Von Galen on Martyrdom

Sunday, March 13, AD 2016

The Lion of Munster

Neither praise nor threats will distance me from God.

Blessed Clemens von Galen

(I ran this series originally back in 2011.  I am rerunning it now, because the contemporary Church is greatly harmed by the unwillingness of so many clerics to confront evil forthrightly.  In this year of Mercy we must not forget the need to cry out for Justice, and that is precisely what the Lion of Munster did.)

In my first post on Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen, which may be read here, we examined the life of this remarkable German bishop who heroically stood up to the Third Reich.  Today we examine the third of three sermons that he preached in 1941 which made him famous around the globe.  One week after his first breathtaking sermon against the Gestapo, my examination of which may be read here, he preached on July 20, 1941 a blistering sermon against the Nazis and their war on Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular, which may be read here.   On August 3, 1941 at Saint Lambert’s in Munich he then took on the Nazi program of euthanasia, the precursor to the Holocaust, which may be read here.  Today we examine a sermon that he preached at the Cathedral of Saint Victor’s in Xanten, Germany on February 9, 1936, long before the three sermons that he preached in 1941 which made him famous around the globe.

I have just consecrated a new altar in your venerable and splendid cathedral,in a small space deep beneath the choir. But why? Your church is already so richly endowed with altars.

Beginning a sermon with a question is an approach that I wish more priests and bishops would use.  It engages the minds of the listeners from the outset.

You know the answer. The researches of the past few years have given proof that there below us lies a holy and particularly venerable place. Not only has the tradition been substantiated, according to which several previous churches were said to stand on the site of this present church, the oldest of them dating back to the time of the martyrs, to the fourth century A.D. We are also provided with fresh evidence that holy martyrs, who with their blood bore witness to Christ, were interred here, to await the resurrection. We believe in the resurrection of the body. Christ’s words have given us this promise: The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God. Whosoever does not
believe in the independent life of the individual soul, in its continued existence after the death of the body, in its reunification with the bodyand in life everlasting, this man is no true Christian. We hold these beliefs, because we believe in Christ, who is the truth. Because we hold fast to the beliefs of the Apostles and of our Christian forebears. The entire history of your city, speaking to you through the its towering churches, which are monuments in stone, proclaiming itself in the stones found lying beneath them, is evidence of our faith.

The martyrs have always been the human bedrock for Catholicism, from Saint Stephen, the first of the ever glorious martyrs, to our own day with the recent martyrdom of the brave Shahbaz Bhatti.

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3 Responses to Von Galen on Martyrdom

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  • Thanks Donald. The day is coming when our Bishops can go from gaining inspiration from Von Galen to having the opportunity for imitation. Let us pray they are up to the task.

  • As an ethnic German-American, I am pleased to see this reminder that not all Germans followed the Nazi propaganda line. My family, both mother and father’s side, left Germany during kulturkampf. The family left behind had to endure the militaristic Prussian incompetence of WW I and the insane Austrian usurper of WW II. We all hope that the present difficulties in Germany and Europe will be addressed in manner that befits the religious history of the area.

Von Galen Contra Euthanasia

Sunday, March 6, AD 2016

The Lion of Munster

Neither praise nor threats will distance me from God.

Blessed Clemens von Galen

(I ran this series originally back in 2011.  I am rerunning it now, because the contemporary Church is greatly harmed by the unwillingness of so many clerics to confront evil forthrightly.  In this year of Mercy we must not forget the need to cry out for Justice, and that is precisely what the Lion of Munster did.)

 

In my first post on Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen, which may be read here, we examined the life of this remarkable German bishop who heroically stood up to the Third Reich.  Today we examine the third of three sermons that he preached in 1941 which made him famous around the globe.  One week after his first breathtaking sermon against the Gestapo, my examination of which may be read here, he preached on July 20, 1941 a blistering sermon against the Nazis and their war on Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular, which may be read here.  On August 3, 1941 at Saint Lambert’s in Munster, he preached a third sermon which, along with an overall attack on the Nazi regime, attacked an evil that, alas, unlike the Nazis, remains with us today.

My Beloved Brethren,

In today’s Gospel we read of an unusual event: Our Saviour weeps. Yes, the Son of God sheds tears. Whoever weeps must be either in physical or mental anguish. At that time Jesus was not yet in bodily pain and yet here were tears. What depth of torment He must have felt in His heart and Soul, if He, the bravest of men, was reduced to tears. Why is He weeping? He is lamenting over Jerusalem, the holy city He loved so tenderly, the capital of His race. He is weeping over her inhabitants, over His own compatriots because they cannot foresee the judgment that is to overtake them, the punishment which His divine prescience and justice have pronounced. ‘Ah, if thou too couldst understand, above all in this day that is granted thee, the ways that can bring thee peace!’ Why did the people of Jerusalem not know it? Jesus had given them the reason a short time before. ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often have I been ready to gather thy children together, as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings; and thou didst refuse it! I your God and your King wished it, but you would have none of Me. . . .’ This is the reason for the tears of Jesus, for the tears of God. . . . Tears for the misrule, the injustice and man’s willful refusal of Him and the resulting evils, which, in His divine omniscience, He foresees and which in His justice He must decree. . . . It is a fearful thing when man sets his will against the will of God, and it is because of this that Our Lord is lamenting over Jerusalem.

“the capital of His race.”  What courage it took in Nazi Germany to remind people of the fact that Jesus was a Jew!  Von Galen had always been a friend to Jews, and would hide a Jewish boy, with the help of a Protestant pastor, at an institute Von Galen controlled, from the Nazis.  After his death he would be highly praised by the Munster Jewish community for the care and assistance he had shown them.  Would that all Germans had acted the same way.  It is a canard to say that all Germans hated Jews:  even with the Nazis pumping out the vilest anti-semitism imaginable 24-7 since they took power that was not the case.  However, it is fair to say that a majority of Germans were indifferent to the fate of the Jews and were unwilling to raise their voices against the Nazi persecution of the Jews.  This attitude of most of the German people is well described in the film Judgment at Nuremberg where Burt Lancaster, as German judge Ernst Janning, gives riveting testimony:

Von Galen I think realized this indifference and his sermons were meant to show Germans that the evil of the Nazis was not restricted only to people they were shamefully indifferent to.

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11 Responses to Von Galen Contra Euthanasia

  • “If all unproductive people may thus be violently eliminated, then woe betide our brave soldiers who return home, wounded, maimed or sick.”

    This was the sentence that the Nazis most feared. Bishop von Galen came very close to advocating a military mutiny. A major reason he was not arrested was that the Nazis did not want to be seen as giving credence to this allegation.

  • Incredible window to history we all need to look into, which we don’t because we are consumed with our own comfort and ease! Lord God have mercy on me a sinner. Thank you so much for this.

  • Excellent post!

    This should be required reading in every stage of learning.

    “Life unworthy of life!”
    The Liberal mantra.

    God bless your heroic efforts to teach, TAC contributors.

  • I’ll never forget the heroic efforts of Jeb Bush to save the life of Terri Shiavo. Sadly, he ultimately succumbed to the power of the state. Another religious man during the war worth mentioning is Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a man of immense courage who refused to come to terms with Nazi power. Eric Metaxas has authored a book about him that is worth reading.

  • It bears repeating…..Jozef Pilsudski was the premier, or President, of Poland in 1933, when the Nazi Party seized power in Germany. Pilsudski knew that the Nazis would drag up the “humiliation” that Germany “suffered” at Versailles (never mind that Germany was not laid waste to, unlike a big part of France, or Belgium, or the Balkans, but, anyway) and that Germany would be reminded by the Nazis that Poland took back the land (Greater Poland) seized by the Prussians in the Partition.
    Pilsudski wanted French help to invade Germany, which had little military strength in 1933, to embarrass the Nazis and force them from power.

    France didn’t want to do it. The rest is history.

    As Blessed von Galen so eloquently put it, the Nazis had no right to do what they were doing to anyone, be it disabled, ill, Jew, Pole, anyone at all.

  • The phrase “Life unworthy of life!” Is from a book published in democratic Weimar Germany in the 1920s entitled “The Justification of the Destruction of Life Devoid of Value”. It’s authors were Karl Binding, a distinguished judge, and Alfred Hoche, a prominent psychiatrist. This was pre-Nazi Germany, the Germany portrayed in “Cabaret”– scientific, gay and carefree, happily post-Christian. The book gave voice and credence to an impulse, never far from the surface of human thought, that anything that doesn’t look, or act, or think “like me”, isn’t really “fully human”, and therefore those who are “fully human” should be able to decide whether “it” lives or dies.
    Understand–Hoche and Binding were NOT Nazis. They were scientific, caring, liberal Germans. But the ideas they gave credibility to led to the gas chambers.

  • Blessed Von Galen, pray for us!

  • BPS is quite correct.

    Stephen Jay Gould, the agnostic biologist, once wrote an essay where he (at least partially) defended William Jennings Bryan’s role in the Scopes ‘Monkey’ Trial. Gould wrote that Bryan had become convinced before WW1 that Germany was being morally polluted by Social Darwinism. As we now know, Bryan was a prophet in this regard. The wiki article mentions some of this, though not the full timeline that Gould cited.

  • Ginny, that bio of Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxis has a few historical inaccuracies or omissions, but yes, it is a good read. Open Library has a good list of the table of contents at https://openlibrary.org/books/OL25892903M/Bonhoeffer

    BTW, the recent Church of Spies makes a nice complement to the Bonhoeffer book. Again, it is not perfect. You can see the table of contents at https://openlibrary.org/works/OL17318218W/Church_of_Spies

  • Thanks, TomD. I’m going to put your recommendation on my “to read” list.

  • The United States has allowed roughly 60 million unborn babies to be sacrificed on the altar of convenience. Now states are going for the elderly and those ‘terminally ill’ with a so called ‘death with dignity’ BS. If things remain the same, I would expect euthanasia to be the law of the land one day with mobile death units as in Europe. It goes from voluntary self killing to involuntary murder where someone else decides your life is no longer worth living. The dignity of a human being made in the image of God is under attack especially by those who have turned from God but also among deceived people.

    There are few shepherds of the magnitude of B. Von Galen….neither then nor now. But there are a few who come to mind. But for the most part our bishops, like the bishops in Nazi Germany or in a Europe embracing Protestantism, will most likely capitulate or remain silence in cowardice.

Von Galen Contra the Swastika

Sunday, February 28, AD 2016

The Lion of Munster

Neither praise nor threats will distance me from God.

Blessed Clemens von Galen

(I ran this series originally back in 2011.  I am rerunning it now, because the contemporary Church is greatly harmed by the unwillingness of so many clerics to confront evil forthrightly.  In this year of Mercy we must not forget the need to cry out for Justice, and that is precisely what the Lion of Munster did.)

 

In my first post on Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen, which may be read here, we examined the life of this remarkable German bishop who heroically stood up to the Third Reich.  Today we examine the second of three sermons that he preached in 1941 which made him famous around the globe.  One week after his first breathtaking sermon against the Gestapo, my examination of which may be read here, he preached on July 20, 1941 a blistering sermon against the Nazis and their war on Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular.

Today the collection which I ordered for the inhabitants of the city of Münster is held in all the parishes in the diocese of Münster which have not themselves suffered war damage. I hope that through the efforts of the state and municipal authorities responsible and the brotherly help of the Catholics of this diocese, whose contributions will be administered and distributed by the offices of the Caritas, much need will be alleviated.

Charity, always a prime duty of Catholics.

Thanks be to God, for several days our city has not suffered any new enemy attacks from without. But I am distressed to have to inform you that the attacks by our opponents within the country, of the beginning of which I spoke last Sunday in St. Lambert’s, that these attacks have continued, regardless of our protests, regardless of the anguish this causes to the victims of the attacks and those connected with them. Last Sunday I lamented, and branded as an injustice crying out to heaven, the action of the Gestapo in closing the convent in Wilkinghege and the Jesuit residences in Munster, confiscating their property and possessions, putting the occupants into the street and expelling them from their home area. The convent of Our Lady of Lourdes in Frauen­strasse was also seized by the Gau authorities. I did not then know that on the same day, Sunday 13th July, the Gestapo had occupied the Kamilluskolleg in Sudmühle and the Benedictine abbey of Gerleve near Coesfeld and expelled the fathers and lay brothers. They were forced to leave Westphalia that very day.

The Nazi war on the Church is becoming more brazen in the midst of the War.

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13 Responses to Von Galen Contra the Swastika

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  • These articles are such an encouragement.

  • Change a few words and this is about the USSA today. Hitler-Obama; Nazis-Democrats; etc. But SS/Planned Parenthood is not a 1 for 1 comparison-the SS never, and never even dreamed of, demonic killing on the scale at which PP does it today. Himmler/Richards is also in error – Richards oversees a killing machine that Himmler never even hoped for. Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas

  • Please, the US bears no resemblance to the Third Reich. Among its other manifest evils, the Third Reich did forced abortions on non-Aryans. It is obscene to compare the US to the Nazis and it is not going to be tolerated on this blog.

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  • Thank you for publishing these posts on Blessed Clemens von Galen. On my father’s side, I am totally English from the earliest sellers in MA and RI. I am, on my mother’s side, descended from devout R Catholic Austrian, German and Swiss immigrants who came to this country in the 1840s.
    In Catholic grade school in Arlington VA, 1958-1963 VA, my brother and I felt the stigma of having German ancestry even though we had an English surname…as all German-Americans were equated with being Nazis. No one from my father’s family was present at my parents’ Catholic wedding in MN. It could be that my grandparents had 4 sons (my father included) and 1 daughter-in-law serving in the WWII European theater. Anyway thank you. This is another post I am passing to relatives from that side of the family.

  • “as all German-Americans were equated with being Nazis.”

    Considering the number of German-Americans buried in US military cemeteries in Europe, and that our forces were led by a German-American, the idiocy of such a belief is self-apparent.

    The crazed paper hanger is an aberration in German history which provided Europe some of its proudest moments, especially in the cultural sphere.

  • Yes, Gen Eisenhower, USA, and Gen Spaatz, USAAF, in Europe and Fleet Admiral Nimitz, USN in the Pacific.
    My father told us to ignore the name calling kids; that they were parroting their ignorant parents. Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
    I look forward to the canonization of von Galen, and hope and pray that our Church hierarchy will be braver.

  • Donald R-The USA that my father and great uncle fought for [one above beach on DDay, one on the beach] and that my father-in-law fought in the Pacific for, that USA no longer exists; and I would never compare that USA to the Third Reich. I purposefully used “USSA” to distinguish our present tyranny from that country that was blest by God. There are things the present-day Democrats, a few others, and Planned Parenthood have done and are doing that make Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler and Mengele look like wicked little kindergartners. Here is a “letter” about that God-blest country (note-I am now in my 70th year):

    Yes, Guy, There Is And Will Be America
    Abyssum.org January 12, 2016
    Dear Editor,
    I am in my 69th year. Some of my little-minded friends, Democrats, and their President rejoice and say America is no more. I and many of my friends served in the Army during the Vietnam War. My father, my uncles, and father-in-law fought for America in World War II. My grandfather fought for America in World War I. My ancestor grandfather fought for America with General Washington in the Revolutionary War. Is this America no more? My childrens’ ancestor grandfather was the first Texan wounded in the Texas War For Independence in 1835; and two of their other grandfathers fought in the Civil War. Is what they fought for dead? I have heard from some, “If you see it in the eyes of your fellow Americans, hear it in their words, witness it in the reverence they have for Old Glory, and if they believe it in their hearts, then it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there an America any more? Very truly yours, Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas

    Dear Guy,
    Your little-minded friends, the Democrats, and their President are wrong. They have been affected by the statism of a statist age and have been taken in by their own schemes. Yes, Guy, there is an America. America exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion and true patriotism exist, and America makes possible for you and everyone here an abounding meaning, beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no America! It would be as dreary as if there were no Americans. There would be no faith in one’s fellow man or woman, no united country that is and has been a shining city on a hill, no place where still thousands wish to come, and sacrifice everything to do so, because the hope for this America can move men and women to sacrifice all to be happy here.

    If there were no America, there would be no hope for the world. The world would have no enjoyment, no place full-of-wonder as is America. If anyone would succeed in destroying America or fundamentally changing it, the shining American light which fills the world would be extinguished.

    The Democrat President has said America is a nation of a foreign religion. Guy, he might as well have said a dog’s tail is a leg, and that a dog has five legs. From its founding America was a Judeo-Christian nation, has been a Judeo-Christian nation throughout its history, is one now, will be one after 2016, and will forever be a Judeo-Christian nation. Change America to another nation ? Our Constitution itself says it was signed in “the year of Our Lord,” who is none other than Jesus Christ. Change America from being a Judeo-Christian nation? This would be like changing love to hate, glory to infamy, or light to darkness.

    Not believe in America! You might as well not believe in goodness, and justice and love. America is the faith, poetry, love, care, courage, beauty, steadfastness, romance, and bravery that pushes aside tyrants and those who would alter or abolish her, and proclaims the glory she has known, the glory of her today, and the glory she will know in years to come. Is America real? Ah, Guy, in all this world there is no country so real, so good, and so abiding.

    No America? Thank God, Guy, America, the America your forbears fought for, lives and will live forever. A few foolish fools cannot change her. A thousand years from now, Guy, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, America will continue to make glad the hearts of its citizens and be a place of justice, of courage, and of freedom.

    God bless America, Guy, Merry Christmas! and Happy New Year.
    Editor

  • Speaking of U.S. patriots, here is a link to the Middle East War Memorial which I didn’t know existed. It’s in Illinois on private property, an inscribed granite wall. The phone company HQ has turned it’s lobby into a museum for items left behind at the memorial outside. There is annual motorcade like Rolling Thunder.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=WEPBQGu74oo&feature=player_embedded

  • A number of years ago, I happened to strike up a conversation with an elderly woman at WalMart. She was a survivor of the Second World War and related to me an unbelievable story of how she and her sister had saved their lives. I asked her what it was like growing up during the rise of Nazism and she said, “It was very much like what is going on here, under President Obama, today–except for the schools.” I said, “Yes, I suppose so. The propaganda and brainwashing under the Third Reich must have been intense, indeed.” She looked at me intently and replied, “No; you misunderstand me. I feel sorry for the public schoolchildren of today. My sister and I longed to spend as much time as possible at school because there, at least, we were safe.” I commend you for calling attention to Cardinal von Galen’s heroic stance, but let’s not be too quick to say that what we are facing here and now is “much milder,” even where textbook publication is concerned. Textbooks from which references to the Living God have been scrubbed, and schools from which prayer to Him has been banished, have produced an environment of violence–ideological and literal–which those who successfully resisted the Third Reich find ominous and blood-chilling.

  • Re-reading Blessed von Galen this afternoon.
    “We see a much milder version of this in too many public school text books in our own country today. “{Unfortunately it’s not just public schools in the USA.}

    “Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs” is this similar to what Germany has today? If so, it would explain why the almighty Mark was and the Euro is so important to the German hierarchy. What are other strings are attached to the government’s money?

    This man’s writings are so inspiring as is your commentary. I hope and pray that we in America will never experience the fierce attacks that the Catholics and other Christians experienced under the Nazi regime.

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Von Galen Contra Gestapo

Sunday, February 21, AD 2016

 

(I ran this series originally back in 2011.  I am rerunning it now, because the contemporary Church is greatly harmed by the unwillingness of so many clerics to confront evil forthrightly.  In this year of Mercy we must not forget the need to cry out for Justice, and that is precisely what the Lion of Munster did.)

 

 

In my first post on Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen, which may be read here, we examined the life of this remarkable German bishop who heroically stood up to the Third Reich.  Today we examine the first of three sermons that he preached in 1941 which made him famous around the globe.  In the summer of 1941 the Third Reich was at its zenith.  Operation Barbarossa had been launched, and the Soviets were reeling, with German armies advancing rapidly against a Red Army which appeared to be on the verge of dissolution.  In North Africa, the Desert Fox was besieging Tobruk and it seemed only a matter of time until Egypt might fall to him.  American still slumbered in an isolationist dream.  World domination by Nazi Germany seemed to be approaching reality.

At this point, when his Nazi foes were their strongest, on July 13, 1941, Bishop von Galen threw down his episcopal gauntlet to the Gestapo, the secret police of the Nazis, who brutally terrorized Germany and occupied Europe:

 

My dear Catholics of St. Lambert’s:

 I have longed to read personally from the pulpit of this church today my pastoral letter on the events of the past week and in particular to express to you, my former parishioners, my deep-felt sympathy. In some part of the city, the devastation and loss have been particularly great. I hope that by the action of the municipal and government authorities responsible, and above all by your brotherly love and the collections taken today for the work of the Caritas Union and the Parish Caritas, some of the hardship and suffering will be relieved. I had in mind also, however, to add a brief word on the meaning of the divine visitation: how God thus seeks us in order to lead us home to Him. God wants to lead Münster home to Him.  How much at home were our forefathers with God and in God’s Holy Church! How thoroughly were their lives — their public life, their family life, and even their commercial life — supported by faith in God, directed by the holy fear of God and by the love of God! Has it always been like that in our own day? God wants to lead Münster home to Him!

Von Galen here is speaking about the devastation caused by British bombing raids.  Note his comments about the practical steps necessary to help the victims through special collections, and the overriding necessity of turning to God.

Concerning this I had meant to put some further reflections before you. But this I cannot do today, for I find myself compelled to openly and in public speak of something else — a shattering event which came upon us yesterday, at the end of this week of calamity.

What could be more important than the damage wreaked upon us by the enemy bombers I am certain was the thought that first occurred to many of von Galen’s listeners. 

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5 Responses to Von Galen Contra Gestapo

  • How convienent for the enemies of the Church to drag up the fiction of “The Deputy” and smear Pope Pius XII, and ignoring Bishop von Galen, as well as St. Edith Stein and St. Maximillian Kolbe.

  • “Apostle of the mass media,” St.Maximilian Maria Kolbe was broadcasting the truth and printing the truth about the Nazis without hesitation. No fear! None. The Lion of Munster and St. Kolbe were cut from the same fabric…Myocardium of Christ!

    Great article. Great witness of TRUTH.

    One month after the sermon dated July 13 1941, our fearless Polish Saint was nearing his earthly departure. As the sermon of Von Galen was being read, Kolbe was starving to death in the bunkers of Auschwitz.
    God bless these great servants and friends of God.

  • there is an aspect of this i do not understand ….. ” I had in mind also, however, to add a brief word on the meaning of the divine visitation: how God thus seeks us in order to lead us home to Him. God wants to lead Münster home to Him. How much at home were our forefathers with God and in God’s Holy Church! How thoroughly were their lives — their public life, their family life, and even their commercial life — supported by faith in God, directed by the holy fear of God and by the love of God! Has it always been like that in our own day? God wants to lead Münster home to Him!

    Their lives ,i.e. the lives of the elders of Munster etc. were so in touch with their faith and its practice that they harvested the Bormans, Hitlers, Dietrich, Franks……etc. They obviously had holy fear and love of God in the home….. just look at the fruit. And the nation at large- hitler may not have had a majority vote but damned near it!! Same stumbling block with Mexico- i was watching a expose on pablo escobar, the incredible criminal, and all thru his aunts house where he stayed in his last years, and in the houses of his goons- there were myriad copies on display, with candles, of St. Juan Diego’s temecula with her image on it as the Virgin of Guadalupe – ubiquitous!! as one watched this semi documentary. I know the mexican people have a strong Catholic faith but last year i think the number was 26,000 killed in drug related crimes- I get confused as to what tenets of the decalog or natural law the elder Deutsch and the Mexicans since miguel pro have taught and learned. Even the protestant heretics running the U.S. of A then and now did not and do not behave like Von Galen describes his fellow teutons and Goths – japanese and bushito is another story for next week, but mussolini and the Italians are in this same mix- What happened? The economic and patriotic smack down post WWI, the war to end all wars , was so sever that the good Catholic and other Christian sects forgot all they were taught or … did they implement exactly what they were taught at home…… I wonder??

  • As a descendant of Prussian Catholics (they are a minority) who left Germany during Bismarck’s “Kulturkampf” I can appreciate what a giant of a Churchman Von Galen was. Had the Prussians (mostly Lutheran) , who did not learn the lesson against blind obedience during WW I, and the Catholic Workers Party united, Hitler and his gangsters could have been stopped early on.

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The Lion of Munster

Sunday, February 14, AD 2016

The Lion of Munster

Neither praise nor threats will distance me from God.

Blessed Clemens von Galen

(I ran this series originally back in 2011.  I am rerunning it now, because the contemporary Church is greatly harmed by the unwillingness of so many clerics to confront evil forthrightly.  In this year of Mercy we must not forget the need to cry out for Justice, and that is precisely what the Lion of Munster did.)

The Nazis hated and feared Clemens August Graf von Galen in life and no doubt they still hate and fear him, at least those now enjoying the amenities of some of the less fashionable pits of Hell.  Going into Lent, I am strongly encouraged by the story of Blessed von Galen.  I guess one could come up with a worse situation than being a Roman Catholic bishop in Nazi Germany in 1941, and confronting a merciless anti-Christian dictatorship that was diametrically opposed to the Truth of Christ, but that would certainly do for enough of a challenge for one lifetime for anyone.  (Hitler privately denounced Christianity as a Jewish superstition and looked forward after the War to “settling accounts”, as he put it, with Christianity in general and Roman Catholicism in particular.)

Priests who spoke out against the Third Reich were being rounded up and shipped off to concentration camps.  What was a bishop to do in the face of such massive evil?  Well, for the Bishop of Munster, Clemens von Galen, there could be only one answer.

A German Count, von Galen was from one of the oldest aristocratic families in Westphalia.  Always a German patriot, the political views of von Galen would have made my own conservatism seem a pale shade of pink in comparison.  Prior to becoming a bishop, he was sometimes criticized for a haughty attitude and being unbending.  He was chosen Bishop of Munster in 1933 only after other candidates, no doubt recognizing what a dangerous position it would be with the Nazis now in power, had turned it down.  I am certain  it did not hurt that he was an old friend of Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII.

Von Galen immediately demonstrated that he had not agreed to become Bishop of Munster in order to avoid danger.  He successfully led a fight against the Nazi attempt to take over Catholic schools, citing article 21 of the Concordat between the Vatican and Nazi Germany.  He then began a campaign, often using humor and ridicule, against the Aryan racial doctrines proposed by Alfred Rosenberg, chief Nazi race theorist, and a man even some high level Nazis thought was little better than a crank.  Von Galen argued that Christianity totally rejected racial differences as determining how groups should be treated, and that all men and women were children of God and brothers and sisters in Christ.  The Bishop spoke out against Nazi attacks on the “Jewish Old Testament” stating that Holy Writ was Holy Writ and that the Bible could not be altered to suit current prejudices.

In early 1937 he was summoned by Pope Pius XI to confer with him on an encyclical in German, highly unusual for an encyclical not to be written in Latin as the primary language, that the Pope was in the process of drafting.  The encyclical was the blistering Mit Brennender Sorge (With Burning Heart) that the Pope ordered be read out in every parish in Germany on Palm Sunday 1937.  A head long assault on almost every aspect of National Socialism, it may be read here.

The language in the encyclical was blunt, direct and no doubt benefited from von Galen’s input and his experience from the battles he was waging with the Nazis.

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6 Responses to The Lion of Munster

  • This is a good history lesson.

  • Blessed von Galen shows an example far too many of us are unwilling to follow.

  • Agian, a timely piece of history from Mr. McClarey. Thanks.
    Number 42.
    A clarion call for all Catholics in America to engage in today’s conflict, the destruction of America through radical Socialist and Marxist ideologies which indoctrinate the young and silence the rationale of freedom of religion.

    The joy, triumph and hymn’s of gratitude must resound from coast to coast united in Truth.
    His Truth that all life is sacred. Perverse lifestyles are always going to be perverse. No amount of propaganda will change the Truth.
    He and His Word will never change.
    Our hearts must change. We must accept them, love them and pray with them, but never accept their concupiscence as a cherished choice of behavior.

    Our time is a critical time in history. The slope isn’t just slippery. It’s angle of decent is increasing dramatically and as it increases it will be extremely difficult to reclaim the pure air of the highlands. The stagnant repulsive air of the pit will become the new progressive National Socialist Amerika, an unrecognizable Nation of free people. A people serving and worshipping the State.

  • Gosh there are so many GREAT blessed of fairly recent history! I hope they will get the attention they apparently deserve. I also think of Cardinal Mindszenty.

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  • Would that we had his like in some of our dioceses today.

At Least the SS had Snazzier Uniforms

Wednesday, December 19, AD 2012

 

 

 

 

The Nazis began their death march across Europe by killing mentally handicapped Germans in an euthanasia campaign that caused the Lion of Munster, Bishop Von Galen, to preach a sermon which may be read here, and in which he made this statement:

For the past several months it has been reported that, on instructions from Berlin, patients who have been suffering for a long time from apparently incurable diseases have been forcibly removed from homes and clinics. Their relatives are later informed that the patient has died, that the body has been cremated and that the ashes may be claimed. There is little doubt that these numerous cases of unexpected death in the case of the insane are not natural, but often deliberately caused, and result from the belief that it is lawful to take away life which is unworthy of being lived.

This ghastly doctrine tries to justify the murder of blameless men and would seek to give legal sanction to the forcible killing of invalids, cripples, the incurable and the incapacitated. I have discovered that the practice here in Westphalia is to compile lists of such patients who are to be removed elsewhere as ‘unproductive citizens,’ and after a period of time put to death. This very week, the first group of these patients has been sent from the clinic of Marienthal, near Münster.

Hitler and his gang of murderers were stopped at an enormous cost, but Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so often in defense of the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, tells us at Midwest Conservative Journal that the ideas of Der Fuehrer are all the rage in Europe today:

Europe descends further toward the abyss:

Belgium is considering a significant change to its decade-old euthanasia law that would allow minors and Alzheimer’s sufferers to seek permission to die.

The proposed changes to the law were submitted to parliament Tuesday by the Socialist party and are likely to be approved by other parties, although no date has yet been put forward for a parliamentary debate.

“The idea is to update the law to take better account of dramatic situations and extremely harrowing cases we must find a response to,” party leader Thierry Giet said.

The draft legislation calls for “the law to be extended to minors if they are capable of discernment or affected by an incurable illness or suffering that we cannot alleviate.”

Belgium was the second country in the world after the Netherlands to legalise euthanasia in 2002 but it applies only to people over the age of 18.

Socialist Senator Philippe Mahoux, who helped draft the proposed changes, said there had been cases of adolescents who “had the capacity to decide” their future.

He said parliamentarians would also consider extended mercy-killing to people suffering from Alzheiner’s-type illnesses.

No possibility of abuse there.  Meanwhile, the French would like their dying population to snap it up.

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14 Responses to At Least the SS had Snazzier Uniforms

  • Mercy killing? Mercy for whom?
    For the ones who can only equate life / money.

    Memories of Terri Schiavo, and her dear family struggling to gain access to be merciful. Starving Terri was much more merciful however.

    On Terri’s website, terrisfight.org a simple sentence; “Where there is Life there is Hope.”

  • Does anyone remember the name of the doctor(s) who wrote in German in the early 1900s, recommending the elimination of the handicapped, aged, and other “unfit”?

  • Donald,

    I might have known you would know. Have you read it?

    –Jonathan

  • No Jonathan I have not. I am unaware as to whether it has been translated into English.

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  • Our Pope has been steadfastly opposed to this evil. Of course, the Holy Father
    objects because euthanasia violates the basic tenets of the Faith. However, not
    many people are aware that our Pope also has a personal experience of the
    state’s tender mercies.

    By 1941, the nazis had made it illegal for families to care for their disabled at
    home. Government ‘therapists’ came to the home of our future Pope’s aunt and
    forcibly removed his young cousin, who had Down’s Syndrome. Shortly after
    his removal, the young man was euthanized by his ‘caretakers’, as government
    policy decreed.

  • Just got hit by a different shape to this horror….

    Notice the phrasing, that people can apply for permission to end their lives?

    That implies that the government has more of a right to the lives of those involved than the people themselves.

    That is… a very scary mindset. At least laws against suicide, as much as they annoy many folks, are consistent in the theme of protecting life as a sacred thing.

  • Minor chidren and the mentally and the physically disabled do not have freely formed, informed consent to give. Thereby making the law a mockery of civil rights. Assisted suicide is one murderer and one dependent victim.

  • Deep thought #6419 Those supporting assisted suicide must do it first. See how they like it.

  • I’ve yet to see a proponent of assisted suicide address what studies have shown:
    that in families where one member has committed suicide, the remaining family
    are exponentially more likely to also attempt/commit suicide at some point in
    their lives.

  • Thanks for this post and the video clips. We need to be reminded.

  • Socialists ruled in the USSR and another brand of socialists were in charge in Germany. Both were power-crazy and ruthless. The present socialists in the West are a combination of both. Evil times are ahead.

  • Mal: Truth – “Evil times are ahead.”

    Up until the moment of the Flood (Genesis), people were feastng, marrying, sowing, reaping, etc.

Von Galen on Martyrdom

Sunday, April 3, AD 2011

 

In my first post on Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen, which may be read here, we examined the life of this remarkable German bishop who heroically stood up to the Third Reich.  Today we examine a sermon that he preached at the Cathedral of Saint Victor’s in Xanten, Germany on February 9, 1936, long before the three sermons that he preached in 1941 which made him famous around the globe.  Prior examinations of his 1941 sermons may be read  herehere and here.

I have just consecrated a new altar in your venerable and splendid cathedral,in a small space deep beneath the choir. But why? Your church is already so richly endowed with altars.

Beginning a sermon with a question is an approach that I wish more priests and bishops would use.  It engages the minds of the listeners from the outset.

You know the answer. The researches of the past few years have given proof that there below us lies a holy and particularly venerable place. Not only has the tradition been substantiated, according to which several previous churches were said to stand on the site of this present church, the oldest of them dating back to the time of the martyrs, to the fourth century A.D. We are also provided with fresh evidence that holy martyrs, who with their blood bore witness to Christ, were interred here, to await the resurrection. We believe in the resurrection of the body. Christ’s words have given us this promise: The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God. Whosoever does not
believe in the independent life of the individual soul, in its continued existence after the death of the body, in its reunification with the bodyand in life everlasting, this man is no true Christian. We hold these beliefs, because we believe in Christ, who is the truth. Because we hold fast to the beliefs of the Apostles and of our Christian forebears. The entire history of your city, speaking to you through the its towering churches, which are monuments in stone, proclaiming itself in the stones found lying beneath them, is evidence of our faith.

The martyrs have always been the human bedrock for Catholicism, from Saint Stephen, the first of the ever glorious martyrs, to our own day with the recent martyrdom of the brave Shahbaz Bhatti.

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2 Responses to Von Galen on Martyrdom

  • Wonderful and inspiring personal stories and history.

    We certainly need to be reminded of the brave souls throughout Christian history who, threatened with death, were willing to give their very life in sacrifice to Christ and His church rather than submit to the taunts or wiles of evil forces besieging mankind. These are true martyrs for the faith having chosen death of body over life without Christ.

    There is also another kind of martyrdom which our faith from time to time begs us to endure. That is a death of character to the status quo of elitist society. This sometimes is more painful than martyrdom by the sword because you must live with the “stigmata” of it in full view of your adversary or would be executioner. In our age and with the freedom granted to the minds of men in our multicultural “open society” which is pleased to challenge all Christian values there is great need for Culture Martyrdom.

    All of us, but bishops in particular, are given ample opportunities today to offer ourselves as candidates for a kind of martyrdom and stigma of conviction that goes with living and expressing our faith to the fullest with out regard for the cross of conscience a misguided media or pompous intellectuals will place upon us. Aptly named, the culture of death is upon us today and we pray it will be met with a huge wave of these most needed martyrs.

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Von Galen Contra Euthanasia

Sunday, March 27, AD 2011

In my first post on Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen, which may be read here, we examined the life of this remarkable German bishop who heroically stood up to the Third Reich.  Today we examine the third of three sermons that he preached in 1941 which made him famous around the globe.  One week after his first breathtaking sermon against the Gestapo, my examination of which may be read here, he preached on July 20, 1941 a blistering sermon against the Nazis and their war on Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular, which may be read here.  On August 3, 1941 at Saint Lambert’s in Munster, he preached a third sermon which, along with an overall attack on the Nazi regime, attacked an evil that, alas, unlike the Nazis, remains with us today.

My Beloved Brethren,

In today’s Gospel we read of an unusual event: Our Saviour weeps. Yes, the Son of God sheds tears. Whoever weeps must be either in physical or mental anguish. At that time Jesus was not yet in bodily pain and yet here were tears. What depth of torment He must have felt in His heart and Soul, if He, the bravest of men, was reduced to tears. Why is He weeping? He is lamenting over Jerusalem, the holy city He loved so tenderly, the capital of His race. He is weeping over her inhabitants, over His own compatriots because they cannot foresee the judgment that is to overtake them, the punishment which His divine prescience and justice have pronounced. ‘Ah, if thou too couldst understand, above all in this day that is granted thee, the ways that can bring thee peace!’ Why did the people of Jerusalem not know it? Jesus had given them the reason a short time before. ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often have I been ready to gather thy children together, as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings; and thou didst refuse it! I your God and your King wished it, but you would have none of Me. . . .’ This is the reason for the tears of Jesus, for the tears of God. . . . Tears for the misrule, the injustice and man’s willful refusal of Him and the resulting evils, which, in His divine omniscience, He foresees and which in His justice He must decree. . . . It is a fearful thing when man sets his will against the will of God, and it is because of this that Our Lord is lamenting over Jerusalem.

“the capital of His race.”  What courage it took in Nazi Germany to remind people of the fact that Jesus was a Jew!  Von Galen had always been a friend to Jews, and would hide a Jewish boy, with the help of a Protestant pastor, at an institute Von Galen controlled, from the Nazis.  After his death he would be highly praised by the Munster Jewish community for the care and assistance he had shown them.  Would that all Germans had acted the same way.  It is a canard to say that all Germans hated Jews:  even with the Nazis pumping out the vilest anti-semitism imaginable 24-7 since they took power that was not the case.  However, it is fair to say that a majority of Germans were indifferent to the fate of the Jews and were unwilling to raise their voices against the Nazi persecution of the Jews.  This attitude of most of the German people is well described in the film Judgment at Nuremberg where Burt Lancaster, as German judge Ernst Janning, gives riveting testimony:

Von Galen I think realized this indifference and his sermons were meant to show Germans that the evil of the Nazis was not restricted only to people they were shamefully indifferent to.

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5 Responses to Von Galen Contra Euthanasia

  • Don great series.

    A sermon, it makes the point better to the ears than the eyes. Form YouTube a reenactment.

    Catholic Sermons Defying the Nazis

    Third sermaon starts a t4:00

  • There were many courageous Catholics who raised their voices against the Nazis. Devout Catholics knew that the Nazis meant evil when in the aftermath of the 1934 assasination of Engelbert Dollfuss, they refused the sacrament of Extreme Unction to the dying man even as he lingered in his blood for hours begging them. They wished to see him off to Hell without the saving grace of the Church. No son of the Catholic Church would ever refuse a man his last attempts at Grace. But this has not prevented the Goldhagen crowd from wholesale slander of Catholics and the Church as Nazi sympathisers. Before the extermination of the Jews and Gypsies, before the widespread killing of Jews in Poland and the Soviet Union, there was the Nazi killing of the old, mad, crippled, deviants and the unintelligent. It was the Roman Catholic Church that stood consistently athwart all this, taking on all comers. Some others according to their lights sought to make exceptions for war veterans and such like, but the Church brooked no exception – euthanasia is an intrinsic evil. This story is not as well known as it should be partly on account of the embarrasment it caused to the eugenic agenda promoted by the Rockefeller Foundation. It is beyond irony that gargoyles such as Hitler who suffered from uncontrollable farting, chinless Himmler who ran like a schoolgirl, and that dead ringer for a prison snitch – Goebbels – ended up as arbiters of Nordic beauty.

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Von Galen Contra the Swastika

Sunday, March 20, AD 2011

In my first post on Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen, which may be read here, we examined the life of this remarkable German bishop who heroically stood up to the Third Reich.  Today we examine the second of three sermons that he preached in 1941 which made him famous around the globe.  One week after his first breathtaking sermon against the Gestapo, my examination of which may be read here, he preached on July 20, 1941 a blistering sermon against the Nazis and their war on Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular.

Today the collection which I ordered for the inhabitants of the city of Münster is held in all the parishes in the diocese of Münster which have not themselves suffered war damage. I hope that through the efforts of the state and municipal authorities responsible and the brotherly help of the Catholics of this diocese, whose contributions will be administered and distributed by the offices of the Caritas, much need will be alleviated.

Charity, always a prime duty of Catholics.

Thanks be to God, for several days our city has not suffered any new enemy attacks from without. But I am distressed to have to inform you that the attacks by our opponents within the country, of the beginning of which I spoke last Sunday in St. Lambert’s, that these attacks have continued, regardless of our protests, regardless of the anguish this causes to the victims of the attacks and those connected with them. Last Sunday I lamented, and branded as an injustice crying out to heaven, the action of the Gestapo in closing the convent in Wilkinghege and the Jesuit residences in Munster, confiscating their property and possessions, putting the occupants into the street and expelling them from their home area. The convent of Our Lady of Lourdes in Frauen­strasse was also seized by the Gau authorities. I did not then know that on the same day, Sunday 13th July, the Gestapo had occupied the Kamilluskolleg in Sudmühle and the Benedictine abbey of Gerleve near Coesfeld and expelled the fathers and lay brothers. They were forced to leave Westphalia that very day.

The Nazi war on the Church is becoming more brazen in the midst of the War.

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Von Galen Contra Gestapo

Sunday, March 13, AD 2011

 

 

In my first post on Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen, which may be read here, we examined the life of this remarkable German bishop who heroically stood up to the Third Reich.  Today we examine the first of three sermons that he preached in 1941 which made him famous around the globe.  In the summer of 1941 the Third Reich was at its zenith.  Operation Barbarossa had been launched, and the Soviets were reeling, with German armies advancing rapidly against a Red Army which appeared to be on the verge of dissolution.  In North Africa, the Desert Fox was besieging Tobruk and it seemed only a matter of time until Egypt might fall to him.  American still slumbered in an isolationist dream.  World domination by Nazi Germany seemed to be approaching reality.

At this point, when his Nazi foes were their strongest, on July 13, 1941, Bishop von Galen threw down his episcopal gauntlet to the Gestapo, the secret police of the Nazis, who brutally terrorized Germany and occupied Europe:

 

My dear Catholics of St. Lambert’s:

 I have longed to read personally from the pulpit of this church today my pastoral letter on the events of the past week and in particular to express to you, my former parishioners, my deep-felt sympathy. In some part of the city, the devastation and loss have been particularly great. I hope that by the action of the municipal and government authorities responsible, and above all by your brotherly love and the collections taken today for the work of the Caritas Union and the Parish Caritas, some of the hardship and suffering will be relieved. I had in mind also, however, to add a brief word on the meaning of the divine visitation: how God thus seeks us in order to lead us home to Him. God wants to lead Münster home to Him.  How much at home were our forefathers with God and in God’s Holy Church! How thoroughly were their lives — their public life, their family life, and even their commercial life — supported by faith in God, directed by the holy fear of God and by the love of God! Has it always been like that in our own day? God wants to lead Münster home to Him!

Von Galen here is speaking about the devastation caused by British bombing raids.  Note his comments about the practical steps necessary to help the victims through special collections, and the overriding necessity of turning to God.

Concerning this I had meant to put some further reflections before you. But this I cannot do today, for I find myself compelled to openly and in public speak of something else — a shattering event which came upon us yesterday, at the end of this week of calamity.

What could be more important than the damage wreaked upon us by the enemy bombers I am certain was the thought that first occurred to many of von Galen’s listeners. 

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6 Responses to Von Galen Contra Gestapo

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  • Wow Don. That is fantastic. Amazing how this sermon could be preached today . . . in America. Given that the corporate media is overwhelmingly leftist; that the very word ‘justice’ is bandied about to give cover to state plunder and personal plunder through the state apparatus; that the laws (PPACA, PATRIOT Act, TARP) and legal decisions (Roe v. Wade, Kelo v. New London) passed do not conform with the law of the land (The Constitution); that our government does not refer to Moslem jihadits as ‘terrorists’ but pro-lifers, Ron Paul supporters, Gadsden flag wavers, End the Fed proponents are labeled as terrorists. Is it a wonder that von Galen’s sermon could be preached here today?

    The relativist materialist minority is vocal and powerful and dangerous. As always they will demonize the ‘right’, in truth they are targeting the usual target of the pawns of the Devil: Those who are bigoted because they do not approve of the behavior of Sodomites, those who engage in hate-speech by promoting chastity and traditional marriage, those misogynists who think that women should be supported, respected and encouraged to be authentically feminine and fecund, those who refer to Truth as if there is only one truth and expect people to believe that truth is objective and not the construct of academics and government diktat. You know to whom I am referring – its those pesky Catholics, and not your run of the mill, casual Christmas and Easter Mass, contracepting, pro-abort catholics; but those darn orthodox traditionalists and conservatives who claim the Church has taught and worshiped the same for 2,000 years. They even claim that their Church is the only One founded by Jesus Christ! The audacity.

    I would love to see this fine son of the Church confront socialists like Obama and so-called Catholics like Biden, Pelosi and Sibellius. It would be wonderful to see him make them tremble.

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  • Its amazing, to read these articles and understand their meaning! Its like reading a battle plan. The offensives and defenses in the minds of church leaders vs. extreme secular goals for humans.

    But who are the foot soldiers? I am one of them. Positioned against the extreme secular front battle line. But, where is the battle plan (so to speak) that I / we can follow?

    Millions of us dont’t know what you are saying. Or is there not enough of words in the plebian dictionary to allow you to do this.

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The Lion of Munster

Sunday, March 6, AD 2011

Neither praise nor threats will distance me from God.

Blessed Clemens von Galen

The Nazis hated and feared Clemens August Graf von Galen in life and no doubt they still hate and fear him, at least those now enjoying the amenities of some of the less fashionable pits of Hell.  Going into Lent, I am strongly encouraged by the story of Blessed von Galen.  I guess one could come up with a worse situation than being a Roman Catholic bishop in Nazi Germany in 1941, and confronting a merciless anti-Christian dictatorship that was diametrically opposed to the Truth of Christ, but that would certainly do for enough of a challenge for one lifetime for anyone.  (Hitler privately denounced Christianity as a Jewish superstition and looked forward after the War to “settling accounts”, as he put it, with Christianity in general and Roman Catholicism in particular.)

Priests who spoke out against the Third Reich were being rounded up and shipped off to concentration camps.  What was a bishop to do in the face of such massive evil?  Well, for the Bishop of Munster, Clemens von Galen, there could be only one answer.

A German Count, von Galen was from one of the oldest aristocratic families in Westphalia.  Always a German patriot, the political views of von Galen would have made my own conservatism seem a pale shade of pink in comparison.  Prior to becoming a bishop, he was sometimes criticized for a haughty attitude and being unbending.  He was chosen Bishop of Munster in 1933 only after other candidates, no doubt recognizing what a dangerous position it would be with the Nazis now in power, had turned it down.  I am certain  it did not hurt that he was an old friend of Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII.

Von Galen immediately demonstrated that he had not agreed to become Bishop of Munster in order to avoid danger.  He successfully led a fight against the Nazi attempt to take over Catholic schools, citing article 21 of the Concordat between the Vatican and Nazi Germany.  He then began a campaign, often using humor and ridicule, against the Aryan racial doctrines proposed by Alfred Rosenberg, chief Nazi race theorist, and a man even some high level Nazis thought was little better than a crank.  Von Galen argued that Christianity totally rejected racial differences as determining how groups should be treated, and that all men and women were children of God and brothers and sisters in Christ.  The Bishop spoke out against Nazi attacks on the “Jewish Old Testament” stating that Holy Writ was Holy Writ and that the Bible could not be altered to suit current prejudices.

In early 1937 he was summoned by Pope Pius XI to confer with him on an encyclical in German, highly unusual for an encyclical not to be written in Latin as the primary language, that the Pope was in the process of drafting.  The encyclical was the blistering Mit Brennender Sorge (With Burning Heart) that the Pope ordered be read out in every parish in Germany on Palm Sunday 1937.  A head long assault on almost every aspect of National Socialism, it may be read here.

The language in the encyclical was blunt, direct and no doubt benefited from von Galen’s input and his experience from the battles he was waging with the Nazis.

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13 Responses to The Lion of Munster

  • Thank you.

    Lion of Munster, pray for us timid mice.

  • Don’t you just love to read the Gospels and the inspiring lives of those who truly love the word of God and live by its message for humanity?

    These divinely ordained chapters captured God’s plan of redemption and allow us a deep insight into the spiritual life of “the people of god” and their interaction with the creator as Jesus moved among them gathering His “disciples” and establishing His “church” on earth.
    The painful history along with jubilant triumphs and hopeful anticipations of the people of the Old Testament are combined, enriched, and bought forth into the life and light of Jesus Christ in these revealing gospel narratives. These, along with the other books of the New Testament, literally gave us the building blocks for the foundation of our Christian faith. For his people the Creator’s true and loving nature along with our path to him is now clarified and openly revealed when with and by the Holy Spirit His “Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. We believe and accept Jesus as The truth, The light, and The way for man’s salvation and eternal life with our triune God.

  • ion of Munster, pray for us timid mice.

    I’ll say. Last week, at a department meeting, a co-worker (who falls into the bitter and hateful ex-Catholic category) made the ridiculous claim that there were ATM’s in Catholic churches and Catholics are required to withdraw and dump a certain amount into the collection plate. My other co-workers are mainly (non-practicing) Protestants and said “Oh, really? I didn’t know that.” I restrained myself from jumping up and shouting “That’s an idiotic lie!” I said, trying to sound as mild as possible, that I had been to many Catholic churches and had never, ever seen an ATM in one. She took great offense. “Are you saying I’m a liar?” “I am saying I have never seen what you say you have seen. Please let me know where you have seen an ATM in a Catholic church so I can notify the Archbishop. I’m positive he will be appalled by such a thing.”

    She started out by being huffy to me afterward , but I killed with kindness. The thing is, this stupid little incident bothers me greatly. It’s a burr under my saddle. And I think, good Lord, if this silly little confrontation bothers me so much, how would I fare in situations like Blessed von Galen or the martyrs faced. I fear that I am not very brave.

  • I am glad you spoke up against the lying bigot, Donna. Too many Catholics would have just sat there silently, and the laity, no less than the clergy, have a duty to defend the Church from calumnies.

    As for courage under persecution Donna, no one can truly predict how they would react. I think I would be afraid also, but I also think I would be ablaze with anger and contempt against the persecutors, and sooner or later I think that would cause me to speak out, hang the consequences.

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  • I truly admire Blessed Clemens August Graf von Galen. A true hero.

  • We need to remember that courage is not fearlessness; courage is doing what we ought despite being possessed by fear. It is perfectly normal to be afraid in confrontational situations – thank God for that. If we were simply absent fear, can you imagine what chaos we’d inflict on others.

    Sadly, the socialist impulse is rising, perhaps now more than ever, slowly, gradually, almost imperceptibly, which makes it more dangerous. We all need to pray for courage, for when socialism rises the Church is attacked.

    I look forward to these posts through Lent. Thank you.

    On into the desert. . .

  • What a man to glorify God! Thanks for this blog, and thanks to the National Catholic Register for pointing it out to me.

    God, please raise up more leaders for the world in the mold of this great LION of Munster. Lion of Judah, please hear us!

  • Thank you for your comment Liseux. Men and women like Blessed von Galen are torches God in His mercy send to us to light our way in a frequently dark world.

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