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Part of a series of articles on
20th Century
Persecutions of the
Catholic Church


Cristero War  · Iniquis Afflictisque
Saints  · José Sánchez del Río
Persecution in Mexico  · Miguel Pro

498 Spanish Martyrs
Red Terror (Spain) · Dilectissima Nobis
Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War
Martyrs of Daimiel
Bartolome Blanco Marquez
Innocencio of Mary Immaculate


Mit brennender Sorge  · Alfred Delp
Alois Grimm · Rupert Mayer
Bernhard Lichtenberg · Max Josef Metzger
Karl Leisner  · Maximilian Kolbe

Persecution in China · Ad Sinarum Gentem ·
Cupimus Imprimis  · Ad Apostolorum Principis
Ignatius Kung Pin-Mei · Beda Chang
Dominic Tang
Stefan Wyszyński
108 Martyrs of World War Two · Policies
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Invicti Athletae · Jerzy Popiełuszko

Eastern Europe
Jozsef Mindszenty  · Eugene Bossilkov
Josef Beran  · Aloysius Stepinac
Meminisse Juvat  · Anni Sacri

El Salvador

Maura Clarke  · Ignacio Ellacuría
Ita Ford  · Rutilio Grande
Dorothy Kazel  · Ignacio Martín-Baró
Segundo Montes  · Óscar Romero


Persecution of Christians
Church persecutions 1939-1958
Vatican and Eastern Europe
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Eastern Catholic persecutions
Terrible Triangle
Conspiracy of Silence (Church persecutions)

Conspiracy of Silence is a term used by the Catholic Church since Pope Pius XI to describe the lack of reaction to the persecution of Christians by National Socialism and Communism in such countries as the Soviet Union, Mexico, Germany and Spain

Pope Pius XI on his working desk

While numerous German Catholics, who participated in the secret printing and distribution of the encyclical, went to jail and concentration camps, the reaction in the Western democracies remained silence, which Pope Pius XI labeled bitterly as a conspiracy of silence. [1] His protests were not published worldwide and had little resonance at the time in the secular media. [2]

For the Catholics in Germany, the issuance of the papal protest resulted in increased persecution, for which they experienced largely a lack of publicity and solidarity from Non-Catholics in Western democracies. [3] The Conspiracy of Silence included not only the silence of secular powers against the horrors of National Socialism but also their silence on the persecution of the Church in the Terrible Triangle.

See also


  1. ^ August Franzen,Papstgeschichte, Herder Freiburg,1988, 395
  2. ^ Franzen, 395
  3. ^ Franzen, 395


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