Vatican Betrayal of Chinese Faithful…Recognises Fake Government “Church”

CHINA, January 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In what appears to be a capitulation to China’s communist regime, the Vatican has allegedly asked legitimate bishops to step down from their post in order to make way for the installation of new, illegitimate bishops, hand-picked by the government.

The Vatican has asked Bishop Peter Zhuang Jianjian to retire in order to allow a state-sanctioned and excommunicated bishop to take his place while “another Vatican-appointed bishop was asked to downgrade himself as the assistant of an illicit bishop,” according to a report in AsiaNews.  

Bishop Zhuang was secretly ordained with Vatican approval in 2006.  The Chinese government wants to replace Zhuang with excommunicated Bishop Huang Bingzhang, who is a member of the National People’s Congress.  Huang was previously excommunicated because he was ordained without Vatican approval.

“A letter dated 26 October demanded the 88-year-old bishop to resign to give way to the excommunicated bishop, whom the Holy See is going to recognize,” the AsiaNews report continued.  “Bishop Zhuang at that time refused to obey and rather ‘carry His Cross’ for being disobedience [sic].”

The news comes six months after Cardinal Joseph Zen, the first Cardinal from China and a key adviser to Pope Benedict XVI regarding China-Vatican relations, denounced a Vatican agreement with the Chinese atheistic Communist government. The Cardinal indirectly accused Pope Francis of backing a “fake” church in China. 

Cardinal Joseph Zen

 

“But the whole thing is fake. They [the Vatican] are giving decisive power to the government … how can the initiative of choosing bishops be given to an atheistic government? Incredible. Incredible,” he said at that time. 

Regarding the surprising demands of the Vatican as it acquiesces to the communist Chinese government, one underground priest told AsiaNews, “We of course feel hard to accept but do we have the rights to oppose the Vatican?” He added that if things actually go this way, “I may consider to quit and leave my priesthood.”

For the most part, the genuine Catholic Church in China operates underground while the government runs the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, a counterfeit church of communist-approved and monitored clerics. Bishops and priests of the underground church, which have been loyal to the pope and not the communist government, have faced imprisonment for their loyalty to the successor of Peter. 

Last year, Cardinal Zen, the Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong and China’s highest-ranking prelate, pleaded with the Vatican not to “sell out” China’s Catholics by striking a deal with the Communist government, which seeks nothing less than “total surrender.”  

In an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, Zen said he had been urged to speak out by Catholics who lack the freedom to speak for themselves. 

Zen said that a Vatican deal with the Chinese government would damage the Church’s credibility. After all, if the Chinese government can appoint bishops, other governments could expect to do so as well. 

“We are very much worried because it seems that the Vatican is going to make a very bad agreement with China,Zen told LifeSiteNews. “And I can understand that the pope is really naive … He doesn’t know the Chinese communists. But unfortunately the people around him are not good at all. They have very wrong ideas. And I’m afraid that they may sell out our underground Church. That would be very sad.”

“They don’t have much public voice, the underground,” Zen explained. “People who come from China to see me, they all say, ‘please, you must raise your voice. We cannot say anything’ because they have no freedom to talk. So I keep talking, but it seems that they [the Holy See] don’t listen. They don’t like to listen.”

Some Holy See officials “consider the underground, the faithful,” to be “troublemakers,” he said. And the pope has a strong desire for unity and peace but is “rather naive” about the nature of the Chinese government. [Emphasis added]

The news also comes amid reports of Christian churches being demolished in China while clerics and other faithful are being jailed for their associations with churches not sanctioned by the state. 

In what amounts to a crackdown on “Western” religions UCANews reports “Authorities in China demolished a large church in the city of Linfen, Shanxi province on Jan. 9, despite efforts by worshippers to halt the demolition and who were then pressured to remain silent, according to witnesses.” This was the third Christian church to be demolished or closed in China in two weeks.

More than 1,500 Catholic and Protestant churches in China’s Zhejiang province “have been targeted for demolition or cross removals in recent years, sources have said in a campaign against churches not coming under state control,” according to the UCANews report.  “Chinese authorities are increasingly using property regulations to remove crosses and demolish churches.”

Beginning last year, religious freedom and public worship became severely restricted in China, where the government has “physically abused, detained, arrested, tortured, sentenced to prison, or harassed adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups,” according to a 2017 U.S. State Department report.  

The only priest of the Lishui Diocese, also in Zhejiang province, went missing shortly after Christmas when government officials abruptly took him away.   

Father Lu Danhua, ordained a priest of the underground church in 2016, was taken away by officials of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) for “‘re-educating’ on new religious regulations coming into effect Feb. 1 and that he would return after obtaining a permit to be a priest,” according to another UCANews report.

The Catholic cleric “remains missing and calls to his mobile phone have not been answered.”   Source

PRAYER FOR THE CHURCH IN CHINA

In honour of the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians (May 24), Pope Benedict XVI composed the following prayer in 2008. He asked that it be recited every year on May 24, and that May 24 be designated a World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, as an act of solidarity and solicitude with her persecuted Catholics.

“Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother, venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title “Help of Christians,” the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection. We come before you today to implore your protection. Look upon the People of God and, with a mother’s care, guide them along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens. When you obediently said “yes” in the house of Nazareth, you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption. You willingly and generously co-operated in that work, allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul, until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary, standing beside your Son, Who died that we might live. From that moment, you became, in a new way, the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith and choose to follow in His footsteps by taking up His Cross. Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter. Grant that your children may discern at all times, even those that are darkest, the signs of God’s loving presence. Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China, who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love. May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world, and of the world to Jesus. In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high, offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love. Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love, ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built. Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever. Amen!”

Note:  The constitution of the Chinese government guarantees its citizens “religious freedom.” However, since the Chinese Government views religion as a threat to its power, it restricts religious activities to only government-sanctioned organizations and registered places of worship. Those religious groups that do not submit to the government guidelines and are not willing to allow a secular and government agency to dictate its religious activities face severe consequences: surprise raids, heavy fines, imprisonment, and torture. Even to this day, the Chinese Government considers the part of the Catholic Church that is still underground [i.e., those in communion with Rome and the Holy Father rather than being controlled by the State] illegal. Thus, Holy Mass, catechism classes, baptism and other religious services for many Catholics that are still underground must be conducted in private homes and in secret with risks of exorbitant fines, imprisonment, house arrest, physical tortures, and labour camp internment. www.cardinalkungfoundation.org

Comments invited… 

57 responses

  1. That report made me think that what the Vatican is doing to China, is a microcosm of what it is going in the wider Church, because they think of those of us who try to work out what is the correct, traditional teaching from the false teaching pushed by Vatican II and its popes, especially this one, because we at considered “troublemakers” as well.

    What bothers me, though, is, if the Vatican is accepting “bishops” made bishops by the Government, isn’t that breaking the succession? How can they possibly be bishops?

    • Fidelis,

      That’s a very interesting question – how can government appointed bishops be real bishops? I hope someone can solve that riddle.

    • Fidelis,

      Since the bishop is supposed to protect and preach the Catholic faith, I think it has to be obvious that anyone appointed by the state to be a bishop, cannot possibly be a real bishop, but a puppet.

  2. I must confess to having an interest in this farce as I have friends in China and have visited there on more than one occasion to bring the sacraments and sacramentals to faithful Catholics . I know people who have been detained by the Chinese authorities simply for trying to exercise their God-given right to worship as Catholics.

    This is a gross betrayal of the faithful on behalf of the Vatican – faithful who are actually prepared to suffer persecution for their loyalty to Christ and the Holy See. I am doubtful that the underground Catholics will resist these orders because the very heart of their faith and resistance to Communist control has been their loyalty to Rome. The only analogy I can think of to this situation is a mother wilfully murdering her own child.

    This is so evil on so many levels that it leads me to genuinely wonder whether this pope is an antichrist. May he have a holy death.

    • Deacon Augustine,

      You might even say that this aligns the Catholic Church with the Russian Orthodox, which is also controlled by the state.

    • Deacon Augustine,

      “This is so evil on so many levels.”

      I agree. I’m holding back agreeing on the rest of your sentence, because I’ve understood that we can’t decide that, but I do sympathise. It’s definitely evil on so many levels, as you say, that’s without doubt.

  3. Sine the key word in this scandal is “betrayal,” it is a logical procedure for a Pope who should be named “Judas.” It is also a logical extension of Paul VI’s betrayal of Cardinal Jozsef Mindzenty.

    Will Holy Church become entirely obscured during this reign of darkness?

    • RCA Victor,

      The persecution of Cardinal Mindszenty by Pope Paul VI was a total scandal, a disgrace. So, yes, I agree this recognising government appointed bishops by Pope Francis is just a logical extension of that betrayal.

      The poor Chinese faithful – it’s a wonder they have any faith left.

    • RCA Victor,

      I’m not knowledgeable about Cardinal Mindzenty so I Googled just now and found this link https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=661

      It only says that the Pope brought him back to the Vatican because they wanted to create better relations with the Chinese government and set up four more dioceses. It doesn’t give any hint that the Vatican were “betraying” him, so could you elaborate, please? I’d like to know more about him, as he sounds like a real hero from the above article.

        • RCA Victor,

          I read that article close to tears. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. the Cardinal’s bravery only serves to underline the lack of courage of today’s bishops, the ones who are supposed to be orthodox and yet won’t stand up to Pope Francis. I’ve copied a bit of the article because it is so moving. So is the whole thing, actually but this whetted my appetite for more.

          Extract:

          By 1948 the Communist Party had taken full control of Hungary and Mindszenty vigorously and publicly protested the communist confiscation of land, churches and parochial schools. Staunchly anti-republican and anti-communist throughout his life, Mindszenty was a difficult man for not only communists, but also Church progressivists, to support.

          The card inscribed with Devictus vincit

          The communists, who considered the Primate “the center of the counter-revolutionary forces in Hungary,” arrested him for “subversive activity” on December 28, 1948. In his last Open Letter, he had declared “Communism is an atheistic ideology. Hence by its very nature it is opposed to the spirit of the Church.”

          He left the Archbishop’s palace in his poorest robe and a picture of Our Lord crowned with thorns inscribed with the words “Devictus vincit” (Defeated, He was victorious): A motto that would stand him in good stead in the years ahead.

          Torture in prison

          For the five weeks before the trial, Card. Mindszenty suffered beatings and sleep deprivation; finally, mind-altering drugs were added to his food to make him confess to false charges of treason against the State. Prior to being arrested he had already warned some of his priests that he would never sign a confession willingly, and should one be produced it would be the result of human frailty, and thus null and void.

          Mindzenty at the Peoples’ Court in 1949

          That mock trial became the lightning rod that wakened Western sentiments vividly to the cruel tactics of Communism. Mindszenty, under torture and drugs, signed a document admitting he had orchestrated the theft of Hungary’s Crown jewels with the aim of crowning Otto von Habsburg emperor of Easter Europe, schemed to remove the Communist Government and planned a Third World War. All patent nonsense. In this kangaroo court, Mindszenty was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

        • RCA Victor,

          I can’t thank you enough for that link – what a hero Cardinal Mindszenty was. He’s surely a saint in heaven now. All that torture and imprisonment by the Communist government and then a complete sell-out by the Pope – I am truly horrified. I had no idea – the article from Catholic Culture plays down the evil perpetrated by the Vatican, in fact it doesn’t even attempt to tell the whole truth about the way the Cardinal was betrayed by the Pope. I’m so grateful to have the bigger picture, thanks for that.

  4. I remember like it was yesterday, I was an altar boy at the time, when our parish priest demanded during his sermon that everyone in the church raise their arms in support of Cardinal Mindszenty.

    Our priest was absolutely raging and shouting out his orders. Needless to say, everyone shot up their arms,even us poor wee altar servers.

    Another name I remember from that era was an Archbishop Stepinac.

      • Don’t forget Cardinal Josyp Slipyj! He was the successor of the Servant of God Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky. +Cardinal Slipyj was 18 years in the gulag. One of the conditions of the 1962 Vatican-Moscow agreement was the release of +Cardinal Slipyj. When he found out the circumstances under which he was released, he wanted to go back to the gulag. Another condition of that agreement was that no Catholic cleric would speak against communism. Well, he didn’t go along with that and spoke against Communism at every opportunity. When the International Group of Fathers were gathering signatures to condemn Communism, he was offended that they didn’t come to him in the beginning but he did add his name to the petition.

        Blessed Vasyl Velychovsky, Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky, Blessed Tarsykia and the countless martyrs of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the Catholic Church in China and the entire heavenly court would condemn this agreement in toto.

        O Most Holy Mother of God, save us!

      • Editor

        The meaning of the saying, in this instance, is that it’s changed days now (in the Church).

        I can’t imagine too many priests nowadays will demand that their congregation show any kind of support for someone like Cardinal Zen or a condemnation of same-sex marriage.

  5. Many years ago, I read the Cardinal Mindszenty story and I was both appalled and saddened. Then, as a young student, I remember seeing him received at Pope John Paul’s inauguration. He seemed to be weeping as he knelt before the new Pope and the latter was also very moved. Will lessons ever be learned, I ask myself? The betrayal of the Chinese Catholics is despicable and tragic. May God forgive whoever is responsible. I heard on EWTN tonight that Cardinal Zen himself has today gone to Rome to present the Pope with a letter from the underground Church. May it bear fruit.

  6. Yes, the story of Cardinal Mindszenty is scandalous. And very sad.

    I remember, too, reading the obituary of Cardinal Kung in the London Times, of all places, where they published an excellent account of his life, including the occasion when he was taken to a huge stadium and told that he didn’t need to say anything (to deny the authority of the Pope) but just a nod of the head would do. He refused.

    These brave prelates represent a lot of brave laity and priests – members of the Legion of Mary were among those actively persecuted by the Communist government.

    It is heartening to know that there are such courageous prelates, even as we lament the lack of them in our part of the world, during this dreadful crisis.

    • Dear Madame Editor,

      I highly encourage you and every CT blogger to check out this website:

      https://www.theresamariemoreau.com

      Theresa Marie Moreau has written extensively on the underground Church in China and occasionally posts articles for The Remnant.

      I ordered An Unbelievable Life (the story of Fr. Matthew Koo – he’s related to Cardinal Kung) and it’s fabulous. Forgive the cliche, but this is one of those books that you literally can’t put down.

      Suggestions for reading: Get An Unbelievable Life or any of her books. After Sunday Mass, come home, make yourself comfortable, sit down and don’t stop reading. You can get it directly through her at her website (my preference instead of getting it on Amazon).

      Please share her website with all your friends. We have to get the word out on our suffering Catholic brethren in China.

      Thank you and God bless!

      Yours in Christ the King,

      Margaret. 🇺🇸

      • Margaret USA,

        I did take a look at that site and – for the serious purchaser – it’s well worth visiting each outlet since the prices differ a little.

        Will return later to study it all some more. I have to admit, though, that I have such a backlog of books to read through as it is, that I generally don’t plan on buying any more until I’ve caught up and cleared some space on my bookshelves.

        • Dear Madame Editor,

          It seems we have the same problem re books. However, if you have a links section on CT, I highly recommend linking to her website.

          Thank you!

          Yours in Christ the King,

          Margaret

  7. If this report is correct, Benedict XVI is just as culpable as Francis in this scandal: “For a long time now, the Vatican’s obsession with improving relations with China’s communist authorities had resulted in one concession after another to Beijing. Benedict XVI took the first significant steps by announcing the need for one Church, encouraging the underground Catholics to unite with the Patriotic Church. He also removed the special permission for the Underground Church to make their own Bishops, thus effectively dooming them to a future without Prelates to ordain priests and administer sacraments.”

    http://traditioninaction.org/HotTopics/f147_Bishops.htm

    • RCA Victor,

      How dispiriting is that? I think it’s shocking to remember how long ago it is since we’ve had a good pope. Even Pope Benedict was a disappointment in so many ways but to seal the fate of faithful Catholics and leave them to the persecution of the Chinese Communist Government without true bishops and sacraments, is about the worst yet I’ve heard of him. How long are we going to suffer this, I keep asking, and I don’t see any end in sight.

    • It is astounding that Rome, for decades, has been so benign and accommodating to a bunch of commies and so HARSH with the SSPX….why would that be I wonder?

    • Laura,

      I’m with you. Pope Francis cannot be trusted, and neither can the yes-men and thugs who surround him. I hope this scandal precipitates a full-scale global uproar of outrage. I think President Trump should try to step in to negotiate – and in the process completely embarrass Francis.

  8. It’s not just Benedict and Francis who are culpable in this scandal: one of the main pillars of the Vatican II revolution was detente with Communism, a scandal in itself which was kicked off by the 1962 Metz Pact: http://fatimacrusader.com/cr73/cr73pg32.asp

    Not only did every Conciliar Pope fail to withdraw from this disastrous betrayal, they have all continued to implement it! Thus, they have done precisely the opposite of what Our Lady requested: they have compromised with Russia and Communism, instead of consecrating her. I don’t think there is any clearer sign of the Great Apostasy, beginning at the top, than this.

    (Interesting that the photo in the Crusader article shows Cdl. Willebrands, the same Judas who stated that “we must rehabilitate Martin Luther.”)

    • RCA Victor,

      I think it is a terrible scandal that not only have the post-V2 popes not obeyed Our Lady about Russia, they have done the very opposite but failing to condemn atheistic communism, as you say.

      There’s no explaining it, outside of diabolic influence.

      • Michaela,

        Not only that, but since we know, thanks to Bella Dodd, that the Communists infiltrated the Church in the 1930s, this raises the possibility that the clergy who were negotiating this detente were Communists themselves!

  9. RCA Victor,

    Too true that every Conciliar Pope failed to withdraw from this disastrous betrayal. This is the proverbial throwing Catholics to the lions. Without a care for the salvation of souls. Yet all the while Popes and prelates refuse to Consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

  10. Cardinal Joseph Zen: has anyone any idea how he fared in his recent visit to the Vatican to ask for the illegal situation to be halted?

    • St Miguel,

      Yes, thanks for the link – Michael Matt does ask that question, and just as I was writing up a comment to ask why the SSPX is in the firing line, and not the FSSP and the Clan Summorum Pontificum clergy, I noticed the “Remnant Moderator” had dismissed the same point from an earlier comment, making a ridiculous excuse. Check it out.

      Never mind the Chinese situation, it would be good to see the FSSP comment on at least one key issue of the day, such as Amoris Laetitia (the German FSSP issued a “polite critique” of it, would you believe. Strong stuff – not!) I can’t recall anything else from them but then I may be mistaken. It’s hard to keep up, which is probably why Bishop Fellay isn’t commenting on every shocking scandal day in and day out.

      Just a thought…

      • Editor there is talk on the ‘net, e.g. Remnant moderator ,(past few hours,)of an impending threat to Humanae Vitae, (for special cases) along the same lines as AL…AL seems to be the blueprint for the future and as you say all we get is a ‘polite critique’ from the German FSSP. I just wonder if Rome would push AL down the throats of ALL Catholics, Traditionalists included, with obey or else.Looks like AL will be the template for further changes, Ecumenical Masses and eventually watering down of Transubstantiation…..nowhere is the expression Mortal Sin mentioned anymore.

    • That’s totally shocking, and after Pope Francis assured Cardinal Zen that he didn’t want another “Mindszenty” case. What a two-faced hypocrite.

      • Margaret Mary,

        The most shocking thing about Pope Francis, to me, is that he is completely clueless as to how corrupt and destructive he is. In fact, quite the opposite: he is thoroughly self-righteous about his “mission”!

        But I suppose that characteristic is typical of leftists: they are in a state of hallucination, fancying that their wickedness is actually the moral high ground, and that anyone who disagrees with them is a reprobate.

        • RCA Victor,

          The most shocking thing about Pope Francis to ME, is that there is so little meaningful fightback against him and that his ideas are taking root, even in “good” parishes.

          But more on that in the next thread, coming soon – hang fire!

  11. I’m reading Heroism and Genius by William Slattery. In reference to the Irish famine it says “For about a hundred years priests were outlawed; they were searched for by informers, bloodhound, and armed soldiers; they were thrown into prison for the crime of saying the Mass at ; “Mass-rocks; and often they were hung, drawn and quartered…. the London government still viewed … as leaders in an institution that refused to be state-controlled.

    • St Miguel,

      Thank you for posting The Remnant article. To encourage others to visit that link to read the entire shocking article, here is a taster:

      “[what is happening is] an enforced merger of the “underground” Catholic Church in China, meaning the true Church, with the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPA), the government-controlled pseudo-Church created by the Red Chinese regime in 1957 as an instrument for the suppression and ultimate destruction of the Faith in China. This was to be accomplished via the illicit consecration of schismatic bishops and their consecration in turn of schismatic priests. The process began with the ecclesiastical treason of legitimate Catholic bishops then in communion with Rome.”

      That Papa Francis is handing the Catholic Faithful over to this horrendous Communist government, is beyond comment. Pray for our brothers and sisters in China, as they are persecuted by the Pope himself, no less. God will deal with him in due course, so we need to pray for his conversion of heart and soul, as well.

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