Religion and Nazism
“Hitler . . . had a Catholic as Vice-Chancellor and from practically the first day of the régime Franz von Papen became the drummer to attract the Catholic factions to a support of the new Reich. In every part of the Reich von Papen was to be heard exhorting the faithful to blind obedience to Adolf Hitler.”
“In early 1933 the following official announcement was made by the body corporate of Catholic action and thought in Germany, then led by [Franz] von Papen: ‘We German Catholics will stand, with all our soul and our full convictions, behind Adolf Hitler and his Government. We wonder at his love for fatherland, his energy and his statesmanly wisdom. . . . German Catholicism . . . must take an active part in the building-up of the Third Reich.’”
Franz von Papen was instrumental in achieving a concordat between the Nazi government he served in Germany and the Vatican in Rome. The concordat was signed July 20, 1933. A special communiqué stated: “Cardinal and Secretary of State Pacelli [later Pope Pius XII] to-day bestowed on Vice-Chancellor von Papen, the Grand Cross of the Order of Pius . . . Vice-Chancellor von Papen presented to the Cardinal Secretary of State a Madonna of White Meissen Porcelain as a gift of the Reichs Government. . . . All gifts bore the dedication: ‘A memento of the Reich Concordat 1933.’”—All quotes taken from Franz von Papen—His Life and Times, by H. W. Blood-Ryan.