The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedGordon C. Zahn
Title QuotedGerman Catholics and Hitler's War: A Study in Social Control
Date (Year/Month/Day)1962/03/00
Imprint[S.l.] : [s.n.]. 1962
QuotationI have been reading Gordon Zahn's book [German Catholics and Hitler's War] which you published. It is a most important and very welldone job of work. It deserves far more than the obvious platitudes which spring to mind about any good new book. To say that it raises a vitally important issue is so far short of doing it justice that it is ridiculous. It raises an issue that most of us are frankly incapable of understanding or even thinking about intelligently. It goes terribly deep, and much too deep for the average Catholic, the average priest, the average bishop. Zahn is objective with scientific innocence. There is no guile in his approach. He just says what he says, and overstates nothing. Where the impact comes is in the delayed action after one has read a chapter or so. Then all of a sudden one comes to with a jolt and says to himself: "This really means that something very dreadful is happening and has been happening, and that the bottom is dropping out of what we have been accustomed to regard as a fully satisfactory and complete picture of Christianity, or Christian civilization. Perhaps it has already dropped "¦" That is a mixed metaphor no doubt. The bottom drops out of a bucket, not out of a picture. But perhaps one tends to feel that the picture itself has just dropped out of a frame.
Quotation SourceWitness to Freedom: The Letters of Thomas Merton in Times of Crisis.; Selected and edited by William H. Shannon. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1994, p. 45
Letter toFrank J. Sheed
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