Email: Vatican 1949 – Anti-Communist edict

Floating Pope Denies Working-Class Rights!

Dear Gillian

So, in July 1949, the Vatican excommunicated all Catholics linked to the Communist movement. The exact wording states that all Catholics are to be excommunicated who are – or have been ‘aiding, or taking part, directly or indirectly, in Communist activity.’ Alexander Werth – in his 1956 Book entitled ‘France 1940-1955’, states that this Papal Edict caused a lot of trouble amongst thousands of ordinary Catholics who regularly attended Church and had fought for the Communist underground or were still members of the Communist Party. All supporters of the fascist Mussolini (and collaborators with the Nazi German occupiers) were to be simultaneously ‘forgiven’ by the Church and welcomed back (if they had ever left the divine teat) into its warm embrace. Political comment in France observed that the Vatican did not make its anti-Communist move in 1944-1945 when the International Communist Party was at the zenith of its power, but waited four years so that the full weight of US anti-Communist foreign policy could be felt throughout a devastated post-WWII Europe! The tragedy is that millions of Christians had opposed fascism whilst the Vatican had openly embraced it and directly benefitted from it. One Communist leader (Thorez) stated that the Pope had had no trouble supporting Hitler and his Nazism (described as ‘rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s’), but that this attitude did not apply to the millions of impoverished workers and the Socialism they supported. This Papal Edict was also viewed as an attack on the worker-priests and the progressive Christians. However, just prior to the US attack on North Korea in 1950, French workers in Communist Unions refused to unload and transport US War materials destined for Indochina. The docks and the railways in France were brought to a standstill! This action was termed ‘Solidarity Against US Imperialism’! Even this early on, it was being said that the US was planning to annex Vietnam to be used as a base for the invasion of Communist China! 

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