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The PRIEST and the FÜHRER: The Ministry and Martyrdom of a Peacemaker

The PRIEST and the FÜHRER: The Ministry and Martyrdom of a Peacemaker

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One priest's defiance sparked a legacy of hope. Discover the legacy of Max Josef Metzger.

A must-read for history buffs, theology enthusiasts, or anyone captivated by extraordinary lives, this is the story of Max Josef Metzger, a Catholic priest whose unwavering courage and vision in the face of the Third Reich made a significant mark on history. Metzger, a staunch pacifist who met his end at the hands of the Nazis, championed peace, dialogue, and unity in an era of turmoil. His key contributions to the Una Sancta Brotherhood shifted Germany's political dynamics and fueled the Second Vatican Council's mission of Christian Unity.

But Metzger was not just a theologian. He was a forward thinker, advocating for vegetarianism in an era when its environmental and moral benefits were barely understood. His establishment of vegetarian restaurants and promotion of Esperanto, a universal language, underscored his dream of global harmony.

Yet, it's the personal tales of valor, like secretly leading Jews away from the Gestapo's grasp, that truly define his commitment to justice and humanity. Metzger's story is one of immense challenges, but through them, he emerges as a genuine hero. His life was a testament to his dedication to world peace and Christian unity, often at the cost of personal sacrifice.

The Priest and the Führer offers readers an intimate look at a man whose bravery, innovation, and indomitable spirit were unmatched. Delve into the tale of a leader whose legacy truly deserves the world's attention.

Authors Leonard Swidler and Cormac O’Duffy studied Fr. Metzger’s life and work independently for decades before collaborating on this book. Professor Swidler became interested in Metzger through his research on the Una Sancta Movement, which culminated in a book titled The Ecumenical Vanguard (1966). O’Duffy discovered Metzger through his interest in ecumenism and was further inspired to pursue more about him after reading Swidler’s book. As a composer, O’Duffy highlights Metzger’s artistic works and breathes new life into his poetry and texts by setting them to music—including the “prison poems” Metzger wrote in the weeks before his martyrdom.

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The PRIEST and the FÜHRER: The Ministry and Martyrdom of a Peacemaker

Professor Leonard Swidler and Dr. Cormac O'Duffy

Dr. Leonard Swidler is a global theologian who has pioneered and contributed to the field of interfaith dialogue for more than 50 years. He is Professor Emeritus of Religion at Temple University, founder of the Journal of Ecumenical Studies, and now teaches at the University of Sulaimani. The Dialogue Decalogue, his proposed interfaith dialogue, has been described as the most convincing theoretical basis for conducting Dialogue.

Dr. Cormac O'Duffy is an American-born son of an Irish Tenor. Having spent most of his life in Ireland and the UK, he holds a BMus degree from University College Dublin, teaching qualifications from Middlesex University, and an MA and PhD from Mary Immaculate College and the University of Limerick. He is known for his musical compositions, including ‘Hear O Israel,’ which tells the story of the return of the Jewish people to Israel in Oratorio style. It was performed in Jerusalem on the 40th anniversary of the State. More recently, his work includes an Oratorio called ‘Mary,’ which was performed at Mepkin Abbey in Charleston, SC.