Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cardinal József Mindszenty

Do you know who he is? If not, please make the effort to learn. He was a great, great man, and we should all be ashamed of how he was ultimately treated by the Church after all he suffered on Her behalf.

There is a book out that contains much of his correspondence. Zenit has an interview with the author. It is worthwhile, but I am reproducing here the content that describes His Eminence himself. Please read the entire interview. If I'm able to get around to reading the book, I'll try to post a review here.

For five decades and with great faith and courage, Cardinal József Mindszenty fought at great personal cost for religious freedom in his native Hungary, offering a witness to the kind of heroism that might be needed in today’s increasingly tyrannical secularist societies.

During the Second World War, the Church of Hungary's “Prince-Primate” was imprisoned by the Nazis and then tortured by the country’s Communist regime. In 1949, he received a life sentence for his opposition to Marxist rule and persecution. Freed in 1956 following the Hungarian Revolution, he was granted political asylum in the United States embassy in Budapest, where he would spend the next 15 years confined to the embassy compound.

He regained freedom in 1971, lived in exile in Vienna, and died in 1975 at the age of 83. Documentation pertaining to his cause for beatification was sent to Rome in 1996.

During those years in which he was holed up as an embassy “guest” in the Hungarian capital, he was viewed with a mixture of respect and resentment in diplomatic circles, with some begrudging the unwanted burden he presented to US officials.

But he never let up campaigning for freedom and human rights. In his “semi-captivity," he wrote a large number of letters and messages, sent through diplomatic channels, to four US presidents and their secretaries of state. The missives, now documented in a new book called “Do Note Forget This Small Honest Nation," contained political advice on how to defend Hungary and Eastern Europe from Soviet Bolshevism. In particular, he consistently advocated for human rights and expressed his concern for the fate of thousands being persecuted by the Kadar regime that ruled Hungary after 1956.

Cardinal Mindszenty, please pray for us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I also will try to read this book.
Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty +