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  • Catholic Influenced WWI

    How The Catholic Church Contributed to The Outbreak Of World War I

    In 1908 Austria-Hungary invaded and annexed Bosnia which had been a province of Turkey. Bosnia was located right next to Serbia and Serbia thought that Bosnia should belong to her. These two countries almost went to war in 1908, but war was avoided when Russia, who was an ally of Serbia, backed down. There was a lot of tension and hatred between Serbia and Austria-Hungary for two reasons: They both wanted to annex Bosnia; Austria-Hungary was predominantly Roman Catholic and Serbia was predominantly Eastern Orthodox.

    In 1914 the Vatican wanted to see a war in Europe because the Catholic hierarchy in Rome wanted to see Russia, Serbia and France defeated. Russia and Serbia were to be defeated because the predominant religion of those two nations was Eastern Orthodox. Disobedient France needed to be defeated, because recently they deposed their Catholic monarch and became a democratic republic. The Vatican prefers all nations to be governed by a monarch or a dictator and follow the Roman Catholic religion. Therefore, the Vatican wanted to use the German and Austrian-Hungarian military to punish France, Russia and Serbia and compel them to come under Roman Catholic obedience. A few years before 1914, M. Yves Guyot predicted, "If war breaks out in Europe, listen you men who think that the Roman Church is the symbol of order and peace, and do not look for blame outside of the Vatican, who instigated the Franco Prussian War of 1870. 1

    On June 28, 1914 The Archduke of Austria-Hungary was assassinate in Sarajevo, Bosnia by a Serbian Revolutionist named Gavrilo Princip. The Serbian government had nothing to do with this crime, but this was the perfect time and excuse to start a war against Serbia. Frances Joseph the emperor of Austria-Hungary was reluctant to declare war against Serbia because he was afraid that the war might expand into a larger war, so he asked Pope Pius X for advice. Pope Pius X told Frances Joseph that he should have punished Serbia a long time ago. 2

    Then on July 23, 1914 the emperor of Austria-Hungary, Frances Joseph sent an ultimatum to Serbia with a long list of demands that they knew Serbia could never accept, and Austria-Hungary didn't want Serbia to accept all the demands in the ultimatum. The ultimatum was just an excuse to declare war on Serbia.

    Count Palffy, the Austrian representative to the Vatican, gave to his minister Berchtold, on July 29, a summary of the talks that he had had on July 27 with the Cardinal Secretary of State, Merry del Val. This conversation was about the threat of war. The diplomat scornfully denied that the Pope asked the emperor to deal leniently with Serbia. Count Palffy also said: "It would have been impossible to detect any spirit of indulgence and conciliation in the words of the Pope. It is true that he described the ultimatum to Serbia as very harsh. but he nevertheless approved of it entirely and at the same time expressed the wish that the emperor of Austria would finish the job of punishing Serbia. Indeed added the cardinal, it is a pity that Serbia had not been defeated much sooner. This declaration repeats the wishes of Pope Pius X who over the past few years often expressed regret that Austria-Hungary had neglected to punish Serbia severely.

    On July 26, 1914 Baron Ritter, the Bavarian charge d' Affairs to the Vatican had written to his government: "The Pope agrees with Austria dealing severely with Serbia. He doesn't think much of the Russian and French armies and is of the opinion that Germany could defeat both Russia and France if war breaks out. 2 With the approval and blessing of Pope Pius X Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. Then Russia which was an ally of Serbia declared war on Austria-Hungary and mobilized her army. When Russia mobilized her army and declared war against Austria-Hungary, Germany declared war against Russia and France, and attacked France, because Germany was an ally of Austria-Hungary. France declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary because France had a defensive treaty with Russia. When the German Army invaded France they marched through Belgium which was a neutral country and had a treaty with England, so therefore England came into the war against Germany and Austria-Hungary. So now Europe was involved in a full scale world war.

    If Pope Pius X had advised Emperor Frances Joseph of Austria-Hungary not to attack Serbia he could have prevented World War I, but he didn't and millions of soldiers died. When the allies signed the Treaty of Versailles at the end of the war, they were so conscious of the part played by the Vatican in the war that they carefully kept the Vatican representatives away from the conference table. It was the most Catholic state of all, Italy, which had insisted on the exclusion of the Vatican. 3

    1 The Secret History Of The Jesuits by Edmond Paris pp 118-119

    2 The Secret History Of The Jesuits by Edmond Paris pp 117-118

    3 The Secret History Of The Jesuits by Edmond Paris pg 122