Pope’s Questionable Deal with China  

Pope’s Questionable Deal with China


To no one’s surprise, the Chinese are already beginning to renege on an already bad deal the Vatican struck with it the Communist government.

Recently, Pope Francis and the ruling Chinese Communist Party renewed a controversial agreement on the appointment of bishops for an additional two years. The deal was originally set in 2018. The Catholic News Agency (CAN) has reported that two bishops had already been appointed under the “regulatory framework established by the agreement”: Bishop Antonio Yao Shun, of Jining Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia, and Bishop Stefano Xu Hongwei, of Hanzhong in Shaanxi Province.

As part of the original agreement, reports CAN, “state officials in different regions of China removed crosses and demolished church buildings, and underground Catholics and clergy have reported harassment and detention. A 2020 report of the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China found that Chinese Catholics suffered ‘increasing persecution’ after the deal.”

In an article for the religious publication Aleteia, Zelda Caldwell quotes human rights lawyer Nina Shea’s warning that The Catholic Church in China is seeing “its Christian teachings quietly swapped out for communist ones…the arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen, the 90-year-old emeritus Bishop of Hong Kong, has put the spotlight on religious persecution by the Beijing regime.

Despite that, the current Pontiff is not only comfortable with and apparently sympathetic to Marxist philosophy.

Pope Francis, is the most political pope in modern history, and his deal with the ruling Chinese Communist Party has upended over two thousand years of Catholic tradition. Many Catholics believe he has betrayed the steadfast loyalty of his faith’s 10 million adherents in that nation. In marked contrast to his predecessors, he has stated that “I can only say that the communists have stolen our flag. The flag of the poor is Christian. Poverty is at the center of the Gospel.”

The government wants Roman Catholics in China to attend only state-sanctioned churches, ruled over by bishops agreed to by the Communist dictatorship. Underground churches in that country, who brave oppression, continue the religion’s ancient practice of allegiance to the Pontiff, seen as the heir, in an unbroken line stretching back to Peter the Apostle, who was, according to the New Testament, appointed head of the church by Christ himself.

Many of Pope Francis’ statements have raised serious questions about whether his worldview is sufficiently informed. A U.S. News analysis noted that the Pontiff has not watched television since 1990.

Commentator Wayne Allyn Root  has written that “This pope neither seems to understand, nor care that his views on issues…often put him in bed with atheists and socialists, who don’t believe in God, mock religion and think the Bible is a work of fiction. He crusades for social justice, yet chose to embrace the Castro brothers – evil murderers who have imprisoned, tortured and murdered generations of Cubans for expressing their opinions and questioning the authority of a tyrant…He chose not to visit or even be seen with Cubans imprisoned because of their political views.”

Pope Francis’ lack of a more thorough and well-rounded understanding of the world is leading to exactly the opposite of the goals he, with all good intentions, advocates.

When the Pope ventures into areas beyond his theological expertise, that can cause problems.  Damien Thompson, writing in Spectator writes: “What should worry Francis is that moderate conservative Catholics are losing confidence in him. The New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, who is no one’s idea of an extremist, believes that ‘this pope may be preserved from error only if the church itself resists him’. Cristina Odone, former editor of the Catholic Herald, says that ‘Francis achieved miracles with his compassionate, off-the-cuff comments that detoxified the Catholic brand. He personifies optimism — but when he tries to turn this into policy he isn’t in command of the procedures or the details. The result is confusion.’”


 Frank Vernuccio serves as editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy and Government

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