In this twilight of mud and opprobrium, the whole world, sleepy and ashamed, is allowing itself to slide down the successive abysses of a gradual acceptance of Communism. However, in this panorama of general devastation, Cardinal Mindszenty has risen as the great nonconformist, the international troublemaker whose unbreakable refusal saves the honor of the Church and the human race. With the prestige of the Roman purple intact on his shoulders, this brave and selfless shepherd has shown Catholics that it is not licit for them to follow the crowds now bending their knees before Belial.
Thus, the admiring gaze of TFP members and volunteers and those in their sister organizations in the Americas and Europe turns to the illustrious cardinal, enthralled by his holy and intrepid attitude. The presidents of these entities have sent the former Archbishop of Esztergom (whose name, from the day he was removed and thus martyred, will share the same glory as that of Esztergom until the end of the world) a joint message that I am transcribing below. I am certain that countless readers would like to have signed it, many with their own blood or tears, the blood of their souls.
This blood of the soul shed by the hero of Esztergom and by those who suffer in unison with him throughout the world is one which, from Abel to the end of the world has been given the power—greater than any other—to rise to heaven and cry out before God.
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Here is the text of the message:
“Your Eminence: The Presidents of the Societies for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) of South and North America—and related entities in Portugal and Spain—all devoted to anticommunist ideological action, hereby present their deep admiration for your conduct in the face of the red tyranny dominating Hungary. They kiss with utmost reverence the sacred purple, a symbol of martyrdom so worthily donned by you.
“Our members and volunteers spread in the vast territories of the Americas, in their great majority young Catholics from all walks of life, participate in this admiration intensely.
“The reason why we are encouraged to join our voices to those of so many Hungarian associations, groups, and personalities in the Free World that celebrate Your Eminence’s name in these days of pain and glory is quite clear.
“Although Your Eminence’s natural sphere of action is the noble Archdiocese of Esztergom and through it the Hungarian territory, the problem before which you have taken a stand is universal: Can a Catholic who is consistent with his Faith accommodate himself to a Communist regime and work out with it compromises that are really useful to Religion?
“This question, Your Eminence, torments Catholics throughout the whole world who are prompted by red propaganda to change the lucid and heroic attitude of repugnance to Communism, which Pius IX and the great popes who succeeded him had taught them.
“In the immense confusion that arose in Catholic circles because of alluring and successful Communist entreaties, Your Eminence’s stalwart refusal, which has reverberated throughout the world, is both a lesson and example for Catholics to remain faithful to the traditional and perennial teachings emanated from the Chair of Peter in bygone days of struggle and glory.
“This is why, along with our admiration, we express to Your Eminence our profound gratitude, thus fulfilling a duty of justice.
“The Apostolic Kingdom of Hungary has received from Saint Stephen the glorious mission of being the bulwark of the Church and Christendom. Today this mission is fulfilled in Your Eminence’s august person, by your fighting for your beloved flock and, in so doing, by clarifying and guiding—with the twofold prestige of cardinalship and martyrdom—all Catholics around the world, thus creating insurmountable obstacles to international Communism.
“Hoping that our homage and admiration will comfort Your Eminence, we ask for your precious blessings and prayers for us and the organizations we are honored to represent.”
The preceding article was originally published in the Folha de S.Paulo, on March 31, 1974. It has been translated and adapted for publication without the author’s revision. –Ed.