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Cardinal Mindszenty and the Catholic Church in Hungary

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 dtente 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 print shop. 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 ellipsis 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 Jzef 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.