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Social scientist: Vatican is ‘negotiating the surrender’ of China’s real Church to the Communists

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February 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Vatican’s negotiating strategy in China is nothing more than "simply negotiating the surrender of the underground Church" to the false church created by the Communists, stated a recognized expert on the Chinese government. 

Social scientist Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute and author of Bully of Asia, told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo that he cannot understand why the Vatican has agreed to replace faithful Catholic bishops with a number of excommunicated “bishops” appointed by the Chinese Communist Party. Also on the show was Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers.

“Why should the Catholic Church participate in its own dissolution and destruction?” he said. 

Mosher was reacting to recent news of the Vatican asking legitimate bishops to step down from their posts in order to make way for the installation of new, illegitimate bishops, hand-picked by the government.

Cardinal Joseph Zen, China’s leading prelate, has warned that the Vatican is "selling out the Catholic Church in China " and that it is "giving the blessing on the new...schismatic Church" created by the Communists. 

Mosher said that the so-called "negotiating" between the Church and the Communist government appears to be one-sided. In the past six years of negotiations, he said, he hasn’t seen the Chinese government make any concessions to the Vatican whatsoever, and that even if they had made any private ones, “they couldn’t be trusted to keep them.” 

“We are simply negotiating the surrender of the underground Church,” he said, “the delivery of underground Catholics into the hands of the Patriotic Association, which is beholden to the Communist Party of China and answers to it.” 

Mosher compared the capitulation of the Vatican to the Chinese government to giving a Roman emperor who is persecuting Christians control over the Church in Rome. 

“Why would we do this? I just don’t understand it,” he said.  

Littlejohn said that she didn’t think the Chinese Communist Party is negotiating with the Vatican in good faith. 

“I believe what they care about is the consolidation of their power,” she said. “They have demonstrated that over and over again with the forced abortions of hundreds of millions of women, with the intense persecutions of the Underground Church, and most recently, one church this month and one church at Christmas have been demolished.” 

According to one report, Littlejohn said, one Chinese Communist reaction to the downfall of Communism in eastern and central Europe was to blame Christianity, observing “we’ve got to strangle that baby while it's in the manger.” 

“Why should we possibly trust them in the current negotiations?” she demanded. 

Mosher explained the history between the legitimate, underground Catholic Church in China founded on Christ and the "Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association" created by the government. 

“The Chinese Communist Party has been hostile to religion from its very founding back in the 1920s,” he told Arroyo. “Chairman Mao in the 1950s tried to stamp out Catholicism altogether.” 

When Mao failed, he founded the Patriotic Church. But now, Mosher said, the “new Red Emperor”, Xi Jinping, has been “clamping down” on religion in China since he took power in 2012. 

Xi Jinping “wants to be appointed the head of the Catholic Church in China,” said Mosher. “He does not wish it well. He wants to gradually eliminate it over time by appointing what anyone would reasonably construe as … fake bishops… And fake bishops they are.” 

Arroyo played a clip of Cardinal Zen explaining why he thought the Vatican would enter into an agreement with the Chinese government. Zen said that he thought that Francis was “optimistic”, “trusts everybody” and felt “compassion” for Latin American communists: “He may not know our communists.” 

What mystified Zen was the “optimism” of Francis’s advisors, especially Cardinal Parolin, who “must know the facts” having dealt with the Chinese government for many years. 

When rumours of the Vatican agreement reached him, Cardinal Zen personally delivered to Pope Francis a letter from the underground Bishop Zhuang of Shantou. Zhuang is one of the legitimate bishops apparently to be replaced by a Patriotic Association bishop. Zen also strongly criticized the Vatican for “giving a blessing” to the “new schismatic church”. 

In response to Zen’s criticism, the Vatican Press Office released the following statement: 

The Pope is in constant contact with his collaborators, in particular in the secretariat of State, on Chinese issues, and is informed by them faithfully and in detail on the situation of the Catholic Church in China and on the steps in the dialogue in progress between the Holy See and the People’s Republic in China, which he follows with special attention. It is therefore surprising and regrettable that the contrary is affirmed by people in the Church, thus fostering confusion and controversy.

Mosher told Arroyo that this, and the pope’s statement that he didn’t want “another Cardinal Mindszenty”,  had ended hopes that Pope Francis simply had not understood the situation.  Bishop Zhuang, who has been imprisoned and tortured by the Chinese government, reportedly burst into tears upon hearing the news that he would have to hand over his flock to a schismatic, state-appointed bishop. 

“It’s so sad, and I’m sure that millions of Catholics in the underground Church feel the same way: abandoned by their shepherd,” Mosher said. 

In September, the Chinese government drew up a list of regulations for the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association which are now in effect. Called the “Five Transformations," these include control over the appointment of bishops and adapting Christian teachings so as to mold them into institutions that reflect the objectives of the Communist Party.

“They’re going to create a national church severed officially from the Vatican,” Mosher predicted. “They’re going to appoint their own bishops. They’re going to have their own liturgy. They’re going probably to revise Scripture. All of these things are to assert control over an organization they ultimately...want to eliminate from existence altogether.” 

Mosher observed that everyone who goes to the “official” (i.e. government) Church is under surveillance and that parents have been told not to bring their children to Mass so that the faith does not get passed on to the next generation. 

“It’s obvious to everybody what [the Chinese Communist Party’s] goal is,” Mosher said. “Why should the Catholic Church participate in its own dissolution and destruction?”

Littlejohn reiterated that there was no reason to trust the Chinese Communist Party in any way.

“They are officially atheistic,” she observed. “That is their doctrine, and that is what they want to promote.”  

“The Official Church has to enforce the laws of the land,” Littlejohn continued. “One of the laws of the land has to do with forced abortion under the one-child or the two-child policy. This is directly in opposition to Catholic doctrine. Why should we trust a government that is forcibly aborting women to be the head of the 'Catholic' Church?”

However, Littlejohn reminded EWTN's Catholic viewers that, in the end, even the power of Communist China can never destroy the Church:

“No matter what the Chinese Communist Party does it cannot stamp out the power of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. As long as that exists in China, and as long as there are faithful Catholics who are willing to shed their blood even under these circumstances, there will be a remnant there."

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