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

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(The High Contracting Parties Agree to Maintain Secrecy Concerning the Annex)

In the event of a reorganization of the present German military system by the introduction of general military service, the induction of priests and other members of the secular and regular clergy for the performance of military service will be regulated in agreement with the Holy See, in accordance with the following basic principles:

(a) The students of philosophy and theology who are in Church institutions preparing for the priesthood are exempt from military service and the related preparatory training, except in the event of general mobilization.

(b) In the event of general mobilization, the clergy who are engaged in diocesan administration or in pastoral work are exempt from reporting for service. This applies to the bishops, the members of the diocesan courts, principals of seminaries and ecclesiastical hostels, professors in seminaries, the parish priests, curates, rectors, coadjutors, and the clergy who permanently preside over a church of public worship.

(c) The other clergy, in case they are declared fit, enter the armed forces of the State in order, under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Army Bishop, to devote themselves to pastoral work with the troops, unless they are inducted into the medical service.

(d) The remaining clerics in sacris or in the Orders, who are not yet priests, are to be assigned to the medical service. The same is to be done, so far as possible with the candidates for the office of priest mentioned under (a), who have not yet taken the higher Orders.

At the Vatican City, July 20, 1933.

Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli
Franz von Papen

Source of English translation: “Concordat between the Holy See and the German Reich” (July 20, 1933). In United States Department of State, Documents on German Foreign Policy: From the Archives of the German Foreign Ministry. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1957-1964. Series C (1933-1937), The Third Reich: First Phase, Volume 1: January 30 – October 14, 1933. Document Number 371, pp. 669-78. (English translation accredited to US Department of State Division of Language Services)

Source of original German text: “Konkordat zwischen dem Heiligen Stuhl und dem Deutschen Reich” (July 20, 1933). In Akten zur Deutschen Auswärtigen Politik 1918-1945. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1971. Series C: 1933-1937. Das Dritte Reich: Die Ersten Jahre. Volume I, 2, 16. Mai bis 14. Oktober 1933. Document Number 371, pp. 662-72.

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