Pelosi Says She Prayed 'Every Day' for Religious Liberty for Catholics--In Hungary

May 25, 2012 - 2:22 PM

( In Hungary earlier this month, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi  of California recalled that when she was a child she prayed daily for the "plight" of Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, the Catholic primate of Hungary, who was sentenced to life in prison by the communist regime in that country in 1949, and who eventually ended up living for 15 years inside the U.S. embassy in Budapest.

"In the 50's as young people, Cardinal Mindszenty's plight is what we prayed for, about, everyday," Pelosi said during a May 14 visit to the country.

“Cardinal Mindszenty, as you all know, was a great patriotic hero here. In the United States he was someone that we prayed everyday in Catholic School for the conversion of Russia, as we called it then, conversion of Russia and the personification of that oppressive Russian, Soviet influence was Cardinal Mindszenty.”

“That was probably the first many of us in America ever learned of Hungary and the plight of the Hungarian people and of course 1956 which followed very soon after that and the world knew about the freedom fighters and the struggle that was here. That’s why I’m glad to be here,” Pelosi continued.

According to, Cardinal Mindszenty was arrested by the communists in 1948. “Convinced that the cardinal was ‘the center of the counter-revolutionary forces in Hungary,’ the communist authorities wanted him," the website says. "The immediate issue was an order that Hungary's 4,813 Catholic schools be nationalized. The cardinal had driven from village to village urging people to ignore the communist lies and refuse to give up their schools and their land.”

Mindszenty wrote a open letter in December 1948 in which he explained that neither he nor the Church had provoked the enmity of the Hungarian government, saying, "Communism is an atheistic ideology: hence by its very nature it is opposed to the spirit of the Church."

Currently, the University of Notre Dame and 42 other Catholic organizations and dioceses around the United States are suing the Obama administration for violating their First Amendment right to freedom of religion.

The Obama administration’s Health and Human Services department has issued a regulation that requires virtually all health-care plans in the United States to cover sterilizations and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives, including abortifacients.

The Catholic Church teaches that sterilization, artificial contraception and abortion are morally wrong and the regulation, therefore, would require observant Catholics and Catholic institutions to act against their consciences and violate the teachings of their faith.

Pelosi has been an outspoken supporter of the HHS mandate saying, “I think it was a very courageous decision that they made, and I support it.”