Bishop Wienken Defends Waging of Just War Against Germany's Enemies

Bishop Wienken Defends Waging of Just War Against Germany's Enemies

Adolf Bertram, 1916
Source: Deutsches Bundesarchiv

In a meeting of German bishops, Bishop Heinrich Wienken of Meissen delivers a statement to the Propaganda Ministry in the name of Cardinal Adolf Bertram, Archbishop of Breslau, in defense of waging a "just" war against Germany's enemies.

Bishop Wienken says:

"The Church assents to the just war, especially one conducted for the safeguarding of state and people, [and] prays for a victorious termination of the present war in a peace beneficial for Germany and Europe [and] rouses the faithful to fulfill the civic and military virtues."

This can be read as an official declaration of the German episcopate that Nazi Germany's invasions of other countries qualifies as "just war" according to Catholic doctrine because it has all been necessary to secure the Nazi regime and the German Volk.

At no point does the Vatican under Pope Pius XII ever indicate that the German bishops are mistaken.

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