A Note on Why Any Catholic Should Know Better Than Ever to Mention Nazism

In my previous post, Polish Catholic Magazine Ordered to Pay Damages to Abortion Woman I mentioned that the editor of the magazine, Father Marek Gancarczyk, was accused of comparing abortion to the Nazi and other fascist exterminations of Jews carried out in Europe in the 1930's and 40's. When discussing many societies' growing acceptance of abortion, at least on medical grounds, he wrote that "They had become accustomed to the murders being carried out behind the fence of the camp. And what is the case today? Different, but just as terrible." A clear statement to the effect that all those who tolerate abortion are no different to the citizens of the Third Reich and other fascist regimes who made no attempt to stop the exterminations of Jews, Romany, Homosexuals, the mentally ill and other minorities during the darkest years of our continent's recent history. By stating "what is the case today? Different, but just as terrible." he clearly means to say that the abortion of foetuses for any reason is comparable to rounding up, imprisoning, torturing, starving, raping, beating and eventually shooting or gassing millions of people.

After my initial anger at reading this had subsided, I tried to think about why and how he could make this comparison, and really mean it. I tried to understand it from his point of view, but I just can't. Whatever one thinks about the rights and wrongs of abortion, one cannot possibly reasonably compare the killing, even 'murder' if you insist, of an embryo with little or no feeling or sensation of pain, and absolutely no comprehension of it, that exists only as a potential life, to the brutal torture and incarceration of a fully grown human being with thoughts, feelings, a full understanding of what pain means, living in hell in the full knowledge that at any time they are likely to be shot or gassed.

So even when I attempt to be reasonable I cannot forgive Father Gancarczyk for making such a disgusting comparison.

But I'm not going to be reasonable, because of course Father Gancarczyk is a Catholic. And that means that whatever he and his fellow Catholics feel about the Holocaust now, and however much they may like to say that murdering lots of Jews is really bad (at least as bad as abortion, anyway) the Church as an organisation was, shall we say, somewhat less bothered by the murder of around 6 million people at the time.

Before Hitler rose to power in 1933, the Church frowned on membership of the Nazi party, and threatened excommunication to clergy who joined it. Dismayed by the erosion of Church authority (specifically in the areas of education and culture) under the Weimar republic however, the Vatican was pleased to negotiate the Reichskonkordat with Hitler's new government in 1933, and although the Church retained certain 'reservations' about the Nazi party, the threat of excommunication for those who wanted to join it was lifted.

Fact: - The first international treaty signed by Hitler's government was with the Vatican.

Fact: - Parishes were ordered by the Church to hand over their records to the Nazi authorities, greatly assisting them in their quest to identify Jews.

Relations between the Vatican and Germany were strained at best during the 30's, and the Vatican made frequent protestations to Hitler's government about the treatment of Jews and other minorities. What really annoyed the Church though, enough to request every priest to deliver a sermon on the subject, was the Nazi party's use of pagan symbolism.

Pope Pius XI died in 1939, and with him died any possibility of the Church taking any kind of strong, meaningful stand against Hitler's regime. The Cardinal, who as Vatican foreign secretary had negotiated and signed the Concordat with Hitler in 1933, was elected Pope Pius XII. The Vatican took a resolutely neutral position throughout the war.

Whilst the Church's official position was ambiguous at best, of course many Catholics risked their lives to speak out against Nazism, or to take direct action by saving Jews from certain death, and this is of course commendable, but set against the fact that so many of Hitler's high command were devout Catholics, and that approximately 30% of Germany's population were Catholic (from which you can pretty easily infer that around 30% of concentration camp guards were probably also Catholic) the actions of a few decent people hardly weighs against the complicity of a few millions.

So Catholics had not only "become accustomed to the murders being carried out behind the fence of the camp" but were in fact responsible for many of those murders in the first place, from the whole conception of the Holocaust (Himmler) to the people responsible for implementing it (notably Rudolf Hoss and others) right down to the ordinary foot-guards in the firing squads and gas chambers.

Fact: - No Catholic, from the leaders of the Nazi party or the SS, right down to ordinary foot soldiers and civilians, no matter how many deaths and how much misery they were responsible for, was excommunicated for their part in the Holocaust.

Fact: - Any Catholic who wished to join the Italian communist party after the war, was threatened with excommunication.

Fact: - The Vatican helped several war criminals escape to south America by issuing passports to them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the Catholic Church is solely responsible for this particular instance of the murder of millions of innocents, just that it was at least as complicit, if not more so, as anybody else. I would like it therefore if flat-footed ignorant cretins like Father Marek Gancarczyk would pause for a moment and bear this in mind before they ever, ever attempt to invoke the greatest crime of all time in support of their pathetic, half-baked, knee-jerk, ill-conceived and anti-intellectual positions.

The picture I include at the top of this article is deliberately provocative, but I hope it will serve to remind Catholics of why they should keep their ignorant mouths shut, and rest their bilious writing hands without setting pen to paper, next time the thought of invoking the Holocaust in favour of their 'argument' occurs to them.

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