Archbishop Spellman Broadcasts Appeal to Hungary Against Mistreatment of Jews
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Archbishop Spellman Broadcasts Appeal to Hungary Against Mistreatment of Jews

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A strongly-worded appeal to the people of Hungary to abstain from the anti-Jewish policy of their government was broadcast today by Archbishop Francis J. Speliman of New York.

Emphasizing that the segregation of Jews in ghettoes and the systematic looting of Jewish property in Hungary is contradictory to the Catholic preaching, the prelate told the Hungarian people that “it is incredible” that they would join “in a hymn of hatred and willingly submit to the blood lust and brigandage of tyranny.” His appeal, was beamed to Hungary and is expected to be relayed also to other Catholic countries. It reads.

“Almost on the feast of Pentecost, the day on which the Church of Christ emphasizes the superracial character of her mission, we learned that the Government of Hungary had agreed to enforce against the Jewish people a code of discriminatory laws. We were told that this unhappy segment of Israel in Hungary is being herded into ghettos after its homes and its shops had been systematically looted and pillaged.

“This announcement has shocked all men and women who cherish a sense of justice and of human sympathy. It is in direct contradiction of the doctrines of the Catholic Faith professed by the vast majority of the Hungarian people. It is a negation of the oldest pages of Hungarian history and cultural tradition.

“Through the stormy ages Hungarian Catholics have been loyal to the lofty principles of justice, mercy and charity proclaimed by our Divine Lord in the Sermon on the Mount. They have been steadfast whether under attack by the Mongols and the Purks in centuries past, or in our own times under the bitter persecution of Bela Kun and his cruel cohorts.


“It seems incredible, therefore, that a nation which has been so consistently true to the impulses of human kindness and the teachings of the Catholic Church should now yield to a false, pagan code of tyranny because of blood and race. How can men of good will fail to heed those solamn words of Pope Pius XI. ‘Abraham is called our patriarch, our ancestor. Anti-Semitism is not compatible with the sublime reality of this text. It is a movement in which we Christians cannot share. Spiritually we are Semites.’

“One of the great lessons to be learned from the life of Hungary’s king and patron saint is that no minority should be oppressed. For injustices of whatever kind can wreck and destroy the integrity of any nation’s life. Nearly a thousand years ago, St. Stephen, King of Hungary, received his crown from Pope Sylvester II. He realized that Hungary was destined by the very exigencies of geography to be the crossroads of Europe where diverse racial stocks would necessarily meet. St. Stephen pledged himself and his people to live as common children of a loving mother country.

“This same saintly national hero dreamed always of Hungary as a ‘Regnun Marianum’ as a realm of Mary. To this day, the coinage and the postage stamps of the country bear the figure of Mary, the Mother of Mankind. It would be all the more tragic, therefore, if a people so devoted to Mary, the Jewish maiden who was the mother of the Messiah, should freely countenance cruel laws calculated to despoil and annihilate the race from which Jesus and Mary sprang.

“It is incredible that a people with such profound Christian faith, with its glorious history, with the oldest parliamentary tradition on the continent, would join in a hymn of hatred and willingly submit to the blood lust and brigandage of tyranny. No man can love God and hate his brother. No one who hates his brother can be a faithful follower of the gentle Christ.’

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