In Today's Catholic World News Blog

Mindszenty Cleared Posthumously (Confessed Under Duress)

Note: Click photo to enlarge. Image of Cardinal Mindszenty (look at his eyes) flanked by two guards, at his trial in Hungary, during the Communist regime, 1949.


TCW is posting an article (below) on Cardinal Mindszenty that appeared last year in a secular Budapest, Hungary newspaper. 


Cardinal Mindszenty fiercely opposed communism and the communist persecution in his country of Hungary. As a result, he was arrested (*tortured behind the scenes) and given a life sentence in a 1949 **show trial that generated worldwide condemnation.


*St. Thomas Aquinas teaches in order to constitute a genuine [true] act of the will: the act must be performed spontaneously [freely] -without constraint or force- (and that) man can be coerced or forced to do something against his will in two ways: by violence and by fear (VI. 4, 5,6). That which is done under exterior violence is wholly involuntary (VI. 5).


**On 3 February 1949, his trial began. On 8 February Cardinal Mindszenty was sentenced to life imprisonment for treason against the Communist government. Mindszenty walked into court and openly confessed to the crimes he was accused of. On February 12, 1949, Pope Pius XII announced the excommunication of all persons involved in the trial and conviction of Mindszenty. In his apostolic letter, Acerrimo Moerore, he publicly condemned the jailing of Cardinal Mindszenty and stated he was being mistreated.



The Budapest Times

30 March 2012


"Mindszenty Cleared Posthumously"
(Worldwide condemnation of 1949 show trial)

By Attila Leitner


"Shortly before his arrest he (Card. Mindszenty) wrote a note to the effect that he had not been involved in any conspiracy and any confession he might make would be under duress."


The late cardinal and Esztergom archbishop József Mindszenty has received a full legal, moral and political rehabilitation by the Chief Prosecutor’s Office.

The ruling ends a 23-year procedure that began with a re-trial process of his show trial, number 254/1949, in 1989. A law passed by Parliament and a ruling of the Supreme Court in the following year had already declared the innocence of Mindszenty, and the current resolution merely closes the official investigation by the prosecution. [...]


Imprisoned for beliefs

Mindszenty – who was featured on the 14 February 1949 cover of Time magazine – was a steadfast supporter of church freedom (The Catholic Church's rights. -TCW) and an opponent of communism ... .
Mindszenty was arrested (in 1948) – already a cardinal – after religious orders were banned by the government.

False confessions

Shortly before his arrest he wrote a note to the effect that he had not been involved in any conspiracy and any confession he might make would be under duress. While he was imprisoned by the communist government he “confessed” to working with Americans against the state of Hungary. Among other forced confessions, Mindszenty admitted that he had orchestrated the theft of Hungary’s crown jewels with the explicit purpose of crowning Otto von Habsburg emperor of Eastern Europe.


He “admitted” that he had schemed to remove the communist government, had planned a Third World War and that, once this war was won by the Americans, he himself would assume political power in Hungary.

15 years in U.S. embassy

On 3 February 1949 his trial began. In a matter of five days Mindszenty was sentenced to life imprisonment, prompting worldwide condemnation ... . Freed in the 1956 Uprising he was granted political asylum and lived in the U.S. embassy in Budapest for 15 years. He was finally allowed to leave the country in 1971, before dying in exile in 1975 in Vienna. [...]  ... the Catholic Church never accepted the communist life sentence and even excommunicated all persons involved in the trial and conviction ... . (End)




Related Story of Communist Oppression:

(The True [Red] Colors of the Antipapacy)


The Huffington Post



"Paolo Gabriele, 'Pope's' Butler, Charges Mistreatment In Vatican Jail"


... "Pope" Benedict's former (whistle blower) butler Paolo Gabriele alleged he was mistreated during the first weeks of his two-month detention in a "Vatican" jail.


He told judges how he spent "15 to 20 days" in a cell so small that he couldn't "even stretch his arms." The light was kept on 24 hours a day, "slightly damaging" his eyesight, he added, and he felt under "psychological pressure."


During Tuesday's hearing, Gabriele pleaded not guilty to the charge of "aggravated theft" leveled against him. ... (End)

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Joseph L. | Reply 21.07.2014 03:46

Could you please cite St. Thomas Aquinas' key point on coercion vs. free will more specifically? This is vital Catholic Teaching vindicating Pope Gregory XVII.

Papal Restoration Staff Member 17.11.2014 13:38

Regarding the Hostage Pope GXVII and the Catholic Teaching on "coercion vs. free will", see Aquinas' Summa Theologica (VI. 4, 5,6) here:

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