Why Didn't the Roman Catholic
Church Excommunicate Hitler?
If you assumed that the Catholic Church excommunicated former alter boy and genocidal mass murderer Adolf Hitler, you would be wrong. Hitler’s mother was a Roman Catholic and raised young Adolf to be one too. In 1941, Adolf Hitler told Gerhard Engel, one of his generals, that “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so” (John Toland [Pulitzer Prize winner], Adolf Hitler, New York: Anchor Publishing, 1992, p.507).
So why wasn't Hitler excommunicated? And, why wasn’t Mein Kampf put on the Index of the Catholic Church's Forbidden Books?
The Vatican recently excommunicated a doctor and the mother of a 9-year-old Brazilian girl that was raped by her step-father. The reason? Because the poor girl was pregnant (with twins) and received and abortion. The doctor performed the abortion, and was excommunicated because of it. The mother consented to the abortion, and was excommunicated because of it. The step-father that raped his 9-year-old step-daughter was not excommunicated.
Other national leaders have been excommunicated by the Catholic church. Napoleon Bonaparte was excommunicated by Pope Pius VII in 1809. Fidel Castro was excommunicated by Pope John XXIII in 1962 for simply being a communist. If Communists can be excommunicated, why can’t Nazis?
A Catholic apologist suggests the following reason:
This would be a credible explanation had the Catholic Church not excommuncated Napoleon Bonaparte and Fidel Castro. Whether Hitler thought of himself as a pagan or a Catholic is in any case immaterial (he may very well have lied to Engel, one of his generals, or he may have been of two minds). That he was not excommunicated may have been done for political reasons so as not to intimidate the dictator and thus further endanger Catholics in the Third Reich. But even if this was the explanation in the days when Hitler was at the height of his political power, why not excommunicate him later...towards the end of the Nazi Reich? Whatever the reason, it was not based on Christian morality.
"Excommunicating Hitler would have been pointless. He left the Catholic Faith when he left his parents’ home. His own description of his religious beliefs was as “a complete pagan.” Nonetheless, any Catholic priest could have refused the sacraments to him because he would have been excommunicated ipso facto due to his numerous crimes. There is no evidence that Hitler ever attempted to receive the sacraments after his childhood, and since the only reason for excommunication is to help a sinner recognise the gravity of his sin, thus leading him to seek forgiveness, it would have achieved nothing in Hitler’s case" (R. J. Grigaitis, Why Wasn’t Hitler Excommunicated?).
Hitler was baptised, which makes him a Catholic to the Catholic Church. And he often spoke about God and Providence. In the long out of print book “I was Hitler’s Doctor” there is strong evidence which suggests that Hitler was the bastard son of a Jew. (Also see, was Hitler a Rothschild?). Some suggest ask what could have been worse in Catholic Austria? Are we to understand that Hitler hated himself for whom he “was”, and like most haters, he reflected out his self hatred on the Jews, in an attempt to get rid of his own guilt. Or is this an over-simplistic explanation?
Why didn’t the Church ever excommunicate him? Is it because they were the institution that for over a thousand years propagated the hatred of the Jews, as Christ-killers, people who drank the blood of infants, etc.? Was it because Hitler's mind had been poisoned by this Church growing up in very Catholic Austria? Or was it poisoned by the beliefs of Pan-German extreemists?
Historians are still trying to psycho-analyse Hitler. There are many theories and probably a mixture of them is the truth. As for the Catholic Church, it's behaviour has always been inconsistent as it is both a religious as well as a political entitity, and political entities are notorious for inconsistency. Whatever the reasons for its behaviour, they are neither moral nor honest. It excommunicates abortionists, but not pedophile priests and communists but not nazis. It's actions speak louder than its words or the words of its apologists.
This page was created on 21 December 2009
Last updated on 21 December 2009
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