The Roman Catholic Church and Fascism - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Inter-war period (1919-1938), Russian civil war (1917–1921) and other non World War topics (1914-1945).
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#608007
Summary

1. The Roman Catholic Church ("RCC") was critical to Hitler's rise to absolute power: The Catholic parties, which had previously opposed the Nazis, threw their support behind the so-called Enabling Act, which made Hitler dictator, on the direct orders of the Vatican.

2. The RCC was essential to Mussolini's getting into power and staying there: In 1922, the Vatican ordered RCC hierarchs in Italy not to support the Catholic party, thereby ensuring Mussolini's victory; in 1923 the Vatican ordered the Catholic priest who led the Popolari Party in opposing Mussolini's bid for dictatorship to resign, thereby ensuring Mussolini's success; and in 1924, the Vatican ordered all clergy to resign from the Catholic party, thereby ensuring the survival of Mussolini's government, which had been on the verge of collapse after the assassination of Matteotti.

3. The RCC ignored the Holocaust until it became obvious that the Allies would win the war: Pius XII's record is one of turning a blind eye year after year, and the RCC's contrary claims are lies.

4. The RCC orchestrated and implemented the genocide against the Orthodox Serbs in Nazi-Catholic Croatia: The RCC and the Nazis established the independent state of Croatia, made Roman Catholicism the official religion, banned the practice of Orthodox Christianity, made harboring an Orthodox Serb a capital crime, and forcibly converted and then murdered some 750,000 Orthodox Serbs. The entire genocide was carried out not merely with the knowledge but with the enthusiastic participation of the ecclesiastical hierarchy in Croatia, and Pius XII, who was kept fully informed of the progress of the genocide by his papal legate in Croatia, said and did nothing about it.

I. The Role of the Roman Catholic Church in Hitler's Rise to Absolute Power

In 1933 elections were held for Germany's Reichstag (parliament). The two Catholic parties -- the Center Party and the smaller Bavarian People's Party -- had always opposed the Nazis. Of the 647 seats, the Nazis (and their allied Hugenberg Nationalists) won 340. But in order to give Hitler absolute power, they needed 432 seats -- two-thirds of the total.

The Catholic parties won 92 seats, which was exactly the number that the Nazis needed. So the papal nuncio in Germany -- Eugenio Pacelli, who later became Pius XII, the infamous "Hitler's Pope" -- struck a deal with the Nazis. The RCC gleefully sold its integrity (at least, it would have if it had had any) for the thirty pieces of silver it got from the concordat with Hitler: The RCC agreed that every bishop would have to "swear ... loyalty to the German Reich," "swear ... to honor the legally constituted Government and to cause the clergy of [his] diocese to honor it," and "swear ... to avoid all detrimental acts which might endanger it"; the RCC agreed that every prospective bishop would be subject to Nazi vetting before nomination; and the RCC agreed that all clerics and monastics would be barred from political activity, so they could not effectively oppose Nazism on the political level. (See Concordat, Arts. 16, 14(2), and 32.)


So Pacelli, acting in his official capacity as papal nuncio, directed the 92 parliamentarians who were members of the Catholic parties to vote to give Hitler absolute power. And not one -- not so much as a single one -- of them had the moral courage to stand up and say "no". Instead, each and every one of them got up on his hind legs like a good little Catholic and voted the way that the Vatican had commanded. And that is how Hitler managed to achieve absolute power in a constitutional fashion.

Those are facts. The votes of the Catholic parties' parliamentarians were essential to Hitler's rise to absolute power, and those votes were dictated by the Vatican.

II. The Role of the Roman Catholic Church in Mussolini's Rise to Power

There are strong parallels in Mussolini's (earlier) rise to power. In 1922, the only power capable of politically blocking Mussolini's fascists was the combined weight of the Socialist Reform and Catholic parties. But just as those parties were forming a coalition to block the fascists, the Vatican ordered the Italian ecclesiastical hierarchs to remain neutral rather than support the Catholic Party. The clearly foreseeable effect of that was the collapse of the Socialist-Catholic coalition. Later that month, Mussolini's fascists took control of Italy.

In 1923, Mussolini was pushing a scheme to guarantee the fascists a two-thirds majority in all parliamentary elections. That scheme was opposed by the Catholic Popolari Party, led by a Catholic priest, Don Sturzo. The Popolari had successfully blocked the implementation of Mussolini's scheme, but the Vatican ordered Sturzo to resign from the party. That weakened the party enough that it could no longer block the fascists' scheme, and Mussolini got his electoral "reforms".

In 1924, the fascists murdered the Socialist leader Matteotti. The Socialist and Catholic parties demanded that King Victor dismiss Mussolini, and they tried again to form an effective coalition to oppose fascism. But the Vatican announced that cooperation with even the most moderate Socialists was sinful -- as opposed, of course, to cooperation with the foulest governments on the face of the planet, which was not -- and ordered all clergy to resign from the Catholic party. The hoped-for coalition collapsed, and Mussolini hung on to power.

Those are facts. The Vatican allied itself squarely with Mussolini's fascists at three crucial points, enabling him to take power in the first instance, enabling him to gain absolute power through election-rigging, and propping up his government when it was in danger of collapse.

III. The Roman Catholic Church Ignored the Holocaust

Unlike the cases of Hitler and Mussolini, in which the RCC actively assisted in the rise of fascism, its record with respect to the Holocaust is one of inaction:
(a) Francis d'Arcy Godolphin Osborne, British Minister to the Vatican, sent regular reports on fascist atrocities to Pius XII -- the very Eugenio Pacelli who had brokered the deal that gave Hitler absolute power -- from 1940 on, and Pius XII did nothing. (b) Requested to intercede to prevent the deportation of Jews from Spain and Lithuania, Pius XII did nothing.
( c) Beseeched by Ukrainian Metropolitan Andrej Septyckyj to speak out against the extermination of Jews, at a time when 200,000 Ukrainian Jews had already been murdered, Pius XII advised the Metropolitan to "bear adversity with serene patience".
(d) When the collaboratist French government instituted Jewish statutes, the Vatican declared that such statutes were in accord with Catholic teaching as long as they were administered with "charity" and "justice" -- which is as good a reflection as any of what the RCC really thinks about charity and justice.
(e) Asked by the Bishop of Berlin and the President of Poland's government-in-exile to denounce Nazi violence, Pius XII did nothing.
(f) Informed by Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini (later Paul VI) that the "massacres of the Jews [had] reach[ed] frightening proportions and forms," the Vatican continued to assert that it was impossible to verify "rumors" of such crimes.
(g) Informed that 77% of Slovakian Jews had been deported to probable death, Pius XII did nothing.
(h) Informed that the Jewish population of the Warsaw Ghetto had been reduced by 400,000, Pius XII did nothing.

Only when it became clear that the Allies would win the war did Pius XII change his tune. Suddenly, the extermination of the Jews became a matter of concern -- purely political concern. The Vatican finally began to give refuge to Jews in Rome because, as Pius XII advised the German and Hungarian bishops, being on record condemning the slaughter of the Jews would be politically advantageous after the collapse of the Third Reich.

The RCC claims that Pius XII intervened to help Jews before the tide of war turned by persuading Brazil to grant 3000 visas to European Jews in 1939. That is false. Pius XII interceded with Brazil only on behalf of Jews who had converted to Catholicism. When most of those Jews reverted to Judaism, their visas were revoked, and Pius XII did nothing.

In 1999, the Vatican appointed a group of Catholic and Jewish scholars to investigate the matter, but the investigators were not given full access to the Vatican's pertinent documents. And when even the evidence selected by the RCC belied its stock defenses of Pius XII, the Vatican shut the whole investigation down.

Those are facts. The Vatican was fully informed of the Holocaust, from sources both inside and outside the RCC, and it did nothing to stop it. It did not even speak out against it until it became politically expedient to do so.

IV. The Roman Catholic Church's Genocide in Nazi-Catholic Croatia

I have saved the worst for last. The attempt to exterminate the Serbian Orthodox is one of the lesser known butcheries of the twentieth century. The independent state of Croatia, proclaimed in 1941, was entirely a creature of the Third Reich and the RCC. Catholicism was made the official religion, and practicing Orthodox Christianity was forbidden. All Orthodox were immediately banned from Zagreb, and harboring an Orthodox was declared punishable by summary execution. Orthodox serbs were rounded up in their tens of thousands, forcibly "converted" to Roman Catholicism, and shot.

The Church was up to its eyeballs in this. The Catholic primate, Archbishop (later Cardinal) Alojzije Stepinac, and other bishops became members of the Croatian parliament, which oversaw, with their enthusiastic participation, the genocide against the Orthodox. Stepinac became Supreme Military Apostolic Vicar of the Ustashi Army and vigorously urged on the slaughter. And after Ante Pavelic had to flee the country, Stepinac stepped in as head of the fascist government. The backbone of the Ustashi office corps was composed of Catholic priests and monks. Pius XII was given regular reports on the Ustashi's progress in exterminating the Orthodox by, among others, his own papal legate, who was on the scene.

This is a case of the RCC's actively participating in -- indeed, being the primary architect of -- one of the worst crimes of the fascist era. The ecclesiastical hierarchy in Croatia, almost without exception, fully supported the attempt to exterminate the Orthodox Serbs. Catholic priests and monks supervised -- and, in many instances, personally carried out -- forcible conversions followed by mass executions. The ultimate death toll is estimated at about 750,000.

Ten years after beatifying the mass murderer Junipero Serra, architect of the RCC's genocide against the native peoples of California, His Unholiness John Paul II proved his utter moral bankruptcy a second time by beatifying Stepinac. That shows the moral character of the RCC.

Those are facts. The RCC orchestrated and implemented a genocide in which it murdered some 750,000 Orthodox Serbs.

V. So What Does This Tell Us?

The RCC actively expedited the rise to power of two of the foulest criminals of modern times. The RCC turned a blind eye to the greatest crime against humanity ever committed. And the RCC orchestrated and implemented a genocide in which the RCC murdered some 750,000 innocent people. Why? Because in the great struggle among fascism, communism, and democracy, the RCC made a moral choice: It allied itself squarely with fascism.

A. Hitler

If the Vatican had instructed the Catholic parties to oppose Hitler (which they already had been doing) rather than instructing them to vote to give Hitler absolute power, would his rise to absolute power have been prevented? We cannot know. But popular willingness to accept the outcome of a process perceived as legitimate and popular willingness to accept the outcome of a naked coup d'etat are two very different things. And we know that the Nazis thought that the RCC's support was important, because they went to a good deal of trouble to obtain it. Hence, "to honor the legally constituted Government" in the concordat -- the Nazis knew the value of the RCC's recognition of their claim to legitimacy.

In any event, if Hitler's bid for absolute power had been frustrated rather than facilitated by the RCC, some political accommodation would likely have been reached which would have given Hitler less than absolute power, at least for a time. He very likely would have taken complete control eventually, but at the very least, the RCC could have slowed the rise of Nazism. Instead, the RCC actively hastened it.

B. Mussolini

Could Mussolini's ambitions have been squelched if the RCC had opposed them rather than supporting them? Again, we cannot know. But we do know -- especially from the events of 1923, when the Catholic party was successfully thwarting Mussolini's plans until the Vatican intervened to support him -- that the RCC had the power to impede, if not prevent, his ascendance. Again, therefore, the RCC could have slowed the rise of fascism. But again, the RCC actively hastened the rise of fascism instead.

C. The Holocaust

Would papal denunciation of the Holocaust and active encouragement of all Catholics to save as many Jews as possible have mitigated the Holocaust? Again, we cannot know. But unless one contends that there was absolutely no chance that papal denunciation of the Holocaust would have had even the slightest effect -- in which case we might well ask why the RCC bothers to have a pope at all -- one must concede that the likelihood that the pope could have mitigated the Holocaust by speaking out against it and exhorting all Catholics to do their best to subvert it was greater than zero.

But instead of denouncing the single greatest crime against humanity ever committed, the RCC stood idly by while a whole people was being mercilessly butchered. (Which is hardly surprising, given that the RCC was itself busily butchering another whole people at the same time.) The RCC could have saved many lives by speaking out against the Holocaust and working to counteract and undermine it. Instead, the RCC bargained away those lives for the thirty pieces of silver it got in the Concordat (much as it traded the lives of those slaughtered by the Italian fascists in exchange for the thirty pieces of silver it got in the Lateran Treaty). We will never know how many lives the RCC could have saved but did not, but we can be confident that they number in the tens or even hundreds of thousands.

D. The Genocide Against the Orthodox Serbs

In this case, whether the RCC could have prevented, delayed, slowed, or even slightly mitigated the genocide against the Orthodox Serbs is not the issue. At the very least, the RCC could have declined to participate in that genocide. Instead, the RCC jumped right in it with both feet. The RCC fused itself with the Ustashi in Nazi-Catholic Croatia, and once the two became indistinguishable, their crimes likewise became indistinguishable. Had it not been overshadowed by the Jewish Holocaust, the genocide against the Serbian Orthodox would be one of the most notorious crimes against humanity ever committed, and the RCC fully and eagerly wallowed in it. That obviates the question whether the RCC could have mitigated that genocide: If the RCC had not committed horrendous crimes, it would not be directly guilty of horrendous crimes.

E. The Roman Catholic Church and Fascism in the Modern Era

The twentieth century's great ideological struggle was among the tyranny of fascism, the tyranny of communism, and the (at least relative) freedom of representative, rights-protective democracy. The RCC was confronted with a clear moral choice. And it fully and unhesitatingly allied itself with the ideology most compatible with its own: fascism.

VI. Has Anything Changed?

In my opinion, no. I see no evidence that the RCC's ideology is any less fascistic now than it was in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Nor do I see any evidence that the RCC is any less willing now to commit genocide than it was in the 1940s (or in the 18th century, when it committed genocide against the native peoples of California, or at any other time). It seems to be less able to do so, but that is a different matter. The power of the RCC waxes and wanes (and sometimes waxes in one place while waning in another), but one thing that the RCC has learned very well is how to bide its time.

And there is an underlying reason for that: The RCC is dogmatically committed to installing itself as the dictatorial head of worldwide tyranny. Although most Catholics, especially American Catholics, are serenely unaware of this, the RCC requires all of the faithful to oppose freedom of religion and support making the RCC the state religion everywhere, to oppose freedom of opinion and expression and support censorship, and to support making all of the world's governments subordinate to the RCC. (See Quanta Cura and Syllabus of Errors.)

And because Quanta Cura and Syllabus of Errors -- which elaborate the principle expressed centuries earlier in Unam Sanctam -- are brimming with all the indicia of papal infallibility (i.e., all the standards for an ex cathedra statement on faith and morals (which is what a papal statement must be in order to be considered infallible)), the RCC is pretty much stuck with them. It could find a way around them -- as it has changed its mind about lending money at interest and about abortion in the first trimester -- but very few people would find such intellectual and theological backflips convincing.

In the end, it seems to me, the combination of the RCC's dogmatic commitment to tyranny (as long as it is the tyrant; obviously, it opposes anti-Catholic tyrannies such as communism) and its historical willingness to use any means available -- up to and including genocide -- to further that objective makes the RCC a clear and constant danger to the liberty of every human being. Its ceasing to exist will be a great step forward in the history of humankind.
User avatar
By The Immortal Goon
#608060
The Protestants and the Holocaust:

The Jews and Their Lies, by Martin Luther
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/15 ... -full.html

Learn from this, dear Christian, what you are doing if you permit the blind Jews to mislead you. Then the saying will truly apply, "When a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into the pit" [cf. Luke 6:39]. You cannot learn anything from them except how to misunderstand the divine commandments...


Therefore be on your guard against the Jews, knowing that wherever they have their synagogues, nothing is found but a den of devils in which sheer self-glory, conceit, lies, blasphemy, and defaming of God and men are practiced most maliciously and veheming his eyes on them.


Moreover, they are nothing but thieves and robbers who daily eat no morsel and wear no thread of clothing which they have not stolen and pilfered from us by means of their accursed usury. Thus they live from day to day, together with wife and child, by theft and robbery, as arch-thieves and robbers, in the most impenitent security.


Who in history followed this little bit of advice to Germany?
First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly - and I myself was unaware of it - will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know.

Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.

Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. (remainder omitted)

Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. For they have justly forfeited the right to such an office by holding the poor Jews captive with the saying of Moses (Deuternomy 17 [:10 ff.]) in which he commands them to obey their teachers on penalty of death, although Moses clearly adds: "what they teach you in accord with the law of the Lord." Thoses villains ignore that. They wantonly employ the poor people's obedience contrary to the law of the Lord and infuse them with this poison, cursing, and blasphemy. In the same way the pope also held us captive with the declaration in Matthew 16 {:18], "You are Peter," etc, inducing us to believe all the lies and deceptions that issued from his devilish mind. He did not teach in accord with the word of God, and therefore he forfeited the righ to teach.

Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let they stay at home. (...remainder omitted).

Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. The reason for such a measure is that, as said above, they have no other means of earning a livelihood than usury, and by it they have stolen and robbed from us all they possess.

Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen 3[:19]}. For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.


This is how many of the Nazis tried to defend themselves when on trial - by saying it was their obligations as Lutherns to go through with what he said. Of course, since most of the wealthy countries are Protestants, we like to try and blame it all on the Catholics.

But you know what really caused WWII? Economic and material conditions that had NOTHING to do with religion at all. This is like praising a hammer for building a house and not acknowlding anything else it takes in its construction.

-TIG :rockon:
User avatar
By Todd D.
#608384
Before I get into this I want to make a few points perfectly clear from the start. Firstly, the history of the Roman Catholic Church is not perfect. It is an organization of human beings who, by their own admission, are fallen and imperfect. Contrary to popular opinion, the Church has never denied this, nor does the concept of Papal Infallibility mean that the Pontiff is incapable of sin.

Secondly, Anti-semitism was absolutely rampant in Europe during the time period on question. As TIG said, Catholics in Germany were not exactly the only people who felt that Jews were to blame for their problems, and it was a problem dating back hundreds of years. Quite frankly, it was part of the culture at the time, and to endict a small minority of the population (in this case Catholics living in Europe and America) for what was overwhelming popular opinion is not appropriate.

Thirdly, it is wrong to blame an organization for the conduct of its members if that conduct specifically violates the tennants of that organization, especially one whose membership is as loose as a religion. If Islam says that violence against innocents is to be condemned, then you cannot blame Islam itsself for terrorists, even if those terrorists cite the Koran as their justification. Even IF Hitler was using citing Catholicism as justification for his actions (which I will dispute later), that does NOT mean that his views were in line with Church teaching.

Fourthly, at the end of the day, the Catholic Church is a religous organization, not a political one. While it's faith and morals can have bearing on the political climate of the time, the specific form of government that the Catholic Church, or an individual Catholic, should support has always been a matter of hot debate. In this last election alone, Catholics broke almost 50-50, only slightly favoring the Democrats (I believe it was something like 53-45, but I don't have that source with me). Roman Catholics are a diverse group politicall that run the gamut from Socialist to Theocratic (and at least one Libertarian). It's a matter of theological interpretation which political ideology is supported, and while the Vatican may offer their support or condemn certain candidates, Canon law does not require one to adhere to that support or condemnation (in so far as it does not violate more basic religious principles. A Catholic would be forbidden from joining a "There is no God" party, for example.)

Finally, the idea that the Roman Catholic Church supported Hitler is fairly new. It does not show up popular opinion, even amongst Jewish circles, until the mid 1960's. The theory was first popularized in Rolf Hochhuth's 1963 play entitled The Deputy. This in and of itsself does not disprove the allegations, but explains why from here on out I will refer to this view as "Revisionist".

We cool? Ok, here we go:
1. The Roman Catholic Church ("RCC") was critical to Hitler's rise to absolute power: The Catholic parties, which had previously opposed the Nazis, threw their support behind the so-called Enabling Act, which made Hitler dictator, on the direct orders of the Vatican.

The Catholic Centre party had opposed The Enabling Act because they felt that too many "basic rights" had already been restricted. In response, Hitler promised that, in exchange for their support, he would restore some of those rights (some of those rights SPECIFICALLY dealing with discrimination against Jews and other non-Protestants). Not suprisingly, he never followed through on those promises. For lack of a better term, they were duped. They were duped just like the Allies were duped when Hitler said that if he could keep Austria, he wouldn't invade anyone else, just like Russia was duped with their non-aggression treaty, just like a lot of other people were betrayed by Hitler. It's unfortunate, and those members later regretted the decision, but obviously by then it was too late.

2. The RCC was essential to Mussolini's getting into power and staying there: In 1922, the Vatican ordered RCC hierarchs in Italy not to support the Catholic party, thereby ensuring Mussolini's victory; in 1923 the Vatican ordered the Catholic priest who led the Popolari Party in opposing Mussolini's bid for dictatorship to resign, thereby ensuring Mussolini's success; and in 1924, the Vatican ordered all clergy to resign from the Catholic party, thereby ensuring the survival of Mussolini's government, which had been on the verge of collapse after the assassination of Matteotti.

Fascism, just like Socialism/Communism, was very new and very intriguing to a great many people, especially in former Triple-Alliance countries following the first World War. They, incorrectly, blamed Capitalism for their economic hardships and felt that the only way to remedy their horrible condition was through an increase in the government's role of the economy. It's not suprising that an economic system which put control of the economy totally in state control would be appealing, and it was, both to Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Additionally, since it seemed a foregone conclusion that the people wanted a centrally controlled economy, given that the choice was between Marxist (and as a result, Atheist) Communism and Fascism, which allowed religion to continue to practice, it was an easy choice to make. Nevertheless, since Italy did not subscribe to the same doctrines of ethnic cleansing nor explicit anti-semitism that Nazi Germany put in the forefront, Catholic support of Mussolini and his regime, at least initially, can in no way be seen as an indication that Pius XI (The Pope at the time) supported ALL governments that claimed to be Fascist. It's also important to note that once World War II began, the Vatican became staunch opponents to the Axis powers and refused to further support Mussolini or his regime.

3. The RCC ignored the Holocaust until it became obvious that the Allies would win the war: Pius XII's record is one of turning a blind eye year after year, and the RCC's contrary claims are lies.

Even Jewish sources record that Pius XII was responsible for hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives being saved during World War II, one Jewish source (Pincus Lapide, author of Three Popes and the Jews) citing the numer 860,000, more than all other relief organizations COMBINED. According to Joseph Lichten, also a Jewish historian, Pius XII used Vatcan money and assets to buy the freedom of oppressed Jews in Nazi Germany. He even went so far as to use Castel Gondolfo, traditionally the summer resident of the Pontiff, as a refugee station for escaping Jews. Consider the following:
Dr. Israel Goldstein of the World Jewish Congress wrote:The Jewish community told me of their deep appreciation of the policy which had by the pontiff for the Vatican during the period of the Nazi-Fascist regime to give shelter and protection to the Jews, whenever possible.
Quote taken following the Death of Pius XII in 1958.
Dr. Raphael Cantoni, Italian Jewish Assistance Committee wrote:The Church and the papacy have saved Jews as much and in as far as they could save Christians...Six million of my co-religionists have been murdered by the Nazis, but there could have been many more victims, had it not been for the efficacious intervention of Pius XII.

Albert Einstein wrote:Only the Catholic Church protested against the Hitlerian onslaught on liberty. Up till then I had not been interested in the Church, but today I felt a great admiration for the Church, which alone has had the courage to struggle for spiritual truth and moral liberty

Gideon Hausner, October 16, 1961 wrote:The Italian clergy helped numerous Jews and hid them in monasteries, and the Pope intervened personally in support of those arrested by the Nazis.

(Hausner was general prosecuter of Adolf Eichman)
While I can understand why the credility of Catholic sources could be questioned, I can not see how one can cite Jewish sources as "Catholic lies".

4. The RCC orchestrated and implemented the genocide against the Orthodox Serbs in Nazi-Catholic Croatia: The RCC and the Nazis established the independent state of Croatia, made Roman Catholicism the official religion, banned the practice of Orthodox Christianity, made harboring an Orthodox Serb a capital crime, and forcibly converted and then murdered some 750,000 Orthodox Serbs. The entire genocide was carried out not merely with the knowledge but with the enthusiastic participation of the ecclesiastical hierarchy in Croatia, and Pius XII, who was kept fully informed of the progress of the genocide by his papal legate in Croatia, said and did nothing about it.

This is exagerrated and assumes a Nazi-Catholic Alliance, which I will address specifically later. It does, however, contain kernels of truth. Yes, many Catholic Priests, and some Catholic Bishops, joined Ustasa's regime in Croatia. However, the role of Catholicism following independence had, by all accounts, been reduced greatly. Prior to "independence", the two most powerful entities were the Croatian Peasant Party and the Catholic Church. Both were severely reduced following independence. In fact, religious conversions, once commonplace, were stopped by the main branches of the Catholic Church during this time. There is also little to no support that Pius XII sanctioned, supported, or in any way gave aknowlegement of this genocide. This was merely another branch of the Holocaust, as Hitler viewed Serbs (both Orthodox and otherwise) as "undesirable". Associating it with official Catholic policy is innappropriate.

Eugenio Pacelli, who later became Pius XII, the infamous "Hitler's Pope" -- struck a deal with the Nazis. The RCC gleefully sold its integrity (at least, it would have if it had had any) for the thirty pieces of silver it got from the concordat with Hitler: The RCC agreed that every bishop would have to "swear ... loyalty to the German Reich," "swear ... to honour the legally constituted Government and to cause the clergy of [his] diocese to honour it," and "swear ... to avoid all detrimental acts which might endanger it"; the RCC agreed that every prospective bishop would be subject to Nazi vetting before nomination; and the RCC agreed that all clerics and monastics would be barred from political activity, so they could not effectively oppose Nazism on the political level. (See Concordat, Arts. 16, 14(2), and 32.)

Article 16 established some level of Modus Operandi with the German government, as was necessary to protect the Roman Catholics in the country at the time. It should not be seen as any stamp of approval for the German government (prior and later statements would prove that was not the case). You are using the word "honor" as a form of respect here. Rather, what the Concordat said was that Bishops had to honor the government of Germany in that it had an obligation to obey the laws of the land. Big difference there.
Article 32 prevented clerics from participating in political activity. Today we call that "Seperation of Church and State".
I notice that you don't mention what the true purposes of the Concordat was. Because Pius XI had criticized the Nazi regime, Hitler began coming down hard on Catholics in Germany. The Concordat got back some of those rights: Catholic marraiges, German government prohibited from interfering in Catholic educational systems (Teachers previously had to be approved by the German government, according to the Concordat, now the Bishop was the only person that could appoint teachers), Opening of new Diocese (to replace the ones closed by Nazis), free and unprevented communication between all Catholics and the Vatican, and, most basically, the freedom of religion.
That Concordat was, obviously, almost immediately broken, just like all of Hitler's treaties were. It's important to note that Pacelli (later Pius XII) strongly opposed this action. He told Pius XI that he would regret any agreement that he made with Hitler, going so far as to call him "Wicked" and "Untrustworthy" in documented correspondance. Pius XI himself went on record saying that he had great misgivings signing the document, but did so to protect the lives of Catholic German citizens, whom he had a responsibility to.

its record with respect to the Holocaust is one of inaction:
(a) Francis d'Arcy Godolphin Osborne, British Minister to the Vatican, sent regular reports on fascist atrocities to Pius XII -- the very Eugenio Pacelli who had brokered the deal that gave Hitler absolute power -- from 1940 on, and Pius XII did nothing.

This is flat out false, as even Jewish historians have noted above.

( c) Beseeched by Ukrainian Metropolitan Andrej Septyckyj to speak out against the extermination of Jews, at a time when 200,000 Ukrainian Jews had already been murdered, Pius XII advised the Metropolitan to "bear adversity with serene patience".

(e) Asked by the Bishop of Berlin and the President of Poland's government-in-exile to denounce Nazi violence, Pius XII did nothing.
(f) Informed by Monsignor Giovanni Battista Montini (later Paul VI) that the "massacres of the Jews [had] reach[ed] frightening proportions and forms," the Vatican continued to assert that it was impossible to verify "rumors" of such crimes.
(g) Informed that 77% of Slovakian Jews had been deported to probable death, Pius XII did nothing.
(h) Informed that the Jewish population of the Warsaw Ghetto had been reduced by 400,000, Pius XII did nothing.

Talk is cheap, and in this case, talk was downright dangerous. Let's say that Pius XII had said something, what would have happened? Catholic Germans were already being targeted, mostly for political reasons (as even you stated, the Bishop of Berlin was Anti-Nazi and Time magazine reported in 1940 that over half a million Christians were being held captive by the Nazis). Had Pius XII flat out declared hostility towards Hitler, who at this point was in control not only of Germany but occupied Italy as well, it would have been disasterous not only for Vatican City, but or all Catholics living in German regions at the time. Instead Pius XII let his actions do the talking, while in the strongest terms possible condemning Nazi atrocities (Go ahead and check out his 1942 and 1943 Christmas addresses and tell me who you think he's referring to). As stated above, the idea that he "Did nothing" is pure revisionist garbage, he saved, by one account, over 800,000 Jewish lives.

Only when it became clear that the Allies would win the war did Pius XII change his tune. Suddenly, the extermination of the Jews became a matter of concern -- purely political concern. The Vatican finally began to give refuge to Jews in Rome because, as Pius XII advised the German and Hungarian bishops, being on record condemning the slaughter of the Jews would be politically advantageous after the collapse of the Third Reich.

This is merely an attempt to reconcile the facts with the theory that Pius XII was in league with the Nazis. It ignores Pius XII's comments in Hitler while Papal Nuncio, it ignores evidence of Jewish refuge as early as 1938 (well before "The war was won"), it ignores Pius XI's very public misgivings about signing a Concordat, etc. etc. It simply doesn't fit with all of the evidence.

Those are facts. The Vatican was fully informed of the Holocaust, from sources both inside and outside the RCC, and it did nothing to stop it. It did not even speak out against it until it became politically expedient to do so.

Pope Pius XI, September 20th, 1938 wrote:No, no I say to you, it is impossible for a Christian to take part in anti-Semitism. It is inadmissible! Through Christ and in Christ we are spiritual progeny of Abraham. Spiritually, we are all Semites."

Adolf Hitler wrote:Pius XII? This is the only human being who has always contradicted me and who has never obeyed me.

Both sides seem to disagree with you.

Those are facts. The RCC orchestrated and implemented a genocide in which it murdered some 750,000 Orthodox Serbs.

No, as I stated before, Nazi Germany, in their continued quest for ethnic cleansing attempted the genocide of ALL Serbs, not just Orthodox ones. Stepinac was a Serbian nationalist, and while it's unfortunate that he and his supporters chiose to support such action, did so WITHOUT the consent of the Vatican and in direct disregard for a multitude of Canon Law.

The RCC actively expedited the rise to power of two of the foulest criminals of modern times. The RCC turned a blind eye to the greatest crime against humanity ever committed. And the RCC orchestrated and implemented a genocide in which the RCC murdered some 750,000 innocent people. Why? Because in the great struggle among fascism, communism, and democracy, the RCC made a moral choice: It allied itself squarely with fascism.

It is simply amazing that in a Nazi puppet state, with a Nazi government and governed by rules of the Third Reich, you claim that the Catholic Church organized a genocide. That's just ignoring the facts.

In any event, if Hitler's bid for absolute power had been frustrated rather than facilitated by the RCC, some political accommodation would likely have been reached which would have given Hitler less than absolute power, at least for a time. He very likely would have taken complete control eventually, but at the very least, the RCC could have slowed the rise of Nazism. Instead, the RCC actively hastened it.

At the absolute best, he would have slowed it down, killed over a million Catholics, even more Jews (since the Jews saved by Pius XII more than likely would have perished), the Vatican would have been invaded, and no progress towards Hitler's defeat would have been made. Where are the benefits?

I'm not going to bother quoting your posts about the Holocaust and Serbian atrocities, since they are based upon the assumption that your theories are correct, which they are not.

The twentieth century's great ideological struggle was among the tyranny of fascism, the tyranny of communism, and the (at least relative) freedom of representative, rights-protective democracy. The RCC was confronted with a clear moral choice. And it fully and unhesitatingly allied itself with the ideology most compatible with its own: fascism.

...except for where Pope John Paul II openly and unapologetically opposed perhaps the closest example to Totalitarian Fascism since the end of World War II, that being Pinochet.
Relevant Quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Paragraph 2425 wrote:The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with "communism" or "socialism." She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of "capitalism," individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor.[206] Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for "there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market."[207] Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.

Paragraph 2499 wrote:Moral judgment must condemn the plague of totalitarian states which systematically falsify the truth, exercise political control of opinion through the media, manipulate defendants and witnesses at public trials, and imagine that they secure their tyranny by strangling and repressing everything they consider "thought crimes."

While the first quote specifically names Communism and Socialism, it officially goes on record to condemn ALL forms of Totalitarianism.

In my opinion, no. I see no evidence that the RCC's ideology is any less fascistic now than it was in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Nor do I see any evidence that the RCC is any less willing now to commit genocide than it was in the 1940s (or in the 18th century, when it committed genocide against the native peoples of California, or at any other time). It seems to be less able to do so, but that is a different matter. The power of the RCC waxes and wanes (and sometimes waxes in one place while waning in another), but one thing that the RCC has learned very well is how to bide its time.

Pure paranoia. In fact, the RCC has become even more tolerant of non-Catholics than ever before. Dignitatis Humanæ (The Declaration of Human Freedom) was drafted during Vatican II (in the 1965s) and formally and explicitly respects the free will and rights of all humans to choose their faith without coersion. It was ratified with overwhelming support. Vatican II has made the Church more open and accepting than ever before, as should be painfully obvious to anyone who was paying attention during John Paul II's Papacy.

And there is an underlying reason for that: The RCC is dogmatically committed to installing itself as the dictatorial head of worldwide tyranny. Although most Catholics, especially American Catholics, are serenely unaware of this, the RCC requires all of the faithful to oppose freedom of religion and support making the RCC the state religion everywhere, to oppose freedom of opinion and expression and support censorship, and to support making all of the world's governments subordinate to the RCC. (See Quanta Cura and Syllabus of Errors.)

Not only is this incorrect, but it shows a basic lack of understanding of both history and Church teaching. Quanta Cura (and Syllabus of Errors, which was an ammendment to Quanta Cura) was an encyclical sent by Pius IX in the middle of the 19th century, well before the time period that we are discussing. How can you say that the Church has not changed since World War II by quoting an encyclical from 1865? Secondly, an encylical is not dogma, nor is it Canon law. It is the Pope's letter to Church bishops on how to approach current Church conditions. It is not infallible, nor is it permanent, and should a conflict arise between encylical and Canon law, Canon law always prevails. Dignitatis Humanæ is part of Canon law, and contradicts Quanta Cura in almost every way. Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for your theory, Quanta Cura is almost completely invalid in today's world, actually PROVING that the Catholic Church has moved away from tyranny and oppression.

And because Quanta Cura and Syllabus of Errors -- which elaborate the principle expressed centuries earlier in Unam Sanctam -- are brimming with all the indicia of papal infallibility (i.e., all the standards for an ex cathedra statement on faith and morals (which is what a papal statement must be in order to be considered infallible)), the RCC is pretty much stuck with them. It could find a way around them -- as it has changed its mind about lending money at interest and about abortion in the first trimester -- but very few people would find such intellectual and theological backflips convincing.

Again, encylcicals are matters of church law, not Dogma. Ex Cathedra is a very formal and very specific process, not taken lightly at all, which clearly you don't understand. Even Vatican II was not declared infallible under church law. Only one statement was made during the 20th century that fell under the conditions for Infallibility (and officially the only statement to be made under specific definitions of infallibility, that itsself being declared in 1870), that being the Assumption of the Blessed Mother. Nobody has ever said that encycicals are considered in any way infallible.

Your views show some very popular opinions, but ones that do not sync up with history nor church teaching. You speak of half truths that, to be fair, I think that you do believe, but have not researched well enough to warrant the level of certainty that you proclaim. Does the Church have some history of oppression? Of course it does. Have members and authority figures been corrupt and committed atrocities? Of course they have. However, these specific atrocities have been either overstated, misrepresented, or flat out fabricated. In addition, your views of certain Church teaching is flat out innaccurate, furthering your theories simply through ignorance.

DAMN this took too long.
By Stipe
#608456
No, as I stated before, Nazi Germany, in their continued quest for ethnic cleansing attempted the genocide of ALL Serbs, not just Orthodox ones. Stepinac was a Serbian nationalist, and while it's unfortunate that he and his supporters chiose to support such action, did so WITHOUT the consent of the Vatican and in direct disregard for a multitude of Canon Law.


This response really does not help the Vatican's case, as it is a concession that the Church beatified war criminal under the papacy of John Paul II. This is especially problematic as the presentation of the original article about Stepinac is about as factually distorted as can be.

Stepinac was a Croatian nationalist and welcomed the establishment of the NDH much like everyone else did after the extremely bad interwar years. It is also true that he continued to publically support that regime - as a counter balance to the communist partisans who he judged (very wrongly, in my opinion) to be the greatest evil the world had ever known. What he never did was support the genocidal policies of the NDH. Quite the opposite. Before the war, he was part of an organization created to help people escape from the Nazis. When the NDH was established and the massacres began, he used his contact with Pavelić to protest (being that he was incredibly naive about the complicity of the NDH leadership) and began to protest against the state's policies in his sermons. During the war, he also personally intervened in saving the lives of several hundred Serbs, Jews and others. The Allies even broadcasted his sermons to occupied Europe while Pavelić secretly petitioned the Pope to have him removed.

An excerpt from one of his sermons:

"We were always accentuating in our public life the principles of eternal life of God, regardless to whether Croats, Serbs, Jews, Gypses, Catholics, Pravoslavs were in question, or anybody else. Catholic Church knows for races and peoples as creations of God, and its respect goes more to those with noble heart, than to those having powerful fist."

One German general in Zagreb, Glaise von Herstenau, said of Stepinac's sermons "If any bishop in Germany were speaking this way, he would not descend alive from his pulpit!" The public attache at the German embassy in Zagreb wrote on 25 March, 1943 that Stepinac was "a great friend of Jews." In his discussions with the famous sculptur Ivan MeÅ¡trović, Stepinac believed that he was going to be killed off.

Now what was Stepinac's big problem? He was incredibly naive (you could probably say he was stupid and I don't think I would disagree), puritanical, and inconsistent. He believed that "godless bolshevism" was the worst evil the world had ever known and undoubtedly saw the Orthodox as heretics. His great fault was that his obsessive belief that Croatia had to hold out against communism was what motivated him to continue to defend the NDH to the pope.

There are some things in the immediate aftermath of the war which need to be considered though. One of these is that unlike people like Bishop Saric who were directly connected to the genocidal policies, Stepinac never fled the country. When the Partisans took over he was placed under protective custody for all of two days, and then released. The simple fact was he was generally not considered complicit in the crimes of the UstaÅ¡e. He was only later brought to trial after he had a meeting with Tito in which he reacted very angrily to Tito's efforts to get him to sever the Croatian Church's ties to Rome. Milovan Đilas, one of the top leaders of the communists stated "He would certainly not have been brought to trial for his conduct in the war...had he not continued to oppose the new Communist regime."

After the trial, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison, though he was subsequently released and allowed to return to his parish under house arrest by only 1951. However, the most interesting part of this post war story was Stepinac's funeral. Stepinac's funeral was expected to be quiet affair as one would expect for a disgraced man. However, Tito instead allowed Stepinac to be buried with in Zagreb's cathedral with full episcopal honors, the diplomatic corps were invited to attend, and he allowed the ringing of church bells and the hanging of flags of mourning throughout Croatia. Certainly not the kind of treatment you would expect for a man complicit of genocide.
By Fernando
#608711
Given that Todd has done much of the work, I want to answer my part:

(a) Francis d'Arcy Godolphin Osborne, British Minister to the Vatican, sent regular reports on fascist atrocities to Pius XII -- the very Eugenio Pacelli who had brokered the deal that gave Hitler absolute power -- from 1940 on, and Pius XII did nothing. (b) Requested to intercede to prevent the deportation of Jews from Spain and Lithuania, Pius XII did nothing.


I don't know much about Lithuania. In Spain the Jews were not deported. Although we had some anti-Jewish verborrhea during WW, there was no systematic persecution against Jews. If constitutionalist want to supply as when Jews were deported from Spain I will be grateful.

As a matter of fact the Franco regime gave Spanish passports to Sephardic jews (descendants from those expelled in 15th century). It is very well known (except for Constitionalist, I assume) that Spanish ambassador saved thousands of jews in Budapest almost given for free Spanish passports.

On a side note, I thank Stjepan contribution. I didn't know very much about Catholic Church on Jugoeslavia on the Second WW. The problem (much the same as we have today in Basque Country) is that the Catholic Church has too nationalists in its ranks, which gives a charge of legitimity to them while, paradoxically, the Catholic Church is, by definition, universal.
User avatar
By Comrade Ogilvy
#609016
Well, Todd, I will start with Quanta Cura, because you are just flat wrong. You contend that Quanta Cura is not an exercise of papal infallibility, and you claim that "[n]obody has ever said that encyic[l]icals are considered in any way infallible." That is false.

In fact, the Catholic Encyclopedia specifically cites "the Encyclical 'Quanta Cura'" as one of "the final decisions of the infallible teaching authority of the Church". That looks like a lot more than "nobody" to me. You say that Quanta Cura is not an exercise of papal infallibility; the Catholic Encyclopedia says that it is. Others will have to draw their own conclusions, but I'm going with the Catholic Encyclopedia.

And the conclusion that Quanta Cura is an exercise of papal infallibility should not be surprising. As the Catholic Encyclopedia explains, there are four requirements for a papal teaching to be ex cathedra and, therefore, infallible: (1) The teaching must be "some doctrine of faith or morals". (2) The pope "must teach in his public and official capacity as pastor and doctor of all Christians". (3) The pope must "intend[] to teach with all the fullness and finality of his supreme Apostolic authority". (4) The pope must "intend[] to bind the whole Church".

Quanta Cura possesses all those hallmarks of papal infallibility. That its teachings are of faith and morals is not seriously disputed. The rest of the indicia of infallibility are clearly laid out in paragraph 6:
Therefore, by our Apostolic authority, we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines severally mentioned in this letter, and will and command that they be thoroughly held be all children of the Catholic Church as reprobated, proscribed and condemned.

A clearer enunciation of the pope's intent to speak ex cathedra is difficult to imagine.

It is you who evidently do not understand the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility. A papal utterance is either infallible or not at the moment that the pope utters it. Whether the Church also subsequently declares the utterance to have been an exercise of papal infallibility is simply irrelevant. As the Catholic Encyclopedia succinctly puts it, the pope's "ex cathedra teaching does not have to be ratified by the Church's in order to be infallible."

Before you start accusing others of "ignorance," it might behoove you to acquaint yourself with the facts.

-------------------------

Moving on to Syllabus of Errors, the Catholic Encyclopedia points out that there has been some dispute over whether it is an exercise of papal infallibility. I take the view of the majority of theologians that it is; you take the view of the minority of theologians that it is not. Fine.

But as the Catholic Encyclopedia explains, even if the teachings of the Syllabus are not infallible, they are still binding on all Catholics:
Even should the condemnation of many propositions not possess that unchangeableness peculiar to infallible decisions, nevertheless the binding force of the condemnation in regard to all the propositions is beyond doubt. For the Syllabus, as appears from the official communication of Cardinal Antonelli, is a decision given by the pope speaking as universal teacher and judge to Catholics the world over. All Catholics, therefore, are bound to accept the Syllabus. Exteriorly they may neither in word nor in writing oppose its contents; they must also assent to it interiorly.

What could be clearer than that?

-------------------------

Dignitatis Humanae, however, stands on a very different footing. It is a pastoral document, not a dogmatic one, and as such, it is not an exercise of the Church's infallibility. As the Catholic Encyclopedia explains, not all declarations made by ecumenical (general) councils are dogmatic. Speaking of the Council of Trent and of Vatican I, the Catholic Encyclopedia says that "the chapters of both councils contain the doctrina catholica, i.e. the authorized teaching of the Church, but not always and invariably dogmata formalia, i.e. propositions of faith defined as such." Dignitatis Humanae is of the former type, not the latter.

As the Catholic Encyclopedia further explains, a conciliar decree is an exercise of infallibility only when "the pope has spoken ex cathedra to make his own the decisions of [the] council"; mere promulgation by the pope "in the ordinary way" is not sufficient. Unlike Quanta Cura, which, as shown above, has all the necessary indicia of papal intent to speak ex cathedra, the pope's promulgation of Dignitatis Humanae does not.

-------------------------

In sum, you need to do some serious rethinking about papal and ecclesiastical infallibility. To recapitulate:

--> Quanta Cura is an exercise of papal infallibility. That is plain from its text, acknowledged in the Catholic Encyclopedia, and not seriously disputed among Catholic theologians. Indeed, I have never seen any Catholic theologian disagree with that proposition (except those who reject papal infallibility, and they, of course, are heretics).

--> Most Catholic theologians agree that Syllabus of Errors is also an exercise of papal infallibility. Indeed, given that Quanta Cura is an exercise of papal infallibility, given that Quanta Cura is a condemnation of various errors, given that Syllabus of Errors was promulgated simultaneously with and as an appendix to (not an amendment of) Quanta Cura, and given that the purpose of Syllabus of Errors is to identify the errors condemned in Quanta Cura, it is difficult to see how anyone could reach a contrary conclusion. After all, given that the condemnation of the errors is an exercise of papal infallibility, how can the identification of which errors are being condemned not also be an exercise of papal infallibility?

--> Even if the minority view is correct, and Syllabus of Errors is not an exercise of papal infallibility, it is still true that, as the Catholic Encyclopedia puts it, "[a]ll Catholics ... are bound to accept" it. They "may neither in word nor in writing oppose its contents; they must also assent to it interiorly."

--> Dignitatis Humanae, being a pastoral (not dogmatic) declaration of an ecumenical council and not having been promulgated by the pope in an ex cathedra utterance (but, rather, merely promulgated by the pope "in the ordinary way"), is not an exercise of papal or ecclesiastical infallibility. It is subject to revision or reversal at any time.

--> Quanta Cura and Syllabus of Errors require all Catholics to oppose freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, etc. (I note that no one has disputed my description of the contents of Quanta Cura and Syllabus of Errors, only their status.) Thus, one can support the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, or one can support the principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. But absent multiple-personality disorder, one cannot do both.
User avatar
By Todd D.
#609211
Note to readers: Catholic Encyclopedia is a Catholic Apologetics site that can be found at NewAdvent.org. While well researched and a good reference tool, they should not be considered to be making any statement on the behalf of the Vatican, and are not an official source of the Catholic Church.
Well, Todd, I will start with Quanta Cura, because you are just flat wrong. You contend that Quanta Cura is not an exercise of papal infallibility, and you claim that "[n]obody has ever said that encyic[l]icals are considered in any way infallible." That is false.

In fact, the Catholic Encyclopedia specifically cites "the Encyclical 'Quanta Cura'" as one of "the final decisions of the infallible teaching authority of the Church". That looks like a lot more than "nobody" to me. You say that Quanta Cura is not an exercise of papal infallibility; the Catholic Encyclopedia says that it is. Others will have to draw their own conclusions, but I'm going with the Catholic Encyclopedia.

That's actually not what it says at all, and I am genuinely wondering if you deliberately misquoted Catholic Encyclopedia to suit your purposes. Here is the full quote:
Catholic Encyclopedia wrote:]The binding power of the Syllabus of Pius IX is differently explained by Catholic theologians. All are of the opinion that many of the propositions are condemned if not in the Syllabus, then certainly in other final decisions of the infallible teaching authority of the Church, for instance in the Encyclical "Quanta Cura". There is no agreement, however, on the question whether each thesis condemned in the Syllabus is infallibly false, merely because it is condemned in the Syllabus.

Your quote is italicized, relevant clarification is bolded. Further definition by Catholic Encyclopedia itsself on whether or not Encyclicals are "infallible".
As for the binding force of these documents it is generally admitted that the mere fact that the pope should have given to any of his utterances the form of an encyclical does not necessarily constitute it an ex-cathedra pronouncement and invest it with infallible authority. The degree in which the infallible magisterium of the Holy See is committed must be judged from the circumstances, and from the language used in the particular case.

So while Catholic Encyclopedia may (or may not) define Quanta Cura as permanently infallible, it never says that Encyclicals themselves are by definition infallible, which is precisely what I said.

Quanta Cura, and as an extension, the Syllabus of errors, was a binding letter that all Catholics at the time were required to adhere to. I am not denying that, nor am I denying that many of those "condemnations" are, by my own standards, what you could interpret as "tyrannical", though I would suggest that you are misinterpreting the exact degree to which those condemnations apply. HOWEVER, it was not, and IS NOT permanently binding and universally applicable both retroactively and indefinetly, as I will get into more later.

And the conclusion that Quanta Cura is an exercise of papal infallibility should not be surprising. As the Catholic Encyclopedia explains, there are four requirements for a papal teaching to be ex cathedra and, therefore, infallible: (1) The teaching must be "some doctrine of faith or morals". (2) The pope "must teach in his public and official capacity as pastor and doctor of all Christians". (3) The pope must "intend[] to teach with all the fullness and finality of his supreme Apostolic authority". (4) The pope must "intend[] to bind the whole Church".

Ex Cathedra is a doctrine not formally and fully defined until the dogma of Papal Infallibility was declared in 1870, 6 years after Quanta Cura. It is therefore impossible to determine precisely what Pius's intentions where. However, given the supreme rarity in which the doctrine of Papal Infallibility has been invoked (only once since it became formal: the Assumption of Mary in the 1950's, prior to that the most recent infallible declaration that most Catholics recognize isthe Immaculate Conception in 1854), AND the fact that it lacks the so-called "Signature" that most Infallible Doctrines contain (The statement "We declare, decree and define"), casts doubt unto whether or not the Encyclical is to be considered infallible. Therefore, by the very laws of the Catholic Church, we must assume that it wasn't. As The Cathechism of the Catholic Church (a far more authoritative source than Catholic Encyclopedia) states:
Section 749 wrote:No doctrine is understood to be infallibly defined unless it is clearly established as such

This particular Encycical has not been established as infallible. Therefore you must run on the assumption that it isn't.

Therefore, by our Apostolic authority, we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines severally mentioned in this letter, and will and command that they be thoroughly held be all children of the Catholic Church as reprobated, proscribed and condemned.

A clearer enunciation of the pope's intent to speak ex cathedra is difficult to imagine.

On the contrary, according to it's very definition, this is a big indication that it is not infallible. According to the formal declaration of Papal Infalliblity, as declared during Vatican 1:
Pastor Aeternus 4 wrote:When, acting in the office of shepherd and teacher of all Christians, he defines, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the universal Church.

Quanta Cura does not define anything, it rejects/condemns them. The difference should be self evident. If I reject Islam, that does not automatically mean that I define the truth as Christianity, for example. The fact that the encyclical does not explicitly DEFINE anything is perhaps the biggest indicator.

It is you who evidently do not understand the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility. A papal utterance is either infallible or not at the moment that the pope utters it. Whether the Church also subsequently declares the utterance to have been an exercise of papal infallibility is simply irrelevant. As the Catholic Encyclopedia succinctly puts it, the pope's "ex cathedra teaching does not have to be ratified by the Church's in order to be infallible."

This is correct, to a certain extent. If a Pope explicitly invokes the doctrine of Papal Infallibility (which, in this case, was not possible, the doctrine not being explicitly defined until a few years later), then it is not a matter of the Church to "ratify" that doctrine, for lack of a better term. However, if the Pontiff does not make his statement explicitly clear, as Pius IX clearly did not (simply by virtue of all the confusion. Other statements accepted as Infallible, such as the above two examples, do not carry this confusion), then it IS up to the future Church to establish whether the proclaimation is/was infallible or not.

Moving on to Syllabus of Errors, the Catholic Encyclopedia points out that there has been some dispute over whether it is an exercise of papal infallibility. I take the view of the majority of theologians that it is; you take the view of the minority of theologians that it is not. Fine.

It is most certainly not "Majority Opinion" that it is infallible, simply by virtue of the actions by the authorities currently interpreting Church doctrine, not the least of which being our most recent Pontiff.

But as the Catholic Encyclopedia explains, even if the teachings of the Syllabus are not infallible, they are still binding on all Catholics:

Even should the condemnation of many propositions not possess that unchangeableness peculiar to infallible decisions, nevertheless the binding force of the condemnation in regard to all the propositions is beyond doubt. For the Syllabus, as appears from the official communication of Cardinal Antonelli, is a decision given by the pope speaking as universal teacher and judge to Catholics the world over. All Catholics, therefore, are bound to accept the Syllabus. Exteriorly they may neither in word nor in writing oppose its contents; they must also assent to it interiorly.


What could be clearer than that?

I've never disputed this. The document was binding to the Catholics in the Church at the time, just like the proclamation that no Catholic could enter a synogogue was, just like the proclamation that all Protestants were heretics was, just like many many other laws of the Church were binding before they were later changed. Remember, Church Law can change, Dogmatic definitions cannot.

Dignitatis Humanae, however, stands on a very different footing. It is a pastoral document, not a dogmatic one, and as such, it is not an exercise of the Church's infallibility. As the Catholic Encyclopedia explains, not all declarations made by ecumenical (general) councils are dogmatic. Speaking of the Council of Trent and of Vatican I, the Catholic Encyclopedia says that "the chapters of both councils contain the doctrina catholica, i.e. the authorized teaching of the Church, but not always and invariably dogmata formalia, i.e. propositions of faith defined as such." Dignitatis Humanae is of the former type, not the latter.

Again, infallibility is very, VERY, rarely invoked. However, Vatican II is the most recent Council, and it's declarations are the most current statements on the policies and operations of the Church today. While not infallible, it does trump any enyclical that it may contradict. I never claimed that it couldn't be changed, and in the future, it is theoretically possible that Dignitatis Humanæ could be later changed. It is, however, currently in effect today, as confirmed by the most recent Pontiff.

As the Catholic Encyclopedia further explains, a conciliar decree is an exercise of infallibility only when "the pope has spoken ex cathedra to make his own the decisions of [the] council"; mere promulgation by the pope "in the ordinary way" is not sufficient. Unlike Quanta Cura, which, as shown above, has all the necessary indicia of papal intent to speak ex cathedra, the pope's promulgation of Dignitatis Humanae does not.

Since this pressupposes that Quanta Cura has been recognized as infallible. Since no official Catholic document has done so, and in conjunction with the reasons that I list above, I dispute this claim. I don't think I need to keep beating that horse.

However, just think about the logic of what you are suggesting. Quanta Cura was published in 1864. The Second Vatican Council concluded over 100 years earlier in 1965. Why would the Council approve, and Pope Paul VI soon thereafter ratify, something that would immediately become null and void if Quanta Cura was considered infallible definition and thus unchanging?

Quanta Cura is an exercise of papal infallibility. That is plain from its text, acknowledged in the Catholic Encyclopedia, and not seriously disputed among Catholic theologians. Indeed, I have never seen any Catholic theologian disagree with that proposition (except those who reject papal infallibility, and they, of course, are heretics).

This claim is disputed by no less than The Cathechism of the Catholic Church, the official guide to canon law since Vatican II. As far as Catholic theologians who dispute it's infallibility: Scott Hahn (Rome Sweet Home), James Akin, the Second Vatican Council (above quotations), Pope John Paul II (too many examples to list where he, by his actions, directly contradicted many of the condemnations. These include but are not limited to: entering both a synogogue and a mosque, delivering a Homily in an Anglican church, granting audience to Yassir Arafat, and opposing many many totalitarian regimes around the world including Pinochet's despite Pinochet's popularity with local Catholics.

Most Catholic theologians agree that Syllabus of Errors is also an exercise of papal infallibility. Indeed, given that Quanta Cura is an exercise of papal infallibility, given that Quanta Cura is a condemnation of various errors, given that Syllabus of Errors was promulgated simultaneously with and as an appendix to (not an amendment of) Quanta Cura, and given that the purpose of Syllabus of Errors is to identify the errors condemned in Quanta Cura, it is difficult to see how anyone could reach a contrary conclusion. After all, given that the condemnation of the errors is an exercise of papal infallibility, how can the identification of which errors are being condemned not also be an exercise of papal infallibility?

See above. Condemnation by its very definition cannot be an exercise in infallibility, only definition can be.

Even if the minority view is correct, and Syllabus of Errors is not an exercise of papal infallibility, it is still true that, as the Catholic Encyclopedia puts it, "[a]ll Catholics ... are bound to accept" it. They "may neither in word nor in writing oppose its contents; they must also assent to it interiorly."

But not permanently and retroactively so. Certain aspects of church law are, after all, fallible, and can be modified.

--> Dignitatis Humanae, being a pastoral (not dogmatic) declaration of an ecumenical council and not having been promulgated by the pope in an ex cathedra utterance (but, rather, merely promulgated by the pope "in the ordinary way"), is not an exercise of papal or ecclesiastical infallibility. It is subject to revision or reversal at any time.

Agreed, just as the above is. Considering this, it would even be appropriate to consider both Dignitatis Humanæ and Nostra Ætate to be revisions and reversals (where applicable) to some of the condemnations made in Quanta Cura.

Quanta Cura and Syllabus of Errors require all Catholics to oppose freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, etc. (I note that no one has disputed my description of the contents of Quanta Cura and Syllabus of Errors, only their status.) Thus, one can support the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, or one can support the principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. But absent multiple-personality disorder, one cannot do both.

I don't deny your definition (I do, however, deny the scope to which you believe it is implemented, but that is irrelevant). However, the fact that Quanta Cura is currently contradicted by many aspects of the Second Vatican Council, it is clear how the modern church defines the issue. Quanta Cura was church law (as you correctly defined, doctrina catholica, universal doctrine) which was then revised and reversed by relevant sections of the Second Vatican Council. It's that simple.
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By Comrade Ogilvy
#609628
I am genuinely wondering if you deliberately misquoted Catholic Encyclopedia to suit your purposes.

I did not misquote it at all. Bolding what it says about the Syllabus does not change what it says about Quanta Cura. And what it says about Quanta Cura is straightforward: Quanta Cura is one of the "final decisions of the infallible teaching authority of the Church".
So while Catholic Encyclopedia may (or may not) define Quanta Cura as permanently infallible, it never says that Encyclicals themselves are by definition infallible, which is precisely what I said.

It is not true that the Catholic Encyclopedia "may" describe Quanta Cura as an exercise of papal infallibility. The Catholic Encyclopedia does describe Quanta Cura as an exercise of papal infallibility, and that is not changed by what it says about the Syllabus.

I have not claimed that all encyclicals are exercises of papal infallibility. On the contrary, as the Catholic Encyclopedia says, whether a particular encyclical is or is not an exercise of papal infallibility "must be judged from the circumstances, and from the language used in the particular case." And Quanta Cura is clearly established by its own text as an exercise of papal infallibility.

Do the teachings of Quanta Cura concern matters of faith and/or morals? Yes.

Did Pius IX promulgate Quanta Cura in his public and official capacity as pastor and doctor of all Christians? Yes.

Did Pius IX promulgate Quanta Cura with all the fullness and finality of his supreme Apostolic authority? Yes.

Did Pius IX state in Quanta Cura his intent to bind the whole Church? Yes.

That's it. Those are the four requirements of an ex cathedra, and hence infallible, papal teaching, and Quanta Cura has them all. Because Quanta Cura is clearly established by its own text as an exercise of papal infallibility, it satisfies Section 749 of the Catechism.
Ex Cathedra is a doctrine not formally and fully defined until the dogma of Papal Infallibility was declared in 1870, 6 years after Quanta Cura. It is therefore impossible to determine precisely what Pius's intentions where.

He made his intentions perfectly clear. In his capacity as pastor and doctor of all Christians, and explicitly invoking his supreme Apostolic authority, he promulgated teachings on matters of faith and morals, and he explicitly commanded all Catholics to accept them. Indeed, the notion that he did not use those formulas ("by our Apostolic authority," "will and command," "all children of the Catholic Church") deliberately to demonstrate that he was speaking ex cathedra is a bit silly. He was, after all, the pope who presided over the very Vatican Council that announced what the indicia of ex cathedra statements are.
However, given the supreme rarity in which the doctrine of Papal Infallibility has been invoked (only once since it became formal: the Assumption of Mary in the 1950's, prior to that the most recent infallible declaration that most Catholics recognize isthe Immaculate Conception in 1854), AND the fact that it lacks the so-called "Signature" that most Infallible Doctrines contain (The statement "We declare, decree and define"), casts doubt unto whether or not the Encyclical is to be considered infallible.

Huh? If the doctrine of papal infallibility has been invoked only once since it was formally promulgated, how can there even be such things as "most Infallible Doctrines"? If it is true that "most" infallible doctrines contain "the so-called 'Signature,'" does it not follow that some infallible doctrines do not? Anyway, Quanta Cura meets all the requirements of an ex cathedra teaching as laid down by the Vatican Council.
Quanta Cura does not define anything, it rejects/condemns them. The difference should be self evident. If I reject Islam, that does not automatically mean that I define the truth as Christianity, for example. The fact that the encyclical does not explicitly DEFINE anything is perhaps the biggest indicator.

That is just wordplay. Quanta Cura condemns various errors, and (with or without its accompanying Syllabus), it defines the errors which it condemns -- errors which a pope, speaking ex cathedra (explicitly invoking his "Apostolic authority") "will[ed] and command[ed] ... be thoroughly held by all children of the Catholic Church as reprobated, proscribed and condemned." After all, what could be more pointless than to "command" one's flock to "reprobate, proscribe, and condemn" various "evil opinions" without defining what those opinions are?

Anyway, as the Catholic Encyclopedia explains, "definition in its theological [sense is] distinct from [definition in] its philosophical, or canonical, sense." In the theological sense, a definition occurs when "the supreme teaching authority in the Church decides a question appertaining to faith or morals, and which binds the whole Church." That is exactly what Quanta Cura represents: The pope, the supreme (infallible) teaching authority, decided various questions appertaining to faith and/or morals, and explicitly declared that his decision was binding on "all children of the Catholic Church".

Thus, your claim that "[c]ondemnation by its very definition cannot be an exercise in infallibility, only definition can be" ignores the theological meaning of "definition". Quanta Cura is a "definition" in the theological sense, because the supreme teaching authority decided questions of faith and/or morals and issued a decision binding on the whole Church. That is the theological meaning of "definition," and Quanta Cura falls squarely within it.
Vatican II is the most recent Council, and it's declarations are the most current statements on the policies and operations of the Church today. While not infallible, it does trump any enyclical that it may contradict.

It cannot trump an ex cathedra teaching. Nothing can trump an ex cathedra teaching, which is exactly the problem for the Church: The indicia of an ex cathedra teaching are prominently present in Quanta Cura, and they cannot be wished away.

Unless, of course, the Church decides to sweep its own previous teachings under the rug. Which brings me to ...
Why would the Council approve, and Pope Paul VI soon thereafter ratify, something that would immediately become null and void if Quanta Cura was considered infallible definition and thus unchanging?

When the Church's previous teachings became inconvenient, the Church just blew them off. And that was hardly the first time:

--> When confronted with the inconvenient fact that at least three ecumenical councils had condemned (with certain narrow exceptions) lending money at interest, the Church just blew those previous teachings off.

--> When confronted with the inconvenient fact that at least two popes had condemned the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary, the Church just blew those previous teachings off.

--> When confronted with the inconvenient fact that most Catholic theologians (with some notable exceptions) had taught for centuries that abortion is not prohibited before the "quickening" of the fetus, the Church just blew those previous teachings off.

Etc., etc., etc.

That is one of the advantages of looking at Roman Catholic doctrine from the outside rather than the inside. From the inside, it is imperative that the Church not contradict itself, so whatever intellectual backflips are required to support that conclusion are the intellectual backflips engaged in. But from the outside, there is no such imperative, so one can simply see the matter for what it is: The Church changed its tune but does not want to admit it.
By Fernando
#609731
I am not aware of the variation of the doctrine of the Church on the Assumption of Mary, but I can say somtehing on this:

--> When confronted with the inconvenient fact that most Catholic theologians (with some notable exceptions) had taught for centuries that abortion is not prohibited before the "quickening" of the fetus, the Church just blew those previous teachings off.


In the time when this was said, the sperm and the egg were simply unknown. They though that the men's fluid influated the woman in some way, and she developed a 'form' that God 'animated' later.

Fortunately, we have learnt something since then. There is a DNA, a zigoto, and bla, bla

The doctrine, without any twisting: You shall not kill. If the general scientific consensus is that something is a human life you should not eliminate it. If not you can dispose of it (with whatever nuances).

Anyway, stop this, Const.: Your point are this:

- Quanta Cura is expression of papal infalibility. Todd has stated that is, to say the least, doubtful.

- Quanta Cura is the most important document in the history of the Church. NO. (Or my Religion professors missed this little bit of information).

- Catholic Church is a monarchy. NO. Definitely Cat Church is NOT a democracy, but, again, my professors of theology lied me again.

- Cat Church is contradictory and denies this fact. I can be wrong, but maybe I was confused when the Pope recognised many mistakes.
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By Comrade Ogilvy
#622145
Anti-semitism was absolutely rampant in Europe during the time period on question.

"Everybody else was doing it" is a weak excuse for anyone, Todd. And for an institution that claims to speak infallibly on matters of morals, it is no excuse at all.
... it is wrong to blame an organization for the conduct of its members if that conduct specifically violates the tennants of that organization, especially one whose membership is as loose as a religion.

But an institution can act only through its members. And the higher those members are in the hierarchy of the institution, the more their acts are its acts. The acts of laypeople and low-ranking clergy are one thing, the acts of higher-ranking clergy are another thing, and the acts of popes (and their representatives) are something else again.

One thing that is crystal clear, though, is that reality cuts both ways. To the extent that the Church does not deserve blame for the bad acts of its members, it does not deserve credit for the good acts of its members either. The standard Roman Catholic Church line -- that it is entitled to credit for all of the good acts of all of its members but deserves no blame for any of the bad acts of any of its members -- is anti-logical claptrap.
For lack of a better term, they were duped.

Well, that's what can happen when one makes a deal with the devil. Which presents the question: Why was an institution that claims to speak infallibly on moral matters making a deal with the devil in the first place?
Article 16 established some level of Modus Operandi with the German government, as was necessary to protect the Roman Catholics in the country at the time. It should not be seen as any stamp of approval for the German government (prior and later statements would prove that was not the case). You are using the word "honour" as a form of respect here. Rather, what the Concordat said was that Bishops had to honour the government of Germany in that it had an obligation to obey the laws of the land. Big difference there.

I read Article 16 as doing quite a bit more than that. But other readers will have to judge for themselves:
Before bishops take possession of their dioceses they are to take an oath of fealty either to the Reich Representative of the State concerned, or to the President of the Reich, according to the following formula: "Before God and on the Holy Gospels I swear and promise as becomes a bishop, loyalty to the German Reich and to the State of ... I swear and promise to honor the legally constituted Government and to cause the clergy of my diocese to honor it. In the performance of my spiritual office and in my solicitude for the welfare and the interests of the German Reich, I will endeavor to avoid all detrimental acts which might endanger it."

(Ellipsis in original.)

Readers might also consider Article 30:
On Sundays and Holy Days, special prayers, conforming to the Liturgy, will be offered during the principal Mass for the welfare of the German Reich and its people in all episcopal, parish and conventual churches and chapels of the German Reich.

Special prayers for the German Reich? And besides the particular content, how can any religious institution claim to have retained its integrity when it accepts direction from a secular government about any of what it prays for?
Article 32 prevented clerics from participating in political activity. Today we call that "Seperation of Church and State".

No, we call it violating the freedoms of speech and religion. Separation of church and state does not preclude religious clerics from engaging in political activity. Perhaps you noticed the conspicuous presence of Roman Catholic clerics outside Terry Schiavo's hospice during the last days of her life?
It's important to note that Pacelli (later Pius XII) strongly opposed this action. He told Pius XI that he would regret any agreement that he made with Hitler, going so far as to call him "Wicked" and "Untrustworthy" in documented correspondance. Pius XI himself went on record saying that he had great misgivings signing the document, but did so to protect the lives of Catholic German citizens, whom he had a responsibility to.

Pius XI did not sign the Concordat at all. Pacelli signed it in his capacity as Papal Plenipotentiary. So whatever misgivings he may have had about it were self-evidently not enough to dissuade him from agreeing to its terms.
Talk is cheap, and in this case, talk was downright dangerous. Let's say that Pius XII had said something, what would have happened? ... Had Pius XII flat out declared hostility towards Hitler, who at this point was in control not only of Germany but occupied Italy as well, it would have been disasterous not only for Vatican City, but or all Catholics living in German regions at the time.

When did the position of the Roman Catholic Church become "We will refrain from speaking the truth when it is dangerous to do so"? Can you imagine what would have happened if the early Christians had taken that approach to the Roman persecutions? Christianity today would have all the relevance of Zoroastrianism.

With respect to Hitler's rise to absolute power, the essential facts remain uncontroverted: He could not become dictator by constitutional means without the votes of the parliamentarians of the Catholic parties, and those parliamentarians switched from opposing Nazism to supporting Nazism on the direct orders of the Vatican, communicated by the papal nuncio.

With respect to Mussolini's rise to power, the essential facts likewise remain uncontroverted:

--> In 1922, the Italian ecclesiastical hierarchs withdrew their support for the Catholic Party -- thereby ensuring the collapse of the Catholic-Socialist coalition, which was the only power capable of politically blocking the Fascists -- on the direct orders of the Vatican.

--> In 1923, Don Sturzo resigned as head of the Catholic Popolari Party -- thereby ensuring that Mussolini's plan to give the Fascists a permanent two-thirds majority in all parliamentary elections, which had been successfully blocked by the Popolari Party, would succeed -- on the direct orders of the Vatican.

--> In 1924, all Italian clergy resigned from the Catholic party -- thereby ensuring that Mussolini's government, which was on the verge of collapse over the Matteotti assassination, would survive -- on the direct orders of the Vatican.

Facts are facts. And the uncontroverted facts are that the Vatican played an indispensable role in the rise to power of both Mussolini and Hitler.

===============
--> When confronted with the inconvenient fact that most Catholic theologians (with some notable exceptions) had taught for centuries that abortion is not prohibited before the "quickening" of the fetus, the Church just blew those previous teachings off.

In the time when this was said, the sperm and the egg were simply unknown. They though that the men's fluid influated the woman in some way, and she developed a 'form' that God 'animated' later.

Fortunately, we have learnt something since then. There is a DNA, a zigoto, and bla, bla

The whole idea of the "quickening" of a fetus is the point at which God imbues it with a rational soul, Fernando. That is not a question which medicine -- ancient or modern -- can answer.
Your point are this:

- Quanta Cura is expression of papal infalibility. Todd has stated that is, to say the least, doubtful.

Every one of the indicia of an ex cathedra statement, as defined by Vatican I, is clearly present in Quanta Cura, which is why there was no serious dispute over its being an exercise of papal infallibility until its teachings became embarrassing and inconvenient. Those indicia are there for anyone to see, and merely wishing them away cannot unmake them.
Quanta Cura is the most important document in the history of the Church.

I wrote no such thing. But Quanta Cura does reveal the Roman Catholic Church's attitude toward religious (and other) freedoms and toward the proper relationship between it and secular governments. It is far from the most important document in the history of the Church -- the Bible springs immediately to mind as an obvious contender for that position -- but it is an important expression of the attitude relevant to the present discussion.
Catholic Church is a monarchy.

I wrote no such thing. (I do note that the Catholic Encyclopedia says that "the pope as successor of St. Peter and Vicar of Jesus Christ governs the Catholic Church as its supreme head." "Supreme head" sounds a lot like "monarch" to me, but how precisely analogous the two terms are is irrelevant to the present discussion.)
Cat Church is contradictory and denies this fact. I can be wrong, but maybe I was confused when the Pope recognised many mistakes.

I have not seen any papal recognition even of "mistakes" -- let alone of crimes and atrocities -- committed by the Roman Catholic Church as an institution. Rather, John Paul II was careful to apologize for mistakes made by "some of [the Church's] children," which is a very different thing.

===============

I will return to the subject of the genocide in Croatia later. (For the moment, I will say that to his credit, Stepinac eventually opposed some of the worst excesses of the Ustashi and even personally intervened to save both Orthodox and Jews from the horrors being perpetrated. Better than nothing, but still too little too late. In any event, Stepinac's belated change of heart was not representative of most ecclesiastical authorities in Croatia.)

I may also return to the subject of the Holocaust. But I stress here that in my opinion, the response of the Roman Catholic Church to the Holocaust -- even assuming that my account is more accurate than Todd's -- is the least of the evildoings I have described thus far. I have conspicuously not contended that the Church affirmatively participated in or advocated the Holocaust (unless you count the Croatian genocide and/or Mussolini's depredation of Ethiopia as part of the Holocaust). In the cases of Hitler and Mussolini, the Church affirmatively supported the rise of fascist tyrants. And in the case of the Croatian genocide, the Church jumped into a crime against humanity with both feet. Those were acts far more depraved than the response to the Holocaust.

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