Chaplain Fr. Josef Perau
to Nazi soldiers.
The chaplains officially held the rank of Major within the Wehrmacht and were clothed as such. They did not, however, wear epaulets as other officers did, but they did wear an armband with a purple stripe in between two white stripes on which a red cross was placed. In addition to this, they also wore a cross, plain metal for Protestants and wooden with a corpus Christi for the Catholics. They also wore a pistol on the hip, which they were allowed to use for self-defense and for the defense of the wounded, but not in offensive actions, as per the sections of the Geneva Convention pertaining to health workers. The chaplains were often uncomfortable with these uniforms, owing to their similarity with those of the SS. While the supervision of each chaplain was undoubtedly different, the Church encouraged chaplains to speak along certain lines. Specifically, they were advised to "keep it short and simple" doctrinally. Topics such as the Bolshevik threat and "the avoidance of sexual adventure" were encouraged, but "no word about anti-Semitism or about conflicts between command and conscience" was to be spoken.
The Nazi state's relationship to the churches within Germany was oppressive, not friendly. The government and Party both strove to change society in ways that were destructive to the Church. Controlling the chaplaincy was important for both sides, so it was highly regulated. - Source