“The conflict between the good and the wicked, in whose ever-tangled strands of human actions and motives history is woven, has seldom, if ever, been so acute as it is today.
“While on the one hand, no matter where we look out upon the world from this Vatican citadel, we are filled with admiration and joy at the sight of the good people resplendent with those virtues, which, particularly in the glorious fortitude of martyrs, recall the ages of Christianity: yet on the other, we are overcome by grief and anguish as we perceive the iniquity of the unrighteous reach a degree of impiety that is incredible and without parallel . . .
“Proud neglect and disdain of divine things…is the most pernicious source of all evils and at the present time is insidiously spreading its ravages almost all over the world like a virulent disease; it is producing evils without number, especially in those countries where a conspiracy has been formed against the Lord and His ‘Christ’ . . .
“It deprives man of God and thereby robs him of his spiritual dignity, makes him the ignoble tool of materialism and utterly destroys all traces of virtue, love, hope and beauty of soul within him. We speak of atheism or, rather, hatred of God . . .
“Let nothing give more concern to you . . . than battling to defend the name of God . . .
“Let us worship with the greatest earnestness and care God’s loving presence in the sanctuary of a clear conscience . . .
“Let memory be filled with His most sweet presence; let the intellect be enlightened, the souls rejoiced and the will strengthened to act with purity, energy and piety . . .
“And whoever is strong in faith and rich in the treasures of a religious life should share these goods, as far as possible, with others . . .”
Pius XII Rome 12 February, 1949—on the occasion of Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty’s sentence to life imprisonment by a Hungarian court.