Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Mit Brennender Sorge (On the Church and the German Reich)

March 10, 1937

Mit Brennender Sorge denounces the government of National Socialism in Germany and was published just days before Divini Redemptoris, a similar condemnation of communism in Russia. In 1933, Pope Pius XI had negotiated a concordat with Germany, but Hitler failed to honor his commitments, so the pope's criticisms grew increasingly severe over the ensuing years, leading to the outright censure of the government. Pius XI argues that National Socialism is to be rejected both for its disproportionate emphasis on the priority of the state and race over and above God and Church, and for its discriminatory racial policies. The encyclical is notable in that it was written in German, rather than Latin, and read from the pulpit of all Catholic Churches in Germany on Passion Sunday. Moreover, the encyclical was widely credited to Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, who later became Pope Pius XII.

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