CHINA. THE ANSWER IS MISSING. SECRET AGREEMENT, WHY?
10 Ottobre 2020
Dear readers of Stilum Curiae, as you know, every two weeks I offer a reflection on Radio Roma Libera, the largest Italian Catholic podcast radio station. This time it was about China, the Vatican, and the secret agreement. I encourage you also to read the editorial by Riccardo Cascioli at La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. Enjoy your reading.
In recent days the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, speaking at a conference of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions in Milan, expressed a positive opinion about the secret agreement with China, which the Vatican has asked to be extended for another two years. But a few days earlier it was reported that Vincent Guo Xijin, a bishop faithful to Rome who, thanks to the agreement, had been replaced by a bishop who had previously been excommunicated and is a mouthpiece for the Communist Party, has resigned from his role as auxiliary bishop because of the pressure and bullying that has come against him.
From all across China there is news of persecution of anyone who does not adhere to the Patriotic Association, the religious arm of the Communist Party.
The sisters of the Diocese of Xuanhua, in the southern Hebei province, have been repeatedly pressured by local officials to fill out forms to join the Association. “We prefer to be arrested and imprisoned rather than fill out these forms,” one of the sisters said, as reported by Bitter Winter. “After the forms are completed, they would make us attend the formation classes in the provincial capital Shijiazhuang, where we will be indoctrinated in Party ideology, just like they do to the priests.”
In June the city government ordered the sisters of the Catholic Church who have refused to adhere to the Communist Party to leave the area because “they were not local people.”
A sister lamented, “This is our house; some of us have lived here for 20 years. We do not have homes we can return to. The majority of our families are deceased.” They are ready to go to prison. Elsewhere they have been prevented from commemorating the tenth anniversary of the death of Bishop John Yang Shudao, who spent the majority of his life in prison for his fidelity to Rome. And from all over China there is news of orders to remove crosses and replace them with portraits of Mao and Xi Jinping.
Now let’s imagine that 80 years ago Pius XI, at the advice of Msgr. Eugenio Pacelli, would have signed a secret agreement with Adolf Hitler instead of a Concordat, permitting the Brown Shirts and the Hitler Youth and those nice men who wore the Swastika, and perhaps a nice “German National Patriotic Church,” to participate in the nomination and appointment of bishops. And imagine further that in the meantime, with this secret agreement in place, the Reich was imprisoning and torturing recalcitrant bishops and priests, destroying places of worship, and knocking down Christian crosses.
Imagine also what the various Mellonis, Faggiolis, and Riccardis and their “adult Catholic” company would say and write about it, to say nothing of the Christian government officials who split hairs on abortion.
But we ask ourselves, and we continue to ask it, even if we are aware that we will never have an answer: why a secret agreement, made with the worst presently-existing dictatorship in the world, the one that has millions of people locked up in LaoGai? What must the Church be hiding in order to make a secret agreement? If there was really a need to defend the Church in China – the entire Church, not just the pro-communist “church” – then Church history offers us the precedent of Concordats [whose terms are public]. These exist, as has always been taught us, precisely for this reason: to protect the local churches under the aegis of international agreements from hostile or dangerous governments. Secret agreements are made by those with evil intentions those with something to hide. What do the Parolins and their subordinates have to hide?
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