The Center Party's attitude had become crucial since the act could not be passed by the Nazi and DNVP coalition alone.
It marked the transition in Adolf Hitler's reign from democratic to dictatorial power.
Catholic lay leaders were targeted in the Night of the Long Knives purge.
The Church hierarchy attempted to co-operate with the new government, but in 1937, the Papal Encyclical ‘’Mit brennender Sorge’’ accused the government of "fundamental hostility" to the church.
Popes Pius XI (1922–39) and Pius XII (1939–58) led the Roman Catholic Church through the rise and fall of Nazi Germany.
Around a third of Germans were Catholic in the 1930s.
Hitler welcomed the treaty, though he routinely violated it in the Nazi struggle with the churches.While Nazi antisemitism embraced modern pseudo-scientific racial principles, ancient antipathies between Christianity and Judaism contributed to European antisemitism.During the Nazi era, the church rescued many thousands of Jews by issuing false documents, lobbying Axis officials, hiding them in monasteries, convents, schools and elsewhere; including in the Vatican and papal residence at Castel Gandolfo. The Reich Security Main Office called Pius XII a "mouthpiece" of the Jews.as institutions, felt it possible to take up an attitude of open opposition to the regime".In every country under German occupation, priests played a major part in rescuing Jews, but Catholic resistance to mistreatment of Jews in Germany was generally limited to fragmented and largely individual efforts.