Alois Hudal

Catholic Bishop

Alois Hudal was a Rome-based bishop of Austrian descent. For thirty years, he was the head of the small Austrian-German congregation of Santa Maria dell'Anima in Rome and, until 1937, an influential representative of the Austrian Church.

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1885 Birth Alois Hudal was born on 31 May 1885, the son of a shoemaker in the Austrian city of Graz, where he studied theology from 1904 through 1908.


1908 23 Years Old He was ordained to the priesthood in July 1908. … Read More
1911 26 Years Old Hudal became a noted specialist on the liturgy, doctrine and spirituality of the Slavic-speaking Eastern Orthodox Churches while a parish priest in Kindberg. In 1911, he earned a Doctor of Sacred Theology at the University of Graz. … Read More
1914 29 Years Old 1 More Event
He took his Doctor of Sacred Scripture degree with a dissertation on Die religioesen und sittlichen Ideen des Spruchbuches ("The Religious and Moral Ideas of the Book of Proverbs"), published in 1914.


1917 32 Years Old In 1917, he published a book of sermons to the soldiers, Soldatenpredigten, in which he expressed the idea that "loyalty to the flag is loyalty to God", though also warning against "national chauvinism". … Read More
1922 37 Years Old Austrian diplomat Ludwig von Pastor introduced Hudal to Pope Pius XI in 1922, and recommended a publication by Hudal on the Serbo-Croatian National Church to the interested Pontiff.
1923 38 Years Old On 5 February 1923 he recommended Hudal for the position in the Anima, mainly because he was Austrian. … Read More
1924 39 Years Old In 1924, Hudal, in a Vatican ceremony in the presence of Pope Pius XI, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri and numerous cardinals, delivered a commendatory address of Pastor, commemorating the 40th anniversary of Pastor's History of the Popes From the Close of the Middle Ages. … Read More


1930 45 Years Old In 1930, he was appointed a consultant to the Holy Office by Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val, whom Hudal considered a "grand seigneur of the Church".
In June 1933, Hudal was ordained Titular Bishop of Aela by Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, who had succeeded Merry del Val as the cardinal protector of the German national church at Rome. … Read More
1934 49 Years Old 1 More Event
Hudal was critical of the works of several Nazi ideologues, like Alfred Rosenberg or Ernst Bergmann, who despised Christianity and considered it "alien to Germanic genius". The condemnation by the Holy Office of Rosenberg's The Myth of the Twentieth Century in 1934 and, shortly thereafter, of Bergmann's The German National Church had been based on Hudal's assessment of both works. … Read More


1935 50 Years Old 1 More Event
By 1935, Hudal had become influential in creating a proposed list of "errors and heresies" of the "era", containing several racist errors of Nazi politicians, the Nuremberg laws, but also condemning several quotes directly taken from Mein Kampf; this list was accepted by Pope Pius XI as an adequate condemnation, but he wanted an encyclical rather than a mere syllabus. … Read More
1936 51 Years Old Hudal was particularly close to von Papen, who as the Reich's ambassador in Vienna prepared the German-Austrian agreement of 11 July 1936, which some claim paved the way for the Anschluss. … Read More
In his 1937 book, The Foundations of National Socialism, Hudal praised Adolf Hitler and his policies and indirectly attacked Vatican policies. … Read More
1943 58 Years Old …  In September 1943, Rauff was sent to Milan, where he took charge of all Gestapo and SD operations throughout northwest Italy. … Read More


After 1945, Hudal continued to be isolated from the Vatican. … Read More
1947 62 Years Old Hudal's activities caused a press scandal in 1947, after he was accused of leading a Nazi smuggling ring by the Passauer Neue Presse, a Catholic newspaper, but, as in 1923, playing the Austrian versus the Vatican and German cards, he only resigned as rector of Santa Maria dell'Anima in 1952, under joint pressure from the German and Austrian bishops and the Holy See.
1948 63 Years Old While his official status was minor, Hudal clearly played a role in the rat line. In 1999, Italian researcher Matteo Sanfilippo revealed a letter drafted on 31 August 1948 by Bishop Hudal to Argentinian President Juan Perón, requesting 5,000 visas, 3,000 for German and 2,000 for Austrian "soldiers". … Read More
1952 67 Years Old 1 More Event
This position he was forced to resign in 1952.
1962 77 Years Old 1 More Event
He resided afterwards in Grottaferrata, near the city of Rome, where in 1962 he wrote his embittered memoirs called (Roman Diaries, Confessions of an Old Bishop), published posthumously in 1976.
1963 78 Years Old 1 More Event
After he was banned from Rome by the Vatican of Pope Pius, he withdrew to his sumptuous residence in Grottaferrata near Rome, embittered towards Pius XII. He died in 1963. … Read More
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