Almost alone among the Western news media, reporter George Seldes, who had previously been expelled from the Soviet union and fascist Italy for his reporting, agreed to the allegations. Seldes would spend the remainder of his long life accusing Mindszenty of being a Nazi collaborator, a Holocaust perpetrator, and a virulent anti-Semite. In his 1987 memoirs, Seldes wrote, “In 1948 the entire American section of the resident foreign press corps in Hungary implored me to report the facts about Cardinal Mindszenty’s collaboration with the Nazis, his part in the deportation of the Jewish population to Hitler’s death camps, and also to expose the scores of fraudulent news items coming from outside Hungary, from Vienna, London, Prague, and Rome especially, alleging drugging and torturing of the Cardinal.” On 3 February 1949, Cardinal Mindzenty’s show trial Showing visible signs of having been tortured, the Cardinal walked into the court and confessed to all charges. As he followed the trial, a weeping Pope Pius XII told Sister Pascalina Lehnert, “My words have come true and all I can do is pray; I cannot help him any other way.” On 8 February, Cardinal Mindszenty was sentenced to life imprisonment for treason and espionage. The government released a White Book Documents on the Mindszenty Case containing his confessions and case materials.
On 12 February 1949, Pope Pius XII announced the excommunication of all persons involved in the trial and conviction of Mindszenty. On 20 February 1949, the Pope addressed a series of questions to “an enormous crowd which had gathered in St. Peter’s Square” to protest the Cardinal’s show trial and conviction. He asked, “Do you want a Church that remains silent when She should speak; that diminishes the law of God where she is called to proclaim it loudly, wanting to accommodate it to the will of man? Do you want a Church that departs from the unshakable foundations upon which Christ founded Her, taking the easy way of adapting Herself to the opinion of the day; a Church that is a prey to current trends; a Church that does not condemn the suppression of conscience and does not stand up for the just liberty of the people; a Church that locks Herself up within the four walls of Her temple in unseemly sycophancy, forgetting the divine mission received from Christ: ‘Go out the crossroads and preach the people’? Beloved sons and daughters! Spiritual heirs of numberless confessors and martyrs! Is this the Church you venerate and love? Would you recognize in such a Church the features of your Mother? Would you be able to imagine a Successor of St. Peter submitting to such demands?” According to Sister Pascalina, who witnessed the rally, “In reply to the Holy Father came a single cry like thunder still ringing in our ears: ‘No!'”
On 30 October 1956, during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Mindszenty was released from prison. He returned to Budapest the next day. On 2 November, he praised the insurgents. The following day, he made a radio broadcast in favour of recent anti-communist developments.