|Blessed Clemens August, the Lion of Munster|
To begin, the "Graf" in his name is usually translated as Count. He was the scion of one of the big old aristocratic families in Westphahlia. He was educated by the Jesuits and ordained in 1904. I guess conservative would be his overriding political doctrine; that means too many things now, so to clarify, I might substitute Bismarckian or just plain feudal. I'm not sure that's fair, but his ideas seem to be defined by what he opposed.
|A kinder, gentler picture of the Blessed Graf|
|Died in 1946 of a ruptured appendix|
The Bishop was given a cardinal's red hat by Pope Pius XII. That particular pontiff comes in for some heavy criticism from folks who think he might have been more aggressive in denouncing the excesses of fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. At the ceremony in which he elevated Blessed Clemens August to cardinal, Pius told him how much he admired his outspokenness and courage. The new Cardinal replied "Yes, Holy Father, but many of my very best priests died in concentration camps, because they distributed my sermons.". The Pope wistfully remarked that he was aware that thousands of innocents would have been killed if he, the Pope, had protested.
It's complicated. Morally murky. What would Jesus do? Get nailed to a cross. But the Romans went for him first, not for James and John and Mary. What would Jesus have done if Pilate had told him to shut up or they'd nail Bartholomew and Thomas to crosses? It depends on how human you believe Jesus was.