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Cardinal Mindszenty and the Catholic Church in Hungary Betrayed


World Communism which is led by Moscow has the goal of exterminating Catholic faith and faithful around the world. It was its reason for being founded by the satanist Karl Marx and it continues to be the purpose of Mikhail Gorbachev and the Communist party of Russia.

The goal of Atheistic Communism remains the same, namely to utterly destroy Christianity and all its followers who will not betray the cause of Christ the King.

The Church, faced with this mortal enemy has only two choices. As with any two enemies who are at mortal enmity, the attacked party can either flee, fight or negotiate. The Church cannot flee because it is world-wide and Communism is world-wide so it has no place to flee to.

Therefore, it can only fight or negotiate. From the message of Fatima we know that the Church will only win this battle against its mortal enemy if it fights Russian Communism with the spiritual weapons given it by Our Lady of Fatima, namely the Rosary and the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope in union with all the Catholic bishops of the world.

Up to this time, the Vatican officials advising the Pope have chosen to ignore Our Lady of Fatima's command to consecrate Russia and have chosen instead to negotiate with the Communists. That such negotiations are bound to fail is obvious to any serious Fatima scholar.

We present here the results of such negotiations in Hungary to further convince our readers of the need to redouble our Rosaries and our efforts to make known and obeyed the requests of Our Lady of Fatima.

What is presented in the following article is a brief account describing how Cardinal Mindszenty was deceived and persecuted by Archbishop* Casaroli and other Vatican officials in order to ensure the implementation in Hungary of the Vatican-Moscow Agreement. The Church in Hungary was betrayed by the implementation of that perfidious agreement which resulted to the advantage of the Communists and to the overwhelming detriment of the Church. The Communists in Hungary and elsewhere broke the promises they made and used the agreement as a means to take over the Church in order to transform the Church into an instrument of Communist policy. To the end, Cardinal Mindszenty resisted the treachery of philo-communist Vatican officials and suffered persecution in defense of the rights of the Church.

The following article was taken from the book Moscow and the Vatican by Father Ulysses Floridi, S.J., published in 1986. This book is easy to read and well researched.

Father Alexis Ulysses Floridi is the author of many books and articles on the Catholic Church. From 1950 to 1965 he was on the staff of the Italian Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica. He had taught at Fordam University and for many years ministered to Russian and Ukrainian refugees from the Soviet Union and China. He died on the operating table in Italy in 1986.

This book is available from Catholic Books Online . The subtitles of this extract are by The Fatima Crusader.

by Father Floridi, S.J.


The Vatican's Policy of Appeasing the Communists in Hungary

The principle of the Vatican's Ostpolitik that it is better for the Church to exist under constraint than in the catacombs was tried unsuccessfully several times in Hungary after the 1956 revolution. At the request of the government, on August 29, 1957, the bishops declared that "mutual trust, the prerequisite for peaceful cooperation between Church and State, has been restored in recent months" and deplored a report of the UN on Hungarian affairs as one-sided and "calculated to increase international tension and imperil the true interests of our country." In return for this " loyal" attitude the bishops expected to "preserve imperiled religious instruction in the schools and avert the even greater peril that would result if the peace priests returned to their posts." But the declaration did not save religious instruction and did not prevent the appointment of "democratic priests" to directive positions in the Church.

In 1964 Archbishop* Casaroli worked out a "partial agreement" with the Hungarian regime. But again the bishops appointed by the Vatican were hedged in between Vicar Generals and Chancellors put there by the Communist party. The Vatican diplomat, writes Cardinal Mindszenty, "scarcely heard the demands of Hungarian Catholicism, and it was for that reason that diplomatic agencies of the Vatican entered into negotiations without a precise knowledge of the situation — negotiations that could bring only advantages to the Communists and grave disadvantages to Hungarian Catholicism."

* Archbishop Casaroli in 1964 is now Cardinal Casaroli.

Finally the Vatican itself discovered where the obstacle was located. It was in the American embassy in Budapest. It was Cardinal Mindszenty who had taken refuge there in 1956 and had not spoken a single word since that time. Peace and détente demanded the removal of that obstacle. In June 1971, two monsignors from Rome visited him and informed him of the wish of the Holy Father that he leave the country. A tentative agreement was drafted, but the Cardinal refused to sign it. The departure for Rome was finally fixed for September 29, 1971. The Pope received him with great honor and assured him: "You are and remain Archbishop of Esztergom and primate of Hungary. Continue working, and if you have difficulties, always turn trustfully to us."

After settling in Vienna, the Cardinal asked the Holy See to make it possible for him to care for Hungarian Catholics in foreign countries and to appoint suffragan bishops for them. His requests were not granted. Lacking a suffragan bishop, he set out in person to conduct pastoral tours of Hungarians in exile. One of his speeches was censored by the nuncio's office in Lisbon when it was already in the printshop. When he was informed by the papal nuncio in Vienna that the Holy See in the summer of 1971 had given the Hungarian government a pledge that while he was abroad he would not do or say anything that would possibly displease that government, he replied that in the negotiations conducted ...** between the Holy Father's personal emissary and himself there had been no mention of any such pledge. "Had I known about any guarantee of this sort, I would have been so shocked that I would have asked the Holy Father to rescind all the arrangements that had been made in conjunction with my departure from Hungary...** I asked the nuncio to inform the appropriate Vatican authorities that a sinister silence already prevailed within Hungary and that I shrank from the thought of having to keep silent in the free world as well."

**... the elipsis was in the original text.

Whatever role he may have had to play in Hungary's history, Cardinal Mindszenty was first and last a pastor. Here in the final year of his life, we see him confirming a young boy.

Cardinal Mindszenty Forced Out of Office

Under the "bombardment of the Budapest regime, which demanded the fulfillment of the Vatican guarantee, the Pope could no longer resist," writes the Cardinal. Asked to resign his archiepiscopal office, Mindszenty again refused. When on February 5, 1974, the announcement of his removal from the See of Esztergom was published his office declared:

A number of news agencies have transmitted the Vatican decision in such a way as to imply that Józef Cardinal Mindszenty has voluntarily retired. The news agencies furthermore stressed that before the papal decision there was an intense exchange of letters between the Vatican and the Cardinal-Archbishop, who is living in Vienna. Some persons have therefore drawn the conclusion that an agreement concerning this decision had been reached between the Vatican and the Hungarian primate. In the interests of truth Cardinal Mindszenty has authorized his office to issue the following statement:

Cardinal Mindszenty has not abdicated his office as Archbishop nor his dignity as primate of Hungary. The decision was taken by the Holy See alone.

After long and conscientious consideration the Cardinal justified his attitude on this question as follows:

1. Hungary and the Catholic Church of Hungary are not free.

2. The leadership of the Hungarian dioceses is in the hands of a church administration built and controlled by the communist regime.

3. Not a single Archbishop or apostolic administrator is in a position to alter the composition or the functioning of the above-mentioned church administration.

4. The regime decides who is to occupy ecclesiastical positions and for how long. Furthermore, the regime also decides what persons the bishops will be allowed to consecrate as priests.

5. The freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed by the Constitution is in practice suppressed. "Optional" religious instruction has been banned from the schools in the cities and the larger towns. At present the struggle for optional religious instruction in the schools is continuing in the smaller communities. Young people contrary to the will of their parents, are being educated exclusively in an atheistic spirit. Believers are discriminated against in many areas of daily life. Religious teachers have recently been confronted with the alternative of choosing between their professions and their religions.

6. The appointment of bishops or apostolic administrators without the elimination of the above mentioned abuses does not solve the problems of the Hungarian Church. The installation of "peace priests" in important ecclesiastical posts has shaken the confidence of loyal priests and lay Catholics in the highest administration of the Church. In these grave circumstances Cardinal Mindszenty cannot abdicate.

At the beginning of 1975 Pope Paul VI named five new bishops in Hungary and transferred four others in a major move that placed residential bishops in all but two of the eleven Hungarian dioceses. The two sees remaining under Apostolic administrators are the primatial Archdiocese of Esztergom and the Gyor diocese. A Vatican official declared that "the former dearth of residential bishops had caused tension and uneasiness among both the hierarchy and the body of priests in Hungary. Now that is all over. A new sense of tranquility will be attained." But he admitted that there are still important problems to be discussed with the Budapest government, such as religious instruction, the Catholic press, Catholic associations, seminaries, regular contacts between the Hungarian Church and Rome including major seminary study at pontifical universities, the religious orders, and the freedom of diocesan bishops to make parish and other priestly nominations without prior approval by the state.

Under These Circumstances 
Cardinal Mindszenty "Old and Ailing" 
Cannot Stop Working

The filling of empty episcopal sees without redressing the Hungarian religious situation can hardly be interpreted as an "important consolidation of the Church's position in Hungary." This is the reason why the old and ailing Cardinal Mindszenty did not consider going into retirement. During 1974 he spent two months in the U.S. and published his memoirs. He agreed to join in the efforts of Soviet dissenters who, together with other intellectuals from Eastern Europe, started the publication of a new magazine, Kontinent. Its editorial board, which at first included V. Maximov (chief editor), A. Galich, M. Djilas, E. Ionesco, A. Sakharov, and A. Sinyavsky, declared the following aims or priorities: (1) unconditional religious idealism, (2) unconditional antitotalitarianism, (3) unconditional democratism, (4) unconditional nonpartisanship, "that is, categorical refusal to express the interests of any of the existing political groups." Significantly on the cover of its first issue Kontinent printed three pictures with three quotations. The pictures are those of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Milovan Djilas, and Cardinal Mindszenty. The following quotation accompanies the Cardinal's picture: "The Church does not ask to be defended by secular powers because its refuge is under the wings of God. The picture over the altar in the church of Papa represents the stoning of St. Stephen. I pointed to this picture and appealed to the Hungarians not to stone each other, but imitate the virtue of this protomartyr of the Holy Church."

Cardinal Mindszenty died in Vienna on May 6, 1975. In his eulogy, Father Werenfried van Straaten, the founder of an organization to aid priests in Eastern Europe and a friend of the Cardinal, accused both the Communists and the Vatican of subjecting the former primate of Hungary to needless suffering.