Friday, January 22, 2010

Tyrannicide: Rösch, Delp And Wehrle

Fr Hermann Josef Wehrle had merely heard the confession of a German cavalry officer, Major Ludwig Freiherr (Baron) von Leonrod, who was not even part of the 20th July plot to overthrow Hitler. He had declined to get involved. Baron Leonrod was nevertheless condemned to death for not revealing what he knew about the July 20th plot, which was, in any case, very little. Fr Wehrle knew even less but Baron Leonrod came to him for spiritual counsel and confession.
Fr Wehrle gave him him open spiritual counsel and told him that tyrannicide was moral if the tyrant had no legal right to be leader.
Outspoken opposition to the Nazis by individual Jesuits resulted in harsh response from government officials, including imprisonment of priests in concentration camps. The government takeover of church property, "Klostersturm", resulted in the loss of valuable properties such as that of Stimmen der Zeit, teh Jesuti newspaper, and limited the work of the Jesuits in Germany. The Jesuit provincial, Rev Fr Augustin Rösch S.J., Father Afred Delp's superior in Munich, became active in the underground resistance to Hitler.

Link (here) to the blog entitled Roman Christendom and read the full story.

Photo of German Headquarter after the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler on July 20th, 1944

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