Death of Pope Pius XI

Death of Pope Pius XI

Achille Ratti, Pope Pius XI
Source: Wikipedia

Pope Pius XI dies. His fear of modernism and modernity led him to support Francisco Franco, the leader of fascism in Spain, as well as make concordats with both fascist Italy under Mussolini and Nazi Germany under Hitler. Pius XI thought communism was a much more serious threat to the Catholic Church than Nazism, thus he sought to appease Hitler in an effort to protect the rights of Catholics in Germany.

According to Pius' way of thinking, it was better to have a repressive fascist in power who also supported traditional social structures, traditional authority, and traditional morality than a democratically elected leader who might undermine traditions. It was not until 1937, when he issued the encyclical Mit brenneder Sorge, that he specifically and publicly condemned any aspects of Nazism.

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Mussolini visits Pope Pius XI at the Vatican

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