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The China-Vatican Betrayal - 4

Crackdown Escalates after the Deal

Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.
My friend Jan again wanted to know more about the heightened persecution of the Underground Church since the China-Vatican deal that ceded the appointment of Bishops to the Chinese government (see here, here and here).


Increasing pressure & persecution for faithful Catholics

She also wondered why the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation, founded in 1958 to fight Communism, makes no mention of this infamous deal or the increased persecutions. She has been a long-time member of that organization because the group used to defend and fund-raise for the heroic Underground Church. What is going on, she asks?

I will go first to her question about the Beijing-Vatican deal, and then address the puzzling stance of the Mindszenty Foundation.

Yes, increased persecutions

Yes, indeed, Jan, the persecutions have increased daily since Francis basically abandoned the Underground Church, giving carte blanche rights over religion to the communist-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA). Free of restraint, the Chinese government is cracking down hard on anyone who does not pay allegiance to the communist organ.


First, Bishop Guo is asked to step down for an illicitly ordained Bishop; then, forbidden to say Mass

Just in the last week, news reports gave evidence of this crackdown.

First, the Chinese government forbade Underground Church Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin from celebrating the coming Holy Thursday Mass unless he agrees to enlist as a member of the CPA. The first affront to this faithful Underground Bishop Guo was Francis' personal request that he step down from his office as Bishop of Mindong to be replaced by the government-appointed and illicitly ordained bishop Vincenzo Zhan Silu.

Since the Vatican makes no protests, the Religious Affairs Office feels brave enough to declare it will not even recognize Underground Bishop Guo as an Auxiliary Bishop unless he signs up in the CPA. So far, he has refused.

The government targeted this Diocese for a crackdown because almost all the Catholics (8,000 of the 9,000) are part of the Underground Church. Communist officials have even offered 200,000 yuan (about $30,000) to any priest who will enter the ranks of the CPA – not an insignificant amount of cash in China where the average monthly salary is a little more than $1,000 a month). So far, no priest has accepted the offer, according to reports.

razed church china

Another Church razed by the Chinese government...

Another atrocity: On April 4, the Qianyang government in northwest China bulldozed to the ground the only Catholic church in the city. Its “crime” is that neither the faithful nor its priests are members of the CPA. It is a clear act of coercion to force its Bishop and his flock to enroll in the CPA.

From LifeSiteNews comes the report that government officials in the Canton region are offering cash gifts to citizens who report on neighbors engaging in “illegal religious activities.” Such illegal action includes assisting at Masses of the Catholic Underground Church.

The goal of ”sinicization,” which is to make all organizations compatible with Chinese Communism, is the excuse being used to control the Catholic Church in China. The government has set up camps to help “assimilate” obstinate Catholics into the correct position, and there are widespread reports of torture and beatings being used as training tools.


Underground Bishop Agostino Cui Tai arrested and taken into custody for ‘not following Vatican orders’

Finally, just last week (March 29, 2019), in the northern province of Hebei, Underground Bishop Agostino Cui Tai of Xuanhua and a parish priest Fr. Zhang Jianlin were arrested and taken into custody.

They were accused of “not following the Vatican's instructions” – that is, they refused to register with the CPA. According to Chinese officials who ordered the arrests, the agreement signed between China and the Holy See establishes the end of the Underground Church and from now on all the faithful and bishops must flow back into the official communist-controlled Church.

These are the ever-worsening conditions for Catholics in China since Rome capitulated to Beijing.

Vatican response

And the response from the Vatican to these appalling public reports? Vatican Secretary of State Card. Pietro Parolin told journalists on April 3, that the critics of the accord need to be “patient” and to not judge the deal too quick.

Addressing a symposium on religious freedom hosted by the US Embassy to the Holy See, the Cardinal had the hypocrisy to declare that the Vatican-China agreement would advance religious liberty by “finding some normalization for the Catholic community.” How can a “normalization” advance religious freedom when it means persecuting the Underground Church and forcing its members to join the CPA? It is ludicrous.

The Mindszenty Foundation's silence

Why does the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation not protest the Vatican betrayal of the Underground Catholic Church and the increasing persecutions?

cardinal Parolin

Cardinal Parolin declares the accord will advance religious liberty....

That is, indeed, dear Jan, a sad situation. In its revised mission statement, the Mindszenty Foundation still affirms that one of its aims is to call attention to persecutions and abuses of human rights around the globe. However, it studiously avoids the word Communism.

Also, there is nothing on its website exposing the capitulation to Chinese Communism that Francis made in the China accord, nor the betrayal of Benedict’s Letter to Chinese Catholics in 2002, nor the new phase of persecution against Underground clergy and the bulldozing of churches.

In fact, for some years its website and official Bulletin – The Mindszenty Report – has meticulously avoided even the briefest bit of criticism of the Vatican policy in China.

Instead of fighting Communism, the post-concilar Popes have been opening their arms to its errors. Rather than combating the Vatican for its red stance, the Mindszenty Foundation remains silent. It seems to me it is betraying its hero, Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, who was in his time a fearless and outspoken Prelate in the fight against Communism.

chinese flag over vatican


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Posted April 5, 2019

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