Controversial Concordats

Controversial Concordats: The Vatican's Relations with Napoleon, Mussolini, and Hitler

edited by FRANK J. COPPA
Copyright Date: 1999
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Controversial Concordats
    Book Description:

    Controversial Concordats offers an engaging survey of the relationship of the Roman Catholic Church with three dictatorial figures in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Napoleon, Mussolini, and Hitler.

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-2038-3
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Frank J. Coppa
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-33)

    The three studies that constitute the core of this volume deal with the concordats that the papacy concluded with Napoleon, Mussolini, and Hitler. Each of these pacts was the subject of criticism, sometimes quite severe, from persons or groups on the side of the church or the state. The agreements even caused distress to many Catholics, and the pact between the Vatican and the Nazi government has been for years the cause of a bitter controversy between the critics and the defenders of Pope Pius XII. The Vatican had hoped to negotiate a similar agreement with Joseph Stalin’s Soviet regime,...

  5. Napoleon, the Concordat of 1801, and Its Consequences
    (pp. 34-80)

    The concordat of 1801, signed by Napoleon Bonaparte and Pope Pius VII and destined to regulate for more than a century church and state relations in France, clearly had its origins in the policies of the various revolutionary French governments that emerged after 1789. For example, the decision of the French National Assembly on 2 November of that year placing Church property “at the disposal of the nation,” the decree of 1 February 1790 by the same Assembly that eVectively ended monasticism in France, or finally the later decree of 27 November 1799 that imposed the oath of the Civil...

  6. Mussolini and the Concordat of 1929
    (pp. 81-119)

    Pius xi (1922–1939) has been described as the pope of the missions, of social and catholic action, of technological innovation and modern mass communications, of concordats and of reconciliation. This Pope, like his immediate predecessors, appreciated the advantages of adjusting the Church’s relations with the civil authorities by means of concordats in which the Church surrendered incidentals to preserve essentials. Approval of such agreements represented a compromise on the part of the Church with governments that did not fully recognize its claim to independence. Pius VII (1800–1823), in concluding a concordat with Napoleon, followed Rome’s policy of dealing...

  7. The Reich Concordat of 1933 The Church Struggle Against Nazi Germany
    (pp. 120-181)

    Of the thirty-eight concordats concluded by the Papacy between 1919 and 1938, none was more controversial or had a greater impact on the reputation and the moral integrity of the Church than that with Nazi Germany. Because of the Reich Concordat, criticisms of the Church have ranged from providing an early and unnecessary international recognition of Hitler’s regime, to a lack of resistance against its criminal acts, to providing support for World War II and acquiescing in the Holocaust.¹

    Since communism posed such a grave threat to the Church, Pius XI did not wish to rely on democratic governments to...

  8. Three Controversial Concordats A Commentary
    (pp. 182-190)

    There have been numerous concordats in the annals of church-state relations, the first most probably the treaty concluded between Pope Calixtus and Henry V in 1122 to settle the Investiture Controversy. Angelo Mercati’s 1954 edition of Raccolta de concordati lists 148 and since then more have been added. They generally were concluded to terminate a state of hostility between Church and State and restore peace in a given country. The three concordats examined in the present volume mark high points of this policy and can be viewed as part of the larger Church-State conflict in which each institution sought to...

  9. Appendix Texts of the Concordats
    (pp. 191-214)
  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 215-244)
  11. Index
    (pp. 245-248)