It was only yesterday that I touched upon the subject of sainthood, almost forgetting that in these weeks we are witnessing the beatification process of one of Benedict XVI’s predecessors, Pius XII. While there is lots of stuff I could say about that – and I did read more than one very good book on the matter and even translated part of the Goldhagen book on the subject, A Moral Reckoning – I am going to leave it at this:
“[C]ardinals Bertram and Faulhaber congratulated [Hitler] for surviving Georg Elsner’s lone assassination bid on 8 November 1939, with a ‘Te Deum’ being sung in Munich’s cathedral ‘to thank the Divine Providence in the name of the archdiocese for the Führer’s fortunate escape from the criminal attempt made on his life’.”*
“Even when in late 1941 the Catholic bishops protested proposals compulsory to divorce partners in mixed [Jewish/”Aryan”, RvK] marriages, Cardinal Bertram felt moved to insist that his words were not motivated by ‘lack of love for the German nation, or of feeling of national dignity, or of underestimation of the harmful Jewish influences upon German culture and national interests‘.”* [My emphasis]
*Michael Burleigh, The Third Reich: A New History (2000), pp. 723 and 724.
Those were the men directly under Pius XII, leading the church in Germany.