China : Pope Francis' betrayal of Chinese Catholics

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Consecration of first Chinese bishop following
controversial Vatican-China deal Vatican sellout


JINING, Inner Mongolia, China, August 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A Chinese priest of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, a religious institution controlled by the country’s communist government, was ordained a bishop this week with Pope Francis’ approval.

A Vatican spokesman is calling the ordination the “first to take place in the framework of the Provisional Agreement between the Holy See and the People's Republic of China” signed last September.

The Vatican-China agreement, the content of which has yet to be made public, is thought by many Vatican observers to allow Chinese communist authorities to handpick bishops who will then be approved by the Pope, contrary to Catholic teaching. Some say, however, that the priest was named bishop years ago, thus precluding this ordination from being a test for the success of the agreement.

Fr. Antonio Yao Shun, 54, received the episcopal consecration in Jining Cathedral. Matteo Bruni, the Director of the Vatican Press Office, has confirmed that Yao received the “papal mandate” to be ordained.

“I can confirm that H.E. Mgr. Antonio Yao Shun, who has been consecrated Bishop of Jining/Wulanchabu, Inner Mongolia (China), received the Papal Mandate, as was also stated by the Ordaining Bishop during the ceremony yesterday, 26th August 2019,” he told LifeSiteNews and other media organizations.

Bruni continued: “The Episcopal Ordination of H.E. Mgr. Antonio Yao is the first to take place in the framework of the Provisional Agreement between the Holy See and the People's Republic of China signed in Beijing on 22nd September 2018.”

Since the “Provisional Agreement” has not been made public, it is unclear what role it may have played in Yao’s episcopal consecration. However, Asia News reported that some Chinese bishops and laypeople believe that Pope Francis appointed him “long before” the accord.

UCA News reported in 2017 a rumor that the Holy See had appointed Yao, the official vicar general of the diocese, Liu’s successor in 2010.

“If these reports are true, then it would not be correct to say that this is the first ordination since the Sino-Vatican Agreement was signed, since Msgr. Yao was already a bishop,” said China expert Steve Mosher, president of Population Research Institute, to LifeSiteNews.

“Rather it would simply signify that Beijing has accepted as a ‘Patriotic’ bishop, a bishop previously named by the Pope. This would, of course, be a positive development in and of itself, but it should not be taken to mean that the agreement itself was working as far as the joint appointment of bishops is concerned. This requires Beijing to nominate, and the Pope to approve, future bishops,” he added.

Mosher explained that one rumor is that Bishop Yao was “named in pectore by Pope Francis, or even by Pope Benedict years ago, and kept it secret from the Communist authorities, who apparently found him cooperative enough to accept as a ‘Patriotic bishop’ in a public ceremony.”

“The best possible situation is that there are a half dozen or more Bisho Yao's--legitimate bishops--that Beijing is willing to accept, On the other hand, he may be unique,” he said.

The Catholic Church teaches in its 1965 decree on bishops that “the right of nominating and appointing bishops belongs properly, peculiarly, and per se exclusively to the competent ecclesiastical authority.”

“Therefore, for the purpose of duly protecting the freedom of the Church and of promoting more conveniently and efficiently the welfare of the faithful, this holy council desires that in future no more rights or privileges of election, nomination, presentation, or designation for the office of bishop be granted to civil authorities,” states the decree Christus Dominus, highlighting the Church’s sacred right to name bishops because of the crucial spiritual role these men of God fulfill.

Official Vatican media has released a statement regarding the choice of Yao as bishop.

According to Vatican News, one of the official media organizations of the Holy See: "In a unanimous decision [Yao] was named bishop of the diocese of Jining [this past] April by the representatives of the diocese in a meeting led by Bishop Meng Qinglu. Among the representatives, the predominant component was made up of priests flanked by some lay and religious representatives. After careful evaluation, Yao Shun received the apostolic mandate and nomination by the Pope."

David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, told LifeSiteNews that a return to ordaining bishops in China is “welcome,” but expressed concern about “lack of transparency” regarding the Vatican-China deal.

“Moving forward with episcopal appointments in China is most welcome, and is why the Vatican sought some form of agreement with the Chinese state,” he said via email.

“The newly appointed bishop, Mgr. Antonio Yao Shun, deserves, and will need our prayers.”

However, the career diplomat said that the appointment also underlined a “lingering problem.”

“The lack of transparency around the Sino-Vatican accord, which was concluded almost a year ago, has created a climate of doubt and suspicion,” Mulroney observed.

“This has been exacerbated by growing evidence of the Communist Party’s hostility to any form of religious belief that has not been ‘sinicised,’ which means being so constrained and denatured as to become anodyne, just another box on the Party’s organization chart.”

Mulroney speaks Mandarin, and over a decade before his 2009 - 2012 stint as Canadian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, he served three years as the Executive Director of the Canada-China Business Council. He believes that Chinese Catholics need a Church that is courageously loyal to Rome.

“The Chinese faithful know the Communist Party far better than the Vatican does,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“They long for a Church characterized by courageous fidelity to Rome, not compromise with Beijing. Unless and until they are given evidence of this, Chinese Catholics will continue to struggle with doubt and suspicion.”

Bishop Yao was ordained by bishops Paul Meng Qinglu of Hohhot (Inner Mongolia), Mattia Du Jiang of Bameng (Inner Mongolia), Joseph Li Jing of Ningxia (Ningxia), and Paul Meng Ningyou of Taiyuan (Shanxi).

Apparently, over 120 priests concelebrated the Mass.

Asia News established that Yao was born in Ulanqab, Inner Mongolia in 1965. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1991 after graduating from the Chinese Communists’ “National Seminary of Catholic Church in China.” The Benedictine Order has confirmed that he graduated from St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota in the USA in 1996 with a degree in liturgy. It is also believed that Yao pursued biblical studies in Jerusalem.
According to Asia News, Yao taught in National Seminary in the 1990s and served as both a spiritual director and a member of the liturgical commission dependent upon the Patriotic Association and the Council of (Communist-approved) Chinese Bishops.

He is replacing the Vatican-approved Bishop John Liu Shigong, who died in 2017.

Asia News says that the Diocese of Jining, which is in Ulanqab, has approximately 70 thousand Catholic laypeople who are served by 30 priests and 12 nuns. It is unclear from the report if these are members of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which is under the control of the Communist Party of China, or of the Underground Catholic Church, which has been unswervingly loyal to the Holy See, or both.

Cardinal Joseph Zen, 87, the former Bishop of Hong Kong, is one of the Vatican-China agreement’s most high profile critics. Last November, Zen said priests of the underground Church have “cried” to him since the deal was inked. In late 2018, he went to Rome to deliver a letter to Pope Francis, asking him to pay closer attention to the crisis within the underground Catholic Church in China.

Zen stated, “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.” In a strongly worded opinion piece for the New York Times, Cardinal Zen suggested that the pope’s deal with China invited the annihilation of the real Church in China.”

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Thursday, 05 September 2019

Communist China Prohibiting Children From Converting to Christian Faith

In its efforts to curb the rapid expansion of the Christian faith across communist China, the Beijing government is ramping up its enforcement of a law, long on the books, forbidding children from converting to Christianity before the age of 18.

Erik Burklin of China Partner, an organization that trains Chinese Christian leaders, told MissionNetworkNews.com that the law specifies that “you cannot proselytize or you cannot convert somebody under the age of 18.” Burklin said that before the law was enforced, “people were having their children come to church and many churches started what we would call Sunday school classes. They would use that time to teach children Bible verses and teach them Christian songs and so forth.”

With the recent crackdown, however, “many churches have been notified by Religious Affairs Bureau heads that they can no longer conduct Sunday school classes in their churches. They even put signage up in the entrance of some churches to indicate that.”

Burklin said that the law has made the efforts of his organization, which emphasizes training young people for ministry and church leadership, much more difficult. He told MissionNetworkNews.com that as staff of China Partner were conducting youth ministry training in China recently, they were approached by pastors with whom they had worked for many years. “They specifically came back to us saying, ‘Please, we can no longer invite you to come and do these youth ministry trainings for us because we need to adhere to this new enforcement of this law,’” Burklin recalled.


Tom Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs, an organization that monitors persecution against Christians around the world, noted, “The Bible says train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it. The Chinese government, the Communist Party leaders, are very aware of that as well, and they want to train up a child to be a good Communist. And so churches that operate schools … have been targeted by the Chinese government. They are even looking at how parents are raising their children.”

Nettleton observed that the enforcement of the law against children becoming Christians “is part of a broader picture in China right now of a concerted effort to control all religious expression. Every aspect of the church, whether it be a registered church or an unregistered, is under the scrutiny of the Communist government. They are trying to bring every aspect of religious expression under their communist control.”

BitterWinter.com, which monitors religious liberty and human rights in China, recently reported that since the communist government implemented its Regulations on Religious Affairs in 2018, children are increasingly being prohibited from attending places of worship, and “schools around China have adopted unprecedented measures to keep students away from the matters of faith. The grooming of atheists starts at an early age — from kindergartens and primary schools.”

According to Bitter Winter, under the regulations “children are taught to oppose their religious relatives, [and] suffer great psychological stress out of fear that their parents or loved ones could be arrested because they go to church.”

One Christian Chinese mother told Bitter Winter: “Before starting school, I told my child about God’s creation, and he believed it. But after being taught at school, my child is like a different person. In atheistic China, these pure and innocent children have been taught to hate God.”

The Trump administration has been vocal in its support of the Church in China, and in its condemnation of China’s aggressive persecution of Christians. At a U.S. State Department sponsored conference in July, entitled the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo charged that China is “home to one of the worst human rights crises of our time. It is truly the stain of the century.”

Addressing the conference, Vice President Mike Pence said that while communist authorities have worked diligently to stop the spread of the Christian faith across China, “in one of the greatest ironies in the history of Christianity, in today’s Communist China, we actually see the fastest growth in the Christian faith that we have ever seen anywhere on earth in the last 2,000 years.”

Pence added that “just 70 years ago, when the Communist Party took power, there were fewer than half a million Chinese Christians. Yet today, just two generations later, faith in Jesus Christ has reached as many as 130 million Chinese Christians.”

Speaking on behalf of President Trump, the vice president declared that the “American people will always stand in solidarity with the people of all faiths in the People’s Republic of China. And we will pray for the day that they can live out their faith freely, without fear of persecution.”

New American

Catholics can expect no support from Pope Francis who has betrayed Christ in His Church when he sold them out already. Admin

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Cardinal Zen: Pope Francis is ‘encouraging a schism’
by ‘legitimizing’ China’s Communist-run church


BEIJING, December 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- Chinese Cardinal Joseph Zen said that Pope Francis is “encouraging a schism” in China by “legitimizing” the Communist-run Chinese catholic independent church.

“Recently I learned that the Holy Father, on a flight back from (I don’t remember where) said, ‘Sure, I don’t want to see a schism. But I’m not afraid of a schism.’ And I’m going to tell him ‘you are encouraging a schism. You are legitimizing the schismatic church in China.’ Incredible,” said Cardinal Zen in a candid interview with online New Bloom Magazine published Dec. 3.

Zen related in the interview how attempts to contact and work with the Vatican under Pope Francis for the good of Chinese Catholics has been “simply disastrous” when compared to the open and welcoming situation under previous popes. He accused Francis of “shutting down” the good work regarding China accomplished by John Paul II and by Pope Benedict.

“But what is happening now? Francis came. Now I’m sorry to say that I think you can agree that he has low respect for his predecessors. He is shutting down everything done by John Paul II and by Pope Benedict. And obviously they always give lip service, they always say ‘In the continuity…’ but that’s [slaps table] an insult. An insult. Not in the continuity,” the Cardinal said.

News came in September 2018 that Vatican and Chinese officials inked a provisional agreement aimed at unifying the underground Church and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA). The agreement remains secret. However, it apparently allows the CPCA to choose episcopal nominees for bishop, from which the Pope may then select his choice. It also requires priests and bishops of the underground Church to register with the government, thus affirming its authority over the Church.

Auxiliary Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin is in hiding after refusing to register with the government, after escaping from state security scrutiny. Clerics who remain loyal to the papacy, Zen said, are in danger of harassment and persecution while the government mounts pressure to adhere to the CPCA.

When asked about his personal relationship with Pope Francis, Zen said he had a “wonderful relation,” noting that the Pope had invited him to supper in July of this year. He immediately added, however, that the Pope “doesn’t answer my letters. And everything that happened [regarding Vatican/China deal] is against what I suggested.”

Cardinal Zen pointed out three effects of Pope Francis not following his advice.

“There are three things. A secret agreement [between the Vatican and China], being so secret you can’t say anything. We don’t know what is in it. Then the legitimization of the seven excommunicated bishops. That’s incredible, simply incredible. But even more incredible is the last act: the killing of the underground.”

Zen had harsh words against Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin whom he accused of “manipulating” Pope Francis to go along with the secret deal.

“It’s a real mystery how a man of the Church , given all his knowledge of China, of the Communists, could do such a thing as he’s doing now? The only explanation is not faith. It’s a diplomatic success. Vainglory,” Zen said of Parolin.

Zen said that the July 2019 “Pastoral Guidelines” from the Holy See that allow clergy to register with the Chinese government are “terrible.”
“Now this last act is simply incredible. The document says, ‘To minister openly, you need to register with the government.’ And then you have to sign. To sign something in which it says that you have to support the independent church. That’s not good, actually we are still discussing on that problem. And so the government is not good because they are anticipating. But anyway, ‘You sign,’” he said.

“The document contains something against our orthodoxy and they are encouraged to sign. You cannot cheat yourself. You cannot cheat the Communists. You are cheating the whole world. You are cheating the faithful. To sign the document is not to sign a declaration. When you sign, you accept to be a member of that church under the leadership of the communist party. So terrible, terrible,” he added.

It was at this point that the Cardinal accused the Pope of “encouraging a schism” in China.

Some of the Communist-approved bishops have indicated that their first priority is to serve China, then the Church.

Communist-approved bishop John Fang Xingyao, who presides over the CPCA, recently said that love of country should supersede love of the Catholic Church.

"Love for the homeland must be greater than the love for the Church and the law of the country is above Canon law," Bishop Fang told the Political Consultative Conference on Religions on November 26 in Beijing.

Using a similar line of reasoning, Bishop Peter Fang Jianping of Tangshan said last year that Catholics should support President Xi’s proposed sinicization of religion “because we, as citizens of the country, should first be a citizen and then have religion and beliefs.”

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Thursday, December 12, 2019



Carrie Lam is a product of the Second Vatican Council.



“From day one, I have said this opportunity is given by God. Because if you analyse it rationally, you may not want to do this job – there are a lot of difficulties, sacrifices that may need to be made. But as God called upon me – to say that I am needed to continue serving Hong Kong society at this moment – I made my response.”

[...]

“I’ve said in public that regardless of their political affiliations, as long as that individual has the ability and is willing to serve, and his philosophy is aligned with mine, then I would be more than happy to invite him or her to join the politically appointed team.”

Newly elected Carrie Lam reiterates that God called upon her to run, as she begins forming cabinet, Hong Kong Free Press, 30 March 2017

[/QUOTE]

The CCP appointed the Novus Ordite, Carrie Lam, as the Chief Executive of Hong Kong.




“Working in the SAR government [Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China], when you insist on doing the work of righteousness, you’ll often be given a hard time.”


[...]


“Some said that the eighth blessing applies very well to me – it says, ‘blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ – there is already a place reserved for me in heaven.”


Chief Sec. Carrie Lam says there is a place reserved for her in heaven, Hong Kong Free Press, 2 November 2015





How does one become a bishop when he espouses something which is anti-Catholic?



“Right now, those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese,” a senior Vatican official has said.

Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, praised the Communist state as “extraordinary”, saying: “You do not have shantytowns, you do not have drugs, young people do not take drugs”. Instead, there is a “positive national conscience”.


The bishop told the Spanish-language edition of Vatican Insider that in China “the economy does not dominate politics, as happens in the United States, something Americans themselves would say.”


Bishop Sánchez Sorondo said that China was implementing Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’ better than many other countries and praised it for defending Paris Climate Accord. “In that, it is assuming a moral leadership that others have abandoned”, he added.


[...]


As part of the diplomacy efforts, Bishop Sánchez Sorondo visited the country. “What I found was an extraordinary China,” he said. “What people don’t realise is that the central value in China is work, work, work. There’s no other way, fundamentally it is like St Paul said: he who doesn’t work, doesn’t eat.”


‘China is the best implementer of Catholic social doctrine,’ says Vatican bishop, Catholic Herald, 6 February 2018





Francis, “The Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people,
so I don’t feel offended.” Is Francis then a Maoist?



“I would like to go to Beijing, I love China.”

Full text of Pope Francis' in-flight press conference from Japan, Catholic News Agency, 26 November 2019



The fruits of the Vatican’s pro-communist China stance.



Source


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Wed Jan 8, 2020 - 9:40 am EST

Cdl Zen urges cardinals to stop the ‘murder of the Church in China’

'Your Eminence, can we passively witness the murder of the Church in China by those who
should protect and defend her from her enemies?'


ROME, January 8, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Joseph Zen, the leading voice for persecuted Catholics in China, has sent a letter to the College of Cardinals imploring them to denounce the recent agreement the Vatican signed with China’s communist government.​

Together with the letter, the 87-year-old bishop emeritus of Hong Kong has also shared with his brother cardinals several “dubia” that he gave to Pope Francis in July 2019, following the Vatican’s June release of new guidelines concerning the civil registration of clergy in China. Those dubia were published on LifeSite last July in an article by Bree Dail.

In his missive, Cardinal Zen notes the pope’s continued silence despite expressing initial interest in the cardinal’s analysis of the document.
The letter, dated September 27, 2019, was published this morning by Italian journalist Marco Tosatti (in Italian) and Infovaticana (in Spanish) and was picked up by the Vatican aggregator Il Sismografo.

Tosatti notes that Cardinal Zen has decided to make the letter public, likely in view of the escalating persecution of Catholics by Chinese communists following the Vatican-China deal.

Here below is an English translation of the letter and dubia sent by Cardinal Joseph Zen to the cardinals of the Catholic Church.
Your Eminence,

Pardon the inconvenience my letter will cause you. It is just that, in conscience, I believe that the problem I present here concerns not only the Church in China, but the whole Church, and we cardinals have the grave responsibility to help the Holy Father in guiding the Church.

From my analysis of the document of the Holy See (June 28, 2019), “Pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of clergy in China,” it is quite clear that it encourages the faithful in China to enter a schismatic church (independent of the pope and under the orders of the Communist Party).

On July 10, I presented my “dubia” to the Pope. His Holiness, on July 3, had promised to take an interest in them, but to this day I have still not heard anything.

Cardinal Parolin says that today when we talk about the independent Church, this independence should no longer be understood as absolute, because the agreement recognizes the role of the pope in the Catholic Church.

First of all, I cannot believe that there is such a statement in the agreement, and I do not see it there. (By the way, why must such an agreement be secret, and why is it not granted even to me, a Chinese cardinal, to see it?) But, even more clearly, the whole reality after the signing of the agreement shows that nothing has changed. Cardinal Parolin quotes a sentence from Pope Benedict’s letter completely out of context — indeed, diametrically opposed to the whole paragraph. This manipulation of the pope emeritus’s thought is gravely disrespectful; indeed, it is a deplorable insult to the person of such a meek pope, who is still alive.

But it also disgusts me that they often declare that what they are doing is in continuity with the thought of the previous pope, while the opposite is true. I have reason to believe (and I hope one day to be able to prove with archival documents) that the agreement signed is the same one that Pope Benedict had, at the time, refused to sign.

Your Eminence, can we passively witness the murder of the Church in China by those who should protect and defend her from her enemies?
Begging on my knees, your brother,
Card. Joseph ZEN, SDB

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Dubia of the cardinal regarding “Pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of clergy in China” (updated July 8, 2019):
First of all, it seems strange that such an important document is issued by the “Holy See,” without specifying from which dicastery and with no signature of the responsible authority.

In paragraphs 1 and 2, the document sets out the problem and the general solution.

1. The problem is that the government reneges on its promises to respect Catholic doctrine and in the civil registration of clergy almost always requires one to accept the principle of independence, autonomy, and self-administration of the Church in China (it should be completed with what Pope Benedict XVI’s letter says in paragraph 7, 8 about “adopt[ing] attitudes, mak[ing] gestures and undertak[ing] commitments that are contrary to the dictates of their conscience as Catholics.”

2. Faced with the complex situation that is not always the same everywhere, the Holy See gives a general line of how to behave:

— on the one hand, it does not intend to force consciences and therefore asks (failing to explicitly say “to the government”) that the Catholic conscience be respected;​
— on the other hand, it sets as a general principle that “the experience of clandestinity is not a normal feature of the Church’s life” (Letter of Pope Benedict 8.10) — i.e., it is normal for the Church to come out of it.​

With regard to the quotation from Pope Benedict XVI’s Letter in point 8.10, allow me to transcribe here almost the entire paragraph:

(a) “Some of them (bishops), not wishing to be subjected to undue control exercised over the life of the Church, and eager to maintain total fidelity to the Successor of Peter and to Catholic doctrine, have felt themselves constrained to opt for clandestine consecration.”​
(b) “The clandestine condition is not a normal feature of the Church’s life,”​
(c) “and history shows that Pastors and faithful have recourse to it only amid suffering, in the desire to maintain the integrity of their faith,”​
(d) “and to resist interference from State agencies in matters pertaining intimately to the Church’s life.”​

P. Jeroom Heyndrickx and Cardinal Parolin love to mention only part (b); Pope Francis (in his message of Sept. 26, 2018) also adds part (c); but it seems to me that part (a) and (d) are also important.

The paragraph clearly shows that non-normality is not a choice of those who are clandestine; the choice is inevitable. It is the situation that is abnormal! Has this situation perhaps changed today?

3. The long paragraph 3 seeks to prove that what is suggested in paragraph 5 is justified.
First proof: The Constitution guarantees religious freedom.

I ask: But what does the long history of persecution tell us, despite the Constitution?

Second proof: “Logically,” after the Agreement, independence must no longer be understood as absolute independence, but only relative to the political sphere.

First of all, I say: without seeing the text of the Agreement, I find it hard to believe that they really recognized the “special role of the successor of Peter.”

I then ask: Is there anything logical about totalitarian systems? Their only logic is that, when Deng Xiaoping says it, “a white cat is equal to a black cat” as long as it serves the purposes of the Party.

In the immediate aftermath of the Agreement, nothing has been changed in the religious policy of the Party; everything has been officially reaffirmed, and the facts prove it.

Third proof: The context of “strengthened” dialogue

I ask: But does the document not recognize that the government has reneged on its promises, as stated both in the first paragraph and in paragraph 9 of this document?

Fourth proof: All of the bishops have been made legitimate.

This is evidence only of the infinite generosity of the pope or perhaps the omnipotent pressure of the government, but in the forgiven and “rewarded,” we see no change, no sign of repentance, but clear acts of bold triumph, laughing at others who have bet on the wrong horse.

4. Paragraph 4 says that the reasons above justify a new attitude. Here at least there is honesty in saying that what is proposed is new, and that therefore it is not in continuity with the past, but rejecting the past as already in the past — that is, as no longer valid.

It is also said that the Holy See is trying to agree with the government on a formula (having it both ways).

But we ask ourselves: “A formula”? What the government is asking for is not a statement of theory; it is all a system, in which pastoral freedom will no longer exist, but in everything the Party’s orders will be followed, including the prohibition of minors under 18 years of age from participating in any religious activity.

5. In paragraph 5 there are the true pastoral guidelines. In short: Everything that the government requires should also be signed, possibly with a written clarification that denies what is signed. If the written clarification is not possible, it should be done verbally, with or without a witness. It is sufficient that there is the intention not to have accepted in conscience what you have in fact signed.

You sign a text against the Faith, and you declare that the intention is to promote the good of the community, a more appropriate evangelization, the responsible management of the goods of the Church. This general norm is obviously against any principle of morality. If accepted, it would justify apostasy.

6. In paragraph 6, it is said that the Holy See understands and respects those who in conscience do not accept the above rule. Obviously, this is compassion toward a “stubborn” minority that still cannot understand the new rule. Their attitude is wrong, but the Holy See “provisionally” tolerates them.

7. Paragraph 7 speaks of certain duties of the bishops, citing a document that has nothing to do with our issue.

8. Paragraph 8 says the faithful accept the decision of their pastors. What does this mean? That they do not have the individual freedom to choose? And that their conscience does not have to be respected? To the brethren who ask me what to do, I have always given the answer: respect the choices of others and remain firm in the conviction of one’s own conscience. This is because I have no authority to impose my judgments on others about what is right or wrong.

But does the Holy See not have the authority, and therefore the duty to clarify for the members of the Church what is right and what is wrong? Has it done so with these “Guidelines”? Leaving clandestinity is to be encouraged, remaining clandestinity is to be tolerated? Bishops and priests have the choice, and the faithful do not?

9. In paragraph 9 it is said that the Holy See in the meantime asks (and again omits the word “the government”) that no intimidating pressure be put on the unofficial Catholic communities, as has already happened. (The fact of not mentioning the word “government” is almost like the traditional reverence of not mentioning the name of the emperor.) Lastly, everyone is recommended to discern God’s will with “patience and humility.” But I ask myself: Have we left behind blessing steadfastness in the faith?

Then it says that “the present path is also marked by many hopes, despite the difficulties.” It seems to me, instead, that the facts destroy every foundation of human hope. As for hope in God, it can never be separated from the sincere willingness to suffer according to His will.


Conclusion
This document has radically overturned what is normal and what is abnormal, what is a matter of duty, and what is to be tolerated.

The hope of its editors is perhaps that the pitied minority will die a natural death. By this minority I mean not only the clandestine priests (to whom not only no bishops are given when the elderly ones die, but not even delegates, because the official bishop of the diocese is already legitimate), but also many brethren in the official community who with great tenacity have worked for change, hoping to be supported by the Holy See, but are instead encouraged to accept submission to the government and are mocked by the victorious opportunists.

May the Lord not allow the fulfillment of these desires, of those who desire the death of the true faith in my dear homeland. Lord, have mercy!

HOLY SEE TEXT: Pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of clergy in China

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‘Intense’ spike in Christian persecution after China’s
secret deal with Vatican: US gov’t report

WASHINGTON D.C. January 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Religious persecution in China has increased rapidly over the past year, according to a new U.S. government report. The “intensity” of persecution, which, the report states, has not been seen "since the Cultural Revolution," was linked to the Vatican signing a secret deal with the Chinese communist government to give the government power over the country’s Catholic Church.

“Observers have described religious persecution in China over the last year to be of an intensity not seen since the Cultural Revolution,” the annual report put out by the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) stated.

The report, released January 8, stated that the Chinese government under President and Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping has “doubled down on the ‘sinicization’ of religion—a campaign that aims to bring religion in China under closer official control and in line with officially sanctioned interpretations of Chinese culture.”

“Authorities have expanded the ‘sinicization’ campaign to target not only religions perceived as ‘foreign,’ such as Islam and Christianity, but also Chinese Buddhism, Taoism, and folk religious beliefs,” the report stated.

The report acknowledged that the rise in persecution of Catholics corresponded to the signing of the secret deal with the Vatican.

“In September 2018, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed an agreement with the Holy See, paving the way for the unification of state-sanctioned and underground Catholic communities. Subsequently, local Chinese authorities subjected Catholic believers in China to increased persecution by demolishing churches, removing crosses, and continuing to detain underground clergy. The Party-led Catholic national religious organizations also published a plan to ‘sinicize’ Catholicism in China.”

The communist-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), a parallel ecclesial grouping that is not in communion with the Pope, was created by the Chinese government in the 1950s and appoints its own bishops and priests. Catholic clergy and laity who are in union with the Pope have survived in secret in what has become known as the Underground Church. Those suspected by the government of involvement in the Underground Church have been imprisoned, murdered, and otherwise persecuted.

Recently, Bishop Agostino Cui Tai of Xinhua province was arrested by local authorities. The bishop had struggled to assert his episcopal authority in the face of resistance from a priest, Fr. Zhang Li, who had demanded that he should merge with the officially-sanctioned church. Episcopal Vicar Fr. Zhang Jianlin was arrested with the bishop. Catholics in China are praying for their safety.

The Vatican signed a provisional, secret agreement with China in 2018 that allows the government a say in the appointment of bishops, among other concessions. Chinese Cardinal Joseph Zen called the agreement an “incredible betrayal.” Critics’ warnings that persecution would worsen have since been borne out. Persecution of other Christians and unregistered churches has also increased.

Cardinal Zen has said that he fears that Pope Francis has been misled into encouraging “schism” among Catholics in China.

Zen has appealed to the Pope to defend persecuted Catholics in China, and recently revealed that he has sent a letter to the College of Cardinals pleading with them to denounce the agreement, sharing the “dubia” or questions that he gave to the Pope in 2019. He presented his questions to the pontiff after the Vatican released pastoral guidelines in June that allowed the civil registration of faithful clergy with the communist government. Some clergy of the Underground Church have refused to register with the government, arguing that doing so would mean betraying the real Catholic Church.

Cardinal Zen has deplored the Pope’s apparent silence regarding the plight of Chinese Catholics. He called on all Catholics to prevent the “murder” of the Church in China.

Other critics of the agreement include Stephen W. Mosher, an expert on China and founder of the Population Research Institute. Mosher wrote in 2019 that no deal between the Vatican and Beijing would have been better than the deal that was hatched. Both Cardinal Zen and Mosher have criticized Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican diplomat who spearheaded the deal. In the past, Zen has called for Parolin’s resignation, while in the recently published missive, Zen said that he is disgusted that the secret agreement with China is being presented as being in continuity with Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

“Observers and Catholic believers expressed concern that the agreement did not provide sufficient support for the Chinese Catholic community,” the report stated, “with one scholar pointing out that the authorities’ persecution of both underground and official Catholic communities has actually intensified over the last year under the ‘sinicization’ campaign.”

It noted that in early 2019, the Chinese government arrested three priests of the Underground Church of Xuanhua diocese in Hebei province. The report said, “Local Chinese authorities subjected Catholic believers in China to increasing persecution by demolishing churches, removing crosses, and continuing to detain underground clergy.”

The new Congressional report called for U.S. sanctions on China in the wake of increased government suppression of religious faith. The commission called on President Trump to strengthen the administration’s commitment to human rights and democratic governance as part of its mission. It stated that the president “should include expanding efforts within the U.S. Government to counter disinformation, coercive political influence operations, and censorship efforts, particularly those targeting diaspora communities.”

The report also recommended that Congress should demand “the right of Catholics to be led by clergy who are selected and who conduct their ministry according to the standard called for by Catholic religious beliefs.”

The report noted that China has not limited its persecution to Christians. The report said that “the Commission believes Chinese authorities may be committing crimes against humanity against the Uyghur people and other Turkic Muslims,” while estimating that “one million or more Uyghurs” are being held in internment camps and subjected to forced labor. Democracy advocates and Christians of various denominations have also been persecuted.

“Security personnel at the camps subjected detainees to torture, including forced ingestion of drugs; punishment for behavior deemed religious; forced labor; overcrowding; deprivation of food; and political indoctrination,” according to the report. When some detainees were sent to camps elsewhere in China, due to overcrowding, the report said that some died in the camps because of “poor conditions, medical neglect, or other reasons.”

Next month, China will put new restrictions into place for believers. It mandates that all religious groups should “adhere to the directives on religions in China, implementing the values of socialism” and promote the “principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party.” An article in the new directives would require that “government authorities be involved in the selection of religious officers and involved in disputes.” Underground churches or “home” churches would thereby be outlawed.

There are approximately 10 million Catholics in China, according to the report, which noted that about 6 million are members of the state-controlled CPCA.

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Chinese bishop sleeping on street after
refusing to join communist schismatic group


Msgr. Vincenzo Guo Xijin and an undisclosed number of priests from their curial house in
Luojiang on the grounds that the building violated fire regulations.

Fri Jan 17, 2020 - 8:04 pm EST

LUOJIANG, China, January 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Chinese Catholic bishop is homeless and sleeping on the doorstep of his former residence after he and the priests who work with him were evicted by communist authorities earlier this week, Asia News reported Thursday.

Chinese authorities evicted Msgr. Vincenzo Guo Xijin, 61, and an undisclosed number of priests from their curial house in Luojiang on the grounds that the building violated fire regulations.

In reality, the action is a punitive measure against Guo and his priests for refusing to join the “independent” Catholic Church and is part of a wider crackdown in the Mindong diocese in Fujian province, which has become a “pilot project” for implementing the Vatican’s 2018 disastrous secret accord with China, Asia News reported.

Overseen by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican-China agreement gives President Xi Jinping’s government a say in the appointment of bishops, among other concessions, and paves the way for unification of the state-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), which the communist government created in the 1950s, and the secret underground Church, whose members remained united to the Holy See despite the risk of being killed, imprisoned, and otherwise persecuted for their faith.

Hong Kong cardinal Joseph Zen condemned the Vatican-China accord as an “incredible betrayal,” and a U.S. congressional report released this month linked the secret deal to an “intense” spike in persecution of Christians not seen in China since the Cultural Revolution.

And while President Xi has made membership in the “independent Church” a condition for Catholics to live in China, that’s unacceptable to underground Catholics because “the Party intends this ‘independence’ also as a detachment from the Holy See and the universal Church,” noted Asia News.

The Vatican asked underground Bishop Guo to step down in 2018 in favor of Bishop Vincenzo Zhan Silu, one of seven formerly excommunicated CPCA bishops whom Pope Francis readmitted to communion as part of the agreement.

Guo was told at the time that the pope himself asked for this “sacrifice for the general situation of the Chinese Church,” Asia News reported.
But while Guo agreed to step aside, the now-auxiliary bishop never signed on to the “independent Church,” and his eviction this week comes after ongoing and relentless harassment by authorities for him and fellow priests to do so.

“For months, the Fujian authorities have been exerting pressure, blackmailing and threatening priests to push them to sign this accession in exchange for government recognition without which their ministry is forbidden,” Asia Newsreported in November.

Government-sanctioned Bishop Zhan is also pressuring the estimated 20 of 57 underground priests in his diocese who have so far refused to join the “independent” Church, telling them that doing so is indicated in the Holy See’s Guidelines published last June.

But the faithful priests say joining the government-run Church “is only the beginning of greater persecution and control” that will make them into “party officials” who “agree not to evangelize young people under the age of 18” and subject “every initiative of evangelization to the supremacy of the Communist Party,” Asia News reported.

Authorities have now closed down at least five Catholic parishes of resistant priests in the Mindong diocese, citing “fire safety standards.”

Those include a huge parish in Fuan with more than 10,000 members and one in Saiqi with about 3,000 parishioners, according to Asia News.

Authorities evicted 71-year-old Fuan pastor Fr. Liu Guangpin from his residence, although he remains in Fuan, and exiled 50-year-old Saiqi parish priest Fr. Huang Jintong from the city, it reported.

On January 13, authorities shut down a home for about 30 indigent elderly near the Saiqi parish run by Little Sisters of Mercy and Charity. While some former residents have been taken in by relatives, others are now homeless.

The Suanfeng parish was also closed for violating fire regulations, but after Bishop Zhan appointed a priest who is a member of the “independent church,” it was reopened without any repairs made, Asia News reported.

Meanwhile, there is no news of underground Bishop Agostino Cui Tai of the Xuanhua diocese in Hebei province, who was arrested in March 2019 along with his episcopal vicar, Fr. Zhang Jianlin, after a priest alleged he was not “following Vatican instructions” to merge underground and government-controlled parishes, Asia News reported at the time. Catholics in China have asked Christians everywhere to pray for their safety.

The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) annual report, released January 8, noted that subsequent to the Vatican-China secret deal in September 2018, “local Chinese authorities subjected Catholic believers in China to increased persecution by demolishing churches, removing crosses, and continuing to detain underground clergy.”

Moreover, the “Party-led Catholic national religious organizations also published a plan to ‘sinicize’ Catholicism in China.” The report also documented China’s increased persecution of other Christians and unregistered churches.

Of the approximately 10 million Catholics in China, about 6 million are members of the state-controlled CPCA, it reported.

According to Asia News, Mindong diocese had more than 90 thousand Catholics. “Of these, at least 80 thousand belonged to the unofficial Church, served by 57 priests, 200 nuns, 300 consecrated lay people and hundreds of lay catechists. The priests of the official community were 12,” it reported.

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Cardinal Zen criticizes Vatican for ‘despis[ing] the heroes of faith’ in China

In a 20-minute discussion, the cardinal lamented the Pope’s silence on China’s abuses of power
in Hong Kong and described a dire situation for faithful Chinese Catholics.

Fri Feb 14, 2020 - 5:12 pm EST

NEW YORK, February 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The communist-run Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association “has always been objectively schismatic” and remains that way “but with the blessing from the Holy See,” Cardinal Joseph Zen said today.


Cardinal Zen sat down with LifeSite for a one-on-one interview in New York today.

In the 20-minute discussion, the cardinal lamented the Pope’s silence on China’s abuses of power in Hong Kong and described a dire situation for faithful Chinese Catholics.

One of the architects of the Catholic Church’s secret deal with the Chinese government, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, “is not acting for the faith,” said Zen. “I’m sorry to say, he is not a man of faith because he despises the heroes of faith.”

Commenting on the secretive Vatican-China deal, the cardinal warned that communists “never accept compromise. They want full surrender. And so now we are at the bottom. They finished the operation selling the Church.”

Cardinal Zen also spoke about the Chinese government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak and what that response shows about communism. He urged people to be well-informed and look to history.

“With a totalitarian regime, there’s no possibility of any talk or bargaining. No, no,” warned Zen. “They just want you on your knees.”

Watch LifeSite’s full interview with Cardinal Zen:



Read more coverage of Cardinal Zen on LifeSite here.

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Cardinal Zen offers Mass, and a war cry for the Church


February 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – It would be easy to understand if 88-year-old Cardinal Joseph Zen had been weary and less than eager for an interview. He had traveled to New York after a grinding schedule of long flights, interviews, and meetings. But he was joyful and relaxed when he showed up for his interview with LifeSite’s Claire Chretien in Manhattan.

Cardinal Zen, the Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, was 15 minutes early. The only hint of his age is when he cups his ear and leans forward, but it doesn’t take long to see that Cardinal Zen has no interest in taking it easy for the rest of his life. He sits up straight and answers all of Claire’s questions with lengthy, impressive, and passionate responses. His volume and intensity increase as Claire hones in on the severe oppression of the Church in China and Hong Kong, and the betrayal by the Vatican ceding power to the Communist regime.

Until recently, Cardinal Zen held back from making critical comments about Pope Francis, but that has changed, and now for the first time, Cardinal Zen had strong words of criticism for the Pope.



“Unfortunately in all these years he never had any critical word about what’s happening in China, always praising the Chinese government,” he shared.

And there is no doubt that Cardinal Zen thinks Pope Francis has hurt the people of Hong Kong who have been fighting the Chinese government’s brutal crackdown on freedom. “He [the Pope] said, ‘oh yes, there are difficulties in Hong Kong, in France, South America, and I’m not possessing all the elements, so I just pray for peace.’ So, he said nothing again.”

Cardinal Zen bluntly stated that Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the architect of the Holy See-China deal, is “not a man of faith.” During the 20-minute interview, the Cardinal seemed to forget about how tired he was, becoming more and more animated throughout.

When Claire asked him what Catholics around the world can do to help, he highlighted the thing that communists hate the most: the truth. “To be well-informed, not to be cheated, because there are too many voices not about the truth, about illusions, or lies. Be well-informed to distinguish between the truth and the lies.”

The following day, I covered the Solemn High Pontifical Mass Cardinal Zen offered at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer. Again, I was humbled by the Cardinal’s stamina. The discipline and mechanics required to preside over a High Mass are demanding for any man.

All those in attendance knew this was not just any Mass. There was a solemnity and seriousness I have never experienced.

I wanted to get up close to see this saintly man in action, but security was all over the place. Let’s face it: the communists would prefer Cardinal Zen dead. Just as I was thinking about how I could finesse my way to the front, a plainclothes officer approached and asked if I would like to be escorted to the side chapel for a better view. Watching Cardinal Zen carefully and expertly offer the Mass was a marvel. His Latin grew in volume and strength.

Afterward, he proceeded to the Lepanto Conference, where he gave the keynote address to a standing room only crowd. He was unscripted and animated. He reminded the faithful to safeguard the faith and the truth, in honor of those who suffer at the hands of the communists and their apologists at the Vatican, including the Holy Father: “Pope Francis has not one word of comfort, not one word of consolation.”

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Pope Francis tells Chinese Catholics to be

‘good citizens,’ not engage in ‘proselytism’

Meanwhile, Catholics are bribed to pressure priests to join the state-sanctioned church.
Fri Mar 6, 2020 - 3:19 pm EST

ROME, Italy, March 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis encouraged Chinese Catholics in the communist-run country to be “good citizens” and not to engage in “proselytism.”

“The Church wants Chinese Christians to be truly Christians, and to be good citizens,” Pope Francis said. “They should promote the Gospel, but without engaging in proselytism, and they need to achieve the unity of the divided Catholic community,” he said, likely referring to the distinction between an official state-sanctioned church and the underground church.

The Pope claimed that the Church in China “looks to the future with hope.” The remarks of the Holy Father come as part of a video presenting his prayer intentions for the month of March.

He concluded the brief video by asking for prayer “that the Church in China may persevere in its faithfulness to the Gospel and grow in unity.”

In 2018, the Vatican and the Chinese government made a deal on the latter’s role in Church affairs. The details of that deal are not public. Since the 1950s, the Vatican had supported the underground church, which is still being persecuted by the Chinese government today. The Vatican-China deal seemingly legitimized the Communist-organized Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), despite its allegiance to the pro-abortion, pro-contraception Chinese government over the Church.

Accordingly, while Pope Francis thinks “the Church in China looks to the future with hope,” the situation on the ground looks rather grim.

Only recently, the human rights magazine Bitter Winter reported “believers were offered monetary rewards if they agreed to ask the priests’ relatives and friends to put pressure on them to join the CPCA.”

This took place in the Diocese of Mindong in the southeastern province of Fujian. Refusing to join the CPCA, those priests are exposed to “threats, coercion, and suppression.”

READ: ‘Intense’ spike in Christian persecution after China’s secret deal with Vatican: US gov’t report

The local government in a part of the diocese had invited Catholics to a meeting, telling them that priests who refuse to join the state-sanctioned “church” – for instance, Bishop Guo Xijin, an auxiliary bishop in the diocese – need to be “transformed.”

“They promised that churches would function normally as long as the priests joined” the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. Then, Catholics were offered bribes to help with integrating priests of the underground church into the state-sanctioned “church.”

“Moreover, the participants were asked to create compromising situations, for example, pretend to be giving money to priests or have women pose as if they are involved with them, and take photos, which would later be used to intimidate them,” Bitter Winter continued.

As a last step, priests who continue to resist “will be put under house arrest, and their power and water supply would be cut off. They will be pressured ‘until they break down, go insane, or even commit suicide.’”

Hong Kong’s Cardinal Joseph Zen has been the most prominent and outspoken critic of the secret deal between the Vatican and China.
In February, Zen told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive video interview that the CPCA “has always been objectively schismatic” and remains that way, “but with the blessing from the Holy See.”

As he had done before, Zen attacked Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, as “not acting for the faith.”

“I’m sorry to say, he is not a man of faith because he despises the heroes of faith,” Zen said about the cardinal who is, to a large extent, responsible for the deal between the Vatican and China.

Commenting on the deal, Zen warned that communists “never accept compromise. They want full surrender. And so now we are at the bottom. They finished the operation selling the Church.”
RELATED:
Comment: In other words 'Be good citizens and bad Catholics'.

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Communists arrest Chinese priest for refusing
to join schismatic state-run ‘church’



Fr. Huang Jintong was picked up by security forces on April 3 and taken to an undisclosed location.


MINDONG, Fujian Province, China, April 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A 60-year-old Chinese priest was arrested Friday for refusing to join the state-run “independent Catholic Church.”

Fr. Huang Jintong, pastor of Saiqi Parish in the Mindong diocese, Fuijan province, was picked up by security forces on April 3 and taken to an undisclosed location, Asia News reported Monday.

A few hours later, police called Msgr. Vincenzo Guo Xijin, the unofficial and auxiliary bishop of Mindong, and told him to prepare clothes for his priest “because he won’t be able to come home for a month.”

Huang is one of 20 priests in the diocese who won’t sign a document agreeing to become a member of the schismatic independent “church.”

“In all likelihood he will have to endure political propaganda and brainwashing sessions to forcibly extract his membership,” Asia News reported.

Moreover, Huang’s parish of some 4,000 members was among at least five parishes of resistant priests the government closed in January, as the Mindong diocese remains a “pilot project” for implementing the Vatican’s 2018 disastrous and widely condemned secret deal with China.

Overseen by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican-China agreement gives President Xi Jinping’s government a say in the appointment of bishops, among other concessions.

It also paves the way for unification of the state-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), and the underground Church, whose members remain united to the Holy See despite the risk of being killed, imprisoned, and otherwise persecuted for their faith.

Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong has condemned the Vatican-China accord as an “incredible betrayal,” and a U.S. congressional report released in Januarylinked the secret deal to an “intense” spike in persecution of Christians not seen in China since the Cultural Revolution.

Asia News reported that since the agreement was signed, Xi’s regime began a campaign to eliminate the underground Catholic Church by forcing priests to sign a document attesting they will adhere to the state-run “church.”

By signing the document, they also agree to “refuse relations with foreigners, prohibit religious education to young people under the age of 18, [and] limit religious activities to within the narrow confines of churches.”

However, many priests regard signing a membership with the CPCA, which the regime appears now to be calling the “Independent Catholic Church,” as “denying their bond with the Pope and the universal Church and becoming state officials: in addition to displaying the Chinese flag on sacred buildings, one must collaborate with socialist society and support the Chinese Communist Party and its supreme leader Xi Jinping,” Asia News pointed out.

In 2018, Pope Francis asked then-bishop Guo, 61, to step down in favor of Bishop Vincenzo Zhan Silu, one of seven formerly excommunicated CPCA bishops whom the pope had readmitted to communion as part of the agreement.

While Guo agreed to step down, he never registered as a member of the CPCA, and he too has been subject to relentless harassment and persecution.

Asia News reported in January that Guo and an undisclosed number of priests were evicted from the curial building in Luojiang on the charge that it violated fire regulations and that he was sleeping on the doorstep.

However, it now reports that the regime relented on the eviction for “fear of bad publicity” and that Guo is permitted to live in the residence.

The authorities have cut off gas, water, and electricity, and the auxiliary bishop must carry water from an outdoor tap up to his fifth-floor room.

“When he goes down to the ground floor of the building, he does not forget to bless the CCTV cameras installed to monitor him,” Asia News reported.

“This way he blesses his controllers.”

The Diocese of Mindong had more than 90,000 Catholics, according to Asia News. “Of these, at least 80 thousand belonged to the unofficial Church, served by 57 priests, 200 nuns, 300 consecrated lay people and hundreds of lay catechists. The priests of the official community were 12,” it reported.

To sign the petition to join Cardinal Zen’s plea to “stop the murder of the Church in China,” go here.


Pray for Fr. Huang Jintong

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Pope Francis tells Chinese Catholics to be ‘good citizens,’
not engage in ‘proselytism’



Meanwhile, Catholics are bribed to pressure priests to join the state-sanctioned church.


Fri Mar 6, 2020 - 3:19 pm EST

ROME, Italy, March 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis encouraged Chinese Catholics in the communist-run country to be “good citizens” and not to engage in “proselytism.”

“The Church wants Chinese Christians to be truly Christians, and to be good citizens,” Pope Francis said. “They should promote the Gospel, but without engaging in proselytism, and they need to achieve the unity of the divided Catholic community,” he said, likely referring to the distinction between an official state-sanctioned church and the underground church.

The Pope claimed that the Church in China “looks to the future with hope.” The remarks of the Holy Father come as part of a video presenting his prayer intentions for the month of March.

He concluded the brief video by asking for prayer “that the Church in China may persevere in its faithfulness to the Gospel and grow in unity.”

In 2018, the Vatican and the Chinese government made a deal on the latter’s role in Church affairs. The details of that deal are not public. Since the 1950s, the Vatican had supported the underground church, which is still being persecuted by the Chinese government today. The Vatican-China deal seemingly legitimized the Communist-organized Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), despite its allegiance to the pro-abortion, pro-contraception Chinese government over the Church.

Accordingly, while Pope Francis thinks “the Church in China looks to the future with hope,” the situation on the ground looks rather grim.
Only recently, the human rights magazine Bitter Winter reported “believers were offered monetary rewards if they agreed to ask the priests’ relatives and friends to put pressure on them to join the CPCA.”

This took place in the Diocese of Mindong in the southeastern province of Fujian. Refusing to join the CPCA, those priests are exposed to “threats, coercion, and suppression.”

READ: ‘Intense’ spike in Christian persecution after China’s secret deal with Vatican: US gov’t report

The local government in a part of the diocese had invited Catholics to a meeting, telling them that priests who refuse to join the state-sanctioned “church” – for instance, Bishop Guo Xijin, an auxiliary bishop in the diocese – need to be “transformed.”

“They promised that churches would function normally as long as the priests joined” the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. Then, Catholics were offered bribes to help with integrating priests of the underground church into the state-sanctioned “church.”

“Moreover, the participants were asked to create compromising situations, for example, pretend to be giving money to priests or have women pose as if they are involved with them, and take photos, which would later be used to intimidate them,” Bitter Winter continued.

As a last step, priests who continue to resist “will be put under house arrest, and their power and water supply would be cut off. They will be pressured ‘until they break down, go insane, or even commit suicide.’”

Hong Kong’s Cardinal Joseph Zen has been the most prominent and outspoken critic of the secret deal between the Vatican and China.

In February, Zen told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive video interview that the CPCA “has always been objectively schismatic” and remains that way, “but with the blessing from the Holy See.”

As he had done before, Zen attacked Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, as “not acting for the faith.”

“I’m sorry to say, he is not a man of faith because he despises the heroes of faith,” Zen said about the cardinal who is, to a large extent, responsible for the deal between the Vatican and China.

Commenting on the deal, Zen warned that communists “never accept compromise. They want full surrender. And so now we are at the bottom. They finished the operation selling the Church.”

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