The China-Vatican Betrayal - 1
The China-Vatican Betrayal:
A Fait Accompli
Francis greeting members of the CPA, giving them equal status of the Underground Church
After years of negotiations, which started under John Paul II, advanced significantly under Benedict XVI and, now, is finalized with Francis. The Vatican cedes its rights and formally recognizes bishops appointed by the Chinese government.
In effect, the Conciliar Church leaves the driver's seat and becomes the passenger in the communist train.
The Vatican said it hopes this accord will lead "to the full communion of all Chinese Catholics." What does this "full communion" mean? Nothing less than ordering the members of the Underground Church to abandon it and unite with the communist CPA. After 72 years of the persecution and suffering of Chinese Catholics in the faithful Underground Church, the result is a complete betrayal of their heroic resistance to Communism.
The supposed "accord" that emerged is actually a one-sided deal with the Vatican bending over to please the Communist State. Not only does it now concur that the government should choose the bishops, but it agreed to recognize and legitimize the 7 previously excommunicated government-appointed bishops, including the three “bishops” with open wives, lovers and children.
The Vatican made no provisions for the release of imprisoned Underground Church Bishops. Further, some of those most loyal underground Bishops were asked to resign or their positions and their status was left in the air. This is tantamount to delivering them to the communist wolves, who will only accept them if, first, they swear their allegiance to the Communist State.
A slap in the face
And what was the initial response of the Chinese government to this great landmark deal for Communism? The first thing the Communist Party demanded – the day after the deal was signed – was for the CPA bishops to officially reaffirm their loyalty not to Rome, but to the country's ruling Communist Party. Here we have clear immediate proof as to where the allegiance of the Patriotic Catholic Association bishops must lie.
Crosses on churches are burned, replaced with State flags and symbols
The sign reads 'Communists & minors under age 18 are not allowed to participate in activities held in the church'; below, primary school studens obliged to 'Say no to foreign festivals'
Another shocking fact is that this agreement was made at the very moment when Chinese authorities are placing stronger restrictions on the practice of religion, especially on the Underground Church. Beijing officials insist that no religion "transcends nations."
In February 2018, the government passed rules of stronger regulation of religion, specifically placing the CPA under the direct supervision of the Chinese Communist Party. The document, which updates a previous 2005 version of rules, dictates that all religious activities must be "conducted in the Chinese context, practice core socialist values ... and conform to the reality in China."
A very disturbing regulation is that minors are not allowed to attend Church services. Signs have already been posted in the churches of some counties that read "No underage people allowed in church." Will this apply to the so-called Catholic Patriotic Church that the Vatican has now given full reign over Catholics in China? That remains to be seen.
The new regulations determine all churches must display the national flag, as well as Zi Jinping's picture and posters on socialist values. More and more Catholic churches are being demolished and crosses burned and removed from the buildings and replaced with the Chinese flag.
In March, Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin of the Underground Church was detained for refusing to concelebrate a Holy Thursday Mass with an illicitly consecrated, State-backed bishop. He was released but forbidden from celebrating his own Chrism Mass. I believe this is just a taste of the hard future ahead for Catholics in China.
After this disastrous accord the State will be more emboldened to pressure all underground Bishops to merge with the CPA and follow the directives of the Communist State..