Rosenberg on Christian subversion of NS

Translated from the original
Foreword of Blut und Ehre:

Born on January 12, 1893 in Reval, Alfred Rosenberg experienced as Baltic-German all the severe suffering of ethnic Germans and the Russian Revolution. To enlighten Germany about this and to help protect her against communism, at the end of 1918 Rosenberg went to Germany, was introduced to Adolf Hitler by Dietrich Eckart and joined him in 1919.

In 1921 he took over the Völkischer Beobachter [Folkish Observer]. Rosenberg marched with the Führer in Coburg in 1922 and the Feldherrnhalle in 1923. After November 9, 1923 he tried to hold together the movement’s remnants. When the Führer returned from Landsbergand he took over management of the Völkischer Beobachter and expanded it more and more in the following period until, after the victory, it became Germany’s largest newspaper.

When in 1930 the wish for an official NSDAP magazine became even stronger, Rosenberg created the Nationalsozialistische Monatshefte [The National Socialist Monthly]. In 1929 he founded the Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur [Fighting Federation for German Culture]. In 1930 Rosenberg became a member of the Reichstag and a representative of his faction for foreign affairs. Through trips and work, he became more and more immersed in questions of foreign affairs and presented the new foundations in this area. He was appointed in April 1933 chief of the Foreign Affairs Office of the NSDAP by Adolf Hitler and shortly thereafter Reichsleiter.

Alfred Rosenberg, in a certain sense, is the father of National Socialist literature. Already in 1919/20 he had published several writings about Bolshevism, Freemasonry and the Jewish Question and made the fight against international powers one of his main tasks. We find him as a domestic fighter in his little-noted book Thirty November Heads, which appeared in 1927. His 1930 fighting work The Swamp, one of the most valuable documents against the cultural decline of the post-war years, was on a similar level. Already in 1922 Rosenberg had published Nature: Principles and Goals of the NSDAP, the movement’s first publication! Later, he gave the movement two of its most basic writings: Future Path of German Foreign Policy and The Structure of National Socialism.

His main work, however, is The Myth of the Twentieth Century, which in 1923 experienced huge press popularity. Hanns Johst wrote: ‘I am often asked about the principles of National Socialism. Here is the work in which the manifestation of these principles is achieved…’ [Pages 7-8. The following is taken from pages 36-43 of the English translation.]

 

The ‘Centre’ and ‘Christian Folk Service’ parties

Nationalsozialistische Monatshefte [The National Socialist Monthly], April 1931:

The relationship between National Socialism and religion has been an issue since the appearance of the NSDAP. Adolf Hitler took the standpoint of a statesman from the beginning. He views the existence of various religious denominations as given and wants to keep the political movement out of the religious fighting. One should think that it would be agreeable to every Christian denomination to see the emergence of a worker movement that energetically combats soul-killing, atheistic Marxism and takes up an idealistic idea against our time’s rule by Mammon and, like Jesus, swings the whip against the money-changers and traders.

But the opposite has happened. Precisely the party that has claimed to practice Christian politics picked up a fight against National Socialism and put itself on the side of a Social Democracy hostile to any religion. That party formed coalitions with the purpose to annihilate the German workers’ movement and supported those powers that, for years, have financed the leave-the-church movement. After such a coalition this propaganda has not ceased.

Something was just as hated by Marxism as by the Centre: the conscious folk-feeling and the call to a Germanic morality-feeling, as can be read in our party program, paragraph 24. At Catholic Days, which represent Centre meetings (Contance 1923), German nationalism was presented as ‘the greatest heresy’ and bishop Mainz and cardinal Faulhaber competed in the condemnation of this ‘new heathenism’. As church princes, they banned membership in the NSDAP; yes, sometimes even excluded Catholic National Socialists from the sacraments.

In the process they referred to the Catholic doctrine. What is bizarre is that, in strictly Catholic Italy, the most extreme nationalism has become a state government and the Pope, who for decades has refused any reconciliation with liberalism, is now in peace with the leader of this growing nationalism. The Pope even called Mussolini a ‘man of Providence’ after the signing of the Lateran Pact. From Italy’s church organs we can now hear, even more frequently, the king’s hymn. And of the cardinals of Italian descent it is said that, under the purple, they wear the black-shirt of fascism.

The German folk now claims nothing more than it should be granted the same right to national pride; the right to erect a real national state based on its character. If, in face of the no longer contested Italian facts, this is contested based on the ‘Catholic doctrine’ by church princes there are two possibilities: either there are two Catholic doctrines, or the faith of the Catholic masses is being intentionally misled for the achievement of political goals.

______ 卐 ______

Editor’s Note: Since this article of The National Socialist Monthly was addressed to the Christian masses, Rosenberg fails to say the obvious. Remember Hitler’s words in Mein Kampf:

We have to distinguish between the state as a vessel and the race as the content. This vessel only makes sense if it is able to preserve and protect its contents; otherwise it is worthless.

This week, commenting on the above quotable quote, Krist Krusher said: ‘This is why all self-proclaimed National Socialists should never think of Hitlerism as being nothing more than “German Fascism”. As Fascism is built entirely from the State, it always thought of race as secondary. It is about as removed from us as Marxism in this regard’.

______ 卐 ______

Since we can dismiss the first possibility (the Roman church has only one leader), only the second remains. The Centre accepts Zionists and chairmen of Jewish cultural communities as Reichstag candidates. It even allows Protestants as members without influence, but is nonetheless a strictly Catholic denomination party. Just as Marxism wants to eternalise the nation’s split through the doctrine of social class struggle, has the Centre declared against the German nation the denominational class struggle and has carried the spiritual, religious struggle into the sphere of power politics. And just as the Social Democrat only has an eye on his class, so does the Centre leader only has his denomination’s interests.

This party lives from conflict. Hence the NSDAP was hated most deeply from the first day because religious tolerance inside the party was practically carried out in an exemplary manner. Religious differences of opinion and philosophical competitions had to be carried out outside the party organisation. As soon as it assembled, as soon as the SA put on its brown-shirt, they were no longer any Catholics and Protestants but Germans fighting for the existence and honour of their folk. No co-worker of the NSDAP is asked whether he belongs to the Deutsch Kirche [German Church] or if he is Reformierter [a member of the Evangelical Reformed Church in Germany]. Only the achievement in the service of German freedom is pivotal. The deep wounds of the Thirty Years War were finally healed in the National Socialist movement, just like the wounds of the Marxist and bourgeois class conflict began to scar. Then there arose the concentrated struggle of all those political upstarts who want to suck the blood for their parasitic existence from the wounds of their folk. The Marxists screamed ‘capitalist lackeys’; the bourgeois leaders lamented ‘National-Bolsheviks’, and the Centre cried ‘enemies of any religion’.

Never have religious feelings been treated so unscrupulously by the Centre and the political prelates directing it, and it was one issue at which the zealous dialecticians aimed. As stated above, it is claimed that National Socialism is not a common political party, rather a worldview (emphasis by Editor. Remember Savitri Devi’s words: ‘it is the enemies of Hitlerism, and in particular the Jews, and intelligent Christians, who have understood this best). To solidify the struggle against German nationalism, the Centre points to our worldview and declares it a ‘heathen, anti-Catholic race idolization’. We can reply that race science determined the diverseness and diverse value of the races, similar to how one makes discoveries in the field of chemistry. Such a discovery cannot be combated by any kinds of dogmas and excommunications, and many times the church has had to bow to the facts.

When Copernicus presented the heliocentric doctrine, when the flat Earth with heaven above and hell below suddenly became a sphere hovering in space, the whole world of dogma rebelled against this new doctrine. Until 1827 (!) all works that taught this solar system stood in the Index. Copernicus’ worldview also produced a different worldview than the biblical one, a different look at the world, but this discovery in no way damaged genuine religion, which stems from man’s soul. The Roman and Protestant churches (Martin Luther called Copernicus a swindler and deceiver) needed three hundred years to adapt to the new world image, and they had to bow before it despite everything.

Another example is provided by the treatment of our mother tongue. Someone demanded exclusive use of the heathen Latin (here the expression is appropriate). Meister Eckart encountered much hostility when he preferred the German language, but the whole German folk owe to the ‘heretic’ Luther the High German language uniting the nation. But it stood in the statutes of the Jesuit Order that use of the mother tongue in all matters relating to school would be never allowed. In 1830 the order saw itself compelled to at least allow the mother tongue for poetry, when Goethe stood at the end of his life’s work! And the very well known Jesuit Father Duhr affirmed: ‘This remains a principle: the practice of the mother tongue is recommendable, but it should not be turned into its school subject’. The persecution of the dearest thing that a folk calls its own has been overcome; today the Catholic Church often stands up for the mother tongue in upholding the interests of its faithful.

It is now quite similar to race science regarding religion. The verdict of a bishop or cardinal or even the Pope on race is, in this case, a completely private opinion about the biological problem or the political problem based on it, which stands outside purely religious authority that the devote Catholic grants him. A dogmatic excommunication can no longer nullify a natural scientific discovery.

In the Middles Ages, researchers were burned as sorcerers. Today, the Vatican builds a radio station that Torquemada would have certainly cursed as devil’s work. Thus the struggle against race science is not religious, rather a struggle of the politically interested that previously gathered their followers around themselves on a different basis. An anathema against blood consciousness will be overcome for the same reason that one had to acknowledge Copernicus, and it represents a historical irony that one of the finest researchers of the laws of genetics was the Catholic Father Gregor Mendel.

We can conclude that worldview and religion are not the same. A worldview can exist outside religion (atomic world explanation, naturalist monism), but it can also include religion. The National Socialist movement is a folk movement about a new and yet ancient, firmly founded worldview of the value of blood. It wants to protect healthy, good blood. Regardless of whether one wants to call this God’s creation or Nature’s iron rule, in both cases National Socialism serves a constructive principle under a fundamental religious disposition. The political battle movement leaves the most thorny questions about God and immortality, fate and mercy to the individual personality for decision. They may seek their comforters and spiritual counsellors, whom they require for the development of their inner life. (Editor’s Note: On this point the Christians, not Rosenberg, were right. NS is, in fact, the new paradigm that comes to replace the old one. This is why American white nationalists, more Christian than Nazis, don’t honour the memory of the Führer every April 20th.)

The opponents of the German essence in Bavaria, Silesia and the Rhine lower themselves in their hatred when criticising paragraph 24 of the National Socialist program by claiming that no special ‘Germanic moral feeling’ exists that could be viewed as the measure of action. This means a quite intentional denial of German cultural awareness and a terrible disregard of the value of our ancestors. For without the characteristic prerequisites of the Germanic man for the creation of state and society, Germany as a life form would not have emerged at all. Without her energy and her will the soil itself would not have been conquered, upon which today live those who have been the beneficiaries of this colonising but are inwardly alienated from the founders of their prosperity, and the freedom of the state structure.

And if the state-building character has already been a part of Germanic morality, that has so mightily revealed itself in life and the art, a brazenness without equal would be necessary to equate the Hottentot or Jew with Germanic essence. When, for example, the Vandal Stilicho became Rome’s regent, one of his first acts consisted of banning the gladiator fighting: that most terrible symbol of a decadent, animalised world, which had adopted those horrible games from the Middle Eastern Etruscans. Later, the Eastern Goth Theodorich did the same, replacing the gladiator massacre with knight tournaments. And without falling into a one-sided deification of Germanic man one may probably say that the Gudrunlied, the high song of a proud woman, corresponds to the most beautiful emotional yearning, as well as Siegfried’s generous figure. Even in Hagen it sparkles reconciliation from the depth of something unconditional, the loyalty to the king.

Germanic morality that was true to itself wanted to account for nature and the cosmos. From this yearning were born the mystics and the great researchers of nature down to Immanuel Kant’s noble doctrine of duty. (Editor’s Note: This is another mistake common among German nationalists. Kant’s influence—sneaking in the house the Jewish god through the back door after the French Enlightenment expelled it from the front door—was terrible for the German Enlightenment.) And in German music the same world-overcoming life developed, so that the denial of this Germanic-German [germanisch-deutsche] value means an attack to annihilate the world-shaping German soul. That such a denial could be openly expressed shows the deep decline that Germany as folk has suffered. It also shows the necessity of a general folk resistance, without difference of religious denomination, against a dynamics at whose end stands race chaos: psychological decline and then political decline of the German nation.

If it is now brazenly declared by the Centre that National Socialism is preparing a new ‘cultural struggle’, a government persecution of the Catholic church, that is an agitation lie of the worst sort. Whatever a National Socialist may think about this or that religious dogma, it has always rejected any political intercession against a denomination and will hold to that in the future. And it has proven that policy through the deed. The Centre has done the opposite. It has given lip-service support to Catholic dogmas but through its alliances with the Marxists it accepts the possibility of uninhibited atheist propaganda and thereby assistance to overall Bolshevization. The prerequisite for a religious renewal is hence the annihilation of Marxism and the beating down of the Centre as long as in practice it broadly nurtures Marxism.

On the Protestant side, similarly oriented political opportunities have watched the anti-Marxist movement grow. The Protestants have now founded a denominational party similar to the Centre: the Christian Folk Service. National Socialism takes the same position toward this ‘evangelical’ foundation as to the ‘Catholic’ Centre. The success of the Folk Service will degrade the Germans’ struggle for liberation to a denominational quarrel, and force the struggle to a level that must stand outside the great political battle of all. The first thing, by the way, that the Reichstag delegates of these ‘evangelicals’ did, was to vote against the candidate of the Nationalist opposition for the post of Reichstag President. They preferred, together with the Centre, to give their vote to the champion of conscientious objectors, the leftist Social Democrat Paul Loebe. Here, once more, we see a downright betrayal to both the Nationalist and the Christian idea.

Given this treasonous bearing, influenced by Marxist thought and political representatives of both denominations, it is no wonder, if the movement that leaves the church grows, that the sects of Adventists, First Bible Researchers, and the Communist International of the godless prepares the organised destruction of all religious values. The NSDAP has acted against these folk-destructive forces as well (in Munich rallies of the ‘Bible Researchers’ were only banned after clear words on our side by the government of the Bavarian Folk Party). But the the spread of all these currents shows the weakness of the inner persuasiveness of both the Catholic as well as the Protestant church.

To evaluate the deeper worldview causes that may exist here lies outside the NSDAP’s area of competency. Some believe it is imperative duty to push the clerics into the political party fight. Already Bismarck scolded Stoecker that he, as an active preacher, wanted to be a political leader based on the instinct that invariably a national policy would become subjected to denominational considerations, especially since the psyche of the spiritual counsellor and the political leader cannot be organically united. Today in Germany we stand anew before the fact that a party, the whole Centre, stands under purely clerical leadership. The party chairman of the Centre and its Foreign Affairs Politician (with the Prelate Ulitzka) is the Papal House Prelate Dr Kaas. The actual chief of the Bavarian Folk Party is the leader of the Landtag faction in the Bavarian Cathedral, the Provost Wohlmuth: leader of the Reichstag faction of this party and also its foreign affairs spokesman, Prelate Leicht. Thus, Catholic priests work in the foremost battle-line for the Centre (they simply forbid patriotic clerics such as Abbott Schachleitner, Doctor of Theology, from speaking). And if, in opposition to the folk-destructive Centre policy, one also fights in the form of rejection of the leaders, they call it insulting priests.

The folk see this everywhere and here lies a reason why antireligious criticism falls on fertile soil. The task of the gentlemen of the Centre clerics does not lie in giving Catholic lip service in folk assemblies to share the political spoils with atheist Marxist partners; rather, to leave the political arena and become again spiritual counsellors. Today the nation needs comforters of the human soul more than ever, but it must be noted that the hate-filled Centre spirit has penetrated even those circles that do not stand out politically. For example, a Bavarian pastor from the pulpit openly defamed Adolf Hitler saying he had spat out a consecrated wafer. Indicted and convicted of defamation, the pastor was nonetheless acquitted. In the confessional, children are forbidden under threat of harsh punishments and the torments of hell to visit National Socialist meetings or reading the Völkischer Beobachter. Women are told they must deny their husbands marital rights in the event they do not vote for the Centre, etcetera. All that—in connection with terrible harassment against clerics who do not agitate for the Centre—outrages the healthy folk, which increasingly slips away from the spiritual counsellor.

A recovery in religious life will not come until the priest reflects on his actual office and obeys the decree of his chief leader, and the same is true about the evangelicals. The most beautiful cultural blossoming of Protestantism was doubtlessly the evangelical pastor’s house in small towns and villages. But here, too, the metropolis intervened, agitating nerves, and awakened wishes which would have otherwise turned the energies away from the direction of a purely spiritual counsellor. Here, too, the cleric, as long as he works as such, should disappear from the parliament tribunes and the political folk assembly.

We wish hereby to restrict neither the Evangelical nor the Catholic cleric in his life energy. But he should treat the common national culture from the pulpit and in a form such as his office is intended. Here lie the great possibilities for effectiveness; here alone lies the lever to deepen and renew religious life. It is as unnatural if the cleric becomes parliamentarian as if a statesman wanted to set himself on the confessional seat. In the organically based separation of these social spheres lies the prerequisite of a new, spiritually healthy construction of Germany.

______ 卐 ______

Editor’s Note: But the Christians triumphed after the war. The first time in my life I visited Germany, in 1982, I was truly shocked to see handsome Aryans bending the knee before the Jewish god in a big church.

I never saw a swastika.

White nationalists still ignore that the JQ and the CQ are the same.

Reflections of an Aryan woman, 3

Chapter III: Anthropocentrism and intolerance

I have told you, and will repeat it—for it cannot be repeated too often: Get rid of the superstition of ‘man’, or give thanks to the immortal Gods if you are by nature free; if ‘man’ as such is not of interest to you; if only Perfection interests you and if you love man only to the extent that he approaches—individually and collectively—the ideal type of the Race; insofar as, being of one day, he reflects that which is eternal.

Have you meditated enough on the history of the world to have noticed a puzzling fact, namely that few people have sinned more odiously against men than those who loved them the most, and wanted, with the most obstinacy, ‘to make them happy’ (even against their will) either in this world or in a Hereafter in which they firmly believed? Nietzsche, perhaps the only great master of thought that the West has produced on the fringes of Christianity, noticed it. ‘Christians no longer love us enough’, he said, ‘to burn us alive in public places’.[1]

Much has been said about the horrors committed by the Church of Rome in the name of defending Christian orthodoxy. What has almost always been forgotten is that the Holy Inquisition, the organ of this Church, acted out of love. It believed—like all good Catholics of the twelfth, thirteenth, or even seventeenth centuries—that outside the Church there was no salvation; that the individual who left the rigid path of dogma, and thereby ceased to be faithful, went, at his death, straight to hell.

The Church knew that men, inclined to sin since Adam’s disobedience, follow bad examples much more readily than good ones; that the heretic was therefore a public danger: a black sheep that was necessary, in case he refused the offered cure—that is to recant, the penance and the return to the bosom of the blessed flock—to cut him off at all costs from the whole population. And the most spectacular and terrible the aftermath of the heresy trial, the less likely it would be that the simple souls, who are the majority, would be tempted to rebel in their turn against the authority of the Church; the less likely they would be separated from God forever. The fear of God, which is said to be the beginning of wisdom, would be confused here with the fear of visible fire, with the fear of physical pain in the person who has, at least once, witnessed the burning of a heretic and saw and heard the man struggling in his bonds and screaming amid the flames.

Glory to Christ! the pyres shine, howling torches;
The flesh splits, sets fire to the bones of heretics,
And red streams on the hot coals
Smoke under black skies to the sound of holy hymns!
[2]

As for me, I sincerely believe that the Inquisitor Fathers were not monsters. They struggled, in the face of a formal refusal to recant, to deliver a human being ‘to the secular arm’, knowing what torment the said ‘secular arm’ had in store for him. This decision, which today seems to so many people to be so ‘contrary to Christian love’, was nevertheless inspired by Christian love as they understood it, taking into account their interpretation of passages of the Scriptures concerning the Hereafter. They loved men, i.e. human souls, so much to accept the risk of knowing that they were in danger of perdition, in contact with the ‘teachers of error’.

If there is anything against which you should revolt at the thought of the horrors of the Holy Inquisition (unless one agrees entirely with it; why not, if you subscribe such faith?) it is certainly not the ‘wickedness’ of the inquisitor fathers, but that unconditional love of all men, including heretics and unbelievers to be brought back, brought to Jesus Christ. This was a love of all men for the sole reason that they are considered the only living creatures ‘having an immortal soul created in the image of God’, a love of which the members of the Holy Office were, along with all, or almost all, Christians of their time, the first victims.

______ 卐 ______

Editor’s Note: To those unfamiliar with theology this issue may seem anachronistic but it is not. As the Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel (1900-1983) said in his autobiography, ‘I was born in the Middle Ages’: something that I could also say.

When investigating the Turin shroud and visiting the Archdiocese of Mexico, I discovered the theological essays of Antonio Brambila (see my criticism: here, in Spanish), who died a month before radiocarbon tests dated the Turin cloth as a medieval product (not as a 1st-century miraculous cloth!). This Brambila priest explained in several articles what Savitri sums up in the passage above. He claimed that only the human being is eternal and that Jesus had shown it to us with his Resurrection (a Resurrection that left its mark, by the way, on the Turin sheet). The implication of Brambila’s theology was: either you believe in Christ or you are forever damned.

When I lived in the US, I was greatly surprised that many gringos, whom I previously viewed as non-Neanderthals, believed exactly the same shit through Protestantism. So what Savitri wrote decades ago is not outdated: Catholic fundamentalists like Brambila (who published his own Latin-Spanish translation of Augustine’s Confessions) and today’s last-ditch fundamentalist Protestants are still with us.

______ 卐 ______

To those who do not particularly love men, their destiny—salvation or perdition, in a hypothetical Hereafter—is a matter of indifference. The so-called ‘tolerance’ of the people of our time is, in reality, a complete disinterest in questions of dogma in particular, and metaphysical questions in general; a deep scepticism of the Hereafter and an increasingly widespread (though less and less avowed) indifference towards men. All in all, men are no worse off. Not only are there no longer any pyres in public places in countries of Christian, Catholic or Reformed civilisation (in Christian countries subject to the Eastern Orthodox Church there never were any). But a major excommunication, launched against an individual by any Church would have, in the West, no social consequences: the excommunicated would continue to live the next day as he lived the day before. No one would notice that he was excommunicated (except perhaps devotees in his parish).

______ 卐 ______

Editor’s Note: Exactly what happened to the priest of my family, Joaquín Sáenz y Arriaga, excommunicated for having dared to criticise the Second Vatican Council.

______ 卐 ______

If, as recently as 1853—a little over a century ago—an excommunicated monk, Théophile Kaïris, could have been imprisoned by order of the Greek government, and died in prison, it is not that the Greeks were, at that time, ‘less tolerant’ than their brothers in France or Germany. It was only that Greece was not then (as it is not today) the West, and that the teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Church was there (as is still today) held to be ‘national religion’, like that of the Roman Church is in Spain, Free Ireland, or Poland, despite the Communism imposed on the people: a living contradiction, given the largely human and ‘not of this world’ character of all true Christianity.

______ 卐 ______

Editor’s Note: If I manage to reproduce the entire translation of this chapter I will divide it, of nearly 14,000 words in the original French, into several entries.

I do it just out of curiosity to know exactly what Savitri was thinking. Some passages from the previous instalments of this new series suggest that Savitri was in line with what, at the end of my eleven books, I call the religion of the four words (‘eliminate all unnecessary suffering’). If to this we add that Savitri also subscribed to what from David Lane is known as the fourteen words she would be, together with Hitler and others from the Nazi leadership, the only ones whom I resemble. (Recall that Hitler wanted to close the slaughterhouses after the war; Göring forbade vivisection, Himmler disapproved of hunting animals for sport, etcetera.)

___________

[1 ] In Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil.

[2] Leconte de Lisle, ‘The Agony of a Saint’, Poèmes Barbares.

Published in: on August 18, 2021 at 3:34 pm  Comments Off on Reflections of an Aryan woman, 3  
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Christianity’s Criminal History, 139

For the context of these translations click here

 

Gregory I, work of the Danish sculptor
Christian Carl Peters (1883-1884).
Frederik’s Church, Copenhagen.

We can thus consider Gregory as the founder of the temporal power of the papacy. Without yet existing a Church-State there was already a kind of State, or at least an important factor of power. Gregory elected the bishops, together with the large landowners, the provincial governors and defined their powers, especially the judicial power. The pope also influenced commerce and controlled, in conjunction with the senate, measures and weights. And to him they belonged—this being perhaps what increased his power the most—enormous territorial extensions, great agricultural estates throughout Italy and beyond.

Despite everything Gregory remained, like his predecessors, the subject of the emperor, his superior. The imperial person and government were considered sacred. The monarch of Byzantium also fought ‘heresies’, promulgated ecclesiastical edicts and convened councils…

Between the exarch of Ravenna and the pope there were no good relations. Italy, and especially the territorial chaos of its middle part, was a focus of small, almost continuous wars. That is why the exarch wanted to protect the corridor of land between Ravenna and Rome, and the pope himself wanted to protect Rome; but there were no longer enough troops for it. The Roman garrison, considerably depleted by the plague and without receiving soldiers, was on the brink of a mutiny.

Gregory assumed command. He took charge of the city, intervening decisively in all military actions, from the appointment of officers to the operations of the generals or the negotiation of armistice conditions. He took care that no one evaded the service of arms under the pretext of service to the Church. Furthermore, he recruited people from the monasteries to guard the city walls, although he avoided putting soldiers in the nunnery monasteries. He even designed military installations for Campania, Corsica and Sardinia. He took care to reinforce the weak points of the imperial enclaves with reinforcement troops and fortifications. He appointed a commander for Naples, whose population he threatened: ‘Whoever opposes his just orders will be considered as a rebel against Us, and whoever obeys him obeys Us…’

 
The beginning of papal propaganda in England

The beginnings of Christianity in Britain remains in the dark. Early Northern Christians had been Scandinavian merchants. In the year 314 there is a testimony of three British bishops who participated in the synod of Arles.

Roman rule over Britain, established in 43 c.e. by Emperor Claudius with four legions (barely 40,000 men), had finished around 400. In 383 Theodosius abandoned Hadrian’s Wall, and at the beginning of the 5th century the Romans, under the orders of Stilicho and Constantius III, withdrew. Faced with the attacks of Picts and Scots, the British called to their aid the Germanic tribes of Jutes and Saxons, and later also the Angles, who created a series of regional kingdoms that fought each other. Such were those of Kent, Sussex, Essex, and Wessex as well as those later of Mercia, Northumbria, and Middlesex, both rising to supremacy. But the period between 450 and 600, called Dark Ages, remains the least known period in English history.

In the time of Gregory the province of Brittany of the old Roman rule consisted of the Roman-British kingdoms in the west and the pagan kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxons, who had established themselves in the rest of the island territory. In August 598, Gregory wrote to Bishop Eulogius of Alexandria that the Anglo people lived ‘in an outer corner of the world’ and that ‘they still venerate the tree and the stone…’ with a veneration that was not without sense and beauty.

Towards the end of the 6th century King Ethelbert of Kent married the Merovingian and Catholic princess Berta, great-granddaughter of Clovis, niece of Brunichilde and daughter of the Frankish King Chabert of Paris. In her entourage was Bishop Liuthard, who was supposed to celebrate the Christian liturgy, although Ethelbert was still a pagan. But upon becoming the most powerful king of England and being recognised as sovereign, Gregory hastened to send (595-596) the prior of his monastery of St. Andrew, Augustine, with some 40 monks, as emissaries to the ‘barbarians’… Unfortunately Ethelbert allowed the Roman monks to develop their propaganda in the kingdom…

The fables of the Trinity and Peter, etc., now replaced the cult of Odin and the Druids. At Pentecost 597, or more likely 601—if it really happened—the king had many Angles baptised. There are no sure testimonies of the ‘conversion’ of Ethelbert, but he was certainly the founder of three Episcopal churches in Kent and Essex: those of Canterbury, Rochester and London, which already existed in 604 when Augustine died. And with his predominantly civil laws the king protected ecclesiastical possessions as well. But at his death in 616 (or 618), and this does appear with certainty, his son and his successor Eadbald was still pagan, and so was probably his second wife.

In 602 reinforcements arrived from Rome. Abbot Mellitus, who two years later was already bishop of London, came with his troops dressed in monastic robes, carrying all kinds of ornaments, sacred vessels, relics, and various papal letters. The news of the conversion reached Constantinople. Nor was the exhortation lacking to destroy paganism and to continue the work of conversion amid the warnings and evocations of the terror of the final judgment. ‘Therefore, my most illustrious son’, Gregory wrote to the king, ‘keep carefully the grace you have received from God and hasten to spread the faith among the people who are subject to you. Increase still more your noble zeal for conversion; suppress idolatry, destroy their temples and altars…’

Thus wrote the preacher of humility. But when the occasion required it—and that was always the supreme rule of his conduct—Gregory knew how to act with greater caution and adopt an apparently more conciliatory tone, which at times may even seem comical. For example, to his ‘dearest son’, Abbot Mellitus, leader of the new troop of propagandists, he wrote that he had resolved

after long reflection on the situation of the Anglos. It is unnecessary to destroy the pagan temples of those towns, but only the idols that are in them. Then those temples must be sprinkled with holy water, altars erected and relics deposited. Because if such temples are well built, they can perfectly be transformed from a dwelling place of demons into houses of the true God, so that if the same people don’t see their temples destroyed, lay down their error from their hearts, recognise the true God and pray and go to the usual places according to their old custom…

Isn’t this a magnificent religion? If the temples are ‘well built’ there is no need to demolish the devil’s work. None of that: they can then serve the work of God. You just have to destroy the ‘idols’ and let the new ones in exclusively.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 138

For the context of these translations click here

Use and abuse of slaves as livestock

From Gregory himself we know that many bishops did not care for the oppressed or the poor. On the occasion of the appointment of the defensor romanus as rector, he wrote to the coloni of Syracuse:

I therefore recommend that you obey his orders with good spirit, which he considers appropriate for the furtherance of the interests of the Church. We have authorised him to severely punish anyone who dares to be disobedient or rebellious. We have also instructed him to resume the investigations on all slaves who belong to the Church but who have escaped and to recover with all prudence, energy and promptness the lands that someone illegally occupies.

For the cultivation of his lands it is natural that Gregory needed entire armies of slaves, of settlers tied to the ground. ‘Free ecclesial peasants were scarce’ (Gontard). The pope did not confront slavery. Where else could the ‘treasurer of the poor’ have obtained the money to meet his needs? Not to mention the maintenance of ‘jobs’, which in his time was the concern of any master. Gregory certainly reminds the lords—for his Church will have to do justice to the rich and the poor simultaneously, which is perhaps the greatest of all his miracles—that slaves are people and that they have been raised equal by nature to their masters. But although men have been created equal, absolutely equal, without a doubt that circumstances have completely changed. Then it would be necessary, according to Gregory himself, to admonish the slaves ‘so that at all times they consider the baseness of their state’ and that they ‘offend God, when with their presumptuous behaviour they contravene the order established by him’. Slaves, the holy father teaches, must ‘consider themselves as servants of the lords’, and lords as ‘fellow-servants among servants’. Beautiful expression!

Isn’t this a profitable religion? By nature, Gregory teaches that ‘all men are equal’ but a ‘mysterious disposition’ places ‘some below others’, creates the ‘diversity of states’, and of course as ‘a sequel to sin’. Conclusion: ‘Since each man does not walk in the same way through life, one has to dominate over others’. God and the Church—which in practice are always identified with the high clergy!—exists for the maintenance of slavery. And from Great Britain to Italy, passing through Gaul, there was in his time a constant trade in Christian slaves.

The Roman Church needed slaves, and the monasteries needed them. Gregory himself encouraged, through the Gallic rector Candide, the purchase of Anglic boy slaves for the Roman monasteries. Everyone bought and abused slaves as if they were cattle. And even to an enemy such as Agilulf, king of the Lombards, the pope could assure him that the labour of the forced ones would be beneficial to both parties. If the most unfortunate escaped their misery, which happened frequently enough, the holy father naturally pressed to be returned to their owners. He chased the escaped slave from a Roman monastery as well as the escaped baker from his brother. But then the pope was magnanimous and instead of punishing the crime of the coloni with the deprivation of his possessions, he wanted to see them punished with a beating by ‘duly returning the slaves to his friends’ (Richards).

Gregory, who insistently proclaimed the imminent end of the world, and who with the struggle for faith made this preaching the ‘guiding idea’ of his pontificate, still had time to do great business. And he made Saint Peter an increasingly wealthy character. He greatly increased the profits of his estate and laid the foundations for the decisive and victorious territorial rule of the papacy. With his Sicilian latifundia he supplied grain to Rome, paid the imperial troops of the Roman parts, took care of supplies and defence, and in times of crisis he even commanded the Roman garrison. In this way the ‘treasurer of the poor’, as he called himself, set in motion the evolution towards the State of the Church, with a hardly imaginable sequence of failures, wars and deceptions.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 137

For the context of these translations click here

Saint Gregory the Great
by Francisco Goya.

‘The property of the poor’

The same man who prophesied the calamitous end of the world and the impending divine judgment carried out an ecclesiastical property policy as intense as if that divine judgment were never to come.

The pope had a series of well-organised patrimonies, about fifteen at the beginning of his pontificate, and territory of many hundreds of square kilometres, called the patrimony of St. Peter. This meant that all this did not belong to the pope, the clergy or the Church, but actually belonged to the blessed prince of the Apostles. And that property of Peter extended from North Africa, where to Gregory’s great joy the almost depopulated territories were worked by prisoners of war (the cheapest ‘labour’), passing through Italy, the urban territory of Rome (Patrimonium urbanum), to Corsica, Sardinia, Dalmatia, Istria and Provence: a property of enormous extension and certainly the largest in Italy. Much of it came from imperial foundations. Perhaps the last gigantic increase was due to the estates of the Arian Church, which was plundered after the destruction of the Ostrogoth kingdom. And while private property diminished more and more, the riches of the Church were always increasing.

In Sicily, the granary of Rome since ancient times, the patrimony of ‘Saint Peter’ was so great that Gregory divided it into two administrative centres (rectories): Palermo and Syracuse, with about 400 tenants in total (conductores). And he personally was informed that for years ‘many people suffered violence and injustice by the administrators of Roman ecclesiastical property’, from whom he had deprived them by taking away their slaves. In the exploitation of the territories, the pope had the support of some of his closest associates as well as the rectors of different patrimonies (obliged with an oath before the supposed tomb of Peter, covered by him with 100 pounds of gold).

Gregory, who ordered the deacons of Catania to wear sandals (compagi) because it was the only thing allowed to Roman deacons, despite his gloomy penitential sermons and his corrosive expectation of the destruction of the world, still found time, surprisingly long, to take care of the fields, the belly mares, the old oxen, the useless cows and the slaves, who had to be naturally baptised members of the holy Church whenever possible. The methods of the holy father do not seem to have been too scrupulous. The main reason was to increase revenue before the impending doomsday and to present the boss with a perfect balance sheet. It has been written that his slogan was: ‘Prestige, efficiency and discipline’. Today, that could be the creed of any American marketing scholar…

Papal real estate continually provided Gregory with large amounts of merchandise and money, making the Catholic Church the leading economic power in Italy… The miserable peasants who were already being deprived with the taxes on the land (burdatio) that were collected three times a year, in addition to the leases and deliveries to the Holy Catholic Church, saw themselves oppressed… But Gregory called himself ‘treasurer of the poor’, describing the immense pontifical riches as ‘the property of the poor’: one ‘of the most beautiful expressions of him’, sings the Church History Manual.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 136

For the context of these translations click here

 

The altar of Gregory in St. Peter’s Basilica
contains the remains of Pope Gregory.

 
‘Thinking different from most—almost a crime worthy of death’

Soon this pope, like most of his predecessors and especially those who followed him, intervened harshly against those who thought differently, against all non-Catholics. His great goal was propagatio fidei, the planned extension of papal power, at almost any cost.

For this reason he interfered in the affairs of England and in the Frank-Merovingian kingdom, whose kings he vainly sought to win over to ecclesiastical reform. He recommended torture and imprisonment as coercive means, and occasionally also the peaceful transformation of pagan places of worship or Gentile customs, ‘so that people thus confidently go to the usual places’, always following the circumstances. He also advised, on occasion, promising converts a tax cut and ‘converting’ the stubborn with higher taxes. To the Sardinians, who still persisted in their paganism, their bishop had to Christianise them by force, as if they were slaves!

But not only did Gregory propagate the conversion of the ‘pagans’ in Sardinia, Sicily, Corsica, and elsewhere. He also tirelessly fought ‘heresy’ and intervened with great zeal in the war against heretics within the missionary war for the expansion of the faith outward, gladly called ‘defence of the Roman Church’ or ‘the pastoral care of the pope’. Not even those who were simply outsiders or disagreed could remain unmolested. ‘Thinking differently than most, leading a different way of life from that led by people in general, increasingly meant a direct questioning of the doctrines and practices of the common people, already constituting almost a crime worthy of death’ (Herrmann)…

Gregory was a propagandist convinced of the virtue of humility. And humble, of course, it is only he who is where the pope is and obeys him with the greatest submission. Conversely, in Gregory’s mind a ‘heretic’ could in no way be humble. The ‘heresy’ was a priori the opposite, a division of hearts, the ruin of souls, a service to Baal and the devil; it was apostasy, rebellion and pride. ‘The place of heretics is pride itself… the place of the wicked is pride, as conversely humility is the place of good’. Tolerance towards ‘heretics’ was unthinkable from the beginning, from New Testament times. The ‘heretics’ were already fought in the primitive Church as ‘antichrists’, as ‘firstborn of Satan’, ‘animals in human form’, ‘beasts’, ‘devils’, ‘slaughter cattle for hell’ and so on. All of this was, indeed, an old and accepted tradition in the Church, which a worthy predecessor of Gregory, Pope Gelasius I (492-496), had summed up in this sentence: ‘Tolerance towards heretics is more pernicious than the most terrible destructions of the provinces by the barbarians’.

In Africa, where after the total annihilation of the Arian vandals the Catholic imperial house prevailed again, the pope was annoyed by the Manicheans, some remains of the Arians, and to a great extent also the Donatists. Once again, as in Augustine’s time, domination was the champion of the impoverished! But soon Gregory forced the repression of the ‘heretics’. In a letter to the African prefect in 593, he is extremely surprised that the state does not act energetically against the sectarians. He later protested also by sending three bishops as delegates to Constantinople before the emperor, for the violation of the imperial laws in Africa. But the truth is that in the second half of his pontificate there is no longer any talk of the Donatists at all.

The ‘great’ pope hated anything that wasn’t Catholic, otherwise he wouldn’t have been ‘great’…

For Gregory the pagans had neither divine nor human rights. And messing it all up—as has been done in his circles to this day—he presented the pagans as persecutors of the Catholics! It is true that he did not advocate outright violence, lashing, torture and jail at any cost for the Gentiles, who according to him ‘live like wild animals’. Nothing of that! Magnanimous and good-natured as he was, he cordially encouraged to wipe out the pagan tenants from ecclesiastical lands by financial imposition. The stubborn and hard-headed peasant who refused ‘to return to the Lord God’ had to ‘be burdened with so many taxes that this punishment would push him to enter the right path as quickly as possible’.

And if even with the most unbearable tax pressure someone was reluctant to enter ‘the right path’, the Holy Father was a little tougher. He then ordered a rigorous prison and, in the case of slaves, even torture which Augustine, the preacher of the mansuetudo catholica or ecclesial meekness, already allowed. And he allowed it not only with slaves but also with all schismatics (Donatists). The clever Numidian thinker twists the words and calls torture emendatio, as if it were a kind of baptismal cure and preparation, a trifle compared to hell.

Gregory thus Christianised the sad remains of Sardinian paganism in the light of doctor Augustine. In 599 he exhorted by letter ‘with the greatest fervour’ to Archbishop Januarius of Cagliari ‘to pastoral vigilance against idolaters’. He first recommended conversion through ‘a convincing exhortation’ and not without evoking ‘divine judgment’. Then he wrote clearly:

But if you find that they are not willing to change their way of life, we wish that you arrest them with all zeal. If they are slaves, punish them with whipping and torment, seeking their correction. But if they are free people, they must be led to repentance employing severe prison, as it should be, so that those who despise hearing the words of redemption, which save them from the danger of death, may in any case be returned by bodily torments to the desired healthy faith.

Through bodily torments a healthy Catholic mentality is achieved…

At that time, ‘pagans’ still existed in many regions, not only where Archbishop Januarius himself tolerated them among his tenants. There were pagans in Corsica, in Sicily, in Campania, let alone in Gaul and even in Great Britain. Everywhere Gregory pushed for their disappearance.

For this he not only set in motion his clergy but the nobility, the landowners and the civil arm too. He had to strike everywhere in union with the ecclesiastical arm. Thus, in 593 he ordered the praetor of Sicily to render all his assistance to the bishop of Tyndaris in his work of annihilating the ‘pagans’. And in 598 he ordered Agnelo of Terracina to seek out the tree worshipers and punish them so that ‘paganism’ would not be passed on to others. He also required the assistance of Mauro, the local military commander. And of course all of this happened, to put it in the words of John the Deacon, ‘through the application of legitimate authority’.

Pope Gregory accepted and even openly sanctioned the religious war to subdue the Gentiles… They had to submit by force without further ado and then more or less smoothly seek conversion: a rule that the Catholic historian Friedrich Heer defines as ‘the Christian policy of conquest and expansion until the eve of the First World War’. In this regard Gregory worked, as we see in his letter to the emperor, with the old Ambrosian idea that ‘the peace of the res publica depends on the peace of the universal Church’. He consequently kept his military commanders and even his own soldiery, which repeatedly prevailed victorious… In the eyes of the Catholic historian of the popes, all this happened ‘in an absolutely natural way’ as by himself Pope Gregory was ‘the bulwark and leader’, the ‘consul of God’, who took in his hands ‘in an autonomous way the history of Italy, the history of his country’.

A Gedankenexperiment

I would like to add something to what I said in ‘Bloodraven’s cave’. In the comments section of Occidental Dissent the commenter PsychelonB posted a comment of more than 700 words of which I will only quote the following:

Pro white christ cucks insist they can endlessly promote their Jewish cult (from Judea) and spew massive insults towards anyone even silently skeptical and not literally delusionally schizophrenic about the cowardly madness of worshiping the Jewish volcano demon while also framing oneself as a great ‘opposition’ to Jewry.

Hunter Wallace replied:

Not really. Those people are self-marginalizing cranks who have zero political support. My Protestant religious beliefs make me normal.

Wallace doesn’t really understand the issue and the best way to explain it is through a Gedankenexperiment. Since I have lived in Mexico for more than half a century I think I know Latin American culture, including its history, better than monolingual English speakers. New Spain existed from the conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521, exactly half a millennium ago, until 1821 when some traitorous Criollos joined the independence cause that, originally, had been led by the Jew Hidalgo and the mulatto Morelos.

Let us experiment with the imagination. Let’s imagine that we are one of those Spaniards who migrated to the Americas. The experiment is somewhat unreal in that there is no biographical record of what I am about to imagine. But imagine that this 17th-century Spaniard is alarmed by the massive miscegenation going on in the Americas, approved by a papal bull since the 1530s.

This man realises that the factors responsible for continental miscegenation are not only the greed that acts as a magnet for adventurers from the Iberian Peninsula, but also the Counter-Reformation that has conquered the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking parts of the continent. This hypothetical Iberian white wants to save his race from genocide through ongoing miscegenation, but he runs against the zeitgeist that once ruled the West.

Con la Iglesia hemos topado (literally ‘We have bumped against into the Church’) is an expression derived from a passage of Don Quixote that has become a colloquial expression in the Spanish-speaking world. It is used to express that old Spaniards should take care when discussing Church matters because they are powerful. The expression denotes helplessness or resignation in the face of a situation. It could be translated as ‘You can’t fight City Hall’ or more exactly ‘We’ve run up against some powerful forces’. In the old regime of Spain the power and influence of the clergy and their institutions were far superior to that of any other social group, and anyone was scared to face them. Criticisms of the Church appear in the Spanish literature of the Golden Age, although it had to be through analogy, metaphor or anonymously.

Let us suppose that this racially conscious Iberian white realises that the ultimate perpetrator of miscegenation is Catholicism (from the POV of this universalistic religion, we are all equal in the eyes of God). Then he has to redpill his co-ethnics who haven’t yet mixed. He anonymously tries to disseminate the surviving fragments of the book of Celsus in order to start a movement that will eventually bring about the general apostasy from Catholicism on the continent.

What chances would he have of starting such a movement in a world where the Spanish crown had already opened a branch of the Inquisition on this side of the Atlantic? Imagine then that this Iberian white tried to transmit his thoughts only with close friends. What would he think if someone who read his private pamphlets said behind his back: ‘That person is a crank who marginalises himself and has no political support. My Catholic religious beliefs make me normal’.

That is the question. Although also aware that miscegenation will stain the Iberian blood on the continent, the fellow who thinks this doesn’t want to see (1) that the Church’s universalism is involved in mass miscegenation and (2) that if the peninsular Spaniards and their Criollo offspring don’t wake up, leaving Christianity behind, their blood will become stained in the New World.

In other words, the crank is not the Iberian white that wanted to translate Celsus as the first mustard seed that grew, over time, in a generalised apostasy to save his own. The crazy people are all the Iberians who came here with an ethno-suicidal cult.

The same can be said of the northern Protestants. What Wallace calls normal is, in reality, a madman. As a commenter put it on this site, ‘Whatever you want to call it, thinking you can aid in saving the white race while, at the same time, bending the knee to Jewish deities (Yahweh and Yeshua) is some kind of combination of insane, dishonest, cowardly, naive, or very stupid. To bottom line it, it won’t and can’t work’. Another commenter, PsychelonB, who has also commented on this site, seems to have been influenced by the masthead of this site.

As a final thought I would like to say that the passage that most impressed me from John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty was his assertion that, by confronting an opinion cherished by an entire civilisation, the dissenter has a fifty percent chance of being right. In other words, the Protestantism that Wallace considers normal in the US has half the chance of being wrong compared to our isolated voice.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 133

Christianity does not belong to the church! It might have once, but certainly not since the American and French Revolutions. Secularisation rarely opened doors to atheism—more often, it made the Jewish creed reborn in fierce anti-Aryan liberalism where the empty idea of money trumps the sacred matter of blood and soil. Only in Germany did Jesus die—and yet, he resurrected in 1945, in the unholy spirit of anti-racism, anti-discrimination, of egalitarian idealism that draws no distinction between the Aryan and the Negro, dead and alive, living and a rock. A faith so crudely nihilistic nobody dares to believe its malice—and yet, it permeates the entire sick body of Europe!—cf. the essay ‘The Red Giant’.

—Adûnâi

Editor’s note: This recent comment by Adûnâi on The Unz Review doesn’t mean that he has earned the privilege of commenting here. It only means that what drives me to continue with these instalments of Karlheinz Deschner’s Christianity’s Criminal History is the red giant, a nova that’s engulfing the West: Christianity in its secular form.

For the context of Deschner’s work see: here.

The Conversion of Reccared I as recreated by
Antonio Muñoz Degrain, Senate Palace, Madrid.

 

CHAPTER 6

The Conversion of the Visigoths to Catholicism

No other country in the Western world experienced such a profound and lasting transformation by Christianity as Spain. —Willliam Culican

After the defeat of Poitiers (507) at the hands of Clovis, the great Toulouse kingdom collapsed completely and the Visigoths, almost entirely expelled from southern France, concentrated in Spain, where they had conquered one province after another. From 473 they were owners of the entire peninsula, except for the small Swabian kingdom in the northwest and the Basque territories of the Bay of Biscay. Its new capital was Toledo, which supplanted Toulouse…

Liuvigild, the last Arian king of the Visigoths, certainly reinforced the power of the crown. He improved the monetary system, and revised the laws, filling in deficiencies and eliminating superfluous aspects. He was the first German prince who founded cities, the most important of which he called Reccopolis, after his son Reccared (in the upper reaches of the Tagus). During his eighteen-year reign he re-unified the Visigothic kingdom, which was crumbling. Even St. Isidore of Seville, who attributes Liuvigild’s successes to the favour of fate and the bravery of his army, admits that the Goths, until then reduced to a small corner in Spain, came to occupy most of the territory. ‘Only the error of heresy obscured the reputation of his bravery’. That was naturally the decisive point: ‘the pernicious poison of that doctrine’, the ‘deadly plague of’ heresy’.

Full of the fury of Arian infidelity, he persecuted the Catholics and exiled most of the bishops. Liuvigild deprived the churches of their income and privileges and through terror he drove many into the Arian pestilence and won many more without persecution with gold and gifts. In addition to other heretical depravities, he even dared to re-baptise Catholics, and not only lay people but also members of the priestly state.

In reality, and in the face of radically intolerant Catholicism, since it had already established itself in the Visigothic kingdom, Liuvigild carried out a proven policy of detente. During his reign many Arian monasteries were founded and many churches were built. The king personally endowed Abbot Nanctus and his monks from Africa with real estate. Moreover, he theologically compromised with the Catholics through certain concessions in Trinitarian doctrine…

Editor’s Note: After five pages of describing fights, Deschner writes about how the tide turned from Arianism to Catholicism, and he concludes:

Finally, the Goths who—Bishop Isidore writes— had drunk so thirsty and so long retained the ‘pernicious poison of heresy’, ‘thought of the salvation of their souls, freed themselves from the deeply ingrained and by the grace of Christ reached the only beatifying faith, which is the Catholic faith. Hallelujah!’

At the III Council of Toledo, held in May 589 (see painting above), and whose worthy preparation was preceded by a three-day fast, ordered by the king, part of the Arians went to the victor’s field. The king declared Catholicism the official state religion and began by uprooting Arianism quickly and completely: destroying its ecclesial organisation, excluding the Arians from all public office, and burning their sacred books…

At the same time that Reccared, together with the bishops, put an end to Arianism in Spain, he also turned the Church into an instrument of oppression as had never happened before in the history of the Goths. All Christian opposition disappeared, the Arians were forbidden from any public office, all Arian ecclesiastical property passed to the Catholic bishoprics and celibacy was imposed on the converted clergy.

Conversions were also reached by force. Some within the Arian episcopate, such as the obstinate prelate of Mérida, Sunna, met their death in exile. Catholicus nunquam ero, it seems that Sunna responded to Reccared’s demands for conversion. ‘I will never become a Catholic, but in the faith in which I have lived I want to live also in the future, and I will gladly die for the faith that I have maintained since my youth!’

Many Arian bishops embraced Catholicism just as in Liuvigild’s time many Catholic clergymen had joined the Arian national Church. Then began the alliance of the State with the Catholic Church, what Bishop John of Biclaro* calls the renovario, the attitude of the christianissimus imperator. According to the old Catholic tradition, Reccared ordered the immediate burning of all Arian Bibles and doctrinal writings in Toledo, in the public square. ‘Not even a single Gothic text was left in Spain’ (Thompson).

___________

(*) John of Biclaro attended council of Toledo where Reccared converted to the Catholic faith, represented in the painting above.

Published in: on January 5, 2021 at 11:00 pm  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 133  
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Christianity’s criminal history, 130

For the context of these translations click here

 

CHAPTER 3

THE SONS OF CLOVIS

‘The successors of the first great Frankish king also protected the Church and the worship; monasticism developed… The remnants of paganism were fought with increasing energy’. —H. H. Anton

 

The division of the kingdom

The kingdom of Clovis was divided almost aequa lance, almost equally, passing in principle to his four sons: all ‘kings of the Franks’; all heirs with the same rights, according to the German rule of succession; all Catholics, except for Theuderic I, with a saint for his mother. And they all also led a life full of hideous cruelties, wars and military campaigns. In the proven tradition of the father they systematically expanded the kingdom and conquered Thuringia (531), Burgundy (533-534) and Provence (537). The aforementioned annexations were joined by numerous raids in search of loot in an extraordinarily troubled time, one of the darkest and bloodiest times in history, brimming with disorder and brutality, fratricides, wars between brothers and betrayals: a race unleashed ‘for power and wealth’ (Buchner), a ‘foolish desire for loot and slaughter’ (Schulze).

But even critical historians bend the knee before the ‘founding of the kingdom’ of the Merovingians, before the bridge they built ‘between Antiquity and the Middle Ages’, before their contribution to the triumph ‘of Catholic Christianity’ to the alliance ‘between throne and altar’. As if all this had not made the story much more gruesome!

The boundaries of the four partitions of the kingdom are not stated with sufficient precision. The one we know best is the inheritance of Theuderic I (reign 511-533). The presumed Hugdietrich of the saga received the lion’s share with the capital, Reims: a territory which would include what later became Austria with its predominantly Germanic population: the entire east, from Burgundy to the Rhineland, and perhaps even as far as the Fritziar and Kassel region, as well as large territories that had belonged to the Alemanni, which was the case in eastern Aquitaine. But each of the sons obtained a part of the Aquitaine lands south of the Loire, which the father had taken over; three of them were exclaves.

Chlothar I (reign 511-561), the youngest of Clovis’ sons, and perhaps not yet twelve years old, the Salic age to reach legal age, obtained mainly the territory of the Salian Franks with the royal cities of Tournai and Cambrai. For the same reason, it included the old Frankish territory between the coast of the English Channel, the Somme and the Carboniferous Forest, with approximately the same borders that it had before the predatory incursions of his progenitor. As the seat of government Chlothar chose Soissons, in the extreme south. Southern and western France corresponded to Chlodomer and Childebert respectively.

Chlodomer (reign 511-524) was around fifteen when his father died and ruled as king of western Aquitaine, the northernmost territory of the middle Loire, at Orleans. And Childebert I (reign 511-558) controlled the coastal lands from the Somme to Brittany; he resided in Paris, the undisputed capital.
 

A saint and murderer

Shortly after the Auvergne rebellion, the Catholic Frankish kings attacked the Catholic kingdom of Burgundy.

Sigismund (reign 516-523), son of the Burgundian king Gundobad, still ruled there. Since 501 Sigismund was viceroy in Geneva. And what the jealous Avitus had not achieved with the father, he obtained with the son. Around the year 500 Sigismund converted from Arianism to Catholicism. Sigismund later introduced Catholicism throughout Burgundy. He was the first German king to make a pilgrimage to Rome…

Sigismund, the murderer of his own son, makes his way as a saint of the Catholic Church! They ended up thanking him for the conversion of the Burgundians to Catholicism. Soon his cult began in the monastery of St. Moritz founded by him. Those with fever had masses celebrated in honour of Sigismund (who allegedly helped against malaria and tertian fever). In the 7th century he also appears as a saint in the so-called Martyrologium Hieronymianum. At the end of the Middle Ages he will be one of the patron saints of Bohemia and even become a fashionable saint. The Archbishop of Prague declared the feast of Sigismund a feast of the archdiocese.

His statue appears on French and German altars as well as in the Freiburg Cathedral; there are churches dedicated to Sigismund and a brotherhood named after him. His relics were requested, which initially rested at St. Moritz. The head was taken to the church of St. Sigismund, although a fragment of it is found in Plozk of the Vistula; in the 14th century a part of the body was deposited in St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, and another was taken around the same time to Freising, which eventually became the centre of its veneration in Germany.
 

______ 卐 ______

 
Editor’s interpolated note: Regardless of the repulsiveness of relic worship—pieces of decomposed corpses —, what is currently happening in France and Germany has very dark and old historical roots that no one in white nationalism sees for the simple reason that none lives under the weirwood but in the inane present.

It should be obvious that, if these Germanics hadn’t been infected with a cult of Semitic origin, they would have regarded Hermann as a hero who fought against the Romans when the latter were already mongrelising.

Instead, after the Christian takeover these Germanics were forced to worship Catholic monsters. Tell me whom you worship and I’ll tell you who you’ll become. Read pages 23-32 of The Fair Race’s Darkest Hour: the only article by a Jew in that compilation. Even the Nazis translated it to German in the Czernowitzer Allgemeine Zeitung of September 2, 1933.

Now let’s go back to Deschner’s account of how a female ‘saint’ gives orders to murder her grandchildren:
 

______ 卐 ______

 
On the death of Chlodomer, his three brothers, ‘warriors above all and simple gang leaders’ (Fontal) shared the inheritance, ignoring all the rights of the three minor children of the deceased king and without allowing any regime of tutelary government from their mother.

The pious Childebert got, it seems, the lion’s share. He was a true father of the nation, who promoted ecclesiastical institutions, enjoyed dealing with bishops granting them real estate, war spoils and large sums of money while being in constant communication with the ‘Holy See’. And as Childebert and Chlothar, who had married Guntheuc, the widow of Chlodomer, certainly feared that the hereditary rights of Theuderic and Gunthar, Chlodomer’s minor children, would be asserted, Childebert didn’t doubt in encouraging their murder, of which Chlothar ‘was very glad’.

After all, both sovereigns had a saint for their mother, Saint Clotilde, and furthermore, being already a Catholic princess, she had imposed baptism on the children of Clovis, had ‘raised them with love’ and had certainly given them a good Catholic upbringing. And since Clotilde also took care of the education of the minor children of the late Chlodomer, the kings Childebert and Chlothar, who had taken over her nephews, asked Clotilde if she wanted her grandchildren to ‘continue living with their hair cut off [like monks] or if they had to kill them both’. And ‘the ideal figure of the desire for feminine holiness’, the francorum apostle who felt for the two children ‘a singular affection’ (Fredegar), replied: ‘Rather dead than tonsured, if they are not going to reign’…

Chlothar put the knife to the neck first to one and then to the other of his brother’s sons, who cried out in anguish. ‘After they had also dispatched the boys’ servants and educators’ Chlothar mounted his horse ‘and left there’. One of them was ten years old and the youngest seven… Queen Clotilde led such a life that she was venerated by the whole world… ‘Her conduct was always of the utmost purity and honesty: she granted goods to churches, monasteries everywhere to holy places, willingly and supplying them with whatever they needed…’

The third son of Chlodomer, the youngest, named Clodoald, was saved from the carnage and entered the clergy, after allegedly shearing himself. ‘He renounced the earthly kingdom and dedicated himself to the Lord’, Gregory writes beautifully. And Fredegar adds: ‘And he led a dignified life; the Lord deigns to perform miracles on his grave’. Clodoald was the founder of the monastery of Saint-Cloud in Paris, which bears his name, and died around the year 560… Clotaire, the uncle-murderer and the executioner, obtained Tours and Poitiers, with the sanctuaries of the patron saints of France, Martin and Hilary, together with the treasure.
 

Theudebert I, and killer kings

Theudebert [editor’s note: the son of Theuderic I and the father of Theudebald] was the first Frank to call himself Augustus and who felt he was the successor of the Roman Caesars and liked to adopt imperial attitudes like minting gold coins with his image that could be described as illegal. He ordered circus games to be held in Arles in the manner of the emperors and must have even thought of the conquest of Constantinople, cherishing the hope of seizing imperial dignity and world domination through an incursion against Byzantium, something planned jointly with the Gepids and Lombards. Such a man naturally had to be on good terms with the Church…

King Theudebert was a benefactor of the Church, which he ‘exempted from tax obligations and deliberately favoured’ (Zollner) while he did nothing more than bleed his Frankish subjects with taxes in the Roman manner… Very significant is the fact that his finance minister, Parthenius (grandson of Bishop Ruricius de Limoges, the murderer of his wife and her lover), on the death of Theudebert and despite the episcopal protection, was removed in Trier from a church, spat on, beaten and stoned by the enraged people.

Even more criminal and even more devoted to the Church was the family clan, which outlived Theudebert. Chlothar I also fought almost continuously during the last years of his life, without this fact bothering at all and not even attracting the attention of those who preached peace and love of neighbour and enemy. The king, undoubtedly the weakest of the Frankish princes until after the death of Theudebert I (558), took over the entire kingdom. He had nevertheless criticised the growing ecclesiastical wealth, but per his brother’s constitution of 554, he also tried to uproot whatever was left of the indigenous religions of his subjects.

It is true that in a winter campaign (555) against the Saxons he bore the worst of it, but the following year he imposed himself on the association of Saxons and Thuringians and even sent troops against the Ostrogoths of Italy. In 557 he fought again against the Saxons, apparently reluctantly, but ‘he was beaten with such enormous bloodshed, and with such a great multitude of casualties on both sides that no one can calculate or evaluate’ (Gregory). But he managed to beat the Danes and Eutenians…

A year later Clotaire also died, and with him the last of Clovis’ four sons, all of whom—like their father—had lived for robbery, murder and war. Everywhere they had gone in search of relics of martyrs, had taken care of relocating them and had promoted the veneration of the saints. They founded many monasteries and endowed them generously. They awarded large real estate to the clergy and made donations to them. The old annals abound in their praises…

Clotaire I, in whose territory the Church was poorly organised and the victim of special relaxation, perhaps didn’t care about Christianity at all. Anyway, he too became a Christian and a faithful Catholic, who waged war after war and had his closest relatives murdered, including young children, maidens, and even his own son, while personally bankrupting himself with countless concubines and at least six marriages ‘and not always successive’ (Schultze). Despite this, the ecclesiastical author of the 7th century compares this king with a priest, showering him with praise. And it is that, indeed, he worried about the transfer of the remains of martyrs, promoted the veneration of Medard, the patron saint of the royal house and supported the founding of churches and monasteries…

Childebert I showed a very special fervour and devotion to the clergy. The usurper and incestuous erected the Holy Cross and the Spanish proto-martyr Vicente de Zaragoza—whose martyrdom was adorned with great propagandistic displays—a basilica in Paris, which would later become the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. He made a pilgrimage to the cell of Saint Euspicius, in whose honour he also built a church. He made donations of land and large sums of money, including the spoils of his wars for Catholic churches and monasteries, in which he ordered to pray for the salvation of his soul and the prosperity of the Frankish kingdom.

Thus he distributed among the Frankish churches dozens of chalices and numerous patens and gospels, all made of gold and precious stones, and all material that he had stolen in his Spanish war. Childebert made Orleans the ecclesiastical capital of his kingdom. There four national synods met (in the years 533, 538, 541 and 549). All Frankish kings sent their bishops to them (exception made for the one celebrated in 538). In 552 Childebert summoned another national council in Paris. He promulgated a decree against ‘paganism’ that was still alive, mostly in northern and eastern France. He harshly persecuted anyone who erected ‘idols’ in the fields or prevented their destruction by the priests. He forbade even pagan banquets, songs, and dances, though certainly without demanding conversion by force…

Vigil, the murderous pope, described Childebert in 546, as ‘our most glorious son’ and praised his ‘Christian will, pleasing to God’… Pope Pelagius died in 561, the same year that Clotaire I, the last son of Clovis, did. In that same decade, and together with the Franks and the Visigoths, another Germanic people began to play an increasingly important role: the Lombards.

Christianity’s criminal history, 128

For the context of these translations see here

 

VOLUME IV, CHAPTER 1

THE CHRISTIANISATION OF THE GERMANS

‘The introduction of Christianity among the Germans was the most precious gift from heaven’. —Pastoral letter from the German episcopate, June 7, 1934

 

The spread of Christianity in the West

At the end of Antiquity and during the succeeding centuries, Christianity conquered the Germanic world. By armies and merchants it had spread beyond northern Gaul to the Rhine. In the old Rhineland provinces probably there were Christian communities as early as the end of the 3rd century; churches were erected from Constantinian times in Bonn, Xanten, Cologne and, especially, in Trier: the official residence of Caesar since 293. At the end of the 4th century, Christianity was already the dominant religion in some Rhineland areas because ‘the laws of Theodosius, Gratian and Valentinian II imposed its entry into those lands…’

In the late 5th century evangelisation of the Franks began; at the end of the 6th century that of the Anglo-Saxons and the Lombards; in the 9th century the Christianisation of northern Europe was undertaken and, at the end of the millennium, that of the Czechs, Poles, and Hungarians. Since Christianity was no longer a despised religion as it had been in pre-Constantinian times, but the official religion of an empire, the popes no longer trapped some individuals but entire peoples in their net. They also annihilated entire towns ‘leaving neither green nor withered’, as the father of the Church, Isidore, boasts. Such was the case, for example, with the Ostrogoths and the Vandals, of whom the Marseillaise monk Prosperus Tironis provided an insightful picture of the Middle Ages, and who were often the subject of ‘cruel propaganda’ (Diesner).

Conversion methods

The Christianisation of the Germanic peoples—designated in the sources as nationes, gentes, populi, civitates, etc.—not only took place at very different times but also in very different ways. Two typical Christian activities converged in the Germanic mission: preaching and destruction. In Merovingian times, preaching was not the primary instrument of mission. There was a more eloquent method to demonstrate to the pagans the impotence of their Gods and the supreme power of the Christian god: the destruction of the Gentile sanctuaries… Of course it was not only destroyed; often, the so-called Christianisations were ‘simply’ arrived at. In other words, Gentile temples were transformed into Christian churches, expelling evil spirits through rites of exorcism and re-consecrating the buildings. The church transformed and incorporated everything that seemed useful, destroying everything else as a nefarious work of the devil.

An important motive in the conversion of the pagans, and also in the mentoring of those already converted, was without a doubt the constant infiltration of scruples and fears in an alarmist attitude that sowed fear for centuries. Fear, in effect, was ‘the characteristic state of the common man in the Middle Ages: fear of the plague, fear of invasion by foreign armies, fear of the tax collector, fear of witchcraft and magic and, above all, fear of the unknown’ (Richards). The priests of many religions feed on the fear of those whom they lead, and especially Christian priests. It is very significant that St. Caesarius of Arles (died in 542), an archbishop absolutely faithful to Rome, in almost all his propaganda interventions, which number more than two hundred, scares the readers with ‘the final judgment’. Whatever the occasion of his homiletical effusions, he rarely fails to insistently evoke the ‘court of Christ’, the ‘eternal judge’, his ‘harsh and irrevocable sentence’, etc.

The conversions of pagan Germans to Christianity were frequently due to purely material motives, already acting for ‘reasons of prestige’, especially when they came under the tutelage of Christian neighbours. Illustrious Gentiles could be chased ‘like dogs’ from the banquets of their princely courts, because Christians were forbidden to sit at the same table with pagans. It is symptomatic that also among Bavarians, Thuringians and Saxons, the nobility was the first to immediately prostrate themselves before the cross…

Jesus becomes the Germanic broadsword

With its acceptance by the Germans, Christianity was also nationalised and Germanised from the beginning. And not only in epic poems did Christ appear to German eyes as a kind of popular and cantonal king. The Franks were immediately seen as his special courtship, his chosen and preferred people. Warriors clustered around him, just as they clustered around princes. The saint is also now felt as the herald of Christ and god. Traditional Christian concepts are filled ‘with totally new content: Germanic, aristocratic and warrior content’ (Zwolfer). ‘From the religion of patience and suffering, from the flight and denial of the world, the medieval Germans made a warlike religion; and of the Man of Sorrows a Germanic king of the armies, who with his heroes travels and conquers the lands and who must be served through struggle. The German Christian fights for his Lord Christ, as he fights for the landlord he follows; even the monk in his cell feels like a member of the militia Christi’ (Dannenbauer). And naturally the clergy knew how to make the Germans proud of having converted to the Roman cross. In the prologue to the Salic law, the oldest hereditary right of the Franks, the fact of conversion is thus exalted:

Unclean people of the Franks, created by God himself, brave with arms, firm in the covenant of peace, profound in counsel, of great corporal nobility, of uncontaminated purity and superior complexion, bold, prompt and fiery—become to the Catholic faith, free from heresy.

Indeed, according to Christian doctrine, all peoples have been created by god; but flattery is always greatest where it is most needed. In this way the Franks appear here occupying the place of the chosen people of the Bible, of the people of Israel. And in a more recent prologue to the aforementioned Salic law, Christ also appears as the legitimate sovereign of the gens Francorum. He appears ‘personally before the Franks’. He loves those who are far superior to the old world power, ‘the chosen people of a new alliance’. ‘They have defeated the Romans and they have broken the Roman yoke’…

Undoubtedly, many German princes converted for purely political reasons. They worshiped in Christ the ‘strong God’, and especially the superior captain, to whom he granted victory. Thus the Frankish Clovis, Edwin of Northumbria and the Vikings converted—all of whom were baptised after having cast a vow and carried out a slaughter. And just as old Odin was considered a ‘God and lord of victory’ and Wotan (Odin’s name in the south) was considered a warrior God, so Christ is now seen as the same. He occupies the place of the ancient Gods of battle, he is politicised and mythologised, presenting him ‘almost as a national God’ (Heinsius). And from now on it will be a matter of honour for each Christian king to fight ‘the barbarians, who by their very condition as pagans are out of the order of the world’.

The Franks, educated in believing fanaticism, considered it their duty and right to ‘fight for Christ’ (Zollner). And still in the 7th and 8th centuries the Frankish Christians had themselves buried with their weapons, under the old pagan belief of survival after death. On a tombstone found in the Frankish cemetery of Niederdollendorf, near Bonn there is even a risen Christ holding in his right hand the spear, the Germanic sign of sovereignty, instead of the staff of the cross.

It is understandable that the Old Testament, often so bloody, was in tune with the men of the Middle Ages better than the partly pacifist New Testament; and it is understood that the Old Testament kings were exalted by proposing them as models of the Frankish princes, who liked to compare themselves with them. For the historian Ewig, this constitutes a new stage ‘in the Christianisation of the idea of the king’…

Among the Carolingians, decisive victories were frequently attributed to the attendance of St. Peter. ‘But now rest assured’, declares Pepin to the papal legate Serge in the battle against the Bavarians, ‘because due to the intervention of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, by divine decree Bavaria and the Bavarians belong to the sovereignty of the Franks’. Even minor achievements, such as the conquest of a fortress or even the discovery of a fountain during the war against the Saxons in 772 are presented as great divine miracles. But when misfortune befell—and it happened so often!—the priests were never troubled. Then the misfortune, the catastrophe, was a punishment from god for little faith and the overflow of vices. With this theology the Church has been deceiving itself until today through vicissitudes of all kinds…
The weed of the past

As a rule the Germans did not convert individually, but rather in a cooperative and tribal way. And that because, unlike the Greeks and educated Romans, the ‘barbarians’ easily accepted the Church’s tutoring without the cultural and historical-religious depth with which their Christian ‘converters’ presented the stories… In a not excessively laborious way, a great many ‘barbarians’ were subdued, who soon revered respectfully all the ‘holy’ priests and monks and were deeply impressed by exorcisms, ceremonies and miracles. With faith they welcomed such strange mysteries, dogmas and with fearful devotion put themselves at the service of that arrogant southern shamanism, seemingly animated only by the desire to make the Church rich and powerful, for the salvation of their souls, out of the horror of fire from hell and longing for paradise.

______ 卐 ______

Editor’s interpolated note: For a clip within a movie
depicting the baptism of an ancient Germanic see: here.

______ 卐 ______

Evangelism took place unevenly, outside the cities at a slower pace, for although the pagan Franks did not usually put up much resistance, from time to time, and especially in the countryside, they stubbornly indulged in the destruction of their town idols. In the religious field, man is especially conservative. And just as the peasants still do today—the inhabitants of the towns remain more firmly in Christianity—, so also at the end of Antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages it was the peasants who persisted the longest in paganism. The Germans were mostly peasants, and in Austria the pagan Franks and Germans were more numerous than the native Christians. This religion was an urban religion and since it became a state religion it was also the religion of the feudal and ruling circles, who sought above all their own benefit. For a long time the peasants persisted in their traditional beliefs, in their divinities, and above all in their Gallic triad: the cult of Jupiter, Mercury and Apollo. And even after they had ‘converted’ they returned again and again to the veneration—undoubtedly much more beautiful and coherent—of trees, stones and fountains.

For centuries synods lashed out at pagan customs, from the Council of Valence (374) until well into the 9th century. Only between the synod of Orleans (511) and that of Paris (829) did the canons of at least nineteen episcopal assemblies launched diatribes against the beliefs and practices of peasant paganism, which preserved the tradition with much greater tenacity than the accommodative nobility. The Germans had a natural piety, so to speak, not camouflaged or imposed, but identical to their lifestyle. They had a natural religion with clearly pantheistic features, marked by the worship of the Gods of the forest, the mountain, the fountains, the rivers and the sea, the veneration of the Sun, light, water, trees and springs; deep down, as it has been known today, a thousand times more coherent veneration than the Christian faith in spirits, at whose dictates a technocratic and hypertrophic civilisation has brought nature almost to ruin…
‘Demonstrative destruction’

During the Merovingian period certain problems of the power of the Christian god often came to the fore in evangelisation: on the one hand, ‘miracles’; on the other, the destruction of pagan places of worship. The images of the Gods—through unpunished annihilation—were easily demonstrated as the powerless work of man, while the ‘spiritual’ Christian god reigned untouchable over the clouds of heaven. Besides, the pagan Franks were generally tolerant and did not have a priestly caste as they faced a fanatical ecclesiastical organisation, which did not back down from forced baptisms, although it is true that at least in the beginning it was fair enough for the church that a formal condemnation of the old beliefs was uttered with a confession from the lips of the new faithful. R. W. Southern accurately describes medieval Europe as a coercive society, in which each person triumphed by baptism. But that was not all; soon the demolition of pagan temples and altars began as well…

St. Gal, an uncle of Saint Gregory of Tours and later Bishop of Clermont-Ferrand, being a priest and ‘companion’ of Theuderic I, the eldest son of Clovis, reduced to ashes in Cologne a pagan temple with all the ‘idols’, and only with great difficulty could the king save him from the fury of the peasants… Around 550 Deacon Wulflaicus induced the peasants of the city of Trier to demolish an imposing statue of Diana (originally no doubt of Ar-duinna, the Celtic Goddess), whom the people adored. As he was too weak the peasants did it for him, after he had ceaselessly weakened the will of ordinary people. ‘Well, the other images, which were smaller, he had already smashed them personally’. Without a doubt, miracles also happened there.

Some of the Christian saints known in the fight against paganism became arsonists and robbers. In Tyrol St. Vigilius, Bishop of Trent, worked ‘with fervent zeal for the spread of Christianity’ (Sparber) until one day he destroyed in Rendenatal a highly revered one, which stood on a steep rock, a statue of Saturn. About four-hundred irritated peasants, ‘heathen, stubborn and ferocious’ stoned him. In Italy many dozen churches are dedicated to him. In Monte Cassino St. Benedict (died 543), the ‘father of the western monasticism’, and whose severity caused several assassination attempts against him by his first monks and a Florentine priest, went on rage against the ancient temple of Apollo, the last temple of that God that history remembers. Benedict still found pagans there, cut down their sacred groves and destroyed the sculpture and the altar; but still in 1964 Pope Paul VI named him patron of Europe…

One of the fiercest fighters against paganism in Western Europe was Martin of Tours (died 397). Despite the stubborn resistance sometimes manifested by the peasants, with the help of his henchmen of his monastic horde he razed the temples, tore down the stones of the Druids and cut down sacred oaks, often viciously defended. ‘He trampled on altars and idols’ according to Sulpicius Severus. And yet the saint was ‘a man of admirable meekness and patience; from his eyes radiated a gentle serenity and an imperturbable peace…’ (Walterscheid, with imprimatur). This champion of faith undoubtedly had the best requirements for the annihilation of paganism. He had crowned a storming career in the Roman army (Julian being the emperor) and had started his Christian career as an ejector of demons. Significantly, he believed he saw the devil in the figure of Jupiter, Mercury and even Venus and Minerva, having otherwise the firm conviction that Satan was hiding in the ‘idols’.

Due to his ‘resurrections of the dead’ Martin of Tours became a bishop, later becoming the saint of the Merovingian kings and Carolingian emperors, to end up being the patron saint of the French. Even today 425 villages in France bear his name. The name of an arsonist, a thief, who ruined what was holiest and destroyed all the temples, became the ‘symbol of the Frankish imperial church’ and, even more, ‘an integral part of the imperial culture of the Franks’ (Bosi).

His international fame was owed to the murderous king Clovis, who had enormous veneration for Martin; for his cause he beat a soldier of his own to death, who had caught some hay in the fields of the man of god: ‘Where are our prospects of victory if we offend Saint Martin?’ On their military expeditions the Merovingian princes wore this man’s legendary cloak as a holy relic. Oaths were formulated on it and alliances were made. The place in which the cloak was kept was called capella (diminutive of cape), and the clerical who watched over it capellanus. Such is the origin of the words ‘chapel’ and ‘chaplain’, that with small variations have entered all modern languages… And, as in all the places where Martin of Tours had razed pagan centres of worship he immediately had Christian buildings built on the ruins, including the first Gallic monastery (Ligugé), still considered today as ‘the precursor of Western monasticism’ (Viller Rahner). The destruction of Gentile temples is certified by many ecclesiastical sources.

The monasteries were preferably built on the ruins of destroyed pagan temples. Thus arose, for example, Saint Bavo Church in Ghent, Saint Médard in Cambrai, the monastery of Wulfilaic in Eposium or Fleury-sur-Loire, which occupied the place of an ancient Druid sanctuary of the Gauls. The Martyrium of St. Vincent de Agen, erected as early as the 4th century, evidently stood on a pagan plot of consecrated ground. In Cologne, where perhaps Irenaeus of Lyons preached Christianity, a vast pagan necropolis has been found under the church of Saint Ursula.

Although in the West many temples and many altars were simply removed, among Franks, Saxons and Friesians the Church burned or completely destroyed the pagan sanctuaries, turned the places of sacrifice into cattle gullies and cut down sacred trees… Together, State and Church promoted the spread of the new faith and the annihilation of the old beliefs. Thus King Childebert I states, in a constitution of the year 554 ‘in agreement, no doubt, with the bishops’ (A. Hauck): ‘The pagan idols of the fields and the images dedicated to the demons must be removed immediately, and no one can prevent bishops from destroying them’.

In the following century Pope Boniface V (619-625) spread Christianity throughout England and wrote to Edwin, King of the Angles, in these terms: ‘You should destroy those whom you have hitherto considered Gods, being made of earthly material, with all zeal they must be smashed and shattered to pieces’. And so, shortly thereafter, in 627, Coifi, converted archpriest of Northumbria, broke a spear in a temple.

(Left, the high priest Coifi profanes ‘the Temple of the Idols’, from James William Edmund Doyle’s A Chronicle of England.)

The Concilium Germanicum, the first council convened in 742-743 in the Germanic territory of the Frankish empire, also provided that ‘the people of God should not promote anything pagan, but reject and abhor all filthiness of the Gentiles’.