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The alleged quote would be:

Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth... I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel great affection and admiration... and am forced thus to confess that what I once despised, I now praise unreservedly.

I saw this earlier in an Instagram post in Portuguese. All Google search results seem quite obscure to me. This source claims it's from Time magazine, reported December 23, 1940.

The article apparently does exist, but did Albert Einstein actually say this?

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    I would remind commenters about the existence of the "Edit" button and the "Post Your Answer" button, which are so much more useful than the "Add comment" button. – Oddthinking Mar 21 at 12:21
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Albert Einstein

According to Skeptic, Albert Einstein has already answered this himself, and apparently he said: "he had casually mentioned to some journalist that hardly any German intellectuals except a few churchmen were supporting individual rights and intellectual freedom. He added that this statement had subsequently been drastically exaggerated beyond anything that he could recognize as his own".

Skeptic

Having a long-standing interest in verifying quotations, I turned to The Expanded Quotable Einstein,8 but it does not include this statement. So I wrote to its editor, Alice Calaprice. She was unsure about the statement but kindly referred me to Barbara Wolff at the Einstein Archives in Jerusalem. Ms. Wolff was able to answer my question: It turns out that the Einstein Archives contain an unpublished letter mentioning this topic specifically. Writing to Count Montgelas on March 28, 1947, Einstein explained that early in the Hitler years he had casually mentioned to some journalist that hardly any German intellectuals except a few churchmen were supporting individual rights and intellectual freedom. He added that this statement had subsequently been drastically exaggerated beyond anything that he could recognize as his own

Did Albert Einstein say this about the Catholic Church?

It would appear he does admit to making a statement, but the words were taken out of context and exaggerated to an extent that they were not words that came out of his mouth.

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    I would be skeptical of this "Skeptic" article. If "Einstein explained..." the quote, why do we have to depend on Ms. Wolff's interpretation instead of reading Einstein's actual explanation from the Montgelas letter? Moreover, if Einstein admits that he "mentioned [it] to some journalist", isn't it reasonable to believe that the Time reporter's quote is genuine? – workerjoe Mar 18 at 17:32
  • @workerjoe - there is certainly some correspondence in the Catholic Herald which suggests that Count Montgelas did write to Einstein, but as you say, it would be useful to have a direct report of what was said back. – Francis Davey Mar 18 at 19:23
  • @Kevin most quotes from anywhere other than published material are punched up before publication. It's the sentiment and intent that matters. – fectin Mar 19 at 23:37
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The statement was published well before being partially reprinted by Time in 1940.

It was first published in 1934, for example in the La Crosse Tribune.

The exact wording is by Rev. Dr. S. Parkes Cadman, who says he is "quoting in free translation a statement made by Professor Einstein last year to one of my colleagues...".

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After Time reprinted the quote in 1940, a pastor wrote to Einstein in 1943 asking if Time quoted him accurately, and Einstein responded by letter:

It is true that I made a statement which corresponds approximately with the text you quoted. I made this statement during the first years of the Nazi regime - much earlier than 1940 -and my expressions were a little more moderate.

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    Well-found; how did you do it? – Fivesideddice Mar 25 at 6:05
  • @Fivesideddice somebody (maybe LangLangC) linked to this: en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein under the question and a moderator deleted it, but I remembered it, and at first there was a paywall for the newspaper article but then I looked again a few days later and I could see the article. – DavePhD Mar 25 at 12:40

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