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Judaism, Christianity and GermanyGerman Catholic Cardinal Opposes the Anti-Christian, Neopagan, and Hateful Aspects of Nazism

jan peczkis|Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cardinal Faulhaber had been the Archbishop of Munich during the Nazi era. (My review is based on the original 1934 English-language edition.) This book was written soon after Hitler came to power. It is mainly theological, and has a refreshing depth and clarity that is usually absent amidst the superficiality and “theobabble” that characterize much of modern theology.

German Catholic Cardinal Opposes the Anti-Christian, Neopagan, and Hateful Aspects of Nazism, June 30, 2016 By  Jan Peczkis This review is from: Judaism, Christianity and Germany (Paperback) Cardinal Faulhaber had been the Archbishop of Munich during the Nazi era. (My review is based on the original 1934 English-language edition.) This book was written soon after Hitler came to power. It is mainly theological, and has a refreshing depth and clarity that is usually absent amidst the superficiality and “theobabble” that characterize much of modern theology.

The author begins by refuting the Nazi contention that Jesus was not a Jew. He most certainly was. One can check Christ’s genealogy in the first chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew. (pp. 2-3). Faulhaber strongly opposes those (e. g, Alfred Rosenberg) who advocated the removal of the Old Testament just because it is Jewish. He elaborates not only on the Old Testament as a foundation of Christianity, but also its role in the development of ethics, and its long-standing place in German history.

Faulhaber offers the reader some theological insights. For instance, he understands the prohibition, on the commingling of wool and linen in clothing (Deuteronomy 22:10), as an Eastern metaphor for avoiding even the appearance of double-dealing and deceit. (p. 28). He also suggests that the Laws of Kashrus came into existence as a means of preventing the Jew from sharing a common table with the Gentile, and that this wall of separation became unnecessary with the coming of Christ (Acts 11:5-10). Faulhaber hints at the explanation for God allowing suffering and evil as follows, “Moreover, pagan humanity must first drink the cup of estrangement of God to its bitterest dregs.” (p. 75).

This work was written long before Vatican II. It is therefore interesting that Cardinal Faulhaber refers to Protestants as “separated brethren” (pp. 15-16), and not as heretics.

IMPLICATIONS OF NAZISM

Some commentators have tried to downplay the Neopaganism that is part of Nazism, but this well-educated and influential author does not. Faulhaber repeatedly warns against the Nazi use of Nordic sagas (e. g., involving Wotan) as an addendum to, or substitute for, Christianity, or as a form of German self-identity. (e. g, pp. 92-93, 109, 112, 114).

The author hints at the Nazi doctrine of BLUT UND BODEN as having antecedents in Judaism. He comments, “No nation has ever insisted more on race and ties of blood than the Israelites of the Old Testament.” (p. 109). He sees Christianity as having a more universal message, and of Germany effectively retreating from this universal message because of Nazism. (pp. 109-110).

Other than the title below, the following consists of direct quotes:

THE ANTI-CHRISTIAN AND HATE-BASED ASPECTS OF NAZISM CONDEMNED

When racial research, in itself not a religious matter, makes war upon religion and attacks the foundations of Christianity; when antagonism to the Jews of the present day is extended to the sacred books of the Old Testament, and Christianity is condemned because it has relations of origin with pre-Christian Judaism; when stones are cast at the Person of Our Lord and Savior, and this in the very year we are celebrating the centenary of His work of redemption, then the bishop cannot remain silent. (pp. 3-4).

First, love of one’s race must not lead to the hatred of other nations. Secondly, the individual must never consider himself freed from the obligation of nourishing his own soul by the persevering use of the means of grace which the Church provides…Thirdly, race culture must not assume an attitude of hostility to Christianity. What are we to say to the monstrous contention that Christianity has corrupted the German race, that Christianity—especially because it is burdened with Old Testament ideas—is not adapted to the genius of the nation, and that therefore it is an obstacle in the way of the national consciousness? (pp. 107-108).
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