During the early years of the 20th century, attempts at dialogue with modern culture and practical collaboration with the Protestant majority in the Kaiserreich emerged in German Catholicism in order to overcome the condition of ‚inferiority‘ that characterized the Catholic population. In the context of the anti-modernist repression enacted by the Roman Curia of Pope Pius X, however, the proponents of forms of interdenominational organization, the autonomy of the laity from the ecclesiastical hierarchy, and openness towards secularized modernity more generally attracted the criticism of the so-called integralist Catholics. The latter saw a danger to the Catholic faith and to the prerogatives of the Roman Church in these developments and, ultimately, a manifestation of modernist ‚heresy‘. Among the targets of the integralist accusations were the Volksverein and the Centre Party, as well as the interdenominational Christian trade unions. The paper aims to shed light on the contents and characteristics of German Catholic integralism in the years following the encyclical Pascendi (1907): to this end, the specific case of the Cologne priest Andreas Müller (1862–1938) is examined; through dozens of letters addressed to the Nuncio of Munich and the Holy See itself, he denounced the (alleged) infiltration of Modernism in Germany.
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