A declaration, written by Cardinal Theodor Innitzer and the bishops of Austria, is read in all the Austrian Catholic Churches. In in, the bishops and Innitzer praise the Nazi Party's accomplishments and express the conviction that Adolf Hitler will make their lives better.
The Catholic declaration starts out praising the Nazi fight against communism:
"The fight against the dangerous heresy of Bolshevism that believers support in order thereby to make life in Germany secure, to help the people to obtain work and bread, and to vouchsafe unity to the German people is visibly an object of blessing by divine providence. ...
We joyfully acknowledge that the National Socialist movement has done and is still doing eminent work in the domain of national and economic construction as well as in the domain of social policy, for the Reich and the German nation, and notably for the poorest strata of the population.
We are also convinced that the activity of the National Socialist movement has averted the danger of an all-destroying atheistic Bolshevism. For the future, the bishops confer their heartiest blessing on this activity, and they will instruct the faithful to this effect."
Cardinal Innitzer then advises clergy to stick to religious matters and stay away from anything political:
"In brief the mission is exclusively to occupy itself with the apostleship, to celebrate holy mass, and perform all their other religious exercises such as administration of the sacrament, the preaching of the word of god, as we are enjoined to do by holy writ and tradition.
Therefore priests must refrain from all politics and envisage future development with confidence."
Cardinal Theodor Innitzer and the bishops go on to recommend that all Catholics in Austria vote for the Anschluss of Austria with Nazi Germany:
"After thorough deliberation, the Bishops of Austria have decided to issue an appeal to the faithful in this historic moment of the Austrian people. ... the thousand-year-old longing for the unification of the German people has been fulfilled.
We, moreover, do this free from anxiety, as Chancellor Hitler's representative for the plebiscite, Herr Bürckel, has indicated the lines of his policy to us by referring to the words of the Savior, 'Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God what is God's. ...
[I]t goes without saying that it is for us a national duty, as Germans, to vote for the German Reich, and we also expect all believing Christians to demonstrate that they know what they owe to their nation."
As recently as February, Cardinal Innitzer had called for the continued independence of Austria. Letters from Cardinal Innitzer to Josef Bürckel, Reichskommissar for the union of Austria with the German Reich, are made public; in them, Innitzer signs off with the "Heil Hitler!" greeting. This very declaration ends with a direct quote from Adolf Hitler:
"The church will have no occasion to regret its fidelity toward the Greater German Reich.
These words of the Führer are a guarantee that the church can fulfill its own mission."
Cardinal Innitzer will be reprimanded for this by the Vatican because he hasn't been given any approval for making such a partisan, political statement. Cardinal Innitzer will be recalled to the Vatican and forced to publicly retract his statements, though there are also rumors that Pope Pius is considering removing him entirely.