90 Miles From Tyranny : The Vatican Surrenders to China

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Vatican Surrenders to China



  • "A totalitarian regime doesn't compromise. They want complete surrender." — Cardinal Joseph Zen, retired Bishop of Hong Kong, thetablet.org, February 19, 2020.
  • "They're giving the flock into the mouths of the wolves. It's an incredible betrayal". — Cardinal Joseph Zen, Reuters, September 20, 2018.
  • "The pope doesn't know much about China. And he may have some sympathy for the Communists, because in South America, the Communists are good guys, they suffer for social justice. But not the [Chinese] Communists. They are persecutors. So the situation is, humanly speaking, hopeless for the Catholic Church: Because we can always expect the Communists to persecute the Church, but now [faithful Catholics] don't get any help from the Vatican. The Vatican is helping the government, surrendering, giving everything into their hands". — Cardinal Joseph Zen, catholiccitizens.org, February 16, 2020.
  • The Soviet Union collapsed partly because the Vatican challenged it. Pope Benedict XVI saw the danger of China. "I believe that the fundamental ideological tendencies of Marxism have survived the fall of the political form they have had to date.... First of all, we must not forget that important countries are governed by Marxist parties: China, Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba". — Pope Benedict XVI, Humanitas.ci, May 5, 2005.
  • The Vatican can still support dissidents such as Cardinal Zen and reject a dangerous appeasement with Beijing. If not, the Chinese regime will be able to obliterate and further enslave Christianity to consolidate the country's cruel dictatorship.

The Catholic Church in China is being "murdered" while the Roman Catholic Church stands idly by, wrote Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired Bishop of Hong Kong, in an appeal he sent to the world's 223 cardinals. "A totalitarian regime doesn't compromise," he said. "They want complete surrender." (Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images)

"Before anyone had heard of COVID-19, however, there was mounting concern about the intentions and brutality of the Chinese communist regime," wrote George Weigel, the distinguished US Catholic commentator.
"... about its herding Uighurs into concentration camps; about its assaults on religious communities, including the defacing and demolition of Catholic churches after the accord with the Holy See was signed; about its aggressive military moves in the South China Sea; about its creation of an Orwellian internal security apparatus through facial-recognition technology; about its ranking the Chinese citizenry according to their political reliability (meaning their acquiescence to what the Chinese Communist Party dictates); about its international espionage, often conducted behind the cover of putatively independent technology companies like Huawei; about its relentless digital attacks on Taiwan; and about the global Chinese 'Belt-and-Road' initiative, which financially shackles Third World countries to the Beijing regime."
Despite this grisly record, in 2018 the Vatican signed a pact with China. The pact was intended to resolve the historic division between China's "underground church", in which bishops were approved by Rome but rejected by Beijing, and China's "official" bishops not recognized by the Vatican. The first group represents the real Chinese Church, the second is a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party. The Catholic Church signed the pact to reconcile and to "normalise" the status of the Catholic Church in China. The risk, of course, is that the Vatican has become a "mouthpiece" for Beijing.

Some anti-regime bishops have already been replaced by clergy closer to Beijing. One is Vincent Guo Xijin, an underground bishop recognized by Rome, but not by the Chinese government; Guo gave his post to Vincenzo Zhan Silu, who is recognized by the Communist Party. Another is the underground bishop Pietro Zhuang Jianjian, also asked by the Vatican to make way for the China-approved bishop Giuseppe Huang Bingzhang. It seems that Rome is replacing Catholic dissidents with clergy who are more meek. John Fang Xingyao, President of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, at a Communist Party-sponsored event, actually said that "love for the homeland must be greater than love for the Church".

The Catholic Church in China is being "murdered" while the Roman Catholic Church stands idly by, charged Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired Bishop of Hong Kong, in an appeal he sent to the world's 223 cardinals in September but that only now was made public. Cardinal Zen, Hong Kong's bishop from 2002 to 2009, lives on the east side of the island. "A totalitarian regime doesn't compromise," he said. "They want complete surrender."

The Chinese regime knows that Cardinal Zen is dangerous for its ideology and dictatorship. Liu Bainain, a vice chairman of the state-run church, remarked, "If China's bishops were all like him then it would be dangerous like Poland" -- a reference to the former Pope John Paul II's challenge to Soviet communism in Europe. "Bishop Zen, he told Reuters, "is widely known as an opponent of communism".

The cardinal seems to fear that millions of Catholics in China will feel abandoned and betrayed. "What are they going to do about the underground bishops not recognized by China?", asked Rev. Bernardo Cervellera, a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions. "Or those that are in jail, or those who don't...


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