New Peace Activities

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In 1928, Metzger again became more actively involved in the international peace movement. At The Hague international peace day in August of 1928, he interpreted the vision of peace in Micah 4:1–4 and, mindful of the experience of the latest war and renewed rearmament, called for every Christian to take a stand for peace and social justice and against the cause of the war, the lie.

At the War Resisters’ International Conference in The Hague (1929), making reference to Francis of Assisi, he criticized rearmament controlled by capital, which inevitably leads to war. The Catholic press consequently placed Metzger in the ranks of Communists and Socialists. The Freiburg Ordinary reprimanded him sharply.

Metzger demonstrated political independence when he stood up for George Grosz, accused in 1928 of allegedly drawing blasphemously (Gefangenschaftsbriefe, 2nd Ed., 30f.). In the Christkönigsboten in 1931, he harshly called government and business to account for their response during the Great Depression. Metzger’s critique of capitalism moved him to look toward the USSR, which he felt was distortedly in the West at the time. Despite all of his reservations about Bolshevism, he saw the Russian model as an alternative to liberate the masses from capitalism’s inhumane enslavement.

The Christkönigsboten from that period also included radical antiwar articles by other authors. The Protestant Emil Fuchs promoted religious socialism in 1932. That same year, Metzger appealed to Pope Pius XI to keep the nations of Europe from the sure path to war (Für Frieden, 46).

Metzger’s relationship with the “Peace League of German Catholics” on the other hand was filled with tension. He criticized the Center’s stance toward the German policy of rearmament on several occasions. Metzger was nonetheless elected a member of the “Peace League’s” national committee in 1929.

Source / title

  • Christkönigsbote. Katholischer Missionsruf des Christkönigswerkes vom Weißen Kreuz 1931, No. 24, p. 1f.