The Vatican Surrenders to China

The Vatican Surrenders to China by Lawrence A. Franklin – Gatestone Institute

  • The Vatican may learn the hard way that the Communist Chinese government does not honor its agreements. Beijing may attempt to extort even more concessions from the Vatican, just as the Chinese regime demands ever more surrender of sovereignty from western companies that do business in China.
  • It is also highly dubious that the Vatican will purchase peace by this pact: the regime will continue to persecute the Church. If the Communist regime is true to form, thousands more crosses will be taken down from Christian churches, especially in areas that have a high Christian population.
  • The courageous elders of Chinese Catholicism, who have endured decades of government persecution and regime efforts to divide the Church, may be seen by their flocks as having been bypassed by the Vatican. Many, if not most, Chinese Catholics are likely to view this agreement as a cynical political betrayal by the Vatican rather than a faith-based decision.
  • “In light of this dismal record, it seems that prudence and caution would seem to be the order of the day in Vatican negotiations with the totalitarians in charge in Beijing, at whose most recent Party Congress religion was once again declared the enemy of Communism.” — George Weigel, Catholic author and political analyst.

With a recent agreement signed between the Vatican and China’s regime,
Pope Francis surrendered partial control of the Chinese Catholic Church
to the Chinese Communist Party. Pictured: The Sacred Heart Cathedral
in Guangzhou, China. (Image source: Zhangzhugang/Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Francis has surrendered partial control of the Chinese Catholic Church to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). His Holiness agreed to grant the Party considerable authority over personnel matters. After decades of refusing to give China the right to appoint Catholic bishops, as a condition for normalization of relations, the Vatican finally conceded to the regime’s demand to allow the CCP a decisive role in the selection of bishops to head Catholic dioceses.

The Vatican’s concession came despite the CCP’s continued persecution of the unofficial, independent, underground Catholic Church in China. Yet the Vatican probably does not view this as a defeat but rather as a means to an end. The diplomatic hierarchy of the Catholic Church may be confident that the truth of its spiritual message will endure long after the CCP dissolves into the same historical trash bin as other totalitarian ideologies have done.

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