China : Pope Francis' betrayal of Chinese Catholics

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Cdl. Zen calls for Vatican secretary of state Parolin to ‘resign’ over ‘betrayal’ in China deal


HONG KONG, September 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong is calling for the Vatican secretary of state to resign over the Holy See’s impending deal with China that he says is “an incredible betrayal.”

Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who is considered papabile, was chief negotiator in the agreement that is expected to be finalized when a Vatican delegation travels to China at the end of this month, according to AsiaNews.

America Magazine reported Tuesday a Vatican source confirmed “a high-level Holy See delegation will travel to the Chinese capital for the signing and that a date has already been fixed for this ground-breaking event.”

What is known of the deal, first referred to in February 2017, is that Beijing will acknowledge the pope as head of the Catholic Church in China but will have final say in appointing bishops, although the pope has a veto.

The Vatican has agreed to recognize and consecrate seven illegitimate “bishops” installed by the communist-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association and which the Holy See had previously rejected.

The Vatican has also requested, as part of the agreement, that two bishops from the persecuted Underground church step down in favor of “bishops” from the Patriotic church.

Zen has consistently fiercely opposed what is being hailed in some progressive quarters as a landmark agreement re-establishing diplomatic relations between Beijing and the Holy See after 70 years.

“They’re giving the flock into the mouths of the wolves. It’s an incredible betrayal,” the 86-year-old retired bishop of Hong Kong told Reuters in an interview published Thursday.

Signing a deal with Beijing’s atheistic regime undermines the Pope’s credibility, added Zen.

The deal comes as President Xi Jinping is ruthlessly cracking down on religious freedom. Beijing issued regulations February 1 banning unauthorized religious activity, forbidding children and party members from entering churches, non-registered clergy from holding religious services, and mandating “all religious sites must be registered.”

“The consequences will be tragic and long lasting, not only for the church in China, but for the whole church because it damages the credibility,” Zen told Reuters.

Zen told Reuters that Parolin, the Vatican’s highest diplomat, doesn’t seem to have high regard for the Catholic faith.

“I don’t think he has faith. He is just a good diplomat in a very secular, mundane meaning,” Zen said.

“He should resign,” he added. “It’s a complete surrender … I have no other words.”

Parolin was named by former U.S. nuncio Archbishop Carlo Viganò also in his explosive August testimony. Viganò alleges the secretary of state was among the high-ranking prelates who covered up the serial sexual abuse of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

As Nuncio to Washington, I wrote to Cardinal Parolin asking him if the sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict were still valid,” Viganò wrote. “Ça va sans dire that my letter never received any reply!”

Parolin has also defended the pope's controversial document on the family Amoris laetitia as a "paradigm shift" for the Church.

Zen traveled to Rome in January to warn Pope Francis of the deal after the news broke the Holy See was asking two Underground bishops to step aside for state-endorsed prelates.

Cardinal Zen has long mistrusted Parolin, warning Pope Francis in 2013 that when it came to China, his newly appointed to secretary of state “has a poisoned mind. He is very sweet, but I have no trust in this person. He believes in diplomacy, not in our faith,” he told Crux at that time.

But Francis nevertheless directed Parolin to re-establish negotiations with Beijing — which Benedict broke off before he resigned — and try to broker an agreement, Crux reported.

China expert Steve Mosher, head of Population Research Institute and author of Bully of Asia, accuses Parolin of making enormous blunders in China, which will be paid for by the country’s persecuted Catholics.

Parolin’s blunders began in 2005 when as a high-ranking diplomat he established direct contact with Beijing “with the goal of signing a written agreement with the atheistic regime over the appointment of bishops,” Mosher wrote in One Peter Five.

At this point, China’s estimated 12 million Catholics had settled into a far from ideal but “workable” solution to overcome the painful divide between the Underground church and the Communist-run Patriotic church.

In the general amnesty declared after the end of the Cultural Revolution, Underground bishops and priests imprisoned for decades for refusing to join the Patriotic church were released, and began evangelizing throughout China, wrote Mosher.

“By common agreement” the Communist Party and agents, although an ever-present “brooding, hostile” presence, were “kept out of the local arrangements that allowed Catholics from both [Patriotic and Underground churches] to coexist, even cooperate.”

Underground bishops, “with the permission of the Vatican, named their own successors. The Patriotic Association named its own bishops, but these then almost always sought, and almost always got, consecration by the pope,” Mosher observed.

But when Parolin came seeking negotiations, that essentially “put a target on the backs of Chinese Catholics. The ‘space’ in which it had operated began to shrink under the unblinking eye of state surveillance.”

And in Parolin’s current quest for an agreement, “not surprisingly, Beijing has gone for the jugular: the complete extinction of the Underground Church, starting with its bishops,” Mosher pointed out.

“This is why we have recently been treated to the heartbreaking spectacle of 88-year-old Underground bishop Peter Zhuang being forced, by Cardinal Parolin’s emissaries, to hand over his Shantou diocese to excommunicated Patriotic bishop Huang Bingzhang,” he wrote.

“This is also why a younger Patriotic bishop, Joseph Guo of Fujian province, has been demoted to be an assistant to an illegitimate Patriotic bishop,” added Mosher.

“This process will obviously continue until the last of the 30-odd Underground bishops have been sidelined and silenced, one way or another.”

Related:

Vatican asks legitimate Chinese bishops to step down in favor of communist-picked bishops: report
Cardinal Parolin’s negotiations have badly hurt China’s Catholics
EXCLUSIVE: Cardinal Zen says ‘naïve’ Pope and bad advisors are betraying underground Church in China

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Conciliar "Catholicism" -No need to be drastic about us stabbing you in the back......

Top Vatican cardinal rebukes critics of China deal: ‘No need to be drastic’


VATICAN CITY, September 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican’s highest ranking diplomat is defending an impending deal with China that critics are denouncing as a betrayal of Catholics.

“There is no need to be drastic in condemning and rejecting,” Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin told reporters Thursday in Rome, according to Reuters.

Chief negotiator for the contentious agreement, Parolin added he hoped the deal will be inked “in the not too distant future.”

That remark is the closest yet to an official confirmation of media reports a Vatican delegation is flying to Beijing before the end of September to finalize the deal, hailed in some progressive quarters as a “ground-breaking” agreement re-establishing diplomatic relations between China and the Holy See after 70 years.

What is known of the secret agreement is that Beijing will acknowledge the pope as head of the Catholic Church in China but have final say in appointing bishops, although the pope has a veto.

The Vatican has also agreed to recognize and consecrate seven illegitimate “bishops” it has previously rejected and who were installed by the Communist-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association.

Moreover, the Vatican has requested two bishops from the persecuted Underground church step down in favour of “bishops” from the Patriotic church.

“We are convinced that this is a step forward,” Parolin told reporters. “We are not so naive as to think that from now on everything is going to go well, but it seems to us that this is the right direction.”

Parolin, a career Vatican diplomat considered a top contender for pope in the next conclave, mentioned no names when he added: “Everyone has the right to think what they want but it has to be done in a respectful way.”

But his remarks come on the heels of Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong publicly calling the secretary of state to resign over the agreement.

“They’re giving the flock into the mouths of the wolves,” Zen told Reuters in an interview published Thursday. “It’s an incredible betrayal.”

The 86-year-old retired bishop of Hong Kong also questioned Parolin’s Catholicism. “I don’t think he has faith. He is just a good diplomat in very secular, mundane meaning,” Zen said.

China expert Steve Mosher backs Zen in condemning Parolin’s proposed deal.

"The Communist Party long been determined to force underground Chinese Catholics out of the catacombs so they can be brought under strict Party control,” Mosher, author of Bully of Asia: Why China's Dream is the New Threat to World Order, told LifeSiteNews in an email.

“Why anyone in the Vatican, including Cardinal Parolin, would think it’s a good idea to lend the name of the Pope to their effort in this way is beyond me.”

Zen has long mistrusted Parolin, warning Pope Francis in 2013 that his newly appointed secretary of state had a “poisoned mind” and “believes in diplomacy, not in our faith.”

But Francis nevertheless tasked Parolin with reopening negotiations with Beijing, broken off by Pope Benedict before he resigned.

Parolin, who defended the pope’s controversial document on the family Amoris Laetitia as a “paradigm shift” for the Church, was named by former U.S. nuncio Archbishop Carlo Viganò in his bombshell August testimony.

Viganò alleged Parolin was among the high-ranking prelates who covered up the serial sexual abuse of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and gave him positions of influence in the Church.

Indeed, “after the election of Pope Francis,” McCarrick “boasted openly of his travels and missions to various continents,” Viganò wrote.

That included trips to China, most recently in 2016 to meet “old friends,” as McCarrick then told Global Times, a semi-official Communist Party publication.

In fact, the now-disgraced McCarrick “made no fewer than eight trips to China in recent years, the last few at the specific request of Pope Francis, in pursuit of an agreement,” Mosher confirmed to LifeSiteNews.

Mosher, who has elsewhere decried Parolin’s 13-year track record in China as a ruinous series of blunders, says that’s another reason he can’t trust the deal.

“Had the agreement been negotiated by prelates like Cardinal Zen, men who are profoundly and personally aware of the nature of the officially atheistic, one-party dictatorship that rules China, we could have confidence in it,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“But I have no confidence in an agreement that was negotiated by clerics who have zero understanding of China’s recent history of brutally suppressing religion,” or clerics like McCarrick.

“As someone who, over the years, has helped underground Catholics in China build churches and open orphanages, I agree with Cardinal Zen that the proposed deal is a betrayal,” wrote Mosher.

“Actually, it is a betrayal on several levels. It betrays the authority of the papacy by giving the Chinese Communist Party the right to name bishops,” he added.

“It betrays the underground Church in China, a Church which not only has survived decades of persecution at the hands of the authorities but is now, once again, under siege.”

He also blasted the Vatican for keeping the deal secret, which “betrays the Truth” and gives President Xi Jinping, who is cracking down on religious observance, the trump card.

“Whose purposes are being served by signing a secret agreement? Such an agreement keeps Catholics in China and around the world in the dark about whatever compromises the Vatican has made,” observed Mosher.

“It also allows the Communist authorities to misrepresent the agreement to the Chinese faithful in whichever way they choose, using it for their own purposes. Darkness always hates the light."

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22nd September

Submission. The Phantom Accord Between the Holy See and China

> Italiano
> English
> Español
> Français

All that is known at the official level about the accord signed in Beijing today, September 22, by the Holy See and China is that “it concerns the appointment of bishops,” is “provisory” and “provides for periodic evaluations of its implementation.”

Not one more word about its contents.

The accord was signed for the Holy See by the undersecretary for relations with states, Antoine Camilleri, and for China by the deputy foreign minister, Wang Chao.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, then added in a statement that for the Holy See the accord “has a pastoral objective” and responds to the need for pastors “who are recognized by the successor of Peter and by the legitimate civil authorities of their country.”

What is not said is that the Chinese authorities will still be first in line in the selection of future pastors, with only a feeble right of veto granted to the pope on any candidates who may not be to his liking.

In this sense, the accord can rightly be defined as “historic,” because it marks a sensational about-face in the journey that the Catholic Church has made over centuries of history to free itself from submission to political powers, particularly in the “investiture” of its pastors.

And to begin with, Pope Francis has put the accord into practice from the day it was signed, exonerating from excommunication seven “official” bishops installed by the regime and until now never recognized by the Holy See, a couple of them with lovers and children.

Or better, not seven but eight, because Francis has released from excommunication another bishop “who passed away on January 4, 2017, and before dying had expressed the desire to be reconciled with the apostolic see.”

Moreover, one of these pardoned bishops, Guo Jincai, who is also secretary of the pseudo episcopal conference subjugated to the regime, has been assigned the new diocese of Chengde, instituted "motu proprio" in 2010 by the Chinese authorities and also recognized by the Holy See.

Here are the official statements concerning the accord, in Italian, English, and Chinese:

> Statement on the signing of a provisory accord…
> Bulletin on the Catholic Church in China
> Erection of the diocese of Chengde

The commentary, in Italian, of the cardinal secretary of state:

> Cardinale Parolin: il papa affida ai cattolici cinesi l'impegno per la riconciliazione

A first comment by Cardinal Joseph Zen Zekiun:

> Card Zen on the China-Vatican agreement: Saying nothing in many words

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Mon Sep 24, 2018 - 7:30 am EST

How Vatican’s deal with Communist China fits into
Pope Francis’ larger agenda


September 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – As the world’s greatest expert in Chinese population policy, Steven W. Mosher is intimately familiar with the political ins-and-outs of the Communist regime. In particular, with his knowledge of Chinese and his frequent travels to the country, he has devoted years of careful observation and study to the question of how the Communists treat religious groups, and, in particular, Catholics.

I heard Mr. Mosher speak in Virginia this summer on Chinese topics and was impressed by his detailed knowledge and the sobriety of his judgments. Like faithful underground Catholic laity, clergy, and bishops in China, Mosher is utterly opposed to the Vatican-Beijing deal, a "provisional agreement" of which was signed over the weekend. Doing us a great service, Mosher summarized the grave situation in an article at OnePeterFive.

The Vatican-Beijing concordat will secure for the Catholic Church an evanescent prestige at the supposed normalization of diplomatic relations and an apparent victory in the regularization of the Church’s hierarchy and sacramental provision on the mainland. It will secure for the Communist government a freedom in naming bishops that would have been the envy of centuries of lay rulers in the European Middle Ages who attempted to arrogate for themselves authority over investitures. Anyone who has studied how communist governments work (as Mosher has done) knows that they have no qualms about breaking their word before the ink is dry on the paper. Why should the conscience of a dialectical materialist atheist bother him? He does not believe in the divine law or in the natural moral law.

Such an "agreement" means that for the first time in the Church’s existence, the Communist Party that rules a country will choose the bishops with Vatican approval. This means that the “Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association” will thereby be regularized, even though it supports Communist coercive population regulations and its first and primary loyalty is to the Chinese Communist Party.

Therefore, Beijing will continue to persecute true orthodox Catholics with impunity, but now, thanks to the Vatican’s kowtowing to secular power, these Catholics will be made to look disloyal and recalcitrant—come to think of it, just like conservative and traditional Catholics have been made to look in the “free” Western world, when they refuse to fall into lockstep conformity with the juggernaut of secularism cosponsored by the United Nations, the European Union, and the Vatican. In this perspective, the Beijing deal is just one side of a coin whose flip side is the pervasive modernization of morals, ranging from the repudiation of intrinsically evil sexual acts to the redefinition of capital punishment as an intrinsically evil act and the exaltation of environmentalism as the central arena of virtue.

Thus we have yet another key to interpreting this papacy’s larger agenda. The soft approval of Communism implied in this sell-out of the underground Catholic Church, which has been fighting at the cost of great suffering for decades to remain faithful to the fullness of Catholicism (including the retention of the traditional Latin Mass!), harmonizes with many other pro-Marxist and pro-socialist statements and actions of Francis’s pontificate; and this, in turn, complements the policy of Freemasonic laïcité or secularism (a secular state “is better than a confessional state, because confessional states always end badly,” as Francis said), Pistoian liturgical modernization (in his words: “we can affirm with certainty and with magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible”), and the modernist rejection of dogmatic stability and moral absolutes (seen in a range of statements on “development of doctrine” and on sexual morality).

This China deal fits in perfectly with the attempted deconstruction of Catholic identity, the postmodern exaltation of fluid norms, and the assault on Catholic fidelity that has marked this pontificate from day one. Indeed, it simply revives and grossly amplifies the tragic Ostpolitik of Pope Francis’s predecessor Pope Paul VI, who betrayed and humiliated József Cardinal Mindszenty in pursuit of further alliances with the Communists. It is hardly surprising that Pope Francis will attempt to canonize Paul VI next month, in an exercise of self-admiration like those with which he has been regaling us in his recent homilies in which he compares himself to the silent Christ and his accusers to Satan.

As Gerhard Cardinal Müller preached at a priestly ordination in Rome on Saturday, September 15, 2018:

The Church, founded by God and made up of human beings, is, according to its human side, in a deep, man-made crisis of its credibility. ... Not clericalism, whatever that may be, but the turning away from the truth and moral lawlessness are the roots of the evil. ... The real danger to today’s humanity is the greenhouse gases of sin and the global warming of unbelief and the decay of morality when no one knows and teaches the difference between good and evil.

One last thought: Why will the Communist-sponsored “Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association” (CCPA) be able to be in “full communion” and its clergy “regularized,” while the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X (SSPX) isn’t? To me, the answer is plain as day: because the CCPA is enthusiastic about the secular state, Vatican II and the Novus Ordo (which it introduced into China!), and adapting morality to situations (“situational ethics”), while the SSPX stands for integralism, perennial doctrine, the traditional Roman Rite, and exceptionless moral norms. In other words, in a total inversion of Catholicism, we are seeing the complete opposite of what should be the case. May the Lord in His mercy rescue us from those who claim to be acting in His name.

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The China-Vatican Agreement. Secret As For the Words,
But Already Visible in Deeds

22nd Oct.

In the month following the announcement of an agreement between the Holy See and China on the appointment of bishops, a couple of events have taken place that make it possible to guess at its contents, which are officially kept secret.

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The first event is known. It was the arrival at the synod underway in Rome from October 3-28 of two Chinese bishops, formally invited by Pope Francis with the agreement of the Beijing authorities, who however were the first to make the announcement.

How did matters really go? In an October 2 post on his Chinese-language blog Cardinal Joseph Zen Zekiun, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong and a severe critic of the agreement, posed the dilemma in these terms: “Were the two invited by the Holy See with the government’s permission? Or were they appointed by the government with the agreement of the Holy See?”

The “well-informed” person of whom Zen writes that he asked for clarification was not able to give him an answer. But for the cardinal, both hypotheses are alarming.

If the Chinese government made the selection, “the Church in China would be utterly at the mercy of the government.” While if the selection was made by the pope it would be even worse, considering the profiles of the two picks, “servants completely subjugated to the regime,” who “in no way deserved to be invited to a synod.”

The two (in the photo) are John Baptist Yang Xiaoting, bishop of Yan’an-Yulin, and Joseph Guo Jincai, bishop of Chengde.

The first was appointed last January 31 as vice-president of the commission for the ethnic and religious affairs of Chinese abroad, by the permanent committee of the People’s Assembly of the province of Shanxi, a direct expression of the communist party.

The second is nothing less than a member of the People’s National Assembly, the Chinese parliament, promoted to this role by the central department for the organization of the Communist party.

But in addition to being perfectly integrated into the regime, both are also the leaders of the Council of Chinese Bishops, the pseudo episcopal conference that until just recently had never been recognized by Rome, made up only of bishops officially recognized by the government, with the exclusion of those called “clandestine,” who are in communion with Rome but lack official recognition.

Yang Xiaoting is vice-president of this Council of bishops, while Guo Jincai is both its vice-president and its secretary general.

Not only that. Guo Jincai is one of the seven bishops who, on the same day as the signing of the agreement, were released by Pope Francis from the excommunication they had undergone for having been selected and ordained as bishops at the sole behest of the Chinese authorities, against the will of Rome.

And on the official list of the members of the synod, he figures as “bishop of Chengde,” a sign that not only has his excommunication been lifted, but he has also been assigned the governance of a diocese, the one he was already running illegitimately and the boundaries of which had been redrawn by the Chinese authorities without any agreement with the Holy See. Boundaries that Francis has now formally accepted, erecting the “new” diocese of Chengde in conjunction with the signing of the agreement.

*

The second event - less well-known, but also very instructive - is the appointment of the bishop of Lanzhou, Joseph Han Zhihai, as president of the local Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

The Patriotic Association is the historical instrument of the regime’s guidance and control over the Church. It goes by principles that Benedict XVI defined as “irreconcilable” with Catholic doctrine, in his 2007 letter that is still called the “magna carta” of the Church in China. But leaving it can come at a very high price, as proven by the imprisonment inflicted on the bishop of Shanghai, Thaddeus Ma Daqin, for having publicly revoked his membership, in obedience to the pope, on the day of his episcopal ordination, July 7 2012. A prison sentence he is still serving in spite of his subsequent retraction.

Now, what is most striking about the appointment of the bishop of Lanzhou as president of the Patriotic Association is that until a year ago he was a “clandestine” bishop. One more reason to play up his submission to the regime, as indeed happened in the public ceremony that accompanied the event, with the boss of the communist party of Lanzhou, Xian Daming, giving a speech entirely dedicated to the “independence” of the Chinese Catholic Church, reinforced by the return of this bishop to the fold of the state.

*

Based on these events as a whole and on his own decades of expertise on the subject, the French missionary and sinologist Jean Charbonnier of the Missions Étrangères de Paris has sketched a few assessments of great interest, in a commentary published by “Églises d’Asie” and republished by “Asia News” in multiple languages, including Chinese:

> The China-Vatican agreement: Testing the winds of change


The first assessment is on the procedure that will likely be used in the appointment of future bishops.

In practice - Charbonnier writes - with the agreement Pope Francis has accepted the “democratic” process that the Chinese have already repeatedly implemented. The priests, religious, and laity of the Patriotic Association of the diocese elect their candidate, whom they then present to the Council of Bishops, which in turn presents him to the Holy See for the final approval of the pope. The pope can exercise a right of veto if the candidate appears inadequate to him. And in this sense he is the one who has the last word in the appointment. But not so fast. On the day the agreement was signed the pope did not exercise this veto right at all, on the contrary he practically disowned it. Because he said “yes” to seven bishops who had previously been imposed by the regime without the agreement of the pope and even, for some, in spite of their explicit rejection by Rome.

“This internal contradiction speaks volumes about the true scope of the agreement,” Charbonnier comments. And one’s thoughts also turn to the two bishops “invited” to the synod, the selection of whom shows the preponderant influence of the Chinese regime.

A second assessment concerns the fate of the “clandestine” or “underground” bishops. They are not part of the Council of Chinese Bishops, that counterfeit episcopal conference which until just recently had never been recognized by Rome but has now receive legitimization, seeing that the pope will have to take into consideration the candidates for the episcopacy that it will present to him. But if the “clandestine” bishops want to join it, it is clear that the only path for them would be the one taken by the bishop of Lanzhou: adherence to the Patriotic Association and public submission to the regime. And if instead they were to resist all of the pressure, even that coming from Rome in the named of a hoped-for “pacification?”

Charbonnier comments: “Is their right to refuse to be recognized by the Church? Otherwise, the risk would be that the clandestine become doubly clandestine, in relation to the State and the Church.”

It is a result, this last, that is more than likely, given the presence among the “clandestine” of bishops unyielding to any concession. But it is just as likely that little by little they will go extinct. For reasons of age, given that seven of them are well over 75. And probably also because of a gradual reduction in the number of dioceses, and therefore also of the number of bishops, here too out of deference to the dictates of the Chinese authorities.

With the erection of the “new” diocese of Chengde Pope Francis seems to have given the go-ahead to the operation. Charbonnier writes:

“According to the papal yearbook, China has 144 dioceses created by Rome. The new administrative division of the dioceses, implemented under the aegis of the Patriotic Association of Catholics, reduces the number of dioceses to 96. […] It is probable that the current agreement contains a clause that provides for the recognition of the new mapping of the dioceses in China. This means greater control over the life of the Church and even more difficult living conditions for the clandestine.”

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Cardinal Zen delivers new letter on China to Pope Francis: ‘Underground clerics have cried’


HONG KONG, November 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) ― Cardinal Joseph Zen has written a letter to Pope Francis detailing the sufferings of Catholics in China since the Vatican signed a deal with the communist government.

Cardinal Zen revealed that he flew to Rome at the end of October to deliver a seven-page letter to Pope Francis begging him to pay attention of the crisis engulfing the underground Catholic Church in China.

Zen, 86, wants to talk to the Pope again, but he told an Asian Catholic media website that “this may be the last time.”

On November 8, the Shanghai-born Cardinal told the Union of Catholic Asian News (ucanews.com) that “underground clerics have cried to him” since the Vatican signed a deal with China on the appointment of bishops.

"They said officials have forced them to become open, to join the (schismatic) Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and to obtain a priest's certificate with the reason that the pope has signed the Sino-Vatican provisional agreement," Cardinal Zen told the media group.

Because the agreement is not public, the legitimate Catholic clergy do not know what the Holy Father wants them to do.

"Some priests have escaped, and some have disappeared because they do not know what to do and are annoyed. The agreement is undisclosed, and they do not know if what officials say is true or not," Zen said.

Some of the clerics’ hardships enumerated in Zen’s letter are confiscated money, clerics’ relations being harassed by civil authorities, imprisonment, and even execution.

“But the Holy See does not support them and regards them as trouble, referring to them causing trouble and not supporting unity. This is what makes them most painful," said the Cardinal.

Zen also described his surprise that Pope Francis has said Chinese Catholics should be “prophets and sometimes criticize the government.”

“I feel very surprised that he does not understand the situation of the Chinese Church,” he said.

The redoubtable Cardinal has once again blamed Pope Francis’ advisers, chief among them his Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

“He is very experienced. He also sees China’s ugly face and knows they are not reasonable,” Zen said. “In fact, he does not trust the Chinese side. He only uses them to achieve the purpose of establishing diplomatic relations."

In addition to the current pontiff’s failure to grasp the gravity of the fate of Catholics in China, there has been a misinterpretation of letters Pope Benedict wrote about the Church in China during his own pontificate. Some believe Benedict called the underground church “abnormal,” but Zen insists this is not the case.

"Pope Benedict XVI was not talking about the abnormality of the underground church itself, but the situation in China is not normal. The government's intervention means that the Church cannot be pure and leads to abnormality, so the bishops, priests and faithful are going to the underground."

Government interference in the Church means that in order to keep the faith whole and entire, the Church must remain underground. However, part of that faith is the recognition of a reigning pontiff as the Vicar of Christ.

"Our bottom line is the pope,” Zen told ucanews.com. “We cannot attack him. If the pope is wrong this time, I hope he will admit the mistake; if he does not admit, I hope that the future pope will point out the mistake. But in the end, it is still the pope's final decision. If you don't follow, then there is no principle, so the mainland's brothers must not rebel."

Two of the signatories of a recent British letter in support of the underground Church told LifeSiteNews of their personal concern for Chinese Catholics.

Catholic apologist Peter D. Williams said via email that the signatories hoped to “raise awareness of the dangers” of the Vatican treaty with the Chinese government and “register lay opposition to (it) in the public square.”

“Silence implies consent, and therefore vocal (but rational and charitable) criticism is a necessity when the institutional Church engages in such actions.”

Kathy Sinnott, the organizer of Ireland’s pro-life “Rosary on the Coasts,” says she has been “deeply concerned” for many years about the persecution of Catholics in China faithful to Rome. In 2005, she visited China as a Member of European Parliament and voiced her concerns.

“I visited China as an MEP attending the WTO (World Trade Organization) Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong and had the privilege of attending daily Mass in an old Portuguese Church in Guangzhou,” Sinnott informed LifeSiteNews via email.

“The priest told me that although they had reasonable freedom there (a western enclave), it was very different in many parts of the country where persecution was a reality,” she continued.

Sinnott brought up the issues with Chinese officials but was not reassured.

“They never answered and never let their smile droop but would just say ‘China has a harmonious plan,’” she recalled.

The former MEP believes that the Vatican agreement has further endangered faithful underground Catholics.

“In making the agreement with the Chinese government, (the Vatican has) not just betrayed the faithful Chinese Catholics but ... put them in even more danger,” she said.

“At this stage, I can only continue to pray for the members of Mystical Body of Christ in China.”

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Mon Nov 19, 2018 - 7:46 pm EST

Church throwing Chinese Christians to the lions


November 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — It is important Christians recognize the broader implications of the disastrous capitulation of Pope Francis to the Chinese government’s ideological agenda.

By allowing China’s government to appoint bishops, he has given over the authority of the church to an oppressive regime and has handed over Catholic dogma to communist spin masters who will shape Christian doctrine according to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ‘Sinicization” program.

Xi’s Sinicization program permits only one viewpoint; namely, that which adheres to Communist dogma as understood by the Chinese government. The Pope has by his actions at least implicitly endorsed an anti-Christian agenda that includes an all-out attempt to convert Catholics into acolytes of the Chinese government, which seeks through its social credit system to Sinicize everyone, conforming every single Chinese to its ideology. Xi’s Sinicization is essentially a revival of Mao Zedong’s approach to China’s internal affairs, but even more hideously strengthened by technological surveillance Mao could only dream of. The new social credit system, in which a person’s every word, deed and thought are evaluated according to conformance to government policies, with rewards and punishments being handed out according to performance on demand, now includes Christians who are expected to work for social credit, also known as government approved behavior. To be authentically Christian is to not receive any social credit.

As Sinicization defined by adherence to communist ideology as promoted by the Chinese government proceeds to infiltrate the church, what policies will the Catholic Church in China be required to accede to in order to retain state favored status? What are the larger implications of the pope’s ceding control of the Catholic Church to the Chinese government?

They are much the same as the results attendant to the capitulation of the Catholic Church when Cardinal Pacelli, the Vatican’s Secretary of State and future Pope Pius XII, signed the Reichskonkordat of 1933. By surrendering the Church’s moral authority and its ability to rebuke and to confront the Nazi state, the church as an institution wound up bearing responsibility for the persecution of the Jews. While individual priests, nuns, laymen and laywomen often stood against the persecution of the Jews in acts of supreme heroism and sacrifice, the hierarchy of the Church sacrificed the moral stand of the Church against the evil of the Third Reich.

The German Catholic laity were out on a limb which the church hierarchy sawed off.

As David B. Green notes,

“ … (T)he discussions “were conducted exclusively by Pacelli on behalf of the Pope over the heads of the faithful, the clergy and the German bishops.” (Readers will note a similar hijacking of the moral authority of the laity and bishops is occurring as the Vatican overrides the American conference of bishops meeting to confront the current sex abuse scandal.)​

Green continues:

“As James Carroll wrote in ‘Constantine’s Sword,’ his 2001 study of the Church’s relationship with the Jews, ‘The Recihskonkordat effectively removed the German Catholic Church from any continued role of opposition to Hitler. More than that, as Hitler told his cabinet on July 14, it established a context that would be ‘especially significant in the urgent struggle against international Jewry.’“​

Those who know 20th century history know how the struggle against “international Jewry” turned out. Millions died.

In a similar manner, by handing over control of the Church to the Chinese communist government in exchange for a tenuous and doubtless soon to be violated agreement to be left alone, the Church commits itself at least tacitly to unseeing the horrors of the Chinese government’s Two Child policy, which in practice is the same as the One Child policy put in place in the 1980s.

The Chinese government has been responsible for the abortion of millions of unborn children, skewed sex ratios due to preference for boys, and for the control of every Chinese woman’s or man’s sex life. Sinicization of the Catholic Church means Catholics will be “encouraged” to go along with to China’s population control policies, which are remarkable for their vicious brutality. Chen Guangcheng, a blind lawyer and human rights advocate, put it bluntly: “First the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) would kill any baby after one. Now they will kill any baby after two.”

As the Charlotte Lozier Institute reports, Stephen Mosher has been eyewitness to the grim results of the One Child Policy since the late 1970s. He has seen forced abortions, sterilizations and third trimester abortions done by C-section. The babies were killed at birth. He concludes: “Regardless of whether Party leaders allow Chinese couples to have one, two, or even three children, the underlying policy has not changed – and probably will not change.”

Reggie Littlejohn, who is founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, clarifies just what the Two Child Policy means. All pregnancies must be permitted by the government, which requires a permit. Women who have pregnancies not permitted by the state are subject to forced abortion. No Christian woman can plead freedom of conscience and the intrinsic value of her child’s life.

Social credit goes to Chinese who follow the state’s draconian Two Child Policy, which is backed up by countless spies and enforcers, as Mosher related in his first book on China’s One Child Policy, Broken Earth; as well as in his most recent book, A Mother’s Ordeal. Mosher states: “The history of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been marred by a long series of violent political campaigns, but none has been more violent, none has claimed more victims, and none lasted a fraction as long as the one-child-policy (now the Two Child Policy). He goes on to note that even the carnage enacted by Mao Zedong was not as great as that resulting from the Chinese government’s efforts to control its people by forced abortion, sterilization and infanticide.

In sum, allowing Catholic bishops to be appointed by the Chinese government amounts to capitulation to abortion and infanticide characteristic of the Two Child Policy, which in turn is part of the all-encompassing social credit system enforced by the Chinese government.

Whether intentionally or not, Pope Francis has thrown all Christians to the lions, including the 30 non-government approved Catholic bishops as well as the burgeoning underground Chinese evangelical and Catholic movements. He has given the papal blessing to state controlled registered churches while at least tacitly giving the imprimatur to state persecution of the entire Christian underground.

By going along with the Chinese government’s goal to Sinicize religion, he is gutting human rights groups, including Christians battling for human rights. As the Washington Times reported, “Several Chinese human rights lawyers jailed for their work, including Jiang Tianyong and Li Heping, are outspoken Christians. So too are many Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, not least among them 2014 protest leader Joshua Wong … Chinese leaders have always been suspicious of the political challenge or threat that Christianity poses to the Communist regime.”

The pope may be interested in ameliorating the suspicions of the Chinese leaders concerning Christianity, but by his actions, he is in danger of eliminating the Catholic Church’s moral authority in China altogether, particularly when it comes to the matter of the infinite value of human life as proclaimed by Christian doctrine.

Noble intentions and sterling motives often are smoke screens that obscure and sometimes even encourage disastrous results. It is hard to avoid the suspicion that Pope Francis has sided with the world, the flesh and the Devil in handing the appointments of bishops over to the Chinese government.

Thus, as noted above, it is hard not to see a repeat of the actions of Pope Pius XII when he signed the Reichskonkordat in 1933. The parallels are there for all to discern. As Robert A. Krieg noted some 15 years before the current actions of Pope Francis:

“The Concordat of 1933 embodied a problematic theology of the Church, for it implicitly reduced the Church to an organization concerned solely about a private, otherworldly realm unrelated to the social and political aspects of human life.”​

Krieg goes on to note that while Pius XI and Pacelli may have thought they were protecting the Church as an institution, they wound up severing the Church from its advocacy for human rights, thus lessening “the role of the Church as a proponent of universal human values as embodied in natural law.”

Students of Church history have seen the results of the Catholic Church’s cooperation with an oppressive regime. The outcome of the current pope’s decision may be similar to the Reichskonkordat of 1933: The persecution of faithful Christians and the mass slaughter of innocent lives.

It is up to the faithful Christians within and outside of the Catholic Church to protest the pope’s potentially fateful decision. History must not be repeated.

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Cdl. Zen: Vatican is helping China’s Communist govt. ‘annihilate’ underground Church


November 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In a recent interview with the French website La Croix International, Cardinal Joseph Zen has renewed his resistance against the 22 September 2018 “provisional” agreement between the Vatican and Communist China on the appointment of bishops, whose full content, however, is still largely unknown. But it will readmit “to full ecclesial communion the remaining ‘official’ Bishops, ordained without Pontifical Mandate.” The agreement is now being used to coerce the Underground Catholics to join the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association under Communist rule, as the Cardinal explains. He recently hand-delivered to the Pope a seven-page-letter, not trusting the reliability of the Pope's entourage.

In the 22 November interview, Cardinal Zen makes it clear that he considers the 22 September agreement to be destructive of the faithful Underground Church in China. He says that “the Pope didn’t get anything from this agreement, it’s a 'fake,' an illusion, and Beijing made him lose his authority.” The “Chinese authorities still consider they are in charge of the Chinese Church and they will still choose the bishops. The Pope will only have the last word,” Zen explains.

Zen particularly points out that the agreement is of a secret nature and thus it can be manipulated by the Chinese Communists: “As this agreement is secret, the Chinese think that all the process now is legalized and they can choose the bishops. They think the Holy See signed a white paper (blank check) and that they can do what they want.” As a consequence of this agreement between Rome and China, the Communists will now approach all the faithful Catholics in China to tell them now that they have “to come out and leave clandestinity to join the Catholic Patriotic Association from the official Church. 'Come out, come out, the Pope [has made it] ok,' they will tell them,” the Cardinal states.

Pope Francis is now in the course of removing the excommunication of the bishops of the Patriotic Association which is under Communist control, thus further promoting a certain development in China that weakens the faithful Catholics. Zen explains the situation to be as follows: “Certainly, it’s only the beginning but we can clearly see where it is going. The Pope suspended the excommunication for seven bishops and gave jurisdiction of one diocese to Bishop Guo in Chengde. The Pope is going to wait before legitimizing the other six. It’s only a matter of time.”

With this papal support and leniency toward the Communist-linked bishops, Cardinal Zen adds, “indirectly, the Vatican is helping the government to annihilate the underground Church that Beijing was not able to crush.”

Zen also asks whether one can speak of unity when “they force the underground to enter the bird cage?”

Zen describes how the good bishops in China are now even more marginalized since the Vatican agreement, but that they continue to fight. “Now the regime is destroying the underground Church and disappointing the few good bishops in the official Church. They resist. They do what they can, but they are marginalized.”

Cardinal Zen also announces that, should Pope Francis also legitimatize the remaining six bishops of the Patriotic Association, he shall fall into silence and go into a monastery: “I can’t fight against the pope. But when he legitimizes the six bishops, I will retire to a convent to pray. And I will not talk to journalists anymore. I will remain silent.”

Only a short while ago, Cardinal Zen personally gave Pope Francis his seven-page letter, saying “I wanted to be sure he gets my seven-page letter because I don't trust the people around him.” Speaking about the content of his letter, Zen says “I asked him to stop the negotiations with Beijing,” adding “the pope doesn't know the situation of the Church in China.” He also cautions the Pope not to visit China, because he would only be “manipulated by the regime whereas it would be good for President Xi Jinping for his international credibility.”

Cardinal Zen had for years warned against such a Vatican agreement with China. In 2016, when speaking with the German bishops' website Katholisch.de, he warned against a possible agreement with China, saying “First, we should agree upon the question 'what is a Communist regime.' It is a totalitarian regime which wants to control everything. Also the Church. But this we may not allow – the Church may not be controlled by a government, by a regime.”

He then made it clear that the recent years of the Vatican trying to make compromises with Communist China have only weakened the Church: “All these years of compromise have weakened the position of the Church. The Church [, on the contrary,] should encourage the faithful to be strong, to practice resistance.”

Already in 2016, Cardinal Zen announced that he will fall silent, should there be an agreement with China. “If Francis comes to an agreement with Beijing, I will stop speaking. I will disappear. […] I will read my books and I will never appear publicly again. That is what I have also said to my brethren: retreat quietly and wait until better times come.”

It is to be hoped that Cardinal Zen will change his mind and continue to speak in public for his suppressed people and to remain a prophet for his people, or in his words “I am someone crying in the desert.”

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Blind Chinese defector: Vatican’s deal with China is ‘slap in the face’
to millions of Catholics


November 27, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – In a recently published rebuke to the Vatican for its recent agreement with China’s Communist Party, heroic world-famous blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng explained why the Holy See should not cede the selection of bishops in China to the Communist Party (CCP).

Chen, in his article titled “A Pact with a Thief, a Deal with the Devil: The Vatican’s Pending Agreement with China,” said he was shocked and dismayed in seeing the Vatican/China agreement take shape.

“I have known and worked with countless individuals in China who have been persecuted for their beliefs,” wrote Chen at Public Discourse. “It has thus been with intense shock and dismay that I have watched the Vatican’s rapprochement with China take shape.”

Chinese Cardinal Joseph Zen said in a recent interview that the agreement "indirectly" amounts to the Vatican "helping the government to annihilate the underground Church that Beijing was not able to crush.”

If anybody has a right to speak out on the current Vatican/China controversy, it’s Chen.

Blind from a young age, Chen Guangcheng gained international prominence more than a decade ago for bravely suing the government over its brutal “one-child policy,” which has resulted in forced abortions, estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. Chen was imprisoned by China’s communist government for his activism. In 2012 he escaped house arrest and fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. He and his family were later allowed to leave for the United States where he is now a distinguished visiting fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America and a senior fellow at the Witherspoon Institute.

“I was born and raised in China under the communist despotism. I personally experienced the brutal torture and persecution that the atheists of the Communist Party committed against dissidents,” explained Chen earlier this year. “They have no fear of God or any moral bottom line; they have committed innumerable murders with a total disregard for human life for the sole purpose of maintaining their reign.”

'Slap in the face'
Chen suggests that the Vatican has entered into an uneven deal with the CCP, giving up too much authority––most notably regarding the selection of bishops––in order to re-establish diplomatic relations with the communist state.

“The fact that the Vatican sees these terms as an acceptable basis for reconciliation with a brutal dictatorial regime is a slap in the face to millions of Catholics and other faithful religious people in China who have suffered real persecution under the CCP,” wrote Chen. “In fact, it is an affront to reasonable and freedom-loving people everywhere. As a self-described atheist regime, the CCP simply cannot claim authority over religious affairs, such as the choice of bishops. And its offering recognition of the pope is as paltry a concession as admitting the sky is blue.”

The problem is that the goals of religion––any religion––are at odds with those of the CCP. “Religion asks for trust in a higher power—higher still than the Communist Party can claim—and faith in ideas that are beyond the reach of the regime’s clutches.”

“Over the past decade, the CCP has been aggressively attacking underground Catholic and Protestant house churches, first going after banned religious symbols and dismantling crosses,” recounted Chen. “The CCP has been arresting priests, threatening congregants, and searching churches and places of worship. Many have disappeared and been tortured while under the regime’s control, refusing to relinquish their beliefs to a degraded, intolerant political party, and proving the power of their faith.”

Under increasing CCP influence in Christian churches, including the state-approved Catholic Church, “Congregants are required to sing communist songs and raise the national flag.”

“The CCP is even preparing its own edition of the Bible, titled ‘The Chinese Christian Bible,’” added the outspoken activist, explaining that the CCP seeks to “force its socialist, secular values into the text while presenting a fiction of religious tolerance to the outside.”

'Another shameful episode whose stain the Catholic Church will be unable to cleanse'
Chen continued:

Clearly, the agreement is a blatantly political move designed only to serve the CCP’s interests. Not only does the action of the CCP selecting Catholic bishops represent a major decline for the Vatican, but it is the equivalent of bowing before evil, of selling God to the devil. Does the Vatican not know that the Communist Party controls everything in China? The Vatican ended relations with China in 1951 after the Communist Party had taken over power because the Party wanted to lead everything, including the spiritual realm. Now, after sixty-seven years, the Vatican is throwing away its values and accepting the leadership of the CCP. This will become yet another shameful episode whose stain the Catholic Church will be unable to cleanse.

I am sure that the active members of underground churches in China who have persevered against crippling persecution for so long can only feel betrayed. They must certainly feel that the Vatican is growing further from God and closer to the superficial human world of vice—closer to a Communist Party that is responsible for the deaths of over four hundred million unborn children and hundreds of millions of Chinese people. Can this actually represent the will of the heavens?

Chen’s concluding words were, “[T]he Vatican’s deal with China can only bring shame on its name.”

Chen’s indictment of the Vatican/China deal demands serious consideration by the Holy See.

“Every single line in this @PublicDiscourse article by the courageous Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng needs to be read by anyone in the Holy See involved in the Vatican’s agreement with China,” tweeted the Acton Institute’s Samuel Gregg. “Every. Darn. Single. Line.”



Every single line in this @PublicDiscourse article by the courageous Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng needs to be read by anyone in the Holy See involved in the Vatican’s agreement with China. Every. Darn. Single. Line.https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2018/11/47110/



Pact with a Thief, a Deal with the Devil: The Vatican’s Pending Agreement with China
The Vatican should not cede selection of bishops in China to the Communist Party.

thepublicdiscourse.com


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Cardinal Zen Says He Will Resign If Pope Appoints More Communist Bishops

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Emeritus Archbishop of Hong Kong: "I can not fight the Pope. But if he legitimizes the six bishops [of the Catholic Patriotic Association], I will retire to praying in a monastery. “

Hong Kong (kath.net) "I can not fight the pope. But if he legitimizes the six bishops [of the Catholic Patriotic Association], I will retire to praying in a monastery. And I will not talk to journalists anymore. I will remain silent.” Cardinal Joseph Zen, Archbishop Emeritus of Hong Kong and longtime critic of Pope Francis' China policy, announced this again. The cardinal said in an interview with the Catholic French portal La Croix that he had recently handed the Pope a seven-page letter between the Vatican and the Communist government of China about the provisional agreement of secret content. Zen had traveled to Rome specifically because he had not trusted in the reliability of the followers of Francis. This is what Maike Hickson reported on "LifeSiteNews".

He explained to La Croix that he considered this provisional agreement to be destructive to the faithful Catholic underground Church of China.

After the secret agreement, Pope Francis recognized eight bishops loyal to the government, who had originally been ordained Catholic bishops without the consent of the Vatican.

The American-German ecclesiastical journalist Maike Hickson criticized that German-language media would "spread the wrong message" that Cardinal Zen withdrew into a monastery and pointed out that Zen has made only a conditional announcement.

- Prof. Thomas Schirrmacher: "The red in Cardinal Zen's clothing truly stands for martyr's blood"

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Cardinal Zen: "I must choose between rebellion
against the Pope, and silence."


Monday, December 17, 2018


Cardinal Zen: "I must choose between rebellion against the Pope, and silence."


"Global Times on the Vatican delegation in the People's Republic of China. Cardinal Zen: "I have to decide".

(Rome / Beijing) Vatican spokesman Greg Burke indirectly confirmed the Vatican operation in the People's Republic of China to force legitimate, faithful bishops to resign, giving way to schismatic, bishops.


"Practical steps"
On Saturday, December 15, the Global Times, a regime friendly, English-language newspaper in the People's Republic of China, reported the presence of a Vatican delegation in China. This had taken place in the Communist empire because of "practical steps in the implementation of the agreement on the bishops".

Last September, for the first time since the Communist takeover in 1949, a bilateral agreement was signed between the Holy See and the People's Republic of China, but its contents are kept secret by both sides. As the Global Times confirmed, this is about episcopal appointments.

In 1958, the Communist regime established its own religiously dependent Catholic Church, independent from Rome, the so-called "Patriotic Association," and has since appointed its own bishops without the consent of Rome. These bishops were excommunicated from Rome.

Simultaneously with the signing of the secret agreement, Pope Francis lifted the excommunication of these bishops and recognized them as legitimate bishops. The agreement also appears to require that these bishops be appointed and recognized as diocesan bishops by Rome. Since autumn 2017, it is known that the Vatican is urging two faithful bishops to resign to make way for bishops excommunicated so far.

Last week, as the newspaper reported, a Vatican delegation was in the "Middle Kingdom" to hold "talks on the implementation of an agreement on the appointment of bishops."These," said a spokesman for the Holy See, "talks were conducted with both government and church representatives."

The spokesperson, according to the article, was Vatican spokesman Greg Burke, who was contacted by the Chinese newspaper last Friday.

The newspaper also quoted Wang Meixiu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences as saying that the talks were about filling vacant episcopal chairs.

The "new model"
The Global Times also confirmed that a bishop appointed by the regime is being used by the Vatican as a legitimate diocesan bishop. Underground Bishop Guo Xijin of Mindong accepted the papal call to resign last Friday. He is replaced by the regime's Bishop Zhan Silu.

Bishop Guo Xijin was a dialogue partner of the Vatican delegation. He will be, as the Vatican wishes, auxiliary bishop of Bishop Silu in his former diocese. He confirmed this to Global Times after the meeting with the delegation from the Vatican.

Global Times presented the unusual resignation and role reversal as a "normal castling," which goes back to "practical", ecclesiastical "necessities."

There is talk of a "new model" that, if accepted by both sides "with good will", could be established with regard to episcopal nominations. Should that translate to mean that the diocesan bishops in future come from the Patriotic Association and the auxiliary bishops from the Underground Church?

Global Times concludes:

"The Press Office of the Holy See did not respond to questions as to whether the delegation's mission also included discussions on the establishment of diplomatic relations or a possible visit by Pope Francis to China."
Cardinal Zen: "Unacceptable, so I'll be silent from now on"
Meanwhile, Cardinal Joseph Zen, emeritus bishop of Hong Kong and gray eminence of the Chinese Underground Church, commented on recent events. He was disappointed with the monthly Tempi that Rome forces legitimate and faithful bishops to resign to establish bishops who have been unfaithful and have turned away from Rome.

"I have told these two bishops that they should not resign voluntarily so as not to cooperate with evil. But I have also advised them to obey if the Pope orders it, because a pope's command must always be obeyed." At the beginning of the year, Cardinal Zen experienced the great defeat when it became clear that Pope Francis is against all warnings, for the agreement with Beijing (see also "The problem is who sits in the cage" ).
Because of this disappointment, the cardinal reasons, since it is impossible for him because of his office and as a Catholic, to criticize the Pope, he will at last to retire to a monastery and to keep silent. He said to Tempi :

"There is the problem of the seven bishops excommunicated and pardoned by Francis. So far none of them has been placed at the head of a diocese. If this happens, I will be silent for ever, because that would be unacceptable and would force me to decide to rebel against the Pope or to remain silent. I will be silent."

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Catholic Priests in China feel Betrayed by the Vatican


Catholic Priests in China Feel Betrayed by the Vatican -- Facial Recognition Tracks Chinese People on New Year's
Posted: 27 Jan 2019 01:24 PM PST


(Beijing) The authorities of the People's Republic of China expect a record number of lunar new year human movements to be celebrated in China. Mass exodus is systematically monitored by the regime for the first time using facial recognition systems.The Catholic priests of the communist empire are also monitored.
About 1.5 billion Chinese will participate in the largest mass movement in the world. Whether by train, plane, car or even on foot, most Chinese are still on the move for the next 35 days to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which is all about the pig. This superlative human movement started on March 21st and will last until March 1st. The Chinese traditionally return to their family homes to celebrate New Year's celebrations with relatives and friends to celebrate the New Year. There are no lack of bottlenecks in the means of transport and on the transport routes to transport such crowds.
The official New Year's date in China is February 5, 2019. Authorities are officially expecting 2.99 billion people. Thousands of additional trains and aircraft are used to deal with this. According to the authorities estimate, air traffic alone is expected to increase by 12 percent over the previous year.
New high-speed lines are being put into operation for the New Year, including the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong line.
For the first time, the new social credit system will also be used. Human movements are monitored and controlled with the most systematic facial recognition possible. The system uses a gigantic database and new artificial intelligence technologies.​


Underground priests feel "betrayed" by the Vatican

Catholic priests are also being monitored in the People's Republic of China. To officially serve as a priest, you must join the regime approved Patriotic Association. AsiaNews has released the news of such an "official" priest. He reports that underground priests with whom he is associated, feel betrayed by the Vatican, especially since the agreement between Beijing and the Holy See. Despite the agreement, the Patriotic Association continues to work for a Chinese national church independent of the Holy See and dependent on the communist regime.

Only the Patriotic Association is recognized by the state

The priest therefore calls on the Vatican to discuss the role of the Patriotic Association in future talks with Beijing.​

The reason for this message is an alarming development for the priest. Several priests of the faithful underground church with whom he is friends are about to give up their priesthood. They feel betrayed by the Vatican. Pope Francis declared after the signing of the Episcopal Agreement "The last word is mine," but the role of the Patriotic Association has not been clarified. The Patriotic Association "is a controlling body of the Chinese Communist Party and wants to build a self-sufficient church independent of the Holy See."​

Pope Benedict XVI, in his 2007 Letter to Chinese Catholics, declared the Patriotic Association "incompatible with Catholic doctrine," said the priest. Pope Francis repeatedly emphasized that the letter of his predecessor is "still valid".​

But the reality gives a different impression, said the priest. Francis draws on bishops and priests of the Patriotic Association, as a kind of "lesser evil." Membership in the Patriotic Association is still a prerequisite for being recognized by the state as a priest. Benedict XVI. stated, however, that membership of organizations and bodies that deny the indispensable principles of the faith and the ecclesial community is not permitted.
The Patriotic Association is doing just that, as the 60th anniversary of its founding has once again proved.​

The priest tells of various underground priests who are so disappointed by recent developments that they feel abandoned and betrayed by the Vatican. Several people know that they have returned to their hometowns or want to return. They are "victims of the Sino-Vatican Agreement," said the priest.​
"I'm afraid there are many priests throughout China who are going through this now: they were faithful and defended the Catholic faith, but suddenly they were betrayed by Rome. They can not rape their consciences and even less can they act against their faith. "​
The priest's concern is that his confreres may lose their "missionary vocation". If the secular power knows their priesthood and they do not even get hold of the Church, "are they really like the crucified Christ, and can only cry with all their might, 'Father, why have you forsaken us?'"​

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1708


Cdl. Zen in new book: Vatican’s China ‘strategy was wrong,
all about compromise and surrender’


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Cardinal Zen's book: For Love of My People I Will Not Remain Silent
www.ignatius.com



February 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Chinese Cardinal Joseph Zen has strongly criticized in a new book the Vatican's recent dealings with China, stating that the "strategy was wrong," adding that it was "all about compromise and surrender." He has also revealed that the troubling China policy did not start with Pope Francis.

In "For Love of My People I Will Not Remain Silent" released by Ignatius Press on Jan. 25, Cardinal Zen describes in detail the history of the Vatican's shifting China policy over the course of the last decades.

After he praises Cardinal Jozef Tomko, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (CEP) from 1985 until 2001, for his clarity in dealing with China, Cardinal Zen also makes it clear that, since Tomko's end of tenure in 2001, the Vatican has been sending confusing messages and has made compromising decisions when dealing with Communist China. Zen writes with honesty and open disclosure about the inner conflicts in the Vatican regarding China.

The book contains a set of eight lectures delivered by the Chinese cardinal in Hong Kong in 2017, the tenth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's own 2007 Letter to Chinese Catholics which presents “some guidelines concerning the life of the Church and the task of evangelization in China.” Zen – the former bishop of Hong Kong – had counseled Pope Benedict with regard to that official letter, and he describes in detail how the letter came into existence and how some members of the Roman Curia tried to skew the Pope's own message. As a matter of fact, Cardinal Zen describes that, especially since 2001, there exists a group of curial members from the CEP and the Secretary of State who promote a sort of Ostpolitik which seeks more compromise with the Communist government in China, to the detriment of the Catholic faithful.

As will be seen, Pope Benedict, though personally supporting Cardinal Zen in his efforts to resist the Communist influence in the Catholic Church in China, also showed himself too lenient toward those curial members who were working against Cardinal Zen. When seeing problems with the Vatican's new China policy, “I brought it to the attention of the Holy Father, but it seems that not even the Pope could do anything about it,” is Cardinal Zen's polite, but discouraging comment. On another occasion, when the Pope did not want to confront those in the Vatican who opposed Cardinal Zen, Pope Benedict XVI limply said to Cardinal Zen: “Sometimes one does not want to offend a person.”

Overall, the book is marked by an unusual honesty and frankness. For the sake of a truthful assessment of the history of the Vatican's dealing with China, Cardinal Zen does not shy away from quoting private conversations with Pope Benedict XVI and from secret Vatican meetings concerning China. Yet, this disclosure is meant to be for the good of the Church, for the sake of a policy that truly protects the Catholics in China and defends the truth of the Catholic Faith.

China's complexity
Throughout the book, Cardinal Zen makes it clear that the situation in China is very complex, and he insists upon drawing a differentiated picture that does justice also to those Catholics who are now members of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA) under the influence of the Communists. However, Zen insists that, since the foundation of the CPCA in 1957, this organization has been schismatic, inasmuch as it is under the complete influence of the Communists and inasmuch as it has been consecrating bishops without any permission or mandate from Rome.
What Cardinal Zen is able to show is that the Chinese Communists, however, have always been sensitive to their being seen as having the support of the Catholics, and that they tend to be less bold and oppressive when they feel some counter-pressure from Rome. That is to say, the more lenient Rome has shown itself to be toward demands from China, the bolder the Communists have become in their intrusion into Catholic affairs. They at once exploit what Fritz Kraemer calls a "provocative weakness" on the part of the Church.

As Zen says, there is “faithfulness not only within the underground Church, but also among most people in the official Church.” (He taught at different seminaries in official seminaries in China and thus has first-hand experience here.) Even though Cardinal Zen sees that there are still many well-meaning Catholics in the CPCA, he insists upon fighting back against the undue influence of Communism in Catholics' affairs and he insists that the confusion of the faithful should not be increased. That is to say, Rome should not send the message that it is now acceptable to accept the Communist rule over Catholic affairs. Yet, too many times – even before Pope Francis – this acquiescence has been practically done.
Cardinal Zen shows in his book that a sort of confusion has been exponentially increasing in the last decades. Rome has been sending messages to China that have encouraged faithful bishops to make some essential compromises with China, even coming out into the open and submitting themselves to the rule of the Communists. These developments have had the effect that the loyal Catholics in China from the underground have lost trust in those compliant bishops, but they also are confused as to what the Vatican is actually intending.

Problems prior to Pope Francis
This description of confusion and of discouragement unmistakably already pertains to the time before the pontificate of Pope Francis. For example, Zen says that, under Cardinal Tomko's successor, “some of the Bishops ordained on January 6, 2000, were too easily legitimized.” They had asked for forgiveness from the Holy Father, but such a legitimization had usually to be granted only after a thorough examination of whether such an illegitimately consecrated bishop truly had the Catholic Faith. For, the illegitimate consecrations in the year 2000 have certainly been “a clear challenge to the Pope's authority.”

When, in 2006, Pope Benedict XVI, appreciating Zen's “zeal for the Church in China,” made him a cardinal, Cardinal Zen told the Chinese Catholics that he himself “had received the scarlet vestment in their name because it represented the red of the blood of the martyrs.” Benedict thereby wanted Zen to help him with China. But at the same time, the new head of the CEP – it was then Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe – tried to slow Zen down, telling him: “Don't forget that the Communists are also our brothers.” Cardinal Zen replied that the bishops who are jailed by the Communists are his brothers, too, and asked on whose side he, Zen, should stand. It was clear to Cardinal Zen that this prelate “wanted me to stay out of it.” When Zen came to Rome for a visit, neither the CEP nor the Secretary of State even tried to meet with him. “We are very busy,” they said.
Pope Benedict – “a Pope who loves China” – then tried, in this atmosphere, to write his 2007 Letter to the Chinese Catholics, restating some fundamental aspects of how to deal with the situation in China, such as the insistence upon the Pope's authority with regard to episcopal consecrations. While Cardinal Zen honors the Letter to Chinese Catholics, a careful reader will notice that he does not always agree with the tone of appeasement, even under Benedict, something he politely calls the “overly tolerant attitude of the Holy See.”

“The Holy See has not always reacted forcefully,” Zen says, when dealing, for example, with illegitimate consecrations of new bishops by the Chinese Communists. (Important to know in this context is that Cardinal Zen says that a certain Mr. Liu Bainian, the powerful layman who effectively runs the official Catholic Church in China, is a high-ranking official in the Communist Party.) By legitimizing too many of the illegitimately consecrated bishops under Communist rule, the Vatican is again sending a confusing message to the faithful Catholics in China, says Zen. The impression is made that “sooner or later you will be legitimized,” thus implicitly inviting future illegitimate episcopal consecrations. Zen states: “I brought it to the attention of the Holy Father, but it seems that not even the Pope could do anything about it.”

Importantly, Cardinal Zen shows how the 2007 papal letter to the Chinese Catholics was mistranslated – and then and thus manipulated – and that it took Cardinal Zen a full year to get the Vatican to post on its website a correct Chinese translation (and this manifestly against the will of the CEP). There was also published an explanatory note to the somewhat lengthy 2007 Letter, and this note contains some strange comments, indeed, such as: “Some, caring for the good of the faithful and looking far into the future, have accepted to be illegitimately ordained.” Zen then asks: “If this is the case, does it mean that those who did not accept illegitimate ordination do not care about the good of the faithful? Are they shortsighted?” (Later, he calls such compliant talk “grossly unfair.”)

Strategy was wrong
Cardinal Zen is very forceful in his critique of the overall Vatican policy. He says: “the strategy was wrong, all about compromise and surrender [....] The Curia has always tried to please the Chinese government.” He adds that “they didn't listen to us, who come from the front line.” But the Holy Father, he explains “could not say who was right and who was wrong.” Zen says that “we could see the gap between the Pope's way of thinking and that of the people who were supposed to support it, and who instead distorted it.” Why this is the case, Cardinal Zen further explains when he writes “Pope Benedict is a saint, a great theologian, but has weakness: he is too good, too humble, too tolerant.”

Cardinal Zen reveals that he said at some point to the Pope: “Holy Father, I can't take it anymore. You want me to help you with the Church in China, but I only have words; you have the authority and you are not helping me.”

Cardinal Zen discusses in detail this 2007 Letter which he calls a “great gift.” The main argument of Zen is that a reconciliation between the official Church and the underground Church in China is not possible, as long as the Communists try to influence and to steer the Church's inner life and suppress the free exercise of the Catholic Faith. Therefore, it is not a proper reconciliation between two parties, but an attempt at telling one party to stop influencing the other.

He explains that he saw in the draft of the Letter an “excessively laudatory” tone, and Benedict indeed removed a specific quote that Zen had singled out (he followed also other suggestions of Zen). On the question of “good will” on both sides, Zen says that “the deadlock can last for a long time, and perhaps we can never reach a good outcome.” If this is the case, the most important aspect should be to help the Catholics in China to preserve the full Catholic Faith.

“Harmony and understanding,” Zen said, “cannot come at the expense of the truth.”

Cardinal Zen insists that the Communist government “shows no respect” even for the bishops of the official Church, whom they control completely. Often, the Communists even force these bishops to partake in illegitimate episcopal consecrations, forcing them physically to attend. And: “They act as if the Pope does not exist.”

Cardinal Zen discusses also the question as to whether or not the clergymen of the underground Church should now come out from hiding and get officially acknowledged. Pope Benedict leaves this question open in his 2007 Letter, saying that it is up to each bishop to decide, but that the faithful should obey their bishop if he decides to do so. “The Pope did not rule out the possibility of doing so,” Zen says, “but neither did he encourage it.” Some, however, afterwards thought that the Pope actually had encouraged a coming out.

Cardinal Zen shows that, in most cases, this “coming out” is to the detriment of the Faith, because the Communists will thereby further take control. “It is very difficult to come out into the open.” Cardinal Zen sees that the Pope's attitude here had been detrimentally influenced by the CEP which had even encouraged one auxiliary bishop – Bishop An of Baoding – to come out into the open. However, as Zen shows, Bishop An “who had suffered for many years in prison for his faith” then became “a blind follower of the government.” Zen states here that “priests and believers who now abandon the Bishop [An], guided by their consciences, sorrowfully have no other choice.” They cannot follow their bishop.

Using even stronger words, Zen adds: “In the current situation, going from an underground to an official condition is, for all intents and purposes, unlawful because the official condition is a schismatic structure.” As can be seen here, Zen takes a stronger stance than Pope Benedict himself.
A too lenient attitude on the side of the Vatican encourages the Communists to be bold, says Zen. An example is that the Communists openly celebrated – shortly after the publication of the Pope's 2007 Letter – the fiftieth anniversary of the first illegitimate episcopal consecration in China (in 1958), with many Catholic bishops and priests present, “as if the Pope's Letter had never been written!” Cardinal Zen then said to the Pope, in the presence of Cardinal Bertone (the Secretary of State at the time): “It is all the fault of Ostpolitik. The willingness on the part of the Holy See to yield has encouraged the Chinese government to be more and more arrogant.”

Defender of the Catholic Chinese
Thus, Cardinal Zen shows himself to be a defender of the Catholic Chinese who yearn to keep the Faith intact and to remain united with the hierarchical Church as founded by Christ. “How can we deliver the flock into the mouth of rapacious wolves?” is the piercing question that Cardinal Zen poses with regard to our now leaving Catholics in the hands of Communist-controlled structures. He warns us, saying that “in the underground community the Bishops are becoming fewer and fewer.”

This Chinese prelate is to be honored for his speaking the plain truth, even if it wounds and hurts, for the sake of helping the Catholic Church in China. His book will help Catholics to learn more about the history of this long-lasting conflict with China, and it will help them assess the new approach of Ostpolitik, as proposed now by Pope Francis, which was, however, partly started long before his own pontificate.

For sure, Cardinal Zen warns us against Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the current Secretary of State, whom he calls “arrogant and despotic, interested more in diplomatic (worldly) success than in the triumph of the Faith.” Zen says that Parolin “got rid of me.” Thus, he concludes: “The ones we fear are Pope Francis' collaborators, infatuated with Ostpolitik.”

When asked in a January 31 interview with EWTN's Raymond Arroyo about the response of the Catholics in China to the new Vatican agreement, Cardinal Zen said: “They say: 'Horrible', a voice of despair, of confusion.”

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The day two of China’s greatest heroes — a cardinal and
blind activist — met and shook hands

Thu Mar 21, 2019 - 12:53 pm EST


WASHINGTON, March 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – On Monday, January 28, history was made when two heroes met, and a heroine joined them in the same room: Chen Guangcheng went to meet Cardinal Joseph Zen, who was awarded by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) with their highest honor, the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom, and Chen’s wife Weijing Yuan joined him there. Zen, Chen, and Yuan are real heroes because they put their lives on the line to save Chinese people of all ages, from little unborn babies and their mothers to adults who want fundamental human rights and the freedom to seek the meaning of life.

Of course Cardinal Zen is bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, and in 2012 blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng dramatically escaped house arrest with the help of his wife just before then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton went to Beijing for a diplomatic visit. Chen, along with his wife and children, were granted asylum in the United States, where he is a visiting law fellow at the Catholic University of America. Before they met, both men were kindred spirits on account of them being expert firsthand witnesses who did everything in their power to warn Pope Francis about the dangers of letting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rule the Catholic Church in China.

On January 10, 2018, Cardinal Zen went to Pope Francis at the Vatican, met with him for 30 minutes, and gave him a warning letter about the CCP with his pleas not to let the CCP control the Church. Because Vatican officials persisted in negotiations with the dishonest CCP, Zen wrote articles. As a result, the Vatican shuns Cardinal Zen.

As another result, VOC’s ceremony for Cardinal Zen was packed wall-to-wall. American politicians were there, Chinese citizens, and fans from other Asian nations such as Taiwan. In 2015, VOC gave Chen Guangcheng the same award. So when VOC announced that Chen was there, the audience cheered. Then, after his speech, Cardinal Zen moved as quickly as possible to meet Chen and a dense group pressed against them while they spoke in Chinese. Cardinal Zen spoke to me there in English and after VOC produced their video of Cardinal Zen’s speech, I interviewed Mr. Chen thanks to his translator Danica Mills.



The crux for Zen and Chen
On September 22, 2018, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin vaguely announced their Provisional Agreement with the Chinese government. Parolin also said:

The objective of the Holy See is a pastoral one: the Holy See intends just to create the condition, or help to create the condition, of a greater freedom, autonomy and organization, in order that the Catholic Church can dedicate itself to the mission of announcing the Gospel and also to contribute to the well-being and to the spiritual and material prosperity and harmony of the country, of every person and of the world as a whole.
Two days before the announcement, Zen held a media conference and called for Parolin to resign because “A church enslaved by the government is no real Catholic Church.” The day of the Vatican’s announcement, Zen passionately decried the legal weakness of the treaty and he’s most alarmed because Catholics can’t know when the CCP will persecute them for allegedly violating secret terms.
When a journalist asked Pope Francis about Cardinal Zen’s objections, the pope praised Parolin and the Communists:

This went ahead two steps and back one, two ahead and back one. Then, months passed without speaking to each other, and then the time of God, which appears to be [the time of the] Chinese. Slowly. This is wisdom, the wisdom of the Chinese. And the bishops who were in difficulty were studied case by case and in the case of the bishops, in the end dossiers came on to my desk about each one. And I was responsible for signing the case of the bishops.
Zen and Chen find the agreement absurd because the CCP is an atheist and tyrannical government. The Magisterium of the Catholic Church opposes all forms of tyranny, including atheist collectivism, also known as Marxism, socialism, and communism. In China, the CCP runs a fake Catholic Church called the Catholic Patriotic Association and never before the reign of Francis has the Vatican allowed China’s Communist government to control the Catholic Church there.

During secret negotiations, the Vatican sent Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, to China and he said this and other bizarre things:
Right now, those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese.
In his February 2018 article “The Vatican Plans to Make a Deal with the Devil,” Chen warned Pope Francis about Sorondo’s approval of China’s violence against all human rights, including her massive abortion and organ harvesting holocausts.

In part, Chen explained: “Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo went to China and attended a conference on organ donation and transplantation. At that time he praised China for setting up a global best practice model for eradicating organ trafficking. He also said that China today is not the one where John Paul II was the Pope from 1978 to 2005, nor the Soviet Union during the Cold War."

“Sorondo’s willful ignorance is beyond disgusting. I would like to ask him: ‘Did you know that, last year, 32 college students in Wuhan inexplicably went missing?’ The CCP did not provide any leads in spite of the ‘Sky Eye Project’ (the CCP uses the grid in which it controls hundreds of millions of cameras to follow the movements of everyone in society). Instead it detained the reporters who called for support for the parents who lost their children!"

“In China, many children were stolen or snatched while playing in the street. Their organs were later removed and sold,” he wrote.
After the Vatican-China agreement, the CCP oppressed Catholics worse than before as they banned children from Mass, destroyed churches and shrines, and arrested priests, to name just a few attacks. China has a long record of arresting and enslaving its citizens and even visitors in labor camps. Cardinal Zen’s beloved brother-in-law was one of those slaves. Before Chen, one of China’s former slaves, the late Catholic human rights activist Harry Wu, came to the United States and exposed China’s brutalities because “As a human being, as a believer in God, I have to do something. I could have easily died in the camps. So, who is Harry Wu? No one, if not someone for these millions of faceless, nameless, voiceless people.”

Today, the crises and the pleas of Catholics in China who feel betrayed by the Vatican are readily available from Asia News and UCAN, The Union of Catholic Asian News. For example, Bishop Peter Jin Lugang of Nanyang is the underground bishop recognized by the Catholic Patriotic Association on January 30, and he begs Pope Francis for a way not to belong to it.

After Francis signed the agreement, Chen called it “A Pact with a Thief, a Deal with the Devil” and he said:

Not only does the action of the CCP selecting Catholic bishops represent a major decline for the Vatican, but it is the equivalent of bowing before evil, of selling God to the devil. Does the Vatican not know that the Communist Party controls everything in China? ... This will become yet another shameful episode whose stain the Catholic Church will be unable to cleanse.
While Chen’s authentic witness is powerful, his op-ed above calls for a correction on Church history, especially on Pope Pius XII. For decades, Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic scholars have published evidence that Venerable Pius XII saved many Jews from the Nazis but some people still slander him as “Hitler’s pope.” Thankfully, on March 4, Pope Francis ordered the Vatican’s Secret Archives to open the records of Pius XII’s entire papacy starting March 20, 2020, and the truth should prove to be enthralling. Lastly, Jews weren’t Hitler’s only victims. Hitler planned to destroy the Catholic Church and he murdered countless Catholics to prove it.

Given the pope’s rejection of his advice, Cardinal Zen continued pleading for justice. October 24, 2018, The New York Times published his analysis “The Pope Doesn’t Understand China,” where he says:

Pope Francis, an Argentine, doesn’t seem to understand the Communists. He is very pastoral, and he comes from South America, where historically military governments and the rich got together to oppress poor people. And who there would come out to defend the poor? The Communists. Maybe even some Jesuits, and the government would call those Jesuits Communists.


The Zen and Chen interviews

At the VOC reception, Cardinal Zen briefly told me that while he believes Pope Francis has good intentions, the people who “surround him” know the reality of the CCP and they have their “own agenda.” He has mused that he’s not silent like his namesake Saint Joseph. Therefore, in reply to Pope Francis’s rejection, Zen wrote the new book “For the Love of My People I Will Not Keep Silent.” It’s published in Chinese and English, and you may read an excerpt in Zen’s article “What the Church is risking in its dialogue with China.”




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Chen Guangcheng and Weijing Yuan after meeting Cardinal Joseph Zen in Washington, D.C.Anita Crane © 2019. All rights reserved.
I requested to interview both Chen Guangcheng and Weijing Yuan because, even though Chen is the public spokesman in their family, they proved themselves equal, complementary partners in their dangerous mission to secure human rights. For example, Yuan co-authored their beautiful book “The Barefoot Lawyer: A Blind Man’s Fight for Freedom and Justice in China,” but only Chen is named as the author. As it turned out, only Chen answered my questions.

So what did Chen discuss with Zen at their historic meeting?

As the photo above shows, their meeting was joyful. Chen first explained to Zen that the publisher of his new book asked him for a promo blurb, but he didn’t get the request in time.

Chen then told Cardinal Zen: “I said I had read the draft of your book, and learned about how you were pressing for freedom of religion, rule of law, and human rights, and had done some really important work in those areas, completely fearlessly. And how you had asked to meet with the pope and urged him to stand up for human rights when thinking about the relationship with the Chinese Communist Party, and also how in your speech you had talked about some issues related to the CCP’s human rights violations in China."

“I also said that in the past few years I had known about the work he had done to support and appeal for human rights. And I used my own experience to tell him that these things were really useful, and how in China, when people speak out it really does make a difference, even if it doesn’t result in the authoritarian CCP being pulled out of power," he continued.

“I also brought up that in 2005, when we were fighting against the violent one-child policy campaigns, because of our efforts in two years, because they were battling against me and repressing me, they ended up relaxing their enforcement of the one-child policy with the result that in our area some 90,000 children were allowed to live. When Cardinal Zen heard this, he was very moved and surprised. He said our work was truly virtuous and charitable,” he added.

When Cardinal Zen called Chen’s and Yuan’s work “charitable,” it was the highest praise because he was speaking about the deepest love called “charity,” which is “the habit or power which disposes us to love God above all creatures for Himself, and to love ourselves and our neighbors for the sake of God.”

Likewise, I told Chen and Yuan that their work is in keeping with Christ’s commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. I said the same to Mr. Chen when I met him after his 2017 speech at the Westminster Institute, where I thanked him and asked him to also thank his heroic wife. I then invited him and his wife to become Catholic because they already act saintly. Obviously, Chen is appalled by the Vatican-China agreement and Cardinal Sorondo. So I again invited him and Yuan to consider becoming Catholic because I believe that if they know the fullness of truth about Christ and His relationship with us, they will find great peace and joy.

“As for what I was saying at the Westminster Institute, I said that I am a spiritual person, and that I believe that there is a spiritual power greater than our human world out there in the universe,” Chen answered. “But despite having these spiritual beliefs, I am not a follower of any specific religion or god. So, even though some of the work I have done seems very close to some people’s religious beliefs, I think it is just that there is some resonance there. But I don’t believe in any specific religion at this time.”

Now Guangcheng knows Cardinal Zen, and much could come from their friendship.


Cardinal Zen’s humble speech

Cardinal Zen said this in his VOC award acceptance speech:

I have not suffered directly personally from the Communists. I came to Hong Kong in 1948 to join the Salesian Society, and the Communists took power only in 1949, the following year. My family suffered, as all families suffered under that inhumane system. My brother-in-law, husband of my elder sister, a most sweet person, one day they came to arrest him without saying a word, without saying of which crime he was accused. They sent him to work for the construction or repair of railway. They shaved his head, working under the sun, and then after a couple of months they released him and sent him back home. Again, without any explanation. …

I am here to receive, gratefully, the medal; not in my honor, because I have almost paid nothing for my freedom, but for all those who suffered really for the freedom in China and in Hong Kong. I receive the medal for all those who really deserve it, but they cannot come here to accept it. I want to remember all those heroes who offered their life for the cause of human dignity and freedom. We don’t mourn them, because they are in God’s bosom in eternal bliss. And we understand that those who try to harm their dignity, they only humiliated and degraded themselves.
I want to remember many of those heroes who are suffering in this moment in China or in Hong Kong for voicing their claim for respect of their dignity, for freedom, and for democracy. Those well known and those anonymous heroes. May my presence here today confirm your noble work in the efforts to support all those people and may our presence here today and our prayer every day bring them comfort and strength. May God bless you all.
Watch Cardinal Zen’s complete speech in VOC’s video below. Lee Edwards, the Catholic founder and chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, introduces Cardinal Zen by recognizing his legacy.



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Increased religious tyranny in China: Neighbors now
paid to snitch on house churches, catechists


April 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Government officials in a heavily populated region of China are offering cash incentives to citizens to report their neighbors who engage in what the government deems to be “illegal religious activities.”
The Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs in Guangzhou — better known to westerners as Canton — is offering up to $1,500 to those who act as informants, uncovering underground church activity according to a report by Aisa News.
The newly instituted measure is meant to crack down primarily on underground Protestant communities but has set members of all religious faiths — including Catholics — on edge.

Big brother, mini Judases
“Now here in China we live in a Big Brother atmosphere,” a newly baptized woman told AsiaNews.
“The authorities could not have picked a better time, just before Easter to introduce these measures,” said a local priest in the report. “At this time, we often meditate on the passion of Jesus and Judas’ treachery for 30 pieces of silver. The Guangzhou government wants to turn people into many mini Judas.”

New regulations regarding the practice of religion enacted by the Chinese government in February 2018, have produced a more tyrannical environment for religious people in the communist state.

While presented as nothing more than a bureaucratic revision to existing regulations, the move was seen by many as a giant step backward toward increased state control of all religions by the nation’s communist government. Their concerns have been validated.

Beyond ‘sinicization’
Chinese officials insist that their goal is benign “sinicization,” a process where foreign influences within the country are made more compatible with Chinese culture. In reality, it is a mandate to co-opt Christianity – a process that is exacting an increasingly quantifiable toll on Chinese Christians.

“Sinicization,” according to China Aid’s 2014 Annual Report of Religious and Human Rights Persecution in China, “amounts to de-Christianizing the church in China and eradicating the universal nature of Christianity,” elevating “the interests of the Communist Party,” and “usurping Christian doctrine that ‘Christ is the head of Church.’”

Far from benign, the sinicization process has created an increasingly oppressive environment for believers.

‘It’s getting worse’
“It seems like virtually every week the Chinese Communist government reaches a new low,” Gary Bauer, member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), told LifeSiteNews. “It’s disdain for this basic human right of being able to seek God and worship God as your heart tells you to do.”

“It appears to many of us on the commission that in the last couple of years that the Chinese government has literally declared war on faith,” said Bauer. “The crackdown on both the house churches and even the licensed churches are good examples of this terrible development.”
Perhaps counterintuitively to many, as China has continued to rise as an economic power and engage more heavily with the world beyond its borders, “its disrespect of religious liberty seems to be getting worse and worse,” said Bauer.

“We may never know how many people have lost their lives in China over the decades because of religious persecution,” noted Bauer, adding “every indication is it’s getting worse.”

“At USCIRF, our mandate is to speak the truth about this sort of thing and we will continue to do everything we can to expose what’s happening in China to Christians” as well as Muslims, Falun Gong, other religious beliefs.” Bauer noted how members of the Uighur sect have been put into camps to help them assimilate, but “we’re getting widespread reports of torture and beatings.”

“At the same time, there is this crackdown on the house churches, as well as well-established licensed churches. … we still hear reports of churches being demolished.”

Government facial recognition cameras in Chinese churches
“The government-sanctioned churches that are allowed to exist right now have unique restrictions,” explained Chinese Christian activist Bob Fu in an interview with The Stream last fall. “Each church has to install a facial-recognition camera in front of the pulpit. The purpose is to identify certain people in the congregation.”

“President Xi Jinping considers Christians one of the greatest threats to his power,” said Fu. “Underground churches are listed as one of the ‘new black five’ national security threats in China. It’s new under this president for churches to be classified as a national security threat.”
Bauer spoke about a major church in Beijing, not too long ago, whose pastor refused to put facial recognition cameras in the church. The pastor refused and so “they took him and most of the church leadership away in the middle of the night and they have not been heard from since.”
Catholics under siege

Likewise, leaders within the underground Catholic Church who resist government control continue to live under the threat of severe sanctions and abduction.

As recently as last weekend, Cardinal Joseph Zen, Bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, tweeted, “Pray for the underground church in the northern province of Hebei,” after Bishop Augustine Cui Tai of Xuanhua was taken into custody.



According to a Union of Catholic Asian News (UCANews) report, “His whereabouts are unknown.”

Tyrannical abuse of Catholics
“China’s tyrannical abuse of the rights of faithful Catholics confirms its position as one of the worst religious freedom abusers in the world — right up there with North Korea,” asserted Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and former chairman of USCIRF.
There is a reason that China has been recommended for CPC (‘Countries of Particular Concern’) status in every annual report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom since the Commission was founded by act of Congress in 1998.
You are seeing that reason on display here. Catholics have long been victims of the tyrannical Chinese communist regime — but they are not alone. The regime also brutally persecutes Tibetan Buddhists, evangelical Protestant Christians, Uighur Muslims, and Falun Gong practitioners. It is an equal opportunity human rights violator. It fears, and seeks to crush, any civil society association — religious or otherwise — that could conceivably provide an authority structure outside its control.
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Wed Apr 10, 2019 - 6:26 pm EST

Faithful Catholics risk their lives to stop destruction of Chinese shrine


FENGXIANG, China, April 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Two hundred Chinese Catholics put their lives on the line when they attempted to stop the Communist government from destroying their beloved shrine.

According to Fr. Bernardo Cervellera, missionary priest and the editor of Asia News, the 200 members of the underground Catholic church have been holding a sit-in on the steps of the shrine of Mujiaping since yesterday evening.

“We are willing to lay down our lives," one of the Chinese Catholics is reported to have said.

This morning “at least 600” government officials and policemen arrived at the site to tear down the building.

Dedicated to the Sacred Heart, the shrine is considered Marian because pilgrims go there to visit its statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Chinese officials intend to destroy the statue as well as the sanctuary and a historical gate leading to its steps.

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The shrine of Mujiaping is in the diocese of Fengxiang (Shaanxi), where last week agents of China’s communist government destroyed the church in Qianyang. It is believed that this diocese, headed by Bishop Luke Li Jingfeng until his death late in 2017, is the only one in China where neither the laity nor the bishop belong to the Communist-ruled Catholic Patriotic Catholic Association.

Cervella reported that it is unlikely that the outnumbered faithful will succeed in keeping the government officials from destroying the shrine.
David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China and a Catholic, told LifeSiteNews that the violent destruction of the Marian shrine is “heartbreaking, and shows how deeply China’s Communist Party fears religious belief.”

He added that the courage of the Fengxiang Catholics is inspiring and that they need help.

“While they deserve our prayers, they also deserve the support of the international community,” Mulroney said.

He added that the Vatican needs “to find its voice.”

“Vatican diplomats seem to think that speaking out will somehow threaten the agreement that they recently signed with Chinese authorities,” Mulroney stated.

“They need to understand that what’s happening at Mujiaping is the fruit of that agreement,” he continued.

“By speaking out, standing up for the faithful and the truth, Rome can undo some of the damage done by its naive infatuation with China’s communist leaders, who respect neither faith nor truth.”

In October 2018, soon after the Vatican and China signed a historic accord, Chinese authorities destroyed the Marian shrines of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows in Dongergou (Shaanxi) and Our Lady of Bliss, also known as Our Lady of the Mountain, in Anlong (Guizhou).

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