József Mindszenty

József Mindszenty

Cardinal Archbishop of Esztergom
Prince Primate of Hungary
József Mindszenty 1974.jpg
József Mindszenty in 1974
ArchdioceseArchdiocese of Esztergom
MetropolisArchdiocese of Esztergom
SeeArchdiocese of Esztergom
Appointed2 October 1945
Term ended19 December 1973
PredecessorJusztinián György Serédi
SuccessorLászló Lékai
Other postsCardinal-Priest of Santo Stefano al Monte Celio (1946-74)
Ordination12 June 1915
by János Mikes
Consecration25 March 1944
by Jusztinián György Serédi
Created cardinal18 February 1946
by Pope Pius XII
Personal details
Birth nameJózsef Pehm
Born29 March 1892
Csehimindszent, Hungary
Died6 May 1975(1975-05-06) (aged 83)
Vienna, Austria
BuriedEsztergom Basilica
NationalityHungarian Hungary
DenominationCatholic (Roman Rite)
ParentsJózsef Pehm
Borbála Kovács
Previous post
MottoPannonia Sacra
SignatureJózsef Mindszenty's signature
Coat of armsJózsef Mindszenty's coat of arms
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Title as SaintVenerable
Styles of
József Mindszenty
Mindszenty Jozsef szobor 0429-1000.jpg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal
Ordination history of
József Mindszenty
Priestly ordination
Ordained byJános Mikes (Szombathely)
Date12 July 1915
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecratorJusztinián György Card. Serédi (Esztergom)
Co-consecratorsLajos Shvoy (Székesfehérvár)
Jozsef Pétery (Vác)
Date25 March 1944
Date18 February 1946
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by József Mindszenty as principal consecrator
Károly Kolman Papp16 June 1946
László Bánáss30 November 1946
Ferenc Rogács29 June 1948

József Mindszenty [jo:ʒɛf mindsɛnti] (29 March 1892 – 6 May 1975) was the Prince Primate, Archbishop of Esztergom, cardinal, and leader of the Catholic Church in Hungary from 2 October 1945 to 18 December 1973. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, for five decades "he personified uncompromising opposition to fascism and communism in Hungary".[1] During World War II, he was imprisoned by the pro-Nazi Arrow Cross Party.[2] After the war, he opposed communism and the communist persecution in his country. As a result, he was tortured and given a life sentence in a 1949 show trial that generated worldwide condemnation, including a United Nations resolution. After eight years in prison, he was freed in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and granted political asylum by the United States embassy in Budapest, where Mindszenty lived for the next fifteen years.[2] He was finally allowed to leave the country in 1971. He died in exile in 1975 in Vienna, Austria.

Early life and career

Mindszenty was born on 29 March 1892 in Csehimindszent, Vas County, Austria-Hungary, to József Pehm and Borbála Kovács. His father was a magistrate.[3] He attended St Norbert's Premonstratensian High Grammar School in Szombathely, before entering the Szombathely Diocesan Seminary in 1911.[4]

Mindszenty was ordained a priest by Bishop János Mikes on 12 June 1915, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1917, the first of his books, Motherhood, was published. He was arrested by the republican Mihály Károlyi government on 9 February 1919 for speaking out against its 'socialist policies' and then rearrested by the communist Béla Kun government on 31 July.[5][6]

In 1939, he urged his followers to vote against the Arrow Cross Party. In 1940, he published a pamphlet, "The Green Communism", in which he characterised the Hungarian Nyilas Nazi Movement as a diabolic movement, as evil as the communists. The green colour was the colour of the Nyilas uniform. (Paksy, 213-215. p).

In the middle of a Germanisation campaign amongst Germans living in Hungary, he adopted his new Hungarian name—part of his home village's name—in 1941. On 25 March 1944, he was consecrated bishop of Veszprém. He organised a letter to the Nazi authorities urging them not to fight in Western Hungary; he also protested in favour of converted Jews to Miklós Horthy. He was arrested on 27 November 1944 for his opposition to the Arrow Cross government's plan to quarter soldiers in parts of his official palace. In April 1945, with the collapse of the Arrow Cross's power, he was released from house arrest at a church in Sopron.[7]

Other Languages
беларуская: Ёжэф Міндсенці
Bahasa Indonesia: József Mindszenty
Lëtzebuergesch: József Mindszenty
македонски: Јозеф Миндсенти
Nederlands: József Mindszenty
português: József Mindszenty
slovenščina: József Mindszenty
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: József Mindszenty
українська: Йожеф Міндсенті
Tiếng Việt: József Mindszenty