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Bishops and atrocities

28 August 2015

August 27th, 1915.

GERMAN Bishops in conference at Fulda have addressed to the All-Highest a telegram of “respectful thanks for the powerful protection wherewith the supreme War-Lord and his glorious army have guarded the homes and altars of the Fatherland against a host of enemies”. We wonder if any of their lordships gave a passing thought to the homes and altars of other lands, where the warriors of the glorious Army have been free to reveal the spirit they are of. The altars of Pervyse and Arras and Reims and a hundred more lie deep in the débris of the churches which once sheltered them, the tabernacles have been forced open and desecrated, the sacred vessels have been riddled with bullets and stamped into shapelessness, the very Host itself has been found, in the lunette of a monstrance, upon the body of a dead German soldier. As for the priests, they have been slain with the sword. It can hardly have escaped the notice of these prelates that a committee, appointed by the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna to investigate independently in Belgium, has reported that fifty priests have been killed and over two hundred seriously and scandalously maltreated. The telegram of Cardinals von Bettinger and von Hartmann to the Kaiser, indignantly denying that atrocities have been committed, is not evidence which can be set against the witness of Cardinal Mercier, who has himself both seen and suffered.


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