Friday, November 5, 2010

The Leopard Has Not Changed Its Spots

Whenever any polemic is made against the Papacy, someone inevitably rides in to save the day with the inane appeal that Rome has changed. Protestants should no longer hold Rome in contempt as they did in the days of the Reformation. Rome, we are assured no longer practices (and thus the insinuation is made that she no longer believes in) her “right” to affect the political landscapes of countries.

History can easily demonstrate what a lie this is. Can a leopard change its spots? Below are citations, mostly from Roman Catholic bishops, cardinals and popes, all made during the first 50+ years of the 20th Century. Rome may not be deposing kings as she once did, but only an idiot could believe that she no longer has her tentacles wrapped up in most of the world’s important political concerns. Moreover, whenever her involvement is discovered, it is always something that is to her advantage, even if it means harm to her own devotees. With every true Reformation Christian, I say, “Good riddance to Papal tyranny.”

Without further ado:

"The claims of the Roman Catholic Church imply a rebellion against modern civilization and an intention to destroy it, at the risk of destroying society itself. To be able to submit themselves to these claims, men need the souls of slaves!" J. W. Draper, Professor at the University of New York

"Germany is the element upon which the Holy Father can and must base great hopes."
Mgr. Fruhwirth

"One has to fight with fists. In a duel, blows are neither counted nor measured…War is not fought with charity." Pope Pius X

On May 30, 1929, Pius XI wrote to Cardinal Gasparri: "A Catholic state, it is said and repeated, but a Fascist state; We note this without any special difficulty, willingly in fact, for it undoubtedly means that, with regard to ideas and doctrines as well as to practice, the Fascist state will not agree to anything that is not in accordance with Catholic doctrine and practice." Paul Lesourd, La Cite de Cisar et Dieu (Flammarion, Paris, p. 28).

“Pius XI is certainly the most German of popes that ever sat enthroned on the See of Saint Peter." Gazette de Cologne, May 31, 1927.

"Nazism is a Christian reaction against the spirit of 1789." Franz von Papen, Privy Chamberlain to the Pope

"Catholicism is hostile to intellectual liberty and incompatible with the principle and trend of modern civilization; it arouses unwarrantable pretensions to govern, and threatens the rights of the family; it tends to undermine the soul's love of truth; it alienates cultured minds in whatever country it is professed, and, wherever it reigns, saps the morality and strength of the state." Gladstone.

"Rome gives one much more the impression of being a great pagan city than a Christian capital…a basilica such as Saint Peter's is disconcerting in its coldness and magnificence. It is so much designed for spectacular demonstrations that the soul is turned away from meditation and love. When I reached the Vatican, it conveyed to me anything but a religious impression… We went in procession through the streets of Rome, singing the Magnificat… An eminent Roman said to me, somewhat cynically: ‘You men from the north believe in dogmas. We make them.’" Raymond de Becker, Livre des vivants et des moris, pp. 73, 74. 82. 101 112 to 118, 134 to 139 and 140

"Germany's war is a battle for Christianity." Jesuit Father Coughlin, Chief of the Christian Front (7 July 1941)

"It is not without interest in characterizing the evolution in the United States in the field of anti-Semitism, to know that the audience of the "radio priest", Father Coughlin, well-known for his anti-Semitism, exceeds twenty millions." Secret archives of the Wilhelmstrasse (document 83-26 19/1, Berlin, 25 January 1939).

"The Catholic Church will give Germany all the moral support she is capable of."
Statement by Mgr. Orsenigo to Herr von Ribbentrop, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

"God wants the Anschluss." Franz von Papen, (March 11, 1938)

"Catholicism and Nazism have much in common and they work hand in hand to reform the world." Mgr. Tiso

"Having become Pius XII, Pacelli is seen to be an out and out pro-integrist and Germanophile. He is called the "German Pope". . . . Germany is, in his eyes, called upon to play the role of the "sword of God", of the secular arm of the Church. . . . In 1943, he refuses to condemn publicly the Nazi concentration camps." Alexandre Lenotre

"The Vatican is one of those mainly responsible for my country's tragedy. I realized too late that we had been pursuing our foreign policy in the sole interests of the Catholic Church." Colonel Joseph Beck, Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1932 to 1939.

"The soldiers of the L.V.F. are contributing towards the preparation of the nation s great rebirth. Today, now that Mr. Doriot is gone, we can but admire his deeds and hold them up as an example.'' Cardinal Baudrillart, (L'Emancipation Nationale, December 12, 1941).

"Hitler is an envoy of God." Mgr. Stepinac

"The Third Reich is the first power in the world, not only to recognize, but also to put into practice, the high principles of the Papacy." Franz von Papen, Privy Chamberlain to the Pope.

"John XXIII sends his best wishes to Cardinal Stepinac." La Croix, 25 June 1959

"In Germany, both in the cathedrals and in the most modest of village churches, Christian priests preached a racial crusade, exalted the Teutonic military virtues and, for reasons that could deceive only the most primitive of minds, encouraged mass assassination and pillage." Lecomte du Nouy, La dignite humaine (Editions du Vieux Colombier, Paris 1952, p. 29)

“The German nation knows that it is fighting a just war. The German nation has a great task to perform - not least of all for our Eternal God. During this year of war, the Fuhrer and Supreme Chief has more than once implored God's blessing on our good and just cause." Mgr. Markoaski, Catholic Almoner General of the Wehrmacht, Extract from a pastoral letter published by Mgr. Markoaski on 6 October 1940.

"Where is the statesman or the sovereign who could remain unafraid while beholding at the very pinnacle of the Catholic Church, a man who, free of all control, was the ruler of consciences and was able, unimpeded, to surrender himself to the abuses, errors and excesses of omnipotence?" Emile Ollivier, of the Academie Francaise, L'Eglise et l'Etat (p. 409)

“The Third Reich is the first power in the world, not only to recognize, but to put into practice, the lofty principles of the Papacy” Franz von Papen

On October 28, 1943 Ambassador von Weiszaecker sent the following message to von Ribbentrop:
"German Embassy to the Holy See, Rome, 28 October 1943:

"Although he has been urged on all sides to do so, the Pope has not been led into making any demonstrative reproof against the deportation of Roman Jews. Despite the fact that he must expect to see this attitude attacked by our enemies and exploited by the Protestant circles of the Anglo-Saxon countries in their anti-Catholic propaganda, he has also done all he possibly could in this delicate question not to strain relations with the German Government. Signed: Ernst von Weiszaecker." Document found in the Secret Archives of the Wilhelmstrasse (quoted by Leon Poliakov, Breviaire de la haine, 343

"The 'scala segreta' the secret staircase, is one of the government's great resources… It is the stage door entrance of this pompous theatre called the Papacy, a thousand times more fertile in lies, dupery and immorality than any other theatre in the world." C.S. Volpi, Privy Chamberlain to the Pope


  1. I'm afraid I don't quite fully understand your critique of Rome here. And I'm a Reformed Calvinist, not a Catholic by the way.

    First, even if you disagree with how Rome has applied this power (and you cite some notable misuses), do you not agree that the Church has some right to hold political figures and regimes accountable? John Knox, Martin Luther, and the Scottish Covenanters all believed this. You may or may not believe this as well; I won't presume to put words in your mouth.

    Second, I'm sure Catholics could respond by pulling out a great deal of crazy, misguided, erroneous, and dangerous statements from Protestants throughout the past - Protestants from positions of great authority. I won't bother to compile a grand selection of quotes, but just look at the giants of Protestantism and you'll find some wacky and saddening stuff.

    Or, to respond on another tack - look at Roman Catholic quotes and you'll find some uncooky, right-on, biblically consistent, brilliant quotes as well - even ones that work against the quotes you've provided above. Catholics are, after all, a big group... over one billion people. And they aren't as unified on every subject as folks tend to assume.

    Third, you seem to be addressing the "inane appeal that Rome has changed." I won't comment on that, since I'm no expert on current Roman Catholic interactions with politics. But wouldn't you be better served in making whatever point you are trying to make by citing CURRENT Roman Catholic bishops and popes, rather than popes and bishops "from the first 50+ years of the twentieth century?" There are whole Protestant denominations that aren't even that old and have changed remarkably in their history! I'm not convinced that you can assert that Rome is still the same and then prove it with historical, not current quotes.

    Thanks for your passion for defending the faith and doctrinal truth; I am sympathetic to your disgust with the papal tyranny of the past. I just feel your post above contains more opinion than solid argumentation.


  2. Shepherd,

    Thanks for your well thought out response. Be assured that my delayed response was not from an unwillingness to address any issue you raised. I have been thinking this through for a few days and hope I can at least clear it up a little.

    I have no problem with the idea that Christians should hold political leaders accountable. I don’t care to open the “state-church” can of worms. Holding them accountable is a far cry however from working to manipulate them or siding with corrupt and evil regimes to further your own agenda.

    I doubt that any Roman Catholic would claim that Rome has changed. To their mind they’ve never been wrong so they see no reason to change. If they were never wrong in the first place, they need not change. (I will not address the historically demonstrable fact that this is false.) The notion that Rome hasn’t changed is the constant refrain of evangelicals who are eager to join in ecumenical activity with Rome. We are urged to forsake the principles of the Reformation because Rome is not the same as she was during the days of the Reformers.

    I don’t see a problem in citing bishops and popes from 50+ years ago because 50 years ago is not ancient history. We all have relatives who lived through these events. What Rome did during WWII is what she did during medieval history.

    I don’t know if this clears up anything.



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