The Boston Herald
Saturday, 12 February, 1949
I have read with great interest your daily columns and editorials on the Mindszenty case. The average, decent individual is always shocked and horrified when an injustice is done to another human being, but I wonder, if we look at this case without religious or political bias, whether we should be so terribly disturbed.
Mindszenty was found guilty of treason and lesser crimes by the courts of his country. He had been repeatedly warned that his activities looking to the restoration of the monarchy in Hungary would bring him in serious conflict with the communistic laws of his country. He chose to ignore these warnings and kept on wih his treasonable activities, which ultimately led to his arrest, trial and conviction for treason. It seems to me that a man of his great standing in the church, his education and long training in religious affairs should have been much more careful to obey the laws of his country.
Christ said, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's," and was never known to have violated the laws of Judea. Christ was never proven guilty of any crime, but was put to death. Mindszenty was found guilty of treason; in fact it was generally recognized that he was guilty of the charges preferred against him.
Then again, I am led to wonder if the world would be so indignant over his conviction if he had been a simple peasant, rather than a prince of the Church.
I have no love for Communism and would give my life to prevent its establishment in America.
Hungary is a communistic country, and the citizens there are living under the laws of communism; I believe the Mindszenty case is their problem and that we should not attempt to interfere in the domestic affairs of another nation.
O.L.S. [full name withheld by editor of this page]
Internet editor's comments:
Americans tend to evaluate foreign charges of treason against our own Constitutional standard (Article III, Section 3, paragraph 1), levying war against [one's country], or ... adhering to [its] enemies, giving them aid and comfort. We don't see any evidence that Mindszenty was adhering to enemies of Hungary.
The letter claims that unlike Mindszenty, "Christ was never proven guilty of any crime." In reality we don't know. Partisan Christian accounts claim Christ was innocent, but O.L.S. has cautioned us not to accept partisan accounts favoring Mindszenty.
The current wave of protest aroused in this country by the trial of Cardinal Mindszenty has reached such a peak that I feel that the situation is serious enough to warrant my raising, through the medium of your columns, a few points that arguably aren't being given much consideration, either by the press or by men in public office. These points, three in number, are as follows:
2 -- What legal, demonstrable proof do we have that the Cardinal was either drugged or tortured into his confession of guilt?
3 -- Even if Cardinal Mindszenty had been tortured in open court, would that give our government the right to protest? Joseph Mindszenty is a Hungarian citizen. The fact that he is a Roman Catholic Cardinal is, or should be, immaterial as far as our government is concerned. Were he an American Cardinal (or bartender, or shoe clerk) I would be the first to advocate any action necessary to secure his release, but I cannot agree that we have any right to interfere in another nation's trial of one of its citizens ... [dots in printed original]