But the greater scandal of that 1947 election in Hungary was, as Dr. Boer phrased it, “the disgraceful and slanderous pretexts under which many were robbed of their franchise. I remember, for instance, that five officials, three high-ranking guests, five nuns, thirty members of the staff, and sixty five seminarians were all denied the vote. In the monasteries and nunneries the situation was much the same. I was myself excluded from the voter’s list although I was a high-ranking official of the Ministry of Education. Our nuns and the sisters of the neighboring English Ladies’ Convent were disbarred because “they were under police supervision as prostitutes!” Under this clause seventy-year-old grandmothers were also struck off the register.”
Even before the election Cardinal Mindszenty had formally addressed his concerns to Hungary’s Prime Minister, Louis Dinnyes, about electoral abuses which he duly pointed out “involve the violation of rights due under democratic equality and the denial of civil rights laid down in the new Hungarian Constitution. We object especially to the untrue and often slanderous statements upon which this denial of rights is very often based. It is essential that the Hungarian Government should find a timely remedy for these abuses and avoid exposing the country to the danger of suspicion of the fairness and validity of the election.”
Although noting that the majority of Catholics (in a country that was then 80% Catholic) had been excluded from their electoral rights under scandalous and libelous pretexts, Mindszenty observed that this exclusion would cast doubt upon the fairness and validity of the elections. Of course his protests went unheeded and in fact the Communist government, which also controlled and censored the press, simply tarred the Cardinal Primate as the one being “unpatriotic.” Dr. Boer writes, “this account proves that the present Hungarian Parliament cannot any longer be considered a legal body, expressing and representing the political will of the Hungarian people.”
Why do these words ring so close to home as we watch the current administration, after attaining power through highly suspect means, plunge our nation into one humiliating crisis after another. It raises unprecedented deficits which have caused record inflation, even as it demonizes anyone who disagrees with such disastrous policies as “domestic terrorists.” Of course the difference between today and Hungary in 1947 is that the Catholic hierarchy, which was then solidly united in opposing fraud and tyranny, is today composed of prelates of a very different stripe. They seem more interested in getting along with child butchering politicians and thereby continuing to collect large government checks for their pet programs than in fighting blatant corruption or standing up for principles. They acquiesce supinely to a kind of party rhetoric which Cardinal Mindszenty described as “the freedom of speech (which) seems to exclude all contradiction or criticism, and if anybody has tried to maintain any opposition or criticism, though essential to democracy, he brings upon himself dismissal or other disciplinary action.” The good cardinal may have never heard the term “cancel culture” but he surely understood the concept as invariably practiced by Leftist tyrants, both then and now.
Within a year of that fraudulent 1947 election the Communist state had nationalized (confiscated) and secularized Hungary’s entire system of Catholic schools and education. The Communists then used a faithless Catholic priest and politician, Father Stephen Balogh, as their propaganda tool to blame Cardinal Mindszenty for the loss of the religious schools and a failure to establish peace between the Church and State. Balogh, through his own publication Magyar Nemzet attempted to sow divisions between the faithful and the clergy, and even the cardinal and Rome, all the while positioning himself as the “bridge” who could peacefully harmonize Communism and the Church. Mindszenty was not fooled because he well understood “that with Communists there could be no “tactics” and no “realist policy;” for every agreement with the Communists, as in their foreign policy, only represented a stage in their efforts to attain their final goal – total domination.”
Unable to silence Mindszenty, the illegitimate Communist regime finally arrested the Cardinal Primate on December 26, 1948. After being subjected to weeks of secret interrogation and torture a “Yellow Book” containing so-called hand-written confessions, obviously coerced, was produced. Dr. Boer notes that these contain numerous misspelled words made by a man who was a master of the language; who had always meticulously proofed his copy and speeches like a schoolmaster. Boer also notes how prior to his arrest the cardinal often changed and corrected phrases and passages yet in the “confessions” there was not a single correction, as if the words had been dictated. After a show trial and foregone conviction, Mindszenty was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Few in the outside world were fooled, however, and Cardinal Mindszenty became a world wide symbol of opposition to totalitarian aggression.
The meaning of terms such as “democracy” or “separation of Church and State” have a very different meaning to the average American than they do to committed Leftists for whom “democracy” is a preferred euphemism for any ideological Socialist tyranny. As for the latter, Dr. Boer observes that “In countries of “People’s Democracy” the confiscation of Church property, the nationalization of Church schools, the banning of the influence of the Church on youth and the prevention of the propagation of faith through books, newspapers, and schools only precedes the separation of Church and State.”
Shortly after that infamous Mindszenty trial, Pope Pius XII publicly addressed the Catholic world on February 20, 1949 stating, “It is a well known fact what the totalitarian Godless state expects from the Church as a price of its toleration and doubtful recognition. It expects the Church to be silent when it is her duty to speak out; it expects the Church to loosen God’s law and mould it to the human will when it is her duty to proclaim God’s law with a loud voice. They expect a Church which breaks away from that firm foundation on which it has been built by Christ. They expect a Church which does not take up an attitude of opposition against the suppression of conscience and which does not defend the fundamental rights and the true liberty of the people. They expect a Church which remains in infamous servitude within the walls of its buildings and forgets the Godly order of Christ: ‘Going therefore, teach ye all nations.’ (Matt. 28:19)”
Stolen elections are nothing new, but what we need to be cognizant of is their malicious ability to wreak untold havoc on peoples, on nations, and on the Church founded by Jesus Christ. Does it really matter or should we just be willing to “move on” as supposedly wiser heads are wont to chatter in our ears. History says otherwise. There is no compromising with the devil because every such compromise in the end turns out to be an outright defeat. Evil is never satisfied with merely “getting along.” It intends to win, hands down. Seventy years ago most Churchmen, and most Americans, understood that principle. Today we seem to be led by a hoard of Stephen Baloghs, willing to compromise their way into total subservience to the most Godless state. Please watch and share 2000 Mules with your friends and neighbors, otherwise Hungary’s past may just be our future.
Francis J. Pierson + a.m.d.g.
Quotes taken from the book Cardinal Mindszenty by Right Rev. Dr. Nicholas Boer, 1949