Is the Religious "Romanticism" that Hartl Speaks of during His Now Declassified Interrogation Sillonist Neo-Modernism? If it was, why does He say that Pope Pius XII was using it as a "Political Pawn"?

Dr. Chojnowski: I do not know what to think about this section of the recently unearthed interrogation report that has been declassified by the CIA dealing with the interrogation of a former Catholic priest and a convert to National Socialism, Albert Hartl. When describing this movement, he says that it was a movement of Catholic laymen who believed that, "the Church has lost a great deal of depth and fervor through its politics, its wealth, its superficial pomp, its so-called "American" efficiency, and its over emphasis of Catholic organizations and associations." This is what this movement did not like about the Church of the early 20th century, like the real Catholic Church. What it wanted instead was, "the ancient Christian Communism stressing subordination to every form of state authority...including a heathen state....They reject ever form of outer Church power and are concerned only with the quiet religious depths of the individual. They are for simplicity, for nature and for a religious interpretation of civilization." Sounds like the Sillonism condemned by St. Pius X and touted by the Roncallis,  Montinis, and the Wojtylas of the world. Is the essence of this the focus on inner religious feeling as BEING religion and a slavish submission to the State no matter how godless? What does he mean  or what was he doing when he said that this group was only a "pawn" in the "diplomatic game of the Vatican" and, in so far as it was supported or tolerated --- even by Pope Pius XII (so HE says) --- was only done so because of the practical political games that the Church was playing at this time. Was Neo-Modernism a dog that got off his leash and ended up killing his master? I have a feeling that there is a whole history here that most of us are not aware of. Was Hartl lying here or was this another example of Church politics gone wrong? I would really like to know if any one has some enlightening history on this topic for us. 

I have cut and pasted the relevant part of the document and have kept the type written characters to make for greater authenticity. You can find this part of the document by looking at p. 36 of the pdf linked to below. That is page 36 of the pdf and not page 36 as this is printed on the bottom of the page of the document itself. 

HARTL, who has known INNITZER since .1927, states that this latest move ofSTALIN is indicative of Ruseia's eccurate knowledge of the church situation,for INNITZER w i l l prove to be just as enthusiastic about STALIN as he was aboutHITLER. His two most intimate counsellors, Monsignore Dr PFLIEGLER and prelateDr /WOLF, whom HARTL has known and observed over the last twenty years, haveelways been known as "Edel" with the Cemmunists. Both are loaders of a move- ment within the Cetholic laymen of Europe Which hARTL describes as a movementof "romanticists". In their opinion the Church has lost great deal of depth and fervor through its politics, its wealth, its superficial pomp, its so-called"American" efficiency, its over-emphasis of Catholic organizations and associa- tions, etc. They ad.vocate the ancient Christian Communism stressing sub- ordination to every form of state authority including a heathen state, inaccordance with the ROMAN encyclical of Paul the Apostle in which he proclaimed
that everyone is subject to the authority having power over him, for every authority has been ordained by God. They reject every form of outer Church power end are concerned only with the quiet, religious depths of the individual. They are for simplicity, for nature and for a religious interpretation of
This intellectual Catholic group, with numerous followers throughoutEurope, was very susceptible to rational Socialism and also to Bolshevism.
They saw in the church policy of both systems the Embodiment of God's will
to purge the Church of its undesirable slag. Yet they fail to see that their
group is only e. oawn in diplomatic game of the Vatican and only for this reasontolerated, and at times even supported by the Pope.



  2. I think it's like Saint Pope Pius X said, these ideas entered the church and captured the minds of many, and in the beginning, because a Christian, is always likely, to believe the best, and have confidence in people's capacity to recognise truth, he was prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt and be gentle, but at a certain point, Saint Pope Pius X realised, that these people, didn't actually, have faith, because they, had no intellectual submission of the will to the truths of the Catholic Faith, to them, its all about feelings, consensus, working toward the establishment of a Utopian society, and being 'nice'. In their minds, believing this, is believing in God, for them, and some of them have a fervour, which someone as kind as Pope Pius XII, would be inclined to see as proof of some faith, even if it is confused theologically, but if he was soft on them to begin with, I think he soon realised that Saint Pope Pius X was right.

  3. I am not qualified to give you the historic knowledge that you desire. I can only say what seems logical to me. I’m sure even the good popes were diplomatic with the sillionists and modernists in the Church, and Hartl referred to that as a "diplomatic game of toleration.” Like the Rule of St. Benedict, St. Benedict tells the Abbot to seek to be loved rather then feared, of coaxing some and whipping others. Probably the mistakes made by Catholic authority is that those who should have been whipped and excommunicated, they tried rather to coax. The oath against modernism, is coaxing, more then a whipping! But lets remember the dilemma of the Church leaders at that time. As cockle cannot be distinguished from wheat till it heads out, or bears fruit. Inconclusive evidence at that time could have been seen as rash suspicion, rather then justified suspicion with supporting evidence.
    The modernists fail to apply a hierarchy to authority or admit any exceptions to the rule, even though they are masters at making exceptions to the rule, into rules.
    The apostles did not obey heathen authority concerning faith in Jesus Christ, they didn’t allow Caesar to be god. Obedience to heathen authority was encouraged till the authority became Catholic. When a Catholic authority became schismatic, heretical, or apostate, the faithful have the right to withdraw obedience from them because their rebellion does not come from God! Modernists claim this is a contradiction, that’s why their undies are in a knot. But it’s not a contradiction. Jesus was killed because they said He was no friend of Caesar, but without Christ Jesus, Caesar inevitably becomes a false god.

  4. Hartl was excommunicated a few short years after his ordination and began preparing a dossier on Pius XII for the Nazis. Fearing that behind the scenes, the Church could use violence against the Nazis, Hartl treated the Church as a war enemy and planned to use black mail against the Church. He obviously had an ax to grind.

    Regarding the German question, Pope Pius XII wanted to reserve it to himself. This was much to the dismay of the Cardinals he was addressing because such a task could even endanger his health. The Pope wanted to stick to his principles. He would fight if the Nazis wanted to fight. Although he wanted a peaceful solution, if it was war the Nazis wanted, then the Church would fight back by using covert operations as a war tactic. He repeated for emphasis that the Church would fight back.

    Dr. Chojnowski, everything on Hartl dealing with Pope Pius XII, can be found in the great and revealing book, "Church of Spies: The Pope's Secret War Against Hitler" (by Mark Riebling, published by Basic Books). Specifically, Hartl's dossier on Pius XII can be found on pp. 7 and 51; and on Pacelli's possible tactics, pp 17-19.

    The book reveals a Pius XII that few people know about. It shows him as a courageous and powerful leader and one of the greatest popes the Church ever had.

  5. Here is some background on Hartl:

    Hartl did not have a true vocation to the Catholic priesthood. He was ordained a priest in 1929 but had a secret attachment to the National Socialist State, which led to his break with the Church early on. In 1933, Hartl betrayed a priest friend to the Nazis because the priest criticized National Socialism; and in 1934, Hartl was publicly excommunicated. During that same year, Hartl became an S.S. spy chief and headed a unit of ex-priests, who spied on Catholic enemies of the Nazis in order to destroy them.

    One of Hartl's duties as an S.S. spy chief was to penetrate the Vatican's own covert anti-Nazi operations. If some information appeared to leak from the Church to the Nazis, it was because of the fact that Hartl had moles, enemies of Pius XII, who infiltrated the Church, including the episcopacy; and there was even a mole working for Hartl in the Vatican Secret Archives.

    Dr. Chojnowski, in a previous post, you were surprised that not only apostate priests were working for the S.S. but that members of "Catholic faculties" were working for them also. The problem with that conclusion is that anyone who joins societies which work against the Church are excommunicated latae sententiae (a censure incurred by the "very fact" of committing crime), just like heretics. Therefore, the traitors were not really members of the Church.


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