Yore: Pope Warns Chinese Christians to Avoid ‘Proselytism’ to Please Xi Jinping

SHIJIAZHUANG, CHINA - APRIL 09: (CHINA OUT) A Chinese Catholic deacon holds a bible at the Palm Sunday Mass during the Easter Holy Week at an 'underground' or 'unofficial' church on April 9, 2017 near Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, China. China, an officially atheist country, places a number of restrictions on …
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Each month, the Vatican releases a slickly produced Papal Prayer Intention video. In the March “Pope’s Video,” Francis addresses Catholicism in China.

Shockingly, but not unexpectedly, Francis remains mute about the millions of Christians and Catholics who are now enduring the worst religious persecutions and purges since Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

Each month, the Vatican releases a slickly produced Papal Prayer Intention video. In the March “Pope’s Video,” Francis addresses Catholicism in China.

Listen carefully to Francis’ disingenuous doublespeak in the video, as he avoids any mention of the brutal eradication of churches and Christian persecution on the ground in China. Instead, he cleverly and deceitfully ignores the grim reality and invokes “unity” as his focus for the Catholic Church in China.

Let’s parse and penetrate the cunning papal parlance in his March video for insight into Francis’ underlying political agenda with China:

  • “The Church wants Chinese Christians to be truly Christian and to be good citizens.”
    (Silently obey and submit as compliant citizens to Chinese dictator Xi Jinping and his Communist Chinese Party)
  • “They [Chinese Christians] should promote the Gospel, but without engaging in proselytism, and they need to achieve the unity of the divided Catholic Community.”
    (His goal for Chinese Catholics is Unity — Unity with the Communist-controlled Catholic Patriotic Church. And whatever you do, Chinese Catholics, don’t proselytize, scolds Francis for the umpteenth time. Francis, Xi and his Commie thugs abhor Catholics who proselytize)
  • “Let us pray together that the Church in China may persevere in its faithfulness to the Gospel and grow in Unity.”
    (Here’s Francis’ favorite code word again, unity. Memo to the Vatican: The Church in China can’t persevere in “its faithfulness to the Gospel” because the CCP is seizing and destroying Holy Bibles and replacing them with CCP Bibles glorifying Xi. Furthermore, it’s impossible to pray together in China when all your churches are shuttered and bulldozed, and your priests arrested, detained and harassed by the CCP.)

Incredibly, Xi’s brutal CCP religious goon squads are completely and shamelessly disregarded by Francis in his monthly prayer intention. Yet, tragically, Chinese Catholics have been thrown to the communist wolves by their Shepherd, a staggering betrayal of biblical proportions. Does Francis really believe if he ignores the destruction of the faith in China, Catholics won’t notice?

It’s like talking about springtime in Wuhan, while ignoring the raging, deadly coronavirus.

Several global human rights organizations and religious freedom NGOs have denounced the Vatican-Sino secret deal to appoint bishops, whose terms still remain hidden 18 months after its execution. A growing chorus of religious human rights organizations blame the dramatic surge in religious persecution squarely on the Vatican’s agreement.

The People’s Republic of China and the Vatican signed this confidential deal on Sept. 22, 2018. For Christians in China and around the globe, this date defines the triggering event for the dramatic uptick in massive persecution of Christians by the Communist Chinese Party. Many religious freedom and human rights organizations point to the Pope’s covert deal as a dangerous capitulation to the Communists that precipitated a national wave of unprecedented persecutions of faithful Catholics in the Underground Church and Christians throughout China.

The 20th annual independent report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom blasted the Vatican-China provisional secret agreement. The commissioners expressed deep concern about the persecution of religious minorities in China and specifically highlighted the troubling Vatican-China deal. In fact, one of the commissioners issued a damning and stinging rebuke of the Vatican-Sino agreement:

Literally, within days of the Vatican negotiating its deal, the Chinese used it as cover to embark upon the closure of several of the nation’s largest and most prominent unregistered church communities. That has continued. Being that the Vatican is both a Church and a State, it is my opinion that the Vatican now bears a significant moral and legal responsibility to help solve the problem which it helped created — albeit inadvertently — by providing China license to viciously crack down on Christian communities (as cited in this report), and by providing the Chinese government further cover to continue its incomprehensible, inexcusable and inhumane abuses of Muslim citizens in the western part of the country

[…]

The Vatican made a terrible mistake, which it must take seriously. This debacle must be dealt with urgently and seriously. (pages 41-42).

Unity, at whatever cost, is Francis’ goal for the faithful Catholic Underground Church, even if it means persecution of his flock at the hands of the vicious CCP. Unity is also the goal of the CCP, as it terrorizes and harasses the Catholic Underground Church and its clergy into joining the CCP Patriotic Church, one “Catholic Church” under the thumb of the Communists. Despite the Vatican’s naive initial request that the CCP respect Catholics who refuse to join the Patriotic Church, the CCP has brutally cracked down on laity and clergy who refuse to submit to the CCP. As a result, the faithful Chinese Underground Catholic Church is being driven deeper underground, robbed of its clerics and stripped of its churches and worship, so that the Vatican communist sympathizers gain a political ally in Beijing.

Since the signing of the secret Vatican-China agreement, Xi and his CCP thugs have been on a search and destroy mission, razing Churches, arresting and torturing priests, closing down faithful underground Churches, shutting down services and liturgies, and removing crucifixes, Bibles, religious statues and icons. The systemic purge of all Christian images, buildings, and devotions from churches has created space images of Xi, PRC flags and writings from Xi — the new god of China.

Some unity, Papa Bergoglio! Unity with the godless Chinese Communist Party.

It’s no surprise that less than a handful of Church hierarchs have openly repudiated the Vatican-Sino agreement. Courage and fidelity are wanting these days in the College of Cardinals. One lone, persistent, and heartfelt voice crying out for the persecuted Catholic Church is retired Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong. Zen has rightly described the secret deal as a “sell-out” and “suicide” pact.

Zen’s desperate pleas to Francis to withdraw the agreement go unheeded, and the deal’s terms are still curiously hidden by the Vatican.

Elizabeth Yore is an international child protection attorney and a member of the Save the Persecuted Christians coalition.

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