China: Bishops tortured and martyred for faith



China. Why the Agreement With Rome Is Slow In Coming. With a Postscript

Last summer, an agreement between the Vatican and China had been given as imminent. But not any more. Instead of the two sides issuing shared rules on the appointment of new bishops, news is coming from Beijing news of bishops who have been incarcerated and disappeared.

Halfway through Lent, Mindong bishop Vincent Guo Xijin, recognized by Rome but not by the Chinese authorities, was arrested and taken to a secret location for the crime of not wanting to enroll in and submit to the paragovernmental Patriotic Association. “So that he may study and learn,” police representatives said about him.

Heading into Easter, the same fate for the same reasons befell the bishop of Wenzhou, Peter Shao Zhumin. Having reappeared after twenty days of indoctrination, he was arrested once again on May 18, without any news about his place of detention. On June 15 he was seen landing at the airport of Wenzhou, in custody, after which he disappeared again. His elderly mother has said she is afraid that in the end he will be brought back to her in a bag, as has already been done with other abducted bishops, tortured and left to die in years not so long ago: the last two being John Gao Kexian, bishop of Yantai, in 2004, and John Han Dingxian, bishop of Yongnian, in 2007.

On June 20, in an official statement, Germany's ambassador to China, Michael Clauss – amid the silence of the Vatican authorities – asked that the bishop of Wenzhou be set free and expressed concern over the new religious regulations that threaten to "implement new restrictions on the right to freedom of religion and belief."

Also still held in isolation is the bishop of Shanghai, Thaddeus Ma Daqin, arrested immediately after his regular ordination, in 2012, for having disassociated himself from the Patriotic Association - in obedience to Rome, which judges membership in it as “incompatible” with the Catholic faith - and not let go since then in spite of the fact that he retracted his disassociation a year ago.

In Shanghai, the most populous Catholic diocese in China, the seminary was also closed on that occasion, to the point that only a few days ago was there finally priestly ordination - by the bishop of a nearby diocese - for four candidates who had been ready to receive orders since 2012.

Not only that. On Easter, in the cathedral of Mindong, precisely while the authentic bishop of that diocese was in confinement, Ma Daqin was allowed to celebrate along with the other unauthorized bishop of the same diocese, recognized by the government but not by Rome, Vincent Zhan Silu. With a flagrant affront to the Holy See, given that the excommunicated Zhan Silu, in addition to being a prominent member of the Patriotic Association, is also vice-president of the council of Chinese bishops, the pseudo episcopal conference set up by the communist regime exclusively with bishops in thrall to it, with the claim that this should be the group that selects future bishops.


Since this is the way things are, it comes as no surprise that in Rome, even the most eager supporters of the agreemement are raining on the parade.

Back in January Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of state, had popped the bubbles and foretold “a long journey.”

But at the end of May Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio, a tireless proponent of an agreement and with a direct line to Casa Santa Marta and the pope, also admitted - in in article in “Avvenire” - that the timeframe has been pushed back.

And “La Civiltà Cattolica” sent the same message at the beginning of June, with an editorial signed by Chinese Jesuit Joseph You Guo Jiang, a Sinologist and professor at Boston College.

To read this editorial, the situation of the Catholic Church in China seems all wine and roses, today as in the past. It’s enough to look at how the historical point of departure summarizes the terrible years of Maoism and of the Cultural Revolution:

“From 1949 until the Chinese policy of the ‘open door’ in 1978, Catholicism has faced various challenges and problems.” Not one word more.​

And arriving at the present:

“The Chinese Catholic Church is called to redefine its role and its relationships with the communist party and with its ideology. . . Once this dialogue is in place, the Catholic Church and Chinese society will not clash any more. . . Catholicism will be able to find a stable place in it if it continues to be the expression of an open Church and a Church with Chinese characteristics and identity.”​

Which means a Church with that “sinicized” face which is the imperative of the current rulers: a hodgepodge of traditional values and Marxist ideology under the iron control of the state, as in Confucian China it was the emperor who was the supreme authority over religious institutions and the faithful.

But wouldn’t you know it, “La Civiltà Cattolica” - which under the direction of Fr. Antonio Spadaro has become the “house organ” of Santa Maria - interprets even this in a positive vein.

And it cites in support of this the “historic” interview with Pope Francis given to Francesco Sisci for “Asia Times” of January 28, 2016.

Which in reality was a superb example of Realpolitik pushed to the extreme, both for the intentional silence - agreed on with the interviewer - on questions of religion and freedom, and for the words with which the pope absolved en bloc the past and present of China, urging it to “accept its own journey for what it has been,” as “water that flows” and purifies everything, even those millions of victims whom Francis is careful not to name, even tacitly.

The negotiation, in any case, continues.

“There is a commission that is working with China and meets every three months, once here and the next time in Beijing,”
Francis said in an interview with “El País” published last January 22.

But who knows how much it will take to reach an agreement that is not at any price whatsoever. “Time is greater than space,” says a postulate dear to Francis. Better that he make time for time.


POSTSCRIPT – On June 26, four days after the publication of this note, Vatican press office director Greg Burke released in Italian, English, and Chinese the following statement, in response to questions from journalists regarding the case of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou:

“The Holy See is observing with grave concern the personal situation of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, forcibly removed from his episcopal see some time ago. The diocesan Catholic community and his relatives have no news or reasons for his removal, nor do they know where he is being held. In this respect, the Holy See, profoundly saddened for this and other similar episodes that unfortunately do not facilitate ways of understanding, expresses the hope that Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin may return as soon as possible to the diocese and that he can be assured the possibility of serenely exercising his episcopal ministry. We are all invited to pray for Bishop Shao Zhumin and for the path of the Catholic Church in China.”​

On the same day, the agency “Asia News” of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions published an analysis of the ten years of the Church in China between Benedict XVI’s 2007 letter to Chinese Catholics and the silence over the arrest of the bishop of Wenzhou: a silence broken only today with the timid statement from Greg Burke:

> The last 10 years of the Church in China

Its author is “a Catholic in northeastern China, named Joseph,” and “Asia News” introduces his analysis as follows:

“In it he traces these 10 years evidencing how – though Pope Francis has proclaimed it still relevant and valid - the facts show that the Letter from Benedict XVI is being betrayed bit by bit. Citing facts and situations, the author also points out how the power of the Chinese government is increasingly determining the life of the Church and appointing bishops, choosing and ordaining candidates who live in 'gray pragmatism' (Evangelii Gaudium, 83). Joseph also complains that there is too much silence on persecution as bishops, priests and lay people endure in China and fear that the talks between China and the Vatican – a session of which took place June 20-21 in the Vatican – will lead to the elimination of the unofficial Church.”
Chiesa News

No martyrdom in the western world forcing Bishops to deny the faith - they do it willingly. Admin




Pope Francis Removes Anti-Communist Archbishop
from Key Vatican Post

A senior archbishop known for his strong opposition to the Communist regime in China has been removed from a key post in the Vatican by Pope Francis. The move is the latest in a series of overtures Pope Francis has made in recent years to seek resumption of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the Chinese regime, which has always rejected the Pope’s authority to appoint Catholic bishops in Mainland China.

Pope Francis made the surprise announcement on Sept. 28 that Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, the Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda Fide) at the Vatican, will be reassigned to Athens, Greece to serve as the Vatican’s papal nuncio (diplomat). The 67-year-old Archbishop from Hong Kong, who has been the highest-ranking official of Chinese origin in the Vatican, has no prior diplomatic experience.

As the French newspaper La Croix noted, Archbishop Hon has been one of the most senior bishops opposed to Pope Francis’ policy of rapprochement with the Chinese regime. His position at the Vatican’s Propaganda Fide, where he served for seven years since being appointed there by previous Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, was a powerful post as that put him second-in-command in the Vatican body that directly governs Vatican’s missionary works.

The Vatican and the People’s Republic of China have had no diplomatic relations since 1951, as the Chinese Communist Party insisted from the very beginning of its rule that all bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in mainland China should be appointed by itself so as to maintain control. Instead, a regime-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA) was created to supposedly represent Catholics in China, yet the CPCA has never been recognized by the Vatican.

Since Pope Francis was elected in 2013, however, he has made numerous overtures to open diplomatic relations, such as a Papal flight over China in 2014, and an announcement in February of this year that an agreement over the issue of the power to appoint Bishops has been reached with Beijing, among other events.

In this stock photo, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun (C), Hong Kong’s outspoken former bishop, looks on as he joins leading pro-democracy activists in front of the Wanchai police station in Hong Kong on Jan. 24, 2015. (Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)
Archbishop Hon is known for being a close ally to Cardinal Joseph Zen, the respected former Bishop of Hong Kong who retired in 2009. Just like Hon, Zen has been a staunch opponent of the Chinese regime and its many violations of human rights and religious freedom. In recent years, Zen has emerged as the most prominent critic of Pope Francis’ approach with Beijing.

“Finally they got rid of him! But Greece is not further away from Rome than Hong Kong!?” Joseph Zen wrote in his blog in response to Pope Francis’ decision to remove Hon.

Now age 85, Zen undertook a high profile visit across the United States and Canada this week, and repeatedly criticized what he claimed to be Pope Francis and the Vatican officials’ misguided optimism when it comes to a deal with the Chinese regime.

“The Chinese government has not made any concessions in the negotiations,” he told the Chinese-language World Journal in New York on Sunday. “[Pope Francis] does not understand the Chinese Communist Party at all.”

Archbishop Hon’s removal shows that Pope Francis has made up his mind on the issue of opening relations with the Chinese regime and is not listening to any opposing view, according to Zen.

The Vatican has yet to respond to the latest remarks by Cardinal Zen, and The Epoch Times’ repeated phone calls to the Vatican’s Press Office to request for comment have not been answered.

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The forgotten victim in China’s anti-life,
one-child policy: men

October 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — It’s a story so gross we were unsure we wanted to print it. But I volunteered because it reminded me of a conversation I had with my mother long ago. The conversation, like the story, was about what China’s one-child policy would do to women. Neither one of us imagined it meant real human women would be replaced by lifelike sex dolls, however.

China’s coercive diktat that couples could have only one child came into effect in 1980. I was too young to understand how a couple, let alone a government, could prevent more than one baby from arriving, but I thought I understood how scarcity worked. If, as my mother darkly predicted, China would soon find itself with millions upon millions of more boys than girls, surely — I thought — that would make girls, like rare gems, more valuable.

“Not in the way you think,” said my mother, or words to that effect. She told me that it was more likely that the women would find themselves much more restricted. I thought she meant that they wouldn’t be allowed to travel, for fear they would find husbands abroad. But now I understand that she meant Chinese women would find themselves reduced to their sexual utility. When men fight over women, it’s not for the women’s career potential.

Pulitzer Prize winner Mei Fong, a Malaysian-American of Chinese descent, went to China to investigate the effects of its population control policies. The result was her book "One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment". Fong wrote about forced abortions, forced sterilizations, babies kidnapped for adoption, and the anguish of parents who had lost their only living child to accident, disease or natural disaster. (A new word has been invented for such parents — shidu (literally, “lose only”). There are a million shidu now in China, and their ranks swell by 76,000 a year.)

Fong also visited a sex-doll manufacturer, having a “hunch” that here could be found another result of the one-child policy that robbed China of baby girls. In 2016, she was proved correct: sales of newly affordable, lifelike sex dolls took off. One supplier sold 500 of them on China’s “Singles Day.” The average buyer of sex toys in China is a man age 18 to 29: exactly the demographic that has been robbed of the friendship and love of real women by the short-sighted “one-child” policy.

There will be 30 million more men than women in China by 2030, but China is already a world leader in human trafficking. Women from Burma, Vietnam, and North Korea have been recruited or kidnapped to work in Chinese brothels or be sold to poor Chinese farmers. Fong writes that a Vietnamese bride can make her trafficker up to $18,500. Some of these foreign women may intend honest marriage, but like their new husbands, they fall victim to crooked marriage brokers, who sell them from village to village.

The damage to these women and women’s dignity is obvious, but China’s men have also been hurt. Chinese bachelors are “demonstrating lower self-esteem and higher rates of depression and aggression,” she writes, and this has led to a rise in violent crime. Fong only glancingly mentions men’s loneliness and the humiliation of remaining unmarried and childless in China’s ancestor-worshipping society: She describes a robot manufacturer who went through a form of marriage with his own lifelike, if lifeless, creation.

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, and I fear for those who live along China’s borders. The thought of 30 million aggressive men with no access to women reminds me very strongly of the story of the Rape (i.e. theft) of the Sabine Women after the founding of Rome.

The interesting thing about the Roman legend, however, is that the Sabine Women — unlike sex dolls — had voices and — unlike frightened, abused trafficked women — had agency. According to the story, the Romans treat the Sabine women not as slaves or prostitutes but as sacred wives, and when the Sabines’ avenging fathers and brothers finally come to their rescue, the women stop the fighting. They speak up for their new family ties, citing the affection they now have for their husbands and their children.

Obviously, I am not advocating a return to antiquity’s border raids for women although I fear they are inevitable. (Indeed, they are already happening.) China has already ended the one-child policy, but that has come too late for the projected 30 million bachelors, the millions more dead fetuses, and the growing number of bereaved shidu. Clearly, the Chinese government should put a stop to human trafficking and invite women to immigrate to China. Once upon a time, a similar policy worked for Canada.

However, a woman would have to be desperate to want to move to a country that has committed — and still commits today — such terrible crimes against its men and women as gendercide, forced sterilization and forced abortion. Violently enforcing a “two-child” policy when so few people choose to have more than two children anyway is not only cruel, it’s stupid. And the sex trade, whether in real women or in hi-tech facsimiles, is certainly no advancement in the flourishing of Chinese families.

It’s sad that the legacy of the one-child policy will be felt for generations. Not only has a generation of Chinese people been robbed of their brothers and sisters, 30 million of them have been robbed of the transformative experiences of having (and being) a sweetheart and spouse.