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Dr. Matthew Miceli, M.D. wrote:

Hello,

  • If the Church understands the mind of God and is His representative, how is it that She signed a concordat with Adolf Hitler in 1933?

If Hitler isn't Satan, he's his first cousin.

God would have not signed such a document.

Thanks,

Matt

  { If the Church understands the mind of God, why did the Pope sign a concordat with Adolf Hitler? }

Mary Ann replied:

Hi Matt,

The Church does not understand the mind of God, and has never claimed to do so. That is blasphemy. The Bible itself says no one knows the mind of God. The Church only knows the Revelation that was given by Christ to the Apostles, and the law of nature that is given to all men.

Any dealing with Hitler would be no different than the U.S. dealings with Hitler prior to war.
He was the head of the German state and governments had to deal with him, just as they have had to deal with Mao, Stalin, Gorbachev, Castro, Chavez, Kim Jong Il and Nero. The Vatican must deal with evil powers, both as a Church and as a State, in order to secure rights for Christians as much as She is able.

Mary Ann

Eric replied:

Matt,

Regardless of the merits of the concordat, the Pope's infallibility — and where he would in a sense represent God — is limited to faith and morals under very specific circumstances. No one guarantees that the Pope (or the Vatican) will always do the right thing in other spheres, particularly the political sphere.

In other words, there is nothing contradictory about saying that the Holy See was wrong to sign a given concordat, and maintaining that the Pope is infallible when he speaks solemnly on matters of faith and morals. One can just as freely say that the Pope was wrong to quote Manuel Paleologos in his speech at Regensburg University.

As for the concordat, it's easy to pontificate from our secure post-war positions about what people should and should not have done. It was quite different to actually be there. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with making a deal with an evil country. There is no moral prohibition against doing so, if one is not compelled by the agreement to act immorally. The U.S. made treaties with Russia; there was nothing wrong with that. You claim that God would not do such a thing, but God made a deal with Satan in the book of Job. Unfortunately, I only vaguely recall the specifics of this concordat (perhaps my colleagues can assist me), but if I do recall correctly, the Holy See was stuck between a rock and a hard place and had no choice. It wasn't like they wanted to deal with Hitler; they were forced into it.

Hope this helps,

Eric Ewanco

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