Covid-19 Deaths – What Is The Truth?

From Dr Malcolm Kendrick’s blog

Why the scaremongering about COVID? (25 July, 2020 – emphases added)

This week we were told that, in the UK at least, anyone who had a positive COVID test who then died – of anything – would be recorded as dying of COVID. No matter when they die.

Which means that someone could have been tested positive in March, with no symptoms of COVID at all, who then died in July. They would be recorded, in the official figures, as dying of COVID. Even if they were hit by a bus.

Even more weird is the fact that there does not seem to be any time limit to this. So, you could test positive in March 2020, then die in March 2040, and still be recorded as dying of COVID. I doubt this will happen, but it could.

To be honest I have known something very strange has been going on with the UK data for some time. In that, the UK has not provided any figures on how many people have recovered from COVID. In almost all countries, figures are provided on the total number of cased, the total number of deaths, the number of active cases and the number who have recovered.

In the US for example, there have been just over three and a half million cases, a hundred and forty thousand deaths and one point seven million people have officially recovered. In the UK, there have been nearly three hundred thousand cases, forty-five thousand deaths – and no recorded recoveries.

In short, in the UK, you cannot ever recover from COVID. Once you’ve got it, that’s it, you’ve got it. This anomaly has been reported on before. Here for instance, from the Guardian in June.

‘Britain is an outlier internationally in not reporting the number of people who have recovered from Covid-19 alongside statistics on deaths and numbers of identified cases.’ 1

Why would anyone want to do this? You would think the Government would be pulling out all the stops to decrease the number of recorded COVID deaths. Especially as the UK is sitting in a pretty dismal place on the international comparison charts. Why deliberately inflate your figures.

However, it is not just the UK that is hyping up COVID deaths. A reader of my blog sent me an analysis of the WHO advice on death certification, which seems accurate. In his analysis:

  1. If you die of anything and they suspect you might have it, with no tests and perhaps just because everyone else is assumed to have it, then COVID-19 goes on the death certificate as primary cause of death. Broadly speaking… unless the patient dies of something that is sudden and cannot be a long-term comorbidity.
  2. If you have the same symptoms as flu or pneumonia you must be put down as COVID19 and not due to an influenza type illness.  
  3. Any certificates that are in any way erroneous with regard to the above must be recoded to conform.
  4. Any COVID-19 codes that are wrong should not be fixed in any circumstances

To me looks like a recipe for systematic over inflation of death counts, designed to disallow or circumvent clinical judgement 2.

In the US Dr Scott Jensen, who is a physician, and a member of the Minnesota senate, has been notified by the board of medical practice in Minnesota that he is being investigated for public statements he has made.

Essentially, he is being accused of spreading misinformation about the completion of death certificates, and the overestimation of deaths from COVID-19. Also, that he has been comparing COVID-19 to influenza, in terms of how serious it is. This is considered ‘reckless advice’.

For pointing out the over-reporting of COVID-19 deaths and daring to claim that COVID-19 is no worse than a bad flu season, he could be struck off the medical register. You can see Dr Jensen discussing this YouTube 3.

So, it seems that, around the world the same things are being seen. A seemingly coordinated attempt to vastly over-inflate the number of deaths caused by COVID-19, and to drive home how deadly it is.

For example, a few days ago, a new story hit the headlines in the UK, warning of hundreds of thousands of deaths this winter.

‘The UK could see about 120,000 new coronavirus deaths in a second wave of infections this winter, scientists say.

Asked to model a “reasonable” worst-case scenario, they suggest a range between 24,500 and 251,000 of virus-related deaths in hospitals alone, peaking in January and February.’ 4

Where did this come from? It was a model, using exactly the same assumptions as that created by Prof Neil Ferguson from Imperial College London in March. The one that warned of five hundred thousand deaths in the UK. Only out by a factor of ten. Probably far more, because many of the deaths recorded as due to COVID have been, simply, wrong.

How certain was their prediction of 120,000 deaths? Professor Stephen Holgate, who chaired the report then said. ‘This is not a prediction – but it is a possibility.’ A possibility… Perhaps it should be published in the Journal of possibility-based medicine. A journal where you simply make up facts, then see how many people run around in sheer terror.

What is now happening is extremely disturbing. COVID has certainly been a serious disease, but the flu epidemics of 1957 and 1967 were just as bad, if not worse, with regard to total fatalities. They were both over a million, and COVID has a long way to go to match that 5

In addition, in those epidemics far more younger people died. With COVID, if you are under fifteen, the chance of dying of COVID is around one in two million, which is three times less than the chance of being struck by lightning 6.

Across Europe, the excess in deaths has simply disappeared 7. There is no increased mortality anywhere to be seen. Whilst we are told about outbreaks of COVID deaths in various cities, the rate of new infection in these ‘outbreaks’ is less than one in a thousand. Which is not really an outbreak at all.

Despite this, mask wearing is to be mandatory. When COVID-19 took off, no-one was wearing a mask in my unit, unless they were helping a patient, and there was no social distancing between staff. Now the trust has decreed masks must be worn at all time, and social distancing is being ruthlessly enforced. A bell now rings, and we must wipe of all surfaces in front of us…

The reality is that COVID-19 has all but gone in the UK and Europe. The slow, but inexorable rise in deaths in the UK is being driven by the fact that anyone who has ever had a positive COVID-19 test, who dies, is recorded as dying of COVID.

Yet, as COVID-19 disappears, mask wearing and social distancing is being enforced as never before, and the prospect of a deadly second wave is being waved like a black shroud, with warnings of hundreds of thousands of deaths to come.

A biomedical scientist in the UK sent me an e-mail two days ago, about the testing they had done.

‘In the week 9th – 16th July we carried out 2800 PCR tests (across three different platforms: mainly on the Hologic Panther, but some on the Cepheid GeneXpert and Biomerieux BioFire) and had only 4 positives. These 4 positives were all patients who had previously tested positive. We had NO new cases, and after checking back a few weeks, the only positives we have had have been from repeat swabs from these same 4 patients – they were almost acting like QC samples to ensure that our tests were actually working properly!

Two thousand eight hundred tests and none positive. This scientist contacted other laboratories, and they were seeing the same things. I have contacted a couple of nearby NHS Pathology Labs and they reported the same findings as us: zero or near zero new cases for several weeks.’

What on earth is going on?

1: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/18/health-experts-criticise-uk-failure-track-recovered-covid-19-cases

2https://www.who.int/classifications/icd/Guidelines_Cause_of_Death_COVID-19.pdf

3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpGeRFK0tao

4: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53392148

5: https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/what-are-epidemics-pandemics-outbreaks#3.

6: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages
/deaths/bulletins/deathsinvolvingcovid19englandandwales/deathsoccurringinjune2020

7: https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps#z-scores-by-country

********************************************************************
Comment: 
In conversations with people about the crisis, the one predictable response to my admission of being a sceptic is “I’m just going by the deaths…” 

The perception that there are people dropping like flies from this virus, seems to persist, despite the facts.  Why is that?    

Why Are So Many Young People Unhappy? And Who Is To Blame?

Comment:

Out and about this morning,  I marvelled – as I always do these days – at the tangible fear around me.  Nobody seems to notice the contradictions.  I saw three people in a shop, all wearing masks, all standing shoulder to shoulder chatting right beside a “social distancing, keep two metres apart” sign 😀  Then a member of staff, wearing a perspex mask,  licked her finger again and again,  in order to separate plastic bags… It would be hilarious were it not so serious.  The  above video was made, I think I’m right in saying, just before lockdown, so that particular fear (of sickness and death) is not included in the possible reasons for unhappiness among young people.  Whatever, the following quote from Mark Twain is perhaps why there is so much unhappiness around, and not just among the young.  How many people spend any time investigating the “why”?  Goodness, according to the several conversations I’ve had today, nobody is spending time investigating the “why” for allowing the Government to control us to the point where they can tell us what to wear.  Over to you!

 

Too Many Polish Masses In The UK? 

Comment: 

Some time ago, one of our English readers emailed to ask if I would consider posting a discussion thread on the fact that there are a lot of Masses in the Polish language in parishes across the UK:  this irks him, somewhat, because it seems to contradict the Vatican II concept of Mass in the vernacular, meaning the language of each country.  If there are to be Masses in Polish everywhere, where Polish is not the everyday language of a nation, why not other languages as well?  Should there be Masses in French, in German, in Gaelic – you’ll get the idea.  OR should those who move to the UK to live and work, simply “do what the Romans do” (so to speak) and attend Mass in the vernacular here – which is English?  Is it right to “exclude” those who do not speak Polish?   

It does seem to be the Polish community, uniquely, which requires Masses in their national language. Yet,  I’ve met quite a few Poles – all of whom speak fluent English, so why is it that they seek Masses in their native tongue?  And why do the clergy accommodate them?   

Being a regular attendee at the traditional Latin Mass, this is not an issue which affects me personally in any way, although I can see the contradictions inherent in the arguments for abandoning the Church’s official language (Latin) in order to make Mass available in the vernacular, only to find that parishes are providing Masses for the Polish community – in Polish.  IS there a contradiction? If so, does it matter?  

The Latest Covid-19 Craziness: Masks Not Enough, Eye-Goggles Latest Fashion!

Comment:

It’s difficult to keep up with the sheer madness around us… there are actually people who think face-masks, goggles and face-shields are “cool”, a fashion MUST-have.  Gimme strength!

Is it a generational thing?  Are the youngsters in the above video perfectly sane and it’s just the golden oldies who don’t “get it”?  Or has the world really and truly gone mad? At least, the World of Anthony Fauci?   

And tell me – please! – that this latest insanity won’t arrive in the UK. It’s hard enough trying to keep  a straight face walking past hordes of people wearing face masks… but goggles?  And goggles, plus face-masks plus face-shields?   Beyond belief.  Will people actually do this?  

I think it’s well past time for some brave priest to make a statement to the effect that there IS a God who cares about us and protects us – a God who knows when a little sparrow falls from a tree to the ground, and who has counted the very hairs on our heads…   

USA: Mob Rule ‘New Normal’ – Could This Happen In Increasingly Secular UK? 

Comment: 

Quite openly now, some Americans appear to be of the opinion that they hate Trump more than they love a peaceful, ordered, law-abiding lifestyle.  Ridiculous calls to defund the police and abolish prisons underline this lunacy.  There’s clearly – it seems to me – a demonic input here.  

However, shouldn’t we be sitting up and paying attention in the UK? One doctor interviewed on TV this morning, divulged the fact that those in the health advisory business awaited with bated breath to see just how compliant the people of the UK would be under lockdown and continuing restrictions.  They were, apparently, amazed.  Little wonder, as the majority were, indeed, compliant.  All talk about “blind faith” and “unquestioning obedience” – once applied sarcastically to religious people, specifically Catholics – were now applicable to… well…  just about the entire population. 

With talk now of a second (and more) wave of the virus, with the possibility of more lockdowns, whether local or national, that blind faith just might, who knows, give way to a lot of questioning and, albeit belated, fact-finding, which may lead to civil unrest across the four nations…

But here’s a thought: both the SNP Government in Scotland and the Westminster Government in England were very sympathetic to the thousands who turned out to support the Black Lives Matter protests – where neither social distancing nor face-mask rules were enforced; with the police generally turning a blind eye to all that “keep safe” stuff.  So, what do you think – might we find ourselves in an equally lawless situation, as lockdown frustrations boil over, not least when people begin to feel the financial pinch, and perhaps find themselves unemployed?  We all sincerely hope not, I am sure, but is it a possibility?  And if so, who will the politicians (and the clergy)  support – the police or the protesters?  

Catholic Church: Why the Scandalous Compliance in Covid-19 “Crisis”?

One of the most shocking aspects of the Covid-19 lockdown, with its serious restrictions on personal freedoms, both civil and religious, is the way in which the Church has co-operated – from the Pope down. No questions asked, simply uncritical obedience, of the kind not even expected of religious men and women in monasteries.  The language of docility is writ large on Catholic diocesan, and even traditional, websites.

Priests are embracing the Government restrictions, even as we are “permitted” to return to Mass.   Thus we see limits on the numbers allowed to attend, the use of hand sanitizers, etc. 

The traditional Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) – certainly in Edinburgh – is going along, hook, line and sinker, with Government policy: everyone but the priest  has to wear a face mask, Mass will be shorter, people must book for Mass because only 40 permitted etc.  Click here to read the entire scandalous nonsense.  Informed Catholics are increasingly scandalised at the co-operation (for which read “complicity) of Churchmen in this fabricated crisis…

Email…

One reader emailed as follows a day or so ago…

…Anyway, my question relates to the ‘official’ line taken by the SSPX in regard to the crisis in general.  An acquaintance has stated that  they were told ‘…it’s not a persecution, nothing to do with Fatima and the general advice was to just do what the Govt says and wait for everything to go back to normal…’.  Now, do the SSPX honestly and truly believe that?  Surely not.  No-one else seems to, so why should they.  Do their sermons ever mention anything along these lines, and is anything said in general conversations with the faithful; assuming they do actually talk to people.  I don’t know anyone attending a Society Mass Centre at present so I can’t ask anyone else.

In another email, a reader commented that her Society priest rubbished the idea of any connection with Fatima, opined that it was irresponsible to promote that idea and that queuing at supermarkets was no big deal – a small inconvenience.  Maybe for him with nothing much to do but out here in the big wide world it is anything but a minor inconvenience.  And yet another Catholic, who watched the SSPX live-stream Masses in America, was shocked to see the priest dipping his fingers into water after giving each Host to parishioners at Holy Communion time.  What?!**   

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

However, there is no official statement that I can find on the SSPX UK website, although I was delighted to read the following heartening comment from the District Superior, Fr Robert Brucciani in his editorial in the District magazine, Ite Missa Est, July-August edition –  Heartening, in that it shows that Fr Brucciani is certainly aware of the sinister nature of this contrived crisis…

 

 

Father Robert Brucciani writes…

My dear brethren, There is a collective sense that the world is on the cusp of dramatic change. Already, the Covid-19 crisis and recent civil unrest in  many countries – both bearing hallmarks of sinister orchestration – have been the occasion of mass social conditioning and a dramatic encroachment upon religious and civil rights.

Regrettably, it seems that more of the same is to follow. The mainstream media are creating expectation with expressions like “the new normal”, economic meltdown is imminent, and the World Economic Forum – an organisation for the minions of the New World Order – have launched an initiative called “The Great Reset” which seems to augur the imposition of more direct individual control, ecologism, and the culture of death upon the entire planet.

Meanwhile, God is ignored in all this upheaval and men of good will are finding themselves being manoeuvred into making a choice between supporting the “new normal” of the cultural Marxists or face social and economic exclusion.

Our hope should not fail, however, for the evil that is visiting upon us is the occasion of great heroism on the part of those who stand firm in the Catholic faith… End of Extract – read entire Editorial here

Thus, with such clear thinking on the political – and evil – nature of the Covid-19 “crisis”, it is incomprehensible to Catholics aware of the very real crisis in the Church, that the SSPX should appear to accept, at any level, Government restrictions on our religious freedom, choosing to blame the diocesan Bishops for the closure of churches and continuing restrictions on the practice of the Faith.   We need to see concrete evidence of the “great heroism” of which Fr Brucciani speaks.  Don’t we all need to risk falling foul of the Government by refusing to keep the rules which are leading us into the “new normal”?   Or would that be to lack the virtue of prudence?   I wonder what St Thomas More would advise? 

The SSPX does not have to obey the local Bishops on this, that’s for sure. They can’t blame the Bishops.  So, the question remains, why do they? And why is there no dissent among the best of the diocesan clergy – I heard from another reader that the “traditional” parish in the north of Glasgow, is permitting only 50 people to attend Sunday Masses.  

With talk of a second wave (to be followed by a third and fourth wave…) there is clearly not going to be any end to this fake crisis.  Somebody in the Church is going to have to make the first move and say “We will not serve!”    Why can’t it be the Society of St Pius X, established precisely because its Founder could not, in conscience, accept the new normal concocted at Vatican II: “And if you wish to know the real reason for my persistence, it is this. At the hour of my death, when Our Lord asks me: ‘What have you done with your episcopate, what have your done with your episcopal and priestly grace’ I do not want to hear from His lips the terrible words ‘You have helped to destroy the Church along with the rest of them.’ (Archbishop Lefebvre: Open Letter to Confused Catholics, p.163).

Comments invited…

 

USA Election: Pro-Life Priest Forced To Resign From Trump Advisory Boards…

.-  

Priests for Life national director Fr. Frank Pavone has resigned from advisory positions in the reelection campaign of President Donald Trump. The priest withdrew at the direction of Church authorities, he told CNA Friday.

“I’ve been requested by the competent ecclesiastical authority not to have an official title/position on the advisory boards. So, as a priest in good standing, I’ve followed that request,” Pavone told CNA July 24, in response to questions about his role in the Trump campaign.

In January, Pavone was appointed co-chair of the Pro-Life Voices for Trump coalition, and in April was announced as a member of the Catholics for Trump advisory board; the priest headlined that month an online kickoff event for the Trump Catholic group. Both groups are organized as part of the Trump campaign. Pavone was also a co-chair of the Trump pro-life coalition in 2016.

Pavone’s role in a political campaign was unusual for a priest. Members of the clergy require permission to “have an active part in political parties,” according to the Church’s canon law.

In April, Pavone told CNA that he did not believe himself to need permission for campaign involvement because he considered Trump’s reelection to be a matter of urgency. “I’m not going to ask anybody’s permission to go scream that the house is on fire,” he said at the time.

But on Friday, Pavone said that he had “been asking for permission to serve on these advisory boards” when he was “requested” to resign from them.

Pavone did not indicate what authorities had directed him to resign from the Trump campaign. In 2005 Pavone was incardinated in the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, when he transferred to that diocese from the Archdiocese of New York with plans to begin a pro-life religious order of priests. Those plans did not materialize, and Pavone found himself at odds with Bishop Patrick Zurek, soon after the bishop was installed in 2008.

In 2011, the dispute between Pavone and Zurek became public, after the priest was recalled to the diocese and suspended by the bishop. Pavone appealed to the Vatican, and the suspension was eventually lifted in 2012.

In April, the priest told CNA that his relationship with Zurek remained rocky, describing communication with his bishop as “dysfunctional,” and saying that he was in the process of transferring to a new diocese.

The Diocese of Amarillo has not responded to repeated requests from CNA for clarity about Pavone’s political activity or ecclesiastical status, including requests to clarify whether he has faculties to minister publicly as a priest.

Pavone told CNA Friday that he remains incardinated in the Amarillo diocese, “but my transfer has been canonically completed to a different bishop who has good will toward me and my work.” He declined to name that diocese, saying that “the announcement of what diocese I’m in now is up to the same ecclesiastical authority to make.”

While Pavone is no longer part of the Catholics for Trump coalition, the group drew attention on Friday when it announced that author and YouTube commenter Taylor Marshall would join the Catholics for Trump advisory board.

Pavone’s role in the 2016 Trump campaign sparked considerable controversy in the Church. Ahead of the election the priest filmed a video at the Priests for Life headquarters, urging support for Trump. The video was filmed with the body of an aborted baby laid before Pavone on what appeared to be an altar.

Soon after video’s release, Zurek said he would open an investigation into the incident, calling it “against the dignity of human life” and “a desecration of the altar,” and adding that “the action and presentation of Father Pavone in this video is not consistent with the beliefs of the Catholic Church.”

While the diocese has not announced the results of that investigation, Pavone claims that he has been “cleared of the past complaints/investigations/disciplinary actions by the bishop of Amarillo. That chapter is closed.”

Pavone said that while he will no longer occupy a position in the Trump campaign “nothing has changed in my advocacy for the president, given that the Democrats do indeed pose a grave threat to ‘the rights of the Church’ and ‘the common good,’ a point I’ll be making constantly between now and November 3.”

“Any cleric who doesn’t see that point has his head in the sand or in a Democrat echo chamber,” the priest added.

Pavone is not the only priest in recent U.S. history to make headlines for involvement in an election.

In 2008, Chicago priest Fr. Michael Pfleger drew attention for appearing as part of a “People of Faith for Obama” coalition during then-Senator Barack Obama’s primary battle against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

Pfleger’s bishop, Cardinal Francis George, said at the time that “while a priest must speak to political issues that are also moral, he may not endorse candidates nor engage in partisan campaigning.”      Source

Comment: 

Is a priest who is promoting the pro-life message, and encouraging Catholics to vote for a candidate who will protect the unborn, the kind of political involvement [of clergy] prohibited in Canon Law?  

Ireland: Latest Blasphemy – Muslim Call to Prayer Permitted in Catholic Church… 

COUNTY MAYO, Ireland April 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Tuam, Ireland, invited local Muslims to offer an Islamic prayer during a Mass last Friday that was live-streamed by the parish and broadcast over local radio

While the prayer was reportedly offered for an end to the coronavirus, Catholic sources have since confirmed that what was sung was, in fact, the “Adhan,” the Islamic “Call to Prayer” that asserts Islam’s supremacy over Christianity.

Father Stephen Farragher, parish priest of St. Patrick’s Church in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, noted that “Friday is to the Muslim community what Sunday is to Christians” before inviting local Muslims Mohammed Cherbatji and Mohammed Rahmani to offer a prayer of “blessing” for an end to the pandemic and for all frontline healthcare workers.   Click here to read entire report…

Comment:

I know this kind of thing is happening all over the places but, still, I’m speechless – over to you…  

24/7: Face Masks Mandatory in Shops in England – Rebellion Looming (We Pray!) 

Comment:

The group “Keep Britain Free” organised the above protest.  Check them out here

I can’t recall KBF being mentioned in any TV news report – can you?  

Certainly, no-one can disagree with the concluding observation in their very good short video at the above link.  To slightly paraphrase … They have taken our liberties… Taking them back depends on you! 

But how easy is that going to be?  In TV news reports this morning marking the mandatory wearing of face masks in shops in England today (already mandatory in Scotland), there was an admission that Covid-19 has changed our way of life, and now we have to wear masks and keep the other restrictions “indefinitely”.   “Indefinitely”?  Really?  

As the news reports and video clips on YouTube drive home, the majority of people across the UK are continuing to accept the “new normal”, quite happily going along with every infringement on our personal freedoms, manifestly ignorant of the facts about everything from social distancing to face-coverings.  Keep Britain Free seems to be the only group providing a pushback.  Should we support them? 

China & Increasing Religious Persecution: Christian Symbols Banned In Homes…

In order to receive social welfare payments, citizens in several Chinese towns have to replace religious symbols with images of Chinese Communist Party leaders.

BEIJING, China, July 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Several towns in China are using their citizens’ status as social welfare recipients as a pretext to prohibit them from having Christian symbols in their homes. Anybody refusing to comply with the local government, and thus the governing Chinese Communist Party, would no longer be financially supported by the state.

“The government is trying to eliminate our belief and wants to become God instead of Jesus,” one Christian preacher told Bitter Winter, a magazine dedicated to reporting on human rights and religious freedom in China.

City officials were ordered “to remove crosses, religious symbols and images from the homes of people of faith who receive social welfare payments and replace them with portraits of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping,” wrote Bitter Winter.

One member of a Christian church recounted how city officials raided his house, tearing down all religious symbols and replacing them with a portrait of Chinese communist founding father Mao Zedong. “Impoverished religious households can’t receive money from the state for nothing—they must obey the Communist Party for the money they receive,” the person explained.

According to Bitter Winter, “The policy is being implemented in other localities across China.” In one locality, officials canceled “a disabled Christian’s minimum living subsidy and a monthly disability allowance of [roughly $14].”

His wife commented, “Officials told me that we would be treated as anti-Party elements if my husband and I continued attending worship services.”

“A Christian from Weihui city in the central province of Henan has been taking care of her two sons by herself after her husband died unexpectedly more than ten years ago,” Bitter Winter wrote. “She started receiving a minimum living allowance from the state in 2016. In early April, a village official ordered the woman to sign a statement renouncing her faith and destroy all Christian symbols in her house. Since she refused, her allowance was canceled.”

China is well-known for persecuting Christians, as well as other religious and ethnic minorities. In June, the U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2019 dedicated 115 pages to China alone.

As the report points out, the Chinese constitution guarantees “freedom of religious belief but limits protections for religious practice to ‘normal religious activities’ and does not define ‘normal.’”

The report’s section on China lists countless examples of Catholics and other Christians being attacked for their faith by the government.

Father Paul Zhang, for example, was taken into custody after he “had refused to join the government-run [Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association]. According to AsiaNews, authorities stopped Zhang’s car, smashed the window, and beat him before taking him away. Another man in the car was also beaten but not taken into custody. Fifteen days prior to this event, police had raided a house in which Zhang was leading Mass. His whereabouts were unknown at year’s end.”

One year ago in July, “the Central Institute of Socialism in Fujian Province organized a course on the work of the Catholic Church in the province.”

Several dozen priests who are members of the state-run imitation of the Catholic Church participated. “The lessons and activities centered on the theme of ‘guiding the Catholic Church to follow a path conforming to socialist society.’ AsiaNews noted the course seemed to focus almost entirely on political doctrine with very little mention of Christian teachings.”

The report also mentioned Cardinal Joseph Zen, the former bishop of Hong Kong, and his criticism of the secret deal between the Vatican and the communist Chinese government.   

“Similar to the previous year, neither side provided details of the provisional agreement, such as how the Holy See and the government would make decisions regarding appointment of bishops,” the report pointed out.

Paradoxically, Chinese bishop Vincenzo Guo Xijin, “an underground bishop recognized by the Holy See, remained in a subordinate position under Bishop Zhan Silu, who was originally ordained without Holy See approval. The Holy See had previously excommunicated Zhan, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, but in December 2018 allowed him to replace Guo as bishop of the Mindong Diocese in Fujian Province.”

“Zhan was one of the seven individuals whom the Holy See recognized as bishops under the 2018 provisional agreement,” the report added. “Police had detained Guo, who had been appointed by the Holy See, earlier in 2018 for his refusal to jointly lead Easter services with Zhan, who at the time was not recognized by the Holy See.”

Zen recently commented on the fact that Pope Francis, on July 5, chose not to speak out regarding the tensions between China and Hong Kong, even though the prepared remarks given to journalists beforehand contained a passage on that very issue.

“I have seen the text, which is very mild, in no way offensive to the Chinese government,” the cardinal pointed out. “Some say maybe the Holy Father thought it was better not to say [something], or some say he may have received some word from the Chinese Embassy in Italy.”

“It’s not an isolated episode,” he clarified. “It’s already a long-standing policy of the Vatican not to offend the Chinese government.”   Source

Comment…

We, in the UK, are marching towards totalitarian government;  reflect on how quickly – almost overnight –  the populations of the four nations fell into line, unquestioningly obeying the Government’s restrictions on our civil and religious liberties, and all in the name of a virus which is harmless to the majority of those who become infected.   So, it doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility that we will – perhaps very soon – face the kind of further intrusion into our religious liberty that is normal in China.  For us, of course, it would be “the new normal” – like being “masked up” in shops and on public transport. Indefinitely. That’s how the “new normal” becomes …well… normal.  Permanent. 

 If, therefore, we find the screws on our religious freedom tightening further, all as part of the “new normal”, where would we look for help? Clearly not the Vatican, not under the present pontiff.  And the ongoing co-operation of the clergy with the Government’s control of the Church suggests that the laity can go whistle if we expect any fightback from that quarter.  Or is this a worry too far?  Conspiracy theory territory?    It is happening in China, all right, but here? Never. But remember, at one time the only people we saw on our TV screens wearing face masks were Chinese people living in… Communist China.  Just a thought…