Franz von Papen Tell Catholics Concordat is End of Culture War

Franz von Papen Tell Catholics Concordat is End of Culture War

Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen
Source: Deutsches Bundesarchiv

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German Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen addresses a meeting of the Association of Catholic Academicians and describes the Concordat between Nazi Germany and the Holy See as "the final conclusion of the Kulturkampf in Germany."

This "Kulturkampf" ("culture struggle") was a conflict between Roman Catholicism and German Protestantism between 1871 and 1878.

German Chancellor Otto von Bismark attempted to impose a number of restrictions on the political and cultural activity of Catholics out of concern for the future influence that the pope might have on Germany. Now, however, Catholic leaders are seeing the Catholic Church and Catholics being treated as fully equal Germans by the Nazi government.

Papen goes on to explain that Pope Pius XI has agreed to the treaty "in recognition that the new Germany had fought a decisive battle against Bolshevism and the atheist movement."

Notice that the "atheist movement" is contrasted with government, which is expected to combat the former. This indicates that Catholic leaders like Papen do not consider the Nazi government to be atheist; on the contrary, it is both godly and Christian enough to be given Catholic support.

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