Pope Pius XI

Pope Pius XI

On 14 May 1937, with the assistance of Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, the papal secretary of state who was soon to be Pope Pius XII, Pius XI drafted the encyclical With Deep Anxiety (Mit brennender Sorge). It was the first major church document to criticize Nazism. Smuggled into Germany, it was read on Palm Sunday from every Catholic pulpit — before a single copy had fallen into Nazi hands.

In March 1937 Pius issued the encyclical Divine Redemptoris condemning the "error of communism". He criticized the spread of communism, expressed sympathy for the Russian people, and offered the doctrines of the Catholic church as the alternative to communism. He declared that "communism is intrinsically wrong and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever". Coming only four days after his encyclical criticizing Germany, this placed the Vatican firmly on the side of persecuted believers in the totalitarian countries.

[tags]BlogRodent, church-history, ChurchRodent, history, Nazism, Pope-Pius-XI, Pope-Pius-XII[/tags]


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