Adolf Hitler can hardly be called catholic, much less a devout one. While he was catholic by birth, there is ample evidence that he never celebrated mass* after leaving home and found Christianity to be “unfit” for “Aryans”, suitable only for the populations that would, after Germany winning the war, serve the German people as slaves or something similar.**
Not that it would be damning of the religion if he had been a “devout” catholic, Christians of all stripes have done horrible things, as have atheists, Buddhists and adherents of every sort of religious affiliation and disaffiliation.
But I don’t like historical revisionism, and this false claim that the monster was some kind of super catholic is just horribly ill researched and devoid of most any kind of truth.
*Or any other sacrament of the church, including marriage. He married just a couple days before committing suicide and no priest officiated, despite clerical availability. Hardly the actions of a devout catholic.
**Just so it’s clear what I am saying, Hitler did profess to be a catholic, but like most leaders before, and since, he recognized the power of religion (or any strongly held popular beliefs) and made use of it to his own ends. We see the same thing with politicians here, who get hunting licenses only once they start running for office, that they may be seen to identify with “the common man”. This no more makes Hitler a devout catholic, whatever he may have said in public, than it makes Mitt Romney a hunter.
Look at what communism did with atheism! Atheism is a bit different, as it does not really have any dogma or proscriptions. What atheism does do is to leave a traditionally filled “void”, a perfect thing when you want to replace church with state. Atheism can be used in much the same way as religion, to control people and/or gain power. Despite this, neither atheism or religion is predetermined to lead to, or facilitate violence. Much like any weapon, religion and atheism can be tools, and the outcome of that usage has much more to do with the person holding it than it does the weapon itself. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, and so it is with religion.