Why Is the Vatican Still Negotiating with Red China?

Why Is the Vatican Still Negotiating with Red China?

by Christopher A. Ferrara
September 11, 2017

One of the keynotes of Father Gruner’s assessment of the crisis in the Church from the Fatima perspective was his exposure and condemnation of the disastrous post-Vatican II policy of Ostpolitik (the politics of the East), according to which the Vatican, acting through its Secretary of State, would conciliate and compromise with communist dictatorships, reversing the Church’s condemnation of communism and her staunch opposition to the tyranny of communist regimes oppressing the Church.

Even during the Second Vatican Council, that emerging policy resulted in the Council’s infamous failure to condemn or even mention the evils of Soviet communism in the very document which, ludicrously enough, called for “scrutinizing the signs of the times.” In return for this act of betrayal, which Jean Madiran rightly described as “ecclesiastical treason,” the Kremlin agreed to permit two Russian Orthodox bishops, puppets of the Soviet state, to attend the Council as John XXIII had so ardently desired.

Father Gruner never ceased to condemn the error of Ostpolitik because he could see that the policy had persisted and is still in operation today. Thus, the Vatican Secretariat of State continues its absurd negotiations with Beijing over how to share control over the Church with a communist government.

In his column on this endless farce, Sandro Magister notes that the Vatican’s own publishing house has engaged in what appears to be an effort to give the appearance of regularity to the bishops consecrated without papal mandate and installed as puppets of Beijing in its pseudo-Church, the Catholic Patriotic Association. The Vatican has published the biographies of these schismatic prelates in the same book as the biographies of “75 bishops in China who have died between 2004 and today, all of them crushed by years or decades of imprisonment, forced labor, reeducation camps, house arrest, policemen constantly tagging along.”

The idea behind this book, apparently, is to convey the impression that the puppet bishops and the persecuted bishops of the true Catholic Church in China, which is still forced to operate underground, are on equal footing. They are all just Catholic bishops, you see, although some have been treated badly by the government. Yet the Vatican’s own publicity stunt has made it clear, to quote Magister, that “[i]f this is the treatment that the communist regime inflicts on the Chinese bishops in the field, it is clear that all of this must cease before the Vatican could agree to sign an accord with the Beijing authorities on the appointment of future bishops.”

Magister itemizes some of the more recent examples of Beijing’s brutality toward the true Catholic bishops of China:

“John Gao Kexian of the diocese of Yantai, who was learned to have passed away after all traces of him had been lost following his abduction by the police in 1999.
“John Han Dingxiang of the diocese of Yongnian, imprisoned for twenty years, released but then again disappeared in 2006, whose death was communicated to his relatives after he had been cremated and buried in an unrevealed location.
“John Yang Shudao of the diocese of Fuzhou, who died after spending twenty-six years in prison and the rest ‘almost always under house arrest and strict surveillance.’”
“Joseph Fan Zhingliang, who died in 2014 after ‘always having exercised his ministry underground,’ and his successor Thaddeus Ma Daqin, under arrest since 2012 for having resigned from the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association – in obedience to Rome [before Francis], which judges membership in it as ‘incompatible’ with the Catholic faith – and not set free since then in spite of his retraction of the resignation last year.
“the abduction and detention in an undisclosed location of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of the diocese of Wenzhou, whose release the German embassy in China and then the Holy See itself publicly requested last June 26, without receiving any response.”
Yet, despite the evident futility of negotiating for the freedom of the Church with godless tyrants, “negotiation is underway between the two sides, with meetings every three months alternating between Rome and Beijing,” writes Magister. And this despite the fact that, as he notes, “the Chinese episcopal conference, which would be responsible for selecting the candidates [for bishop], is currently made up only of the bishops officially recognized by Beijing, without the thirty or so ‘underground’ bishops who instead are recognized only by Rome; and there is no way to convince the Chinese authorities to include these as well.” Moreover, of the “seven ‘official’ bishops who the regime claims have also been recognized by the Holy See… three have been publicly excommunicated and a couple have lovers and children.”

“In the face of all this,” Magister concludes, “the optimism that Pope Francis shows every time he touches on the question of China can be explained only as an exercise of Realpolitik [i.e. Ostpolitik] pushed to the extreme.” Proving once again that Father Gruner’s diagnosis of the evil of Ostpolitik was not alarmism, but rather a sober assessment of the reality of our situation, which has only worsened under this pontificate.

Only Russia’s consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary can bring an end to the insanity of negotiating God’s rights with God’s enemies.

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One comment on “Why Is the Vatican Still Negotiating with Red China?

  1. New [ChiCom] regulations on religions: Annihilate underground communities, suffocate official communities

    Bernardo Cervellera
    9/11/17

    Few articles added to the draft. Religions viewed not as the “opium” but the “plague” of peoples. Spasmodic control at all levels of political power of official religions. Massive fines for members of unofficial communities. Seizure and closure of “illegal sites” by the State. Expulsions from schools for “proselytism” activities.

    Rome (AsiaNews) – The new regulations on religious activities are aimed at annihilating underground communities and stifling official communities, making it impossible for any outward mission. This is evidenced by the recently published text on the site of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA). They should come into force on 1 February 2018.

    A draft of the new regulations had been published last September.

    The new text does not change much from the draft, but – if possible – it is even worse. The few articles added (we counted three) worsen the list of alleged threats and deviations that may come from religions.

    In Chapter VII on “Legal Responsibility”, Article 63 has been added, which states: ” Advocating,supporting, or funding religious extremism,or using religion to to harm national security or public safety, undermine ethnic unity, divide the nation,or conduct terrorist activities and separatism or terrorist activities, infringing upon citizens’ rights in their persons and democratic rights, impeding the administration of public order, or encroaching upon public or private property… “. The article also provides punishments for “criminal responsibility in accordance with law “, “administrative penalties in accordance with law “, “compensation” for losses to citizens “in accordance with law “.

    In China, you can count the number of attacks of a “religious” matrix on the fingers of one hand and are often subject to several sects with a few thousand adherents, compared to over 500 million believers of different religions. Yet the article – whose list of bad actions is repeated here and there in the text, for example, among the “prohibitions” – gives the impression that religions tout court are not only “the opium of the masses,” as Marx said , but the plague of the peoples.

    The text reiterates that only a top-down control of religious affairs at all levels – national, provincial, county, city or village – renders a religion livable and acceptable. Representatives of religious offices at all levels are urged to “work”, “organize”, “test”, “control” the work of the community of the faithful (see Articles 6, 26, 27) . This emphasis goes hand in hand with the testimonies that we receive from China: cameras placed at all religious sites; police checks in celebrations; dog-units for anti-drug checks! It should be noted that such checks are carried out even for official communities recognized by the state that behave according to the ministry’s instructions.

    Under the new regulations, the underground communities should not even exist. As a result any activity that takes place in unregistered places and with unregistered staff results in massive fines: between 100 and 300 thousand yuan for “unauthorized” activities (Article 64); 50,000 yuan per activity in an “unauthorized” site; 50,000 yuan for providing an “unauthorized” site (Article 69); between 20,000 and 200,000 yuan for “unauthorized” travel abroad, even if it is for religious education or pilgrimage (hajj) (Article 70); up to 10,000 yuan for individuals involved in “illegal” religious activities (Article 74). These fines are very high, if you consider that the minimum wage in a city like Shanghai is 2300 yuan. In addition to the fines, the closure of the sites that hosted “illegal” activities and their sequestration and forfeiture to state assets are also included.

    Even before the regulations become the norm, for several months now police and representatives of the Religious Affairs Bureau have been meeting priests and lay faithful from underground communities for “a cup of tea” and “advising” them to register in the community official. In particular, priests are faced with a difficult choice: registration at the Religious Affairs Bureau automatically implies membership of the Patriotic Association, which, through its aim to build an “independent” Church, is “inconsistent” with Catholic Doctrine (Benedict XVI ).

    Another article added to the definitive text of the regulations is 70b. It states: “Where there is proselytization, organizing of religious activities, establishment of religious organizations, or establishment of religious activity sites in schools or educational institutions other than religious schools; the organ of review and approval or other relevant departments are to order corrections to be made within a certain time and give warnings; where there are unlawful gains, they are to be confiscated; where there circumstances are serious, order that enrollment is to be stopped and cancel education permits…. ”

    It concerns religious activities in state schools, whose measures have already been enforced before the promulgation of the regulations: students were expelled from schools because they were found praying privately in university buildings.

    According to research by the University of Shanghai, at least 60% of students are interested in knowing about Christianity and there is a growth in the number of young catechumens in official and underground communities.

    The fact that the new regulations have added a new article aimed at punishing “proselytism” in schools is a sign of the vastness of the phenomenon. But all this is perhaps a symbol that applies to all of the articles of the regulations: it proclaims control, but China’s religious awakening is now beyond control.

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