SIO15: Did the Catholic Church Support Hitler? with Tim O’Neill

Joining me for a third time is Tim O’Neill of the blog History for Atheists! Tim is back to take us through some really fascinating possible misconceptions about whether or not the Pope and the Catholic church were supportive of Hitler and the Nazis. Tim also discusses whether or not Hitler himself was religious. Lots of claims have been made by atheists and others about these questions and Tim is here to clear up misconceptions and give his view of what the evidence tells us!

Leave us a Voicemail: (916) 750-4746!

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/seriouspod

Follow us on Twitter: @seriouspod

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/seriouspod

For comments, email thomas@seriouspod.com

Questions, Suggestions, Episode ideas? email: haeley@seriouspod.com

 

Direct Download

Leave a Reply

14 Comments on "SIO15: Did the Catholic Church Support Hitler? with Tim O’Neill"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Tim O'Neill
Guest

Just a quick correction – in tyhe podcast I said a couple of times that the early Nazi attempt at a coup in Munich was in 1922. It was actually in 1923 – November 8-9 1923 to be precise:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_Hall_Putsch

kyle
Guest
Hearing about the pope’s recorded personal distaste for the nazis didn’t feel especially relevant. The repeated assertion that “they’re not pals” sounded reminiscent of Kellyanne Conway defending Trump from accusations of economic enmeshment with Russia. I take the point that this was meant to disabuse people with a cartoonish image of scheming illuminati type figures, but it definitely set off my spidey-sense. The idea that the church would accept an agreement with the nazi party as an act of self-preservation seems reasonable, but it also strikes me as tremendously hypocritical for an organization that claims insight into timeless moral truths… Read more »
Tim O'Neill
Guest
“Hearing about the pope’s recorded personal distaste for the nazis didn’t feel especially relevant. The repeated assertion that “they’re not pals” sounded reminiscent of Kellyanne Conway defending Trump from accusations of economic enmeshment with Russia.” Seriously? They were not “expressions of his personal distaste”. They were reflections of the attitude of the Church overall. I thought I gave enough evidence to make that perfectly clear. I can give you much, much more if you like. “The idea that the church would accept an agreement with the nazi party as an act of self-preservation seems reasonable, but it also strikes me… Read more »
kyle
Guest
Since you asked, yes, seriously. I’ll take the blame for failing to infer, from your use of “they are not pals,” an implicit “the church (as an organization) was not pals with the nazi government (as an organization).” You later referred to figures using church resources and authority to both help and hinder the nazi government, which I (again, personal taste) assume to be more relevant than professed ideology. I apologize if the part about the church seeming hypocritical came off as a criticism of you as a historian. I meant it more as a philosophical question, or a cultural… Read more »
kyle
Guest

It looks like you addressed the last point in another comment.

Tim O'Neill
Guest
“I’ll take the blame for failing to infer, from your use of “they are not pals,” an implicit “the church (as an organization) was not pals with the nazi government (as an organization).”” The reference to them not being pals was addressing the explicit claim by Hitchens that Pacelli/Pius was “pro-Nazi”. If you didn’t manage to also pick up that a Papal Nuncio and official voice of the Church in Germany making over 40 public speeches condemning the Nazis was not simply some guy expressing his “personal distaste”, then I have to seriously question whether you are genuinely trying to… Read more »
kyle
Guest

I’m not thrilled with the accusations about my mental processes and motivations.

You seem pretty comfortable dismissing people who don’t accept your conclusions at face value and pathologizing those who don’t share your interpretation of evidence. I’m not going to speculate as to your mental state or what motivation might be responsible for this, because I think that would be a dickish thing to do.

Thank you for taking the time to engage. I won’t waste any more of it.

Tim O'Neill
Guest
I’m simply expressing my quite genuine amazement at your very strange interpretations. How anyone could decide that over 40 public speeches by a Papal Nunico condemning the Nazis were somehow just expressions of his personal private opinions is genuinely beyond my comprehension. I simply can’t understand how you managed to do that if you’re looking at this in genuine good faith. You can get offended by that if you like or call it “dickish”, but all I can do is tell you I can’t comprehend how anyone could arrive at that bizarre conclusion unless they are actively trying to find… Read more »
David In Kentucky
Guest

It was my understanding that the Nazi policies regarding the Jewish people harmonized with the Catholic Church’s position, relating to the promotion of the concept of blood libel and similar myths about Jews, although nowhere near to the same degree however. A simple analogy would be the priming of Americans to Trump’s Muslim Ban by the decades-long depiction of Middle Easterners as villainous in the media. Well, not a great analogy but I think it delivers the thrust of my concept. What are your thoughts on this?

Tim O'Neill
Guest
This is a good question and another one that, given the limited time we had to discuss a very complex set of historical issues, we simply weren’t able to tackle. It’s often claimed that the Catholic Church’s attitude to the Jewish people down the centuries was always wholly and virulently anti-Semitic. But this is not the case. There certainly was, until it was totally repudiated at the Second Vatican Council in 1965, a teaching that, somehow, all Jews bore historical responsibility for the death of Jesus. This was based on Matthew 27:24–25, which has “the Jews” at Jesus’ trial shouting… Read more »
Rike
Guest
Hi Tim & Thomas, I loved this episode. I am from Germany and I checked on Germany wikipedia and a few other online sources ( I am a historian) if what you said matched up with what was written there and overall it does seem to. I come from a Catholic family (but I am an atheist now) and when I was young, my parents and grandparents often mentioned how Kardinal Faulhaber was a brave upstanding man who spoke out against the Nazis . It always struck me as odd that they would speak about how several Catholics were outspoken… Read more »
Benazir
Guest

Hello,

Would either of you be willing to do an episode based around the relationship between the church and Facism more generally (e.g. Franco, Mussolini, Salazar).

Or perhaps the role of religion in the 30 years war?

Michael
Guest

The quote from Hitler that mentioned the warrior Jesus and his diataste for the Jews.
Does anyone know if this is similar to what Martin Luther said on the same subjects?

Tim O'Neill
Guest

I’ve never read Luther’s book, entitled “On the Jews and their Lies”, and it’s not high on my “to read” list either. So I really can’t say if Hitler got this weird conception of Jesus (a Jew) as an anti-Semitic fighter from Luther, sorry. The Nazis certainly were fans of Luther’s book though, not surprisingly.