“One who mounts a tiger can never get off.” ~ Chinese Proverb
“Hagan Lío.” “Take to the streets.” “Make a Mess.”
Pope Francis famously bellowed “Hagan Lio” to the 300,000 young Catholics gathered at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro on July 26, 2013, urging them to shake up the complacency of their lives.
Sounding more like the socialist community organizer Saul Alinsky than the Vicar of Christ, Francis prodded young Catholics to take to the streets and shake up the establishment. He challenged that the young people, “must go out, they must show their worth. Young people must go out to fight for values, to fight for values.”
Where is his “Hagan Lio” shout out to the young people of Hong Kong?
Millions of young people are risking their lives to march for freedom from the oppressive Chinese extradition law and broken promises of Communist Party leader Xi Jinping – who, under the “One Country, Two Systems” policy cannot legally impose draconian communist laws on Hong Kong. If the pontiff supports this youthful movement for freedom and democracy, he has made a well-kept secret of it.
The deafening silence from Vatican City exposes the communist fault lines buried within this pontificate.
It’s not as if Francis hasn’t been asked to intercede and speak out in support of the young protesters. Even before the Hong Kong marches began, a delegation of young Hong Kong Catholics handed the pope a petition to intervene with the Chinese Communists to overturn the extradition bill. The pope received the petition and asked the students to pray for him.
Even though only five percent of Hong Kong is Catholic, there’s a strong Catholic presence among the Hong Kong protesters. Catholics dominate the leadership in the demonstrations — particularly with the movement’s adoption of the hymn “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” as its unofficial anthem. Notably, the 87-year-old retired Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen has spoken out and participated in the marches. The fiery and fearless Zen has clashed with Pope Francis over the Vatican’s secret “suicide” pact with the Chinese Communist government signed on Sept. 22, 2018, over the appointment of Chinese bishops.
Additionally, Hong Kong Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing led an ongoing prayer vigil outside the Legislative Council building joined by thousands of Christians. Bishop Ha told the media that he would not leave the young protesters, and said, “I don’t care. No matter how long they stay, I will continue to stay with them. The shepherd should not just be with the sheep but also guide them.”
Pope Francis seldom shies away from global politics or high political stakes. In the past seven years, Francis has personally supported the JCPOA Iran deal, President Barack Obama’s concessions to communist Cuba, the U.N. climate agenda, the Paris Climate Treaty, called candidate Donald Trump’s border wall “unchristian,” challenged Italian politician Matteo Salvini over the migrant issue, and personally negotiated a highly destructive secret pact with the Chinese communist government last year.
Why the papal abstention and evasion of the Hong Kong protests? One doesn’t have to look far for the answer. Argentine friend and close Vatican collaborator, Bishop Sanchez Sorondo, of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences lavishly made the jaw-dropping observation “that the government best implementing the social doctrine of the Church would be the People’s Republic of China.”
You heard that right. The Francis papacy extols the good works of the murderous, tyrannical, and oppressive Xi regime and his CCP thugs. Shockingly, the Pope is choosing sides in this Hong Kong freedom crisis by his shameful silence.
The two previous popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, grew up under tyrannical regimes. John Paul saw the brutality of both Nazism, and later, Communism in his Polish homeland. Benedict’s childhood was shrouded in the misery of the barbarism of Nazism-National Socialism. Both pontiffs vociferously proclaimed the absolute right of man to pursue the truth and to live in freedom. John Paul II spoke about the right of man to live in freedom on his first visit to the United States at Camden Yards: “We must guard the truth that is the condition of authentic freedom, the truth that allows freedom to be fulfilled in goodness.”
Similarly, Pope Benedict bravely proclaimed in Revolution Square in Communist Havana, Cuba, in 2012: “The truth is a desire of the human person, the search for which always supposes the exercise of authentic freedom.”
Benedict fearlessly proclaimed the truth of Jesus Christ in front of the Cuban Communist party members.
“I wish to proclaim openly that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life,” he said. “In him everyone will find complete freedom, the light to understand reality most deeply and to transform it by the renewing power of love.”
Benedict encouraged the oppressed Cuban people with a message that is poignantly relevant to the Hong Kong youth: “To a true transformation of society: to form virtuous men and women in order to forge a worthy and free nation, for this transformation depends on the spiritual, in as much as there is no authentic fatherland without virtue.”
These pontiffs intimately understood the gargantuan struggle for truth and freedom in a Communist-controlled government. That struggle now besets the Hong Kong people, as they challenge the brutal and atheistic CCP.
Yet, not a word from Francis.
Francis protects Francis. His global political agenda reigns supreme, beyond inquiry, explanation, or justification. Despite his incessant calls for “dialogue” and “transparency,” he operates in secrecy and self-interest.
He shares these traits with Xi, his latest collaborator on the global stage, who together in September 2018, negotiated a secret agreement, condemned by much of the world. Curiously, the notorious sexual predator, Cardinal McCarrick, was personally tasked by Pope Francis to start negotiations with the Chinese. McCarrick observed that, “A lot of things that China worries about, [Pope Francis] worries about—about the care of poor, older people, children, our civilization and especially the ecology.”
Apparently Francis, like his new ally Xi, doesn’t worry about freedom.
The young of Hong Kong stand together, but without the supportive voice of the Vicar of Christ.
As the ancient Chinese proverb warns, Pope Francis mounted the red communist tiger.
He will never get off.
Elizabeth Yore is an international child rights attorney. She was the former Special Counsel to Oprah Winfrey and the General Counsel of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She is the founder of YoreChildren.com.