November 25th 1956 - Pribilla Maximilian
† in Munich
Father Pribilla was born on November 22nd 1874 in Cologne. After his law studies he was admitted on September 30th 1897 to the Society of Jesus. He studied in Valkenburg and at the university in Munich and was for the present assigned as professor of ethics in Valkenburg. During World War I he served as Army Chaplain.
Since 1921 he was co-worker at the 'Stimmen der Zeit' and remained it for thirty five years. His literary abilities and activities are documented in many articles. He commented on the disputed cultural questions of the present time. His articles were above all pioneer work for the understanding of the ecumenical movement. He had a distinct sense for truth and justice, linked with an alert antenna for the material conditions and possibilities. He is considered as a specialist for ecumenicity. His articles revolve round that topic. Thus he belongs to the most important mental pioneers in the run-up to the Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) of the Second Vatican Council.
His most important work 'Um kirchliche Einheit - Stockhold / Lausanne / Rom' appeared in 1929 in Freiburg. At the beginning of the thirties his efforts for ecumenicity receded into the background by his fundamental articles about the NS State. Thereby he was concerned with the education of the Christian conscience. Up to the prohibition of the 'Stimmen' in 1940 he remained mentally engaged in the argument with the NS State.
Despite his always careful wording, especially in his brochure 'Fürchtet euch nicht - Grundsätzliche Erwägungen zur kirchlichen Lage' (Do not be afraid - fundamental considerations to the church situation), he came into sharp conflict with the regime. That brochure, which had the imprimatur of the Society of Jesus and the episcopal authority, was called by the Nazi Press an 'inflammatory writing of the worst sort'.
After the war Pribilla's articles underlined the basic attitudes of dignity of man and human rights. Two years before his death, to his eightieth birthday, he was awarded with the Great Distinguished Service Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Father Pribilla died in Munich on November 25th 1956 and is buried in the Order Cemetery in Pullach.
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