This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Role Of The Catholic Church In The Holocaust

1684 words - 7 pages

From the recent conflicts over Pope Pius XII, whether portrayed as a pitiless anti-Semite or a saver of many Jewish lives during World War II, to the confusion over how to take the 1998 Vatican document on the Holocaust, the Catholic Church is in great dispute over it's history of relations with the Jews. "Who killed Christ?" has always been the justification of the Church over the issue of the persecution of the Jews. As well as every other massacre of Jews in Christendom, it was also heard at the time of Hitler's Holocaust. The fact that the Catholic Church has a history of anti-Semitism and it is a prevalent belief in Christendom that the Jews, as the murderers of Christ, deserve all possible sufferings is the reason that Hitler's massacre of the Jews was met with silent acceptance from the vast majority of his subjects. The continued anti-Semitic feelings of the Church stem from Christian teachings based on interpretations of the New Testament that have also contributed to the Holocaust and the persecution of Jews in Europe over the centuries.In 1814, Jews in the Papal States were locked into cramped ghettos at night, were forbidden to practice law or medicine, to hold public office or to hire Christian servants. Meanwhile elsewhere in Europe, Jews were increasingly free to live as they wanted. These practices were the inspiration for the racial laws enacted by the Nazis and the Italian Fascists in the 1930's. After the fall of the Papal States in 1870, the Church's hostility towards the Jews began to take an even more disturbing form. No longer simply loathed as unbelievers, the Jews became hated symbols of secular modernity.With varying degrees of enthusiasm the German Catholic Church sympathised with, if not actually supported the Nazis. Their views on communism, socialism, liberalism and freemasonry were similar to those of the Nazis. Though these Church leaders were concerned with some aspects of the National Socialist regime, they did virtually nothing to stem the growing tide of anti-Semitism. Some of them even agreed with the Nazi ideals to "endeavour to maintain the purity of the German blood and German race" and to fight the Jews' "hegemony in finance, the destructive influence of the Jews in religion, morality, literature and art, and political and social life." (The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, pg 23). Hitler was inaugurated as Chancellor of Germany on January 30 1933 with 52% of the votes. To make constitutional changes, the National Socialists needed two thirds of the votes. Therefore Hitler felt compelled to appease the Catholics and made a series of promises and concessions to German Catholicism. On March 23 he released a statement assuring the Christian churches of his resolve to work for peaceful relations between the church and the state.After Hitler gained power the German Catholic leaders adjusted to the Nazi regime and most church leaders enthusiastically supported the domestic and foreign policies of the...

Find Another Essay On The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust

The Reform of the Roman Catholic Church in Europe

905 words - 4 pages Protestantism and the Protestant form of Christianity were established, and continued to gain momentum in the 1500’s mainly due to the overall discontent many Europeans had with the socio-economic and religious dealings of the Roman Catholic Church. This discontent eventually lead to the reform of the Roman Catholic Church in Europe, and religious beliefs and attitudes became divided between northern and southern Europe. This is a summary of

The Catholic Church Essay

3564 words - 14 pages The Catholic Church The Catholic Church in the 20th Century underwent tremendous change, most significantly as a result of the Second Vatican Council. This Council created an atmosphere of reform within the leading theologians and the hierarchy of the Church. Consequently, when Pope Paul VI released his encyclical Humanae Vitae, to many of the reformers it seemed to contradict the sentiment of the Council. At the same time, though, there

Influencial People in the History of the Catholic Church

1535 words - 6 pages powerful position. Gregory was a father of the medieval papacy. He played virtually no role in furthering monasticism but was the first Pope to be powerful and influential enough to bring all the churches together under one, centralized rule. Pope Gregory set up the modern Catholic Church to be what it is today and how powerful it was in his time, nations would waver to his demands, he could veto and decision and was a central point of guidance to

The Influence of the Roman Catholic Church

1299 words - 5 pages The Roman Catholic Church had complete influence over the lives of everyone in medieval society including their beliefs and values. The Church’s fame in power and wealth had provided them with the ability to make their own laws and follow their own social hierarchy. With strong political strength in hand, the Church could even determine holidays and festivals. It gained significant force in the arts, education, religion, politics as well as

The Catechism of the Catholic Church: Christology

1054 words - 5 pages serving as a general guiding light for those studying and following the faith. In the summer of 1992, The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) was approved and that winter, Pope John Paul II revealed the book to the world ( While the CCC consists of four main sections, this essay will summarize the section of the CCC on Christ and Christology. The portion of the CCC that delineates Christology begins with Gods promise to Abraham that he

The Growth of the Roman Catholic Church

2163 words - 9 pages Testament is a collection of religious writings by ancient Israelites. The Catholic Old Testament is made up of 46 books including Genesis, Isaiah, Jobs, Proverbs and Psalms. The New Testament is a compilation of Christian literature. The life of Jesus is the main part of the New Testament. There are 27 books in the New Testament, including the 4 Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,Acts, Peter and, Revelation. In the Catholic church priests serve as a

The reformation of the Roman Catholic Church

1036 words - 4 pages unification for the first time inthousands of years.The Reformation could have its earliest roots traced back to the days of Huss andWycliff who were the first people to speak out publicly against the practices of theRoman Catholic Church. However, it was Martin Luther who in 1517 really gathered thesupport of angry, fed-up citizens to establish Protestantism. Why Luther succeeded inconvincing the people when Huss and Wycliff didn't, was really based on

The Rites of the Catholic Church

729 words - 3 pages Catholic Church are one mind in the same profession of beliefs, in the same hierarchical conjunction, and the same celebration of the 7 sacraments. The church of Antioch originated in Syria, and is considered an apostolic See due to it being founded by Saint Peter(the first pope). The Maronite Rite was derived from the Antiochene tradition. Ancient Maronites were direct relatives of the humans who received the faith from Peter, the Apostle

The role of gender in the Holocaust

968 words - 4 pages In 1933, Adolf Hitler, became the leader of Germany and the one responsible for the Holocaust. Though there are not an exact number of the Jewish deaths, but more women than men were killed. The men and women are not treated as equals either in this time period. In the eyes of the Nazis, men were stronger and had more to offer than the women. Gender plays a role in the Holocaust; the men are used to do labor and the women are considered weaker

The Role of Women in the Church

1767 words - 7 pages With the advent of the feminist movement, the role of women inall parts of society has come under increasing scrutiny. One area ofrecent controversy is the role of women in the Christian Church. Somechurches whose traditions and practices are less rigidly tied toBiblical doctrines have begun placing women in leadership positionssuch as pastor or teacher. Other churches which interpret the Biblemore literally have been slow to adopt such changes

The Role of Women in the Church

1945 words - 8 pages Did a ton of reading and a lot of background stuff for thisThe Role of Women in the ChurchWith the advent of the feminist movement, the role of women in all parts of society has come under increasing scrutiny. One area of recent controversy is the role of women in the Christian Church. Some churches whose traditions and practices are less rigidly tied to Biblical doctrines have begun placing women in leadership positions such as pastor or

Similar Essays

Jesus And The Role Of Sin In The Catholic Church

753 words - 3 pages According to the Catholic Church, every Catholic, through the sacrament of Baptism, "is freed from sin and reborn." Through the first sacrament of baptism and immersion, all individual members of the Catholic Church engage in the act of becoming members of Christ. Baptism enables an adherent of the faith to incorporate into the Church and made sharers in the mission of the Church. ("The Seven Sacraments of the Church ("The Seven Sacraments of

Origins Of The Catholic Church In Australia

1744 words - 7 pages their faith. They were mostly religious women, and they had many practices within the church. The Roles of the Religious and the Laity. The role of the clergy, or priests rather was to administrate the Catholic Schools, encourage the funding of the schools and church. The Nunnery was used along with priests, called the Lay Teachers to teach the laity in the schools. These teachers were used as they knew the basic religious teachings and were

Background Of The Catholic Church Essay

4458 words - 18 pages communication with God. In accord with this stance, the priest never removes himself from the central location of the Church, the altar. Moreover, he never assumes a role of unity with the congregation, except in receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Of great importance is the difference in gender roles between the Catholic and Protestant communities. Whereas this subject has been debated frequently in the Catholic Church, it maintains that

History Of The Catholic Church Essay

1788 words - 7 pages from the relatively disorganized, lawless world of feudal Eurpope's Dark Ages. The Church had a key role in shaping that world.A New World in the Makings:Cities and Powerful Kings1. Two features emerginging in Europe were the growth of cities and the increasing power of kings.Urban Culture on the Rise2. Ever since the old Roman Empire collapsed under the assault of the barbarians, the civilization we recognize as the Wester Europe had been basically