Syllabus against racism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The syllabus against racism is a Vatican document written in 1938, designed to promote the condemnation racism and Nazi ideology in Catholic educational institutions. It originated with Pope Pius XI but he died before approving it and it was never released.

In April 1938, the Sacred Congregation for seminaries and universities developed at the request of Pius XI a syllabus condemning racist theories to be sent to Catholic schools worldwide.[1]

The preamble stated that teachers will apply all means, borrowing from the tools of biology, history, philosophy, apologetics, law and moral studies, to refute with strength and skill the following untenable assertions:

  1. The human races, by their natural and immutable characters, are so different from each other that, the humblest of them is further from the highest race than of the highest animal species .
  2. We must by all means, preserve and cultivate strong race and purity of blood, so that all leads to this result is therefore honest and permitted.
  3. It is blood, seat of the characteristics of the race, that all the intellectual and moral qualities of man derive as their main source.
  4. The basic purpose of education is to develop the characters of the race and inflame the minds of a burning love of their own race as the supreme good.
  5. Religion is subject to the law of race and must be adapted to it.
  6. The first source and the supreme rule of law and order is racial instinct.
  7. There exists only the Kosmos or living universe ; all things, including humans, are only various forms growing over the ages of universal life.
  8. Each man exists only by the State and for the State. All that he rightly possesses derives exclusively from a concession to the State.


  1. ^ Hubert Wolf, Kenneth Kronenberg, Pope and Devil: The Vatican's Archives and the Third Reich (2010) p 283