Galen, Clemens Augustinus von
GALEN, CLEMENS AUGUSTINUS VON
Cardinal, bishop of Münster, Germany; b. Dinklage, Oldenburg, Germany, March 16, 1878; d. Münster, March 22, 1946. He was the son of Count Ferdinand Heribert von Galen and Elizabeth, Countess of Spee. After being educated by the Jesuits in Feldkirch, he studied at the Catholic University in Freiburg, Germany, the Jesuit theological college in Innsbruck, Austria, and the diocesan seminary in Münster and was ordained in 1904. Following parish work in Berlin, he became pastor of St. Lambert's, Münster (1929). Having denounced the godlessness of Germany after World War I in his book Die Pest des Laizismus und ihre Erscheinungsformen (1932), Von Galen became an outspoken critic of the Hitler regime after his consecration as bishop of Münster (1933). His sermons attacked Nazi racial doctrines, totalitarian methods, and state confiscation of religious property. He was critical too of the Gestapo, the policy of euthanasia for insane and "unproductive" members of society, and the efforts to undermine youth. Von Galen displayed no concern for his personal safety, but Hitler, fearing that the support of Westphalia might be entirely lost, seems to have ordered that no restraints be placed on the "Lion of Münster." After World War II, the bishop continued his denunciation of injustices under the occupation authorities. He was created cardinal on Feb. 17, 1946, shortly before being stricken with a fatal attack of intestinal paralysis.
Bibliography: h. portmann, Cardinal von Galen, tr. r. i. sedgwick (London 1957). g. ritter, The German Resistance, tr. r. t. clark (New York 1959). m. a. gallin, German Resistance to Hitler (Washington 1961). h. rothfels, The German Opposition to Hitler, tr. l. wilson (Chicago 1962). m. bierbaum, Staats-lexicon ed. Görres-Gesellschaft, 8 v. (6th, new and enl. ed. Freiburg 1957–63) 3:639–642.
[m. a. gallin]