Bishop Machens: Avoid Preaching That Might Weaken National Strength

Bishop Machens: Avoid Preaching That Might Weaken National Strength

Joseph Godehard Machens (1886-1956), Bishop of Hildesheim
Source: Wikipedia

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Bishop Joseph Godehard Machens of Hildesheim issues instructions to the priests in his diocese about preaching in a manner that supports rather than undermines national unity.

Bishop Joseph Godehard Machen writes:

"Preaching and teaching surely can be reconciled with tactful consideration of the demands of wartime. All that could be considered as disturbing and weakening the unity of our national strength ...is therefore, as until now, to be avoided. Some things also, which at another time perhaps would not have given offense, must now in changed circumstances remain unsaid" [italics in the original].

This attitude of appeasement and collaboration with the government is shared by most Christian leaders throughout Germany. Whatever personal reservations they might have about some of the actions taken by the Nazi regime, they are far more concerned with not appearing to be disloyal, unpatriotic, or un-German.

Unity with the German community and acquiescence to the Nazi regime are more important than anyone's civil rights.

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