While looking for information related to a forum user’s question, I came across some interesting information related to Adolf Hitler’s plans for the Catholic Church:
As a first step Hitler wanted to force German Catholics to abolish priestly celibacy and accept a nationalisation of all church property, as had happened in France in 1905. After the “Final Victory” of National Socialism, all monastic orders and religious congregations were to be dissolved, and even the smallest influence of the Catholic Church upon education of children was to be forbidden.
According to the article, he wanted to change the Church into something compatible with Nazism – a state religion (or better yet, a religious state?). It seems to me that Hitler’s view of religion was one of utility; control what the masses believe in and are motivated by and you control the masses. Hitler, of course, was not the first figure in history to recognize the role of religion in controlling or affecting the people. What he planned to do (and did), however, was quite scary.