It was the persecution of Catholic clergy and the violations of the Reichskonkordat that Pope Pius XI was writing against in Mit Brennender Sorge. He was not espousing progressive ideologies of “anti-racism” or “anti-misogyny,” but he was rather saying that the Church should not be subservient to or manipulated by the government. Race, people, and the state are “fundamental value[s] of the human community,” but they should not become idols to be worshiped above all else. One can preserve their own people, race, and state without espousing heresy, and Pope Pius XI was calling out the “superficial minds” who thought otherwise.
**Mit Brennender Sorge**
> 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. > > 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.”
Seeing a supposed Catholic reactionary decry Donald Trump’s alleged racism and misogyny is odd on its face. After all, any true traditionalist should want to defend their own people and culture and also embrace virtuous patriarchy as being necessary for an orderly society, which would be dismissed as “racism and misogyny” by progressives who wish to subvert traditional values. The fact that this particular supposed Catholic reactionary then holds up the Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on the Church and the German Reich, also known as *Mit Brennender Sorge*, as anti-racist speaks to the fact that even those claiming to be a traditionalist can be just as guilty as espousing modern ideals as the most dyed-in-the-wool progressive.Look at the passages above from *Mit Brennender Sorge*. In the first, Pius XI clearly includes “race” and “the people” in his list of “fundamental value[s] of the human community” that are “necessary and honorable.” The distinction he draws is that “worldly things” should not be exalted “above their standard value” or deified “to an idolatrous level.” In the second passage, the Pope’s point was made abundantly clear as the “Creator of the universe” cannot be limited to being just a “national God” within a “national religion” of a “single people.” This does not negate the importance of race, people, or nation, but it rather shows that all are under God. The encyclical must also be placed within the proper historical context to understand why it was issued.
After coming to power in Germany, the Nazis signed the *Reichskonkordat* with the Holy See in 1933, which was meant to protect the religious freedom of Catholics in Germany, but the treaty did nothing to stop anti-Christian sentiments among much of the Nazi leadership. To reconcile the fact that most Germans were Christian yet many Nazi officials were anti-Christian, the state developed so-called “Positive Christianity,” which Hanns Kerrl, Reichsminister of Church Affairs, described in 1937:>
Positive Christianity is National Socialism … National Socialism is the doing of God’s will … God’s will reveals itself in German blood … Dr. Zoellner and [the Catholic bishop of Muenster] have tried to make clear to me that Christianity consists in faith in Christ as the Son of God. That makes me laugh … No, Christianity is not dependent upon the Apostle’s Creed … True Christianity is represented by the party, and the German people are now called by the party and especially by the Fuehrer to a real Christianity … The Fuehrer is the herald of a new revelation ([Source](https://books.google.com/books?id=6QngAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA239&dq=%22The+Fuehrer+is+the+herald+of+a+new+revelation%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjy-ZfTwpfQAhXIlFQKHaCHArAQ6AEIJDAB#v=onepage&q=%22The%20Fuehrer%20is%20the%20herald%20of%20a%20new%20revelation%22&f=false)).