Georg Bichlmair, S. J.

Catholics of all ranks sometimes are tempted to allow a compromise with the world in hopes that people will not be totally alienated from the Church.

The Austrian Jesuit Georg Bichlmair was head of the Pauluswork, a missionary group for the conversion of Jews, in Vienna in the early 1930s, as Nazis grew stronger in German-speaking lands.

Dietrich von Hildebrand knew Bichlmair. He recounts

Fr. Bichlmair struck upon the unfortunate idea that one should tolerate a certain anti-Semitism in Catholics infected by Nazism to prevent them from falling away from the Church. This despite the fact that he himself was a great friend of the Jews and directed many Jewish converts. It was just another manifestation of the disastrous old idea that compromise can keep people from falling away. The same logic had led to compromises with nationalism at various points, just as it had with idolization of science or with the Zeitgeist.

Vin Hildebrand pleaded with Bichlmair not to publish his article justifying a certain degree of racial antisemitism. Even if it worked and kept Nazis in the Church what good what it do?

For what good is obtained when people who consider themselves Catholic and who still receive the sacraments adhere to ideas that are incompatible with Christ?

Bichlmair wrote and spoke in defense of a racial anti-Semitism, and he was noticed favorably by the Nazis. Bichlmair however was not a Nazi by any means. He was eventually arrested by the Gestapo, but he survived and became head of the Austrian Jesuit province after the war.

Of course the current temptation is to compromise with the Sexual Revolution, not the Nazi Revolution. And there is a difference between the two: the Nazis killed fewer people.

Dietrich von Hildrebrand

Dietrich von Hildebrand


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