Volume 24, 2019
Ronald J. Rychlak
The Assault on a Pope and Catholic Leaders in Eastern Europe
The Cold War was an intelligence war, waged by the Soviets with a powerful weapon called disinformation. Soviets used this weapon to strike against Western values, heroes, and institutions. They aggressively used it to spread atheism into the highly Catholic nations over which they had gained control in World War II. Catholic prelates, including Cardinals Wyszyński of Poland, Mindszenty of Hungary, and Stepinac of Croatia, were among the earliest targets. Eventually, even the wartime pontiff, Pius XII, was falsely portrayed. Whereas the false depictions, created for political reasons, do harm to truth, the Church, and mankind, faith in the Church’s teachings has been a source of great strength for many who have been subjected to disinformation. In a world where Christianity is often under assault, those who can distinguish between truth and falsehoods told for political advantage must serve as beacons of light and reflections of the good that can come from pursuing the truth while remaining faithful to the Church.