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Reich Concordat between the Holy See and the German Reich (July 20, 1933)

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Article 4.

In its relations and correspondence with the bishops, the clergy and other members of the Catholic Church in Germany, the Holy See enjoys full freedom. The same applies to the bishops and other diocesan officials in their relations with the faithful in all matters pertaining to their pastoral office.

Instructions, ordinances, pastoral letters, official diocesan gazettes, and other enactments regarding the spiritual guidance of the faithful issued by the ecclesiastical authorities within the framework of their competence (article 1, paragraph 2) may be published without hindrance and brought to the notice of the faithful in the forms hitherto usual.

Article 5.

In the exercise of their spiritual activity the clergy, in the same manner as the officials of the State, enjoy the protection of the State. The latter will proceed in accordance with the general laws of the State against offences to their persons or their character as clergy, as well as against interference with the carrying out of their official duties; and in case of need will provide official protection.

Article 6.

The clergy and members of Orders are exempt from the obligation of taking public offices and such duties as are incompatible, under the prescriptions of Canon Law, with the clerical status or membership in an Order. This applies particularly to the office of juror [Schöffen und Geschworenen], member of tax boards or of the finance courts.

Article 7.

In order to accept employment or an office of the State, or with a corporation under public law dependent on the State, clergy must have the nihil obstat of their diocesan Ordinarius, as well as that of the Ordinarius of the seat of the corporation under public law. The nihil obstat may be revoked at any time for important reasons of ecclesiastical interest.

Article 8.

The official income of the clergy is exempt from attachment, as are the official salaries of officials of the Reich and State.

Article 9.

The clergy may not be required by judicial and other authorities to give information concerning facts that have been confided to them while exercising their pastoral duties and therefore come under the pastoral obligation to preserve secrecy.

Article 10.

The wearing of the dress of the clergy or of the Orders by laymen, or by clergy or members of the Orders who have been legally forbidden by the competent ecclesiastical authorities to wear them, by order officially communicated to the authorities of the State, is subject to the same penalties by the State as the misuse of the military uniform.

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