"The German bishops' conference has released an exhaustive study of the use of forced labor by Catholic institutions under the Nazi regime.
Nearly 6,000 people, including conscripted laborers and prisoners of war, were put to work at Church-administered institutions during the Nazi era. Their work is detailed in a study commissioned by the bishops' conference, entitled "Forced Labor and the Catholic Church: 1939- 1945."
Cardinal Karl Lehman of Mainz, the former president of the German bishops' conference, said that the 700-page study is "an important step along the way to constructing future unity." The cardinal said that the use of forced labor is "a burden of history that our Church will keep facing up to in the future."
The study shows that the 5,904 people were put to work at Catholic institutions, on orders from the Nazi labor office. In most cases they worked in hospitals, orphanages, cemeteries or other institutions run by Church, rather than in parishes. In some instances the laborers worked on monastery farms or on cleaning crews."
CWNews.com, Apr. 9, 2008