To those who muse that “Such a thing could never happen again!”, I respond, “You’re idiots.”

Riebling Church of Spies


Last night I finished  Church of Spies: The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler.  It is engrossing.

You might recall that the other day I posted – from the book – about a group of ex-priests who formed a unit with the SS which monitored the Church and the Holy See.  One of them, Albert Hartl, was in charge of the dossier on the new Pope Pius.   This is a really strange cat.   He really hated the Church, with demonic hatred.  A great deal about Nazism was demonic. For example, it is hard to explain how Hitler, seemingly by chance, managed to miss so many attempts on his life.  I suspect demons protected him.  But I digress… back to the horrible Hartl.

Here are a few paragraphs on his fate.  Be sure not to miss the close!

ON 26 MAY, AGENTS OF THE US ARMY COUNTER INTELLIGENCE Corps captured SS officer Albert Hartl in Austria. British troops had arrested him earlier in the month, but released him as “uninteresting.” The Americans sent Hartl to Dachau and then to other prison camps, where he implicated his SS superiors and subordinates in war crimes. He claimed never to have committed any atrocities himself. “I witnessed the execution of about 200 men, women and children of every age including babies,” Hartl said. “The victims were forced to kneel in a large ditch and each one was shot separately in the back of the head, so that death was always instantaneous.” To overcome moral depression, the mass executioners were kept well supplied with vodka. “An interesting medical phenomenon,” as Hartl called it, was that “the [SS] men, who had frequently taken part in the execution of women and girls, became sexually impotent for a certain period of time.”  Hartl wrote a long report on “The Vatican Intelligence Service.” Among its great successes, he listed “contact with the German Military Intelligence of Admiral Canaris through the Munich lawyer and well-known Bavarian Catholic politician Dr Josef Müller.” Hartl then offered to spy against the papacy for the United States. All he needed, he said, was a budget, a staff, and a multiyear contract. The final report on his interrogation attributed to Hartl “a definite emotional and psychological disturbance bordering on abnormality.”

Despite suspecting him of war crimes, the Allies set Hartl free. He soon became an apostle of yoga, environmentalism, and whole foods.

See what happens when you turn on the Church?

It seems to me that we should pay close attention to that period of history.  It was within living memory.  To those who muse that “Such a thing could never happen again!”, I respond, “You’re idiots.”

Just one more excerpt:

On 15 March the German army entered Prague. Through snow and mist, on ice-bound roads, Hitler followed in his three-axel Mercedes, its bulletproof windows up. Himmler’s gang of 800 SS officers hunted undesirables. A papal agent cabled Rome, with “details obtained confidentially,” reporting the arrests of all who “had spoken and written against the Third Reich and its Führer.” Soon 487 Czech and Slovak Jesuits landed in prison camps, where it was “a common sight,” one witness said, “to see a priest dressed in rags, exhausted, pulling a car and behind him a youth in SA [Storm Troop] uniform, whip in hand.

Don’t be put to sleep by the Olympian Middle.

On to the next books.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. the little brother says:

    Full text of “AA-1025 The Memoirs Of An Anti-Apostle”
    ~ Sister Marie Carré

    start here: the medal is the Miraculous Medal

    How A Simple Medal Is Allowed
    To Play A Part As If It Had
    Some Kind Of Right Over The Men
    Whom It Encounters

    A Simple Medal 74

    “I feared nothing from this medal and her
    prayers; for me they were mere childishness;
    nevertheless, I suffered as if I had been defeated.
    …to dethrone Mary, it was necessary to suppress Christmas. …”

    “I therefore advocated the suppression of the
    Rosary and of the numerous feast days reserved to
    Mary. My missal numbered twenty-five of them. To
    these may be added certain regional feasts. And,
    also included in my project, is the total destruction
    of medals, images and statues. Much work in sight,
    but it was worthwhile.

    But, I did not see how I would be able to sup-
    press Lourdes and Fatima ….”

  2. Speaking as a Bear, I am a neutral observer of humans. Other than full trash cans and amusing antics, I would not be troubled by your extinction. Indeed, I would no longer be shot at. Here are your problems. (1) You don’t have cubs. You’re not even replacing yourselves. This is shameful. I find it hilarious that people have one cub then moan about not having priests! (2) You don’t have territory, or if you do, you don’t protect it. You let other kinds of humans roam into your territory at will and alter the ecosystem. (3) Few of you believe in the Maker. When a Bear loses his belief in the Maker, we say his heart is bad. He is good for nothing and will be defeated by a mouse who has a good heart.

  3. cath4ever says:

    “On to the next books.”

    What is on your reading list, if I may ask?

  4. Catholic_Convert2 says:

    Surely there’s no implication here, father, that stewardship of God’s planet or eating whole foods is a negative or anti-Catholic living?

    But aside from that, as a long-time student of Atrocity, I can certainly attest to “it” happening again never being too far away. And right now, we’ve fulfilled a number of pre-existing conditions for something like state sanctioned mass murder to happen. At this place in history, I think that if we took certain paths, we could possibly be only 30 years away – though I doubt we’d stay on such a direct path. Likeliest targets would be Muslim citizens and those who would stand up for them or harbor them (probably devout Catholics would be in that group).

    Many “good Catholics” were in the SS – many in the reserve police battalions who shot tens of thousands of women and children in the backs of the necks, as described here. Many complicit preists preached national socialism and even racism from the pulpit. The pope at the time also agreed to not denounce Hitler, in the early 30s. I can provide proof of all this, but any scholar knows it all.

    Being “Catholic” in name only by no means excludes one from falling on the wrong side of a criminal and violent race war.

  5. gracie says:

    “I suspect demons protected him.”

    I didn’t realize demons actually could protect a person from physical harm.

  6. Catholic_Convert2 says:

    I believe the good father is referring to the uncanny intuition Hitler received at least three specific times – any of which would have saved the world a lot of heart ache, and one of which would’ve prevented The Third Reich as we know it from ever even happening – during his stint in the trenches of France.

    I believe when he says “protected”, he is referring to this sense of intuition – “got up! Move! Move!” – tather than physical protection.

  7. Franklinwasright says:

    It is ironic that you would say that Muslims are a likely target for mass murder, at a time when ISIS is literally committing mass murder against Christians and other non-Muslims.

    But we are the dangerous ones because we would prefer not to take care of refugees in Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc. Why not spend our billions helping these countries care for their neighbors, at least until we can better vet the refugees to make sure they aren’t agents of ISIS sent to carry out terrorist attacks against innocent civilians. That is what ISIS has said it is doing, after all.

    This isn’t hate speech, it is common sense. And we can take care of our own citizens and also be compassionate towards refugees, we simply need to actually lead in order to do it.

  8. Franklinwasright says:

    I meant to write “because we would prefer not to take care of refugees in the US, but rather help other countries do so such asTurkey, Kuwait, Saudia Arabia, etc.”

    I apologize for the confusion.

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z quoted: “He soon became an apostle of yoga, environmentalism, and whole foods.” Key quote.

    Jonah Goldberg in 2007 released a book titled “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.” Much of it is excellent, though if I remember correctly he misunderstood Rerum Novarum.

    Here’s some chapter headings:

    2. Adolf Hitler: Man of the Left
    3. Woodrow Wilson and the Birth of Liberal Fascism
    5. The 1960s: Fascism Takes to the Streets
    7. Liberal Racism: The Eugenic Ghost in the Fascist Machine
    9. Brave New Village: Hillary Clinton and the Meaning of Liberal Fascism

  10. AlexandraNW says:

    I am currently reading “The Ominous Parallels,” a book by Leonard Peikoff. I’ve finished Part One. The author proposes to set forth the cause of Nazism, which he shows to be rooted in philosophical errors. It is very tightly written so far; a kind of “Cliff Notes” on the topic. I have found it absorbing and would recommend it as a thought-provoking presentation of how the Nazi phenomenon got its start. In Part One there is a chapter about the USA, “The Nation of the Enlightenment.”

    I don’t know if the author is correct in his analysis, but the book is the kind that makes one want to track down others who are reading it to discuss it! I look forward to continuing into Part Two this weekend.

  11. Catholic_Convert2 says:

    I understand. I am not suggesting that Christians are bad – simply pointing out that inevitably there will be more terrorism in the USA at the hands of ISIS, and when it happens enough, detention camps or worse become more likely. The Jews were minorities in Poland and Germany, as Muslims are here (and blacks, and orthodox Catholics, and many others). Hitler’s message resounded because the average Pole or German had very real reasons to bitterly object to some common Jewish practices, especially economically. It wasn’t all made up – the Jews were seen as dangerous as Muslims are in the wake of an attack here.

    Gun owners or NRA members are another isolatable / blame-able minority in the country against whom violence is openly and allowingly suggested in the wake of a domestic terror attack.

    Catholics could become the enemy after the media focuses on sex scandals long enough… etc etc.

    I don’t agree with using violence to restabilize society, but it happens in almost every culture if ou wait long enough, and – as is the point of this FrZ post – it will happen here if we are not careful to watch for the conditions that allow it to happen. (Lack of chairing, understanding — economic despair — stereotyping — heightened crime — etc etc).

  12. Fr. Thomas Kocik says:

    “He [ex-priest and SS officer Albert Hartl] really hated the Church, with demonic hatred.”

    I was immediately reminded of this:

    Priests have a power not their own, and priests who abandon the priesthood carry with them a volatile power they cannot shed. A consecrated soul cannot be unconsecrated but desecrated by pride and the guilt of pride. And when a desecrated priest ceases to offer worthy sacrifice, he may start to require sacrifice. . . . When a priest ceases to intercede at his altar between earth and heaven, an angel made miserable by its fall from heaven would persuade the priest to intercede between earth and hell.

    – Fr. George William Rutler, The Cure D’Ars Today: St John Vianney (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988), p. 50.

    Rutler is commenting on the apostate Oratorian priest Joseph Fouché, who during the French Revolution slaughtered 130 priests and “whose cruelty amazed even Robespierre.”

  13. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Fr. Kocik,

    I agree with your (and Fr. Rutler’s) analysis. Like C.S. Lewis, I believe that because Satan and the fallen angles have cut themselves off from God they possess no power of themselves (beyond the ability to tempt). Thus the power apostate priests possess is the gift from God that has been perverted to evil purposes.

  14. Fr. Thomas Kocik says:

    Gerard: I also think Fr. Z is on to something when he surmises that demons protected Hitler from so many assassination attempts. If there are good (unfallen) guardian angels, why not bad ones too?

  15. Matt Robare says:

    I have heard that Ven. Fulton Sheen was once approached by two priests who told him they had been sent to infiltrate the Church by the Soviet Union, but had come to embrace Catholicism. I haven’t found a source for the story, but I have found a book called “School of Darkness” by a woman called Bella Dodd who claimed that, as a member of the Communist Party of the United States she helped get dozens of young men into seminaries on behalf of the Soviets.

  16. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: whole foods, both Chesterton and Orwell noted that “food-faddism” often went along with extremely vicious political opinions. Not always, but often.

    Some people just have interesting or eccentric ideas and ways of life. No problem there. But then again, some people use these ideas the wrong way, and replace their morality with a rigorous secular asceticism that doesn’t include any good morals or good works. It allows them to be more vicious to other people who don’t share their secular beliefs, and they tend to believe that nothing they do is ever wrong. I’ve seen it happen among people I know, and it’s very sad.

  17. It is interesting how hating Nazis is acceptable, politically correct. Why are exposes of Communism/Totalitarianism/Marxism so rare? These long-term cultures have done and still do far worse than the Nazis. Also, Nazism ended with the death of Hitler. Communism is still with us. Didn’t the Americans help the Communists do in the Nazis, doing their dirty work for them?

    I wonder if there is a relationship between focusing on the evils of Nazism and the continued hiding of the work of Communists?

    It is not that such a thing could happen again, it has never stopped happening. Its just not the Nazis.

  18. Semper Gumby says:

    Matt Robare: Thanks for the tip on the book.

    Suburbanbanshee: Well said. It also happened to someone I know. Your use of “vicious” and “nothing they do is ever wrong” is particularly apt.

    Tina in Ashburn: Good point.

  19. Semper Gumby says:

    Interesting excerpt Fr. Kocik, Fr. Rutler’s book is added to my list.

    This excerpt and Fr. Z’s “it can happen here” theme reminds me of Saul Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals. Alinsky dedicated his book to:

    “…the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom- Lucifer.”

    Numerous observers have noticed Alinsky’s tactics employed by more than one Democrat political campaign and by some “community organizations.” Copies of Alinsky’s book were noticed in 2011 at many OccupyWallStreet camps across the country, and also earlier that year at the protests against Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. Of course, Alinsky’s book was not the sole source of radicalization.

    There was a whiff of French Revolution-style violence in the air in 2011. Graphic death threats, including “head on a pike,” were aimed at Gov. Walker and his family. A mob surrounded and rocked his car while blocking it with a truck during his departure from a factory- troopers then cleared the way. The state capitol was occupied by a mob for days and semi-sacked. One Democrat legislator threatened a Republican colleague. At least one Republican legislator was chased by a mob, and troopers escorted legislators to their cars. During live broadcasts several reporters, all from one particular cable news outlet, were variously threatened by enraged protestors with death or sodomy, and one reporter was punched- also while on-air. Numerous anti-Semitic and racist yells were also recorded.

    My guess is that Fr. Z is on to something here, and that today’s barbarians resemble those of last century.

  20. msc says:

    Catholic_Convert2 you said, “Hitler’s message resounded because the average Pole or German had very real reasons to bitterly object to some common Jewish practices, especially economically.” Truly? “Very real reasons”? I’m horrified by this comment.

  21. Viva Cristo Rey says:

    Pray pray pray I now at the end of each mystery Decade Add on Jesus Mary and Joseph we love you save souls save the consecrated Clearly it is a very Serious offense against God for someone who has found to love and serve Him begins to hate him.

  22. Viva Cristo Rey says:

    The Lord is my true shepherd there is nothing I shall want Like our holy priest once told us… We are the sheep Jesus is the shepherd do what sheep do best munch grass :)

  23. SKAY says:

    msc said:

    “I’m horrified by this comment.”
    So am I.

  24. Catholic_Convert2 says:

    And I am horrified by the lack of contrition and focus that has ever been drawn out of or placed on the extreme racism of Polish Catholics leading up to the pogroms and holocaust of the 30s and 40s.

    Even in 1946, many Jews were killed in the streets of Poland while military and police looked on passively.

    My comment is by no means an indication of any sort of anti-Semitic beliefs on my part (I would be VERY surprised if anyone on this page has read more personal accounts of Jews in Eastern Europe as I have, or shed as many tears for them as I have).

    I am simply pointing out that the feelings of “justified animosity” I’ve seen a lot of in this country against Muslims and other minorities were felt to be equally justified against the Jews in Poland in 1932.

    One can either pretend they would never turn up the radio as their Jewish neighbor’s elderly live-in grandfather is shot in bed, his infant child bayoneted and thrown against a wall, and his family marched to the woods for execution – of one can awknowledge that WE ALL have this in us, and therefore need to learn about what causes it and guard against it.

    Amen I say to you: in all my reading, NO CATHOLIC PRIEST OR NEIGHBOR stepped out at 2am during a forced removal of Jews from their homes with a rifle and said: “over my dead body.”


    You will think I’m callused for speaking directly as I have, but this is reality. If we do not examine ourselves and actively prepare our responses ahead of time, we too will be silent when our minority neighbors are taken away. And someday, it will be us.

  25. Catholic_Convert2 says:

    Amen. We gave so much physical and economic support to the Stalinist Soviet, even after he’d sponsored the murder of many times more people than Hitler did. This is of course not to detract from the evil of NAZIism – only, as you point out, to show that we are not as righteous as we are made to seem.

    Long after we were aware of the horrors of the death camps, we did nothing. We didn’t even allocate resources to bomb Auswitz, long after intelligence proved that it would set the exterminations back months, saving tens of thousands of lives.

    We literally voted against doing this in a wartime strategy meeting, which I believe was held in New York.

  26. Justalurkingfool says:

    Amen, Catholic_Convert2.

    I am of German and Polish descent. Some of those closest to me growing up ARE Jewish
    and they remain very dear to me and close to my heart.

    We, in many instances, have lost our ability to be objective, or to listen through straight
    speech or read through harsh realities, without jumping to careless conclusions based
    upon our own very personal, and often denied or unaddress, learned biases.

    America is in deep trouble and refuses to face it. Those who might point tough reasons
    out become “the enemy”. Bias lives, most frequently and most dangerously in those
    who think they are, somehow past it, over it, or beyond it.


  27. stephen c says:

    Catholic-Convert2 – In Poland during the war, many people died defending their neighbors. Whether you think Poles are better or worse than other people (and your words seem to falsely suggest that Poles are worse than other people, that they are a cowardly nation where NOT ONE person defended a Jew in the middle of the night, because for some reason you seem to have darkly hinted at they all “bitterly objected to some Jewish practice”, as if all of us humans do not bitterly object to the practice of pretty much all other humans) the fact remains that Heaven has lots of brave Poles in it, and many of them died defending their neighbors, Jewish or not. To suggest otherwise is simply incorrect. An anti-semitic Pole is not a typical Pole, an anti-semitic Pole is a sinner.

  28. SKAY says:

    Catholic_Convert2 said:

    “I am simply pointing out that the feelings of “justified animosity” I’ve seen a lot of in this country against Muslims and other minorities were felt to be equally justified against the Jews in Poland in 1932.”

    I do not see the similarity at all. Were the Jews committing terrorists acts (killing innocent people In the name of God etc) at that time that I am not aware of? After 9/11 I naively waited for the “moderate” Muslims in this country to be as outraged as I was and denounce what the Muslim terrorists had done. Over the years a few have done so although I would not call it outrage. Very few. The horror of what ISIS and other Muslim groups are doing to Christians in the Middle East is unbelievable.
    Frankly, I see more anti-Christian (particularly anti Catholic) bias in the US lately from the left than any other religious group.

  29. Magash says:

    I think the problem SKAY, is that, just as a ‘Jack Mormon’ is a Mormon who does not follow Mormon teachings a ‘moderate Muslim’ is a Muslim who does not follow the teachings of Islam. That being the case they (moderate Muslims) have no real support or following among the great majority of the worlds Muslims.
    That being said in many cases I can see the general Muslim point about United States culture. Here we have a country that has allowed tens of millions of unborn children to be legally killed. We allow a cesspool of sexual businesses to exploit the young and vulnerable. Do you really think the majority of young women ensnared in the exploitation of prostitution or pornography engage in those practices out of sense of well thought out reason or support for the practices? And now we have raised the personal perversions of unfortunate sexually confused individuals into a cultural state equivalent to marriage. Is it any wonder many Muslims consider the U.S. the great Satan?

  30. rodin says:

    During those years leading up to and through WWII I recall a common expression: “It can’t happen here!” Recent events here would suggest otherwise.

  31. Catholic_Convert2 says:

    Thank you, Karl. I’m mostly German, although 3rd generation American. I must admit that my lifetime spent untangling the culture and prejudices leading to the climactic mass murder of so many millions of people is due, in part, to knowing that my family (Catholic Germans on both sides) narrowly missed being apart of that mess… either as bystanders (as we will be judged to be later, when abortion is seen for what it is), or participants (or hopefully – but doubtfully -, martyrs).

    Sigh… and it is a mess. Few people today (including several commenters) can understand the open and unabashed prejudices and deep-seated animosity that existed in those countries in this era…

    God help us.

  32. Catholic_Convert2 says:

    You’re horrified by my comment, and then you post this? Begone, satan.

    Do you believe that an entire region of nations can be made to passively look the other way as 6 million+ innocent people are murdered …. for no reason?

    You’d better believe most of them felt far more threatened by ‘the Jew’ than you have yet over the Muslim. Suicide bombs are one thing, but 3 weeks after the victims are buried, we go on with our lives. What did you do today? Did you even do ONE thing in fear for Islamic extremists? Well, compare that to the average Catholic (in tradition only, mostly) German or Pole or Latvian or Lithuanian who has been out of work for 3 years, watching his family go hungry… all while a group of people who he perceives as CAUSING his hardship have plenty. As I said: it is quite obvious that the German citizens BELIEVED they had good reasons to despise and feel threatened by Jews, and yes: ultimately this led to most of them looking the other way.

    Here’s the key: you are blaming 99% of Muslims who haven’t blown someone up for the crimes of 0.01%. Is Islam a terrible, literally evilly-rooted religion? Probably. But what you’re doing is the same thing that led to many “good” Catholic Poles and Germans from ratting out their neighbor’s and even shooting kids in the neck: they, too, blamed the 99% of Jews for the economic oppression ( real or imagined ) of the 0.01% of Jews.

  33. Catholic_Convert2 says:

    Well said. We can’t exactly hope to Americanize them when we ourselves feel the need to beg God daily to continue to bless America, in spite of the fact that we are literally at war (a fight to the death, make no mistake!) against what is quickly becoming “the normal American culture”.

    All we can fall back on is the truth that no matter how bad our culture gets, Muslims do not have the right to kill us because of it. It’s a true, perfect argument, but it’s a shame that our Republic’s culture doesn’t speak for itself.

  34. stephen c says:

    These are deep waters. To name two names familiar to many, Belloc and Chesterton, both of whom are now in heaven, I hope and believe, after whatever length of Purgatory God saw fit as best for them, and who were not unChristian – who were in fact enthusiastic supporters of the teachings of Jesus as they understood them – simply did not have enough love in their wealthy mortal hearts to be able to say anything useful about the rich and the poor living together. Sure, they may have thought that, out of love for the poor, they had to “speak out” against groups who they believed, after having excitedly read biased newspapers in their beautiful country (suburban) homes, were not as poor as others. And, sadly for their reputations, they said things that we can say, in retrospect, must have deeply pained the heart of Mary, who was born a Jew, and is the patron saint of all Jews whom the Lord wants to reconcile to himself, and who are born in a world full of people – even, amazingly, Christians, who are ready to maliciously say bad things about them. None of us today should repeat those slanders. As for me, like most of us, I have learned a little more about history every year of my life – and, like many posters here, have known many people who were in their own way a part of history – and I refuse to say the “Poles” or the “Germans” or any other group were cowardly. Only individuals can be cowardly. And a lot less of them would have been that way if more of us had had the courage to pray for them as we should. We can not change the past but we can pray for a better future.

  35. andia says:

    Catholic_Convert- Have you never heard of the Polish Resistance? If not I suggest you look it up. A good many Polish people died defending the Jewish people – or simply because they were Catholic, or Polish. Getting out with a gun when the German soldier were rounding people up and saying “over my dead body” would have meant just that — and likely not just for the one saying it. But if you think the Poles stood by and did nothing, well you really need to reread history, almost every country that the Nazis took over had an active resistance. And many Poles took Jewish folks in and hid them, besides joining armed conflict.

  36. SKAY says:

    Magash said:

    “That being the case they (moderate Muslims) have no real support or following among the great majority of the worlds Muslims.”
    I agree and THAT is the point. We see everyday what is happening to Christians in the
    Middle East. Do we really think that could not happen here? Europe is suddenly realizing what
    is happening to them. Two entirely different cultures with no assimilation.
    Of course all Muslims are not terrorists but it is their responsibility to point out those who are
    within their culture in this country.

    I also agree with everything you said about the decline of our culture and we would probably agree about all of the reasons this is happening. It is no accident.
    Along with that we have many more of our own homegrown criminals and that is also part of our declining culture.
    that does not give Muslims the right to fly planes into buildings in order to kill thousands of innocent people in the name of Allah so that they can go
    to heaven and be given however many virgins the mullahs have promised them. People everywhere
    now go to airports and are reminded of why they have to jump through hoops just to get on a plane. It is not because of Christians or Jews. 9/11 certainly opened my eyes and I began to pay attention to what Islam is and what the Koran teaches along with what sharia law is.
    The Great Satin? Considering the behavior in many Islamic states toward women and others who do not share their faith, they don’t have a lot of room to talk. The behavior of ISIS and other
    Muslim terrorists is just evil.

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