginnings. However, by extension, the Nazi party, including the Vatican, is responsible for some 31 million deaths through genocide, raids, forced labor, "euthanasia," starvation, medical experiments, bombing, concentration and death camps, and more.
As documented in "The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany" by Guenter Lewy, the Nazi-Nationalist coalition came into power on March 5, 1933, winning 52% of the votes. On March 13th, Cardinal Faulhaber publicly praised Chancellor Adolf for the stance he had taken against communism.
Prior to this, the Holy See had been working to establish a Concordat between them and Germany that involved maintaining control over religious schooling, assets, and the like. Negotiation had failed in the past due to the former German party being predominantly non-Catholic. However, with the rise of Hitler, the Holy See saw a new opportunity for negotiations and was willing to implement new strategies to obtain them. The Vatican's use of the Hitler regime had an immediate policy advantage when a law announced on Feb 27th recognized seven Catholic feast days as legal holidays. For that reason, although having placed limits on the Nazi Party under the old regime, the Vatican made a momentous reversal. And on March 24th, the Catholic Church hastily removed restrictions placed on the Nazi Party in a letter written by Cardinal Bertram that addressed members of the Fulda Bishop's Conference.
The Vatican approved Bishop Bertram's stance on removing prohibitions formerly placed on the Nazi Party and welcoming them into the Church.
Hitler saw this as a great diplomatic opportunity to establish a strong relationship with Rome and worked to establish a Concordat.
The Vatican now saw a unique opportunity to use Nazi political power to carry out their own religious agenda, and they were willing to implement and support the extermination of religious minorities to achieve their religious ends. This led many to see that what is noted in history as one of the greatest atrocities of the century was, in fact, instigated, supported, and facilitated by one of the most powerful religious organizations in the world.
With the backing of the Vatican, there was now nothing standing in Hitler's way to gain world domination by employing Vatican-supported and inspired tactics to exterminate any religious opposition or entity standing in its way.
At the meeting of the Bavarian Council of Ministers on April 24th, 1933, the Premier was able to report that Cardinal Faulhaber had issued an order to the clergy to support the new regime in which he (Faulhaber) had confidence.
A declaration from the Catholic teachers organization, published on April 1, encouraged its members to participate in building the new order and to be helpers and friends to the nationalist movement.
When German ministers Papen and Göring of the Nazi party visited the Vatican on April 10th, they were received with great honor.
"The bishops cannot fight where Rome concludes peace. " The Catholic Allgemeine Rundschau concluded
When Jehovah’s Witnesses were suppressed in Bavaria on April 13th, the Church, on assignment from Hitler's Ministry of Education, reported any members seen or thought to still be practicing the newly forbidden faith. As Hitler fulfilled his role as executor of religious minorities and began operations of the notorious concentration camps and gas chambers, members of the Catholic faith were being persuaded to continue suppressing their emotional sympathies. On April 3, 1938, a Papen, who assumed the title Protector, founded an organization named Kreuz und Alder (Cross & Eagle) to appeal to German Catholics to join in the creation of the Third Reich, which personified the "God-Given" mission of the German nationals to deepen Christian-conservative thinking. The Papen was clear about his purpose to use the Nazi Party for its own religiously corrupt means and made this eyebrow-raising statement: "Success is not tied to the existence of political parties," which, according to him, would not last.
For Hitler's 4th birthday party on April 20, 1935, Monsignor Kaas sent a telegram of congratulations from Rome that was published in the press. "For today's birthday, sincere good wishes and the assurance of unwavering cooperation in the great endeavor of creating a Germany internally united, enjoying social peace, and externally free." Kaas, who wrote from Rome, was expressing the well wishes of the Holy See. "The bishops, it goes without saying, rendered the state and the authority what is due to them according to God's command. The Church has done this under earlier forms of government, and she would do the same under the present one. She would urge the faithful to be obedient and respectful." The bishops gladly recognized that the new state promoted Christianity, raised the level of morality, and fought the battle against Bolshevism and godlessness with vigor and success. During a special meeting with Pope Pius XI, Hitler spoke about the long-standing view of the church and their views of Jews as parasites, pointing to the fact that the Church had banished them to the Ghettos. He reaffirmed his stance against them and mentioned that he was only going to do what the Church had done for 1,500 years. As a devout Catholic, Hitler affirmed that he was personally convinced of the great power and significance of Christianity and that he would not permit the founding of another religion. A statement that, at that time, went unchallenged by the Holy See. From such statements, it is clear that the Catholic Church, in accordance with Vatican approval, was instrumental in orchestrating, facilitating, and implementing the genocide and execution of Jews, Roma, Jehovah's Witnesses, and other religious minorities who did not adhere to the supreme power and doctrine of the Catholic faith.
Archbishop Gober, in response to an inquiry at the Vatican, had also been told that a concordance between the Reich and the Holy See had been discussed in the talks with Papen and Göring.
So, how did the Vatican escape retribution along with Hitler and the regime with its fall in 1945? Perhaps in part due to the fact that Hitler and the Catholic Bishops only met publicly on a few occasions.
With the death of Pius XI in 1939, Hitler sought to influence the vote of the next Pope who would be more favorable to his policies.
After taking control, Pope Pius XII remained politically neutral and chose not to use their influence to ruffle the feathers of Germany, in the interest of the Church in Germany.
In his first encyclical, Summi Pontificatus ("On the Unity of Human Society"), released in October 1939, Pius urged Church members internationally, including Germany, to remember a quote from Jesus, "render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's." Meaning, Church members were expected to obey the laws of the land even if it meant carrying out the execution of the religious minority, which would soon commence in the months following his new appointment.
It’s important to note that the Bible nor Jesus ever encouraged disciples to obey Government leaders at all costs. For in that same quote, Jesus continued, “but render God’s things to God.” Meaning that in the event that a government asks members to disobey God's commandments, the disciple was expected to give priority to obedience to God, which for Jesus' disciples involved loving their enemies, not killing them.
The Vatican at that time never directly condemned Hitler, his policies, or practices, even when Hitler began the use of gas chambers starting at the end of 1939.
As Hitler made his way through Europe, seeking to expand his political influence and promote his religious ideologies, many governments sought the support of the Vatican to help broker peace. However, this tactic ultimately failed. By this time, the war had almost consumed the entire world. The Vatican, despite its involvement in passing intelligence between countries, ended up aiding in the escape from a problem that they, themselves, had helped to facilitate and instigate at the beginning of Hitler's regime.
On September 26, 1943, Nazi officials demanded 50 kilograms of gold from Jewish leaders in Rome within 36 hours. If the demand was not met, they threatened to send 200 Roman Jews to concentration camps. The Vatican, aware that the world was watching, was hesitant to give the money to the Jews without any cost. Instead, they offered an open-ended loan to cover the required amount for the Germans. After the payment was made, all Jews, regardless of age, sex, or health, were gathered and transported to concentration camps. The total number of deported individuals amounted to 1,015, and tragically, only 16 of them survived the war.
The estimated number of Jews killed during the Holocaust is between 5.8 million and 11 million. However, some experts argue that the actual number may be significantly higher. In countries that were occupied by the Germans, some Jews converted to Catholicism to avoid persecution. While some people believe that the Catholic Church played a direct role in saving hundreds of thousands of lives during Hitler's anti-Jewish campaigns, others argue that the Catholic Church, which supported and strengthened Hitler's rise to power, bears responsibility not only for the millions of persecuted individuals, including Jews, but also for the 75 million lives lost during World War II. Although the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights was not in place at that time, the fact that the Vatican bears responsibility for such a significant loss of life should be strongly considered when seeking justice on behalf of the world.
Perhaps Pope Pius XII and his motives are better understood in light of what took place when tons of explosives were dropped on Rome in 1943 during World War II by United States bombers. As soon as the all-clear had sounded, instead of initially using that moment to provide spiritual comfort and instill courage and hope in the ears of the people, he reportedly went to the Vatican Bank to withdraw cash reserves before driving into the city. There is no statute of limitations for war crimes. If a 101-year-old man can be convicted in Germany in relation to his role during the Nazi era, it is clear that now is the time to hold the Vatican responsible for their global war crimes that resulted in the death of some 31 million. Therefore, Court Magazine is calling on the United States President Joe Biden and U.K. Prime Minister to officially charge the Vatican with war crimes, including genocide, raids, forced labor, "euthanasia," starvation, medical experiments, bombing, concentration camps, and death camps. In addition, we demand that the United Nations and the European Union cut all ties with the Vatican and enforce legal sanctions and seizures of Vatican assets to use as restitution payments to the people and governments severely impacted by Hitler's military campaigns. It must be seriously noted that if world leaders give the Vatican a pass on their instrumental role in one of the most horrendous atrocities ever to hit mankind, they are setting a very dangerous global precedent that will come with catastrophic consequences.