31 August 2010

 

Ideology can lead to tyranny

My letter to the Leicester Mercury (published 30/8/10) was edited so I thought I would publish the full text here:
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Dear Sir,

Michael Myers (Mailbox, August 19) disputes my assertion that “Hitler came to power helped by a deal with the Vatican” and puts the blame on other parties. While I agree he is quite correct in pointing out that others were involved, I still believe it is reasonable to say that the Vatican, through its agent Baron von Papen, was one of the parties that “helped” Hitler take power in Germany. Von Papen, a papal chamberlain, was  a leading member of the Catholic Centre Party. It was largely von Papen, who persuaded President Hindenburg to put aside his scruples and approve Hitler as Chancellor. The political manoeuvring included the negotiation of  a “Reichskonkordat”  between the Vatican and Germany, guaranteeing the rights of the Catholic Church in Germany.

As to Michael's remarks on the Lateran Accord, this certainly created the Vatican State, but in recognising the State of Italy, the Vatican also gave its tacit approval to Mussolini's fascists, the Vatican also gave its tacit approval to Mussolini's fascists, allowing him to turn Italy into a fascist state.

I think some quotes will demonstrate this. Shortly after the signing of the accord, Pope Pius, in a statement referring to Mussolini, said “In all this We have been nobly seconded by the other side. Maybe We had need of a man such as Providence has given Us to meet, a man who has not the preoccupations of the Liberal school” and “By the grace of God with much patience and much labour, nobly seconded by the other side, We have been enabled to escape per medium profundum, and to conclude a concordat which, if not the best of which We can possibly conceive, is yet amongst the very best.

Mussolini said “We have recognized the pre-eminent place the Catholic Church holds in the religious life of the Italian people, which is perfectly natural in a Catholic people such as ours, and under a regime such as is the Fascist”

My original comments related to Michael Brucciani's assertion that “The last two centuries are filled with the consequences of this moral vacuum, centuries of cruelty to individuals leading to their enslavement under dictatorships or socialist cabals” and was an attempt to demonstrate that religion does not necessarily protect us from, or oppose, tyranny.

I would suggest that any immutable ideology, whether or not based on religion, is likely to be tyrannical. I strongly believe that our best hope for progress is to stand up for the rights of all (as set out in the Declaration of Human Rights) rather than allow any form of political ideology or religion to impose its rules upon us.
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The text that was removed is highlighted.

My earlier letter can be found here and the original letter from Michael Brucciani can be found here.

More information on the Catholic Church and Mussolini can be found at the "Walls of Jericho" Website.

The website "Concordat Watch" provides more information on the Reichskonkordat.

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