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Old April 29th, 2009 #3
Alex Linder
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,382
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder

The fact that, above all in Pius XI, Bolshevism and Nazism were increasingly condemned, marked a theological-pastoral change more than a political-diplomatic one. The priority was no longer to present a united front against Bolshevism (and in fact the Holy See’s policies were accused of weakening the anti-Bolshevik front). These were no longer Pius XI’s motivations. He began to perceive a different relationship between politics and religion; a sort of anti-idolatrous urgency that became a priority, that had to be more important than any other consideration or political opportunity, in spite of the all-but-secondary issue of defending against Bolshevism. Hence the merits of National Socialism on this front were no longer in any way a justification. This was the reason for which there were indications that the Vatican no longer wished to move a political attack but rather a religious one. This fact was often emphasised by Pius XI and was to be at the centre of another great and important occasion for expressing condemnation. The speech dated Christmas 1937, should not be understood as a diminutio, but instead became, in the Pope’s spirit, a reinforcment of this condemnation. All in all, the encyclical against communism entitled Divini redemptoris, promulgated during the same period, in which communism was considered intrinsically perverse, with no chance of redemption, an “absolute evil”, remains however a more cerebral encyclical. It is apparently harsher, but also more doctrinal, less impassioned and vibrant.

Communism threatens the church through coercion but Nazism threatens the church through appeal. That's why the priests merely point out where communism is wrong but they burst into flame when it comes to Nazis.