Mit brennender Sorge or With burning Concern

Mit brennender Sorge

or With burning Concern

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mit brennender Sorge (German for “With burning Concern,”) is a Roman Catholic Churchencyclical of Pope Pius XI, published on March 101937 (but bearing a date of Passion SundayMarch 14). The encyclical criticized Nazism, listed breaches of an agreement signed with the Church and condemned antisemitism. Drafted by the future Pope Pius XII[1], it warned Catholics that antisemitism is incompatible with Christianity.[2]

The encyclical was written in German and not the usual Latin of official Roman Catholic Church documents. It was addressed to German bishops and was read in all parish churches of Germany. Pope Pius XI credited its creation and writing to the Cardinal Secretary of State,Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, who later became Pope Pius XII. There was no pre-announcement of the encyclical, and its distribution was kept secret in an attempt to ensure the unhindered public reading of its contents in all the Catholic Churches of Germany.

This encyclical condemned particularly the paganism of the national-socialism ideology, the myth of race and blood, and the fallacy of their conception of God.

Some passages stated:

8. Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community-however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things-whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds…

10. This God, this Sovereign Master, has issued commandments whose value is independent of time and space, country and race. As God’s sun shines on every human face so His law knows neither privilege nor exception. Rulers and subjects, crowned and uncrowned, rich and poor are equally subject to His word. From the fullness of the Creators’ right there naturally arises the fullness of His right to be obeyed by individuals and communities, whoever they are. This obedience permeates all branches of activity in which moral values claim harmony with the law of God, and pervades all integration of the ever-changing laws of man into the immutable laws of God.

11. None but superficial minds could stumble into concepts of a national God, of a national religion; or attempt to lock within the frontiers of a single people, within the narrow limits of a single race, God, the Creator of the universe, King and Legislator of all nations before whose immensity they are “as a drop of a bucket” (Isaiah xl, 15).


After Mit Brennender Sorge was disseminated throughout German Catholic parishes, Nazi persecution of the Church Germany began by “outright repression” and “staged prosecutions of monk for homosexuality, with the maximum of publicity. In Poland, the Nazis murdered over 2500 monks and priests while scores more were sent to concentration camps.[3] Stalin staged an even more severe persecution at almost the same time.[3]



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