Nazi Germany bishops criticised by their successors

Bishops in Nazi Germany have been criticised by the Catholic bishops in their commemoration of the upcoming 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

In a statement, they said the Catholic bishops under the Nazi regime did not oppose the war of annihilation started by Germany or the crimes the regime committed.

They also said the Nazi-era bishops gave the war a religious meaning.

Bishop Georg Batzing, who is the president of the German bishops’ conference, says critics have accused the Church of failing not only to remember its role, but also of not owning up to it.

“We must not sit back, but carry the legacy into the future,” he told a news conference.

“This is all the more true given that Europe does not seem to be in a good state at the moment.”

Batzing says the “old demon of division, nationalism, ‘ethnic’ thinking and authoritarian rule” is appearing in many places.

“Terrifying anti-Semitism is widespread, even here in Germany,” he says.

He told the news conference that anyone who has learned the lessons of history must vehemently oppose these tendencies.

“This applies without ifs and buts to the Church, which is committed to the gospel of peace and justice.”


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