Fatima Perspectives #1261
In one of the most famous headlines of our time, the New York Daily News, speaking of President Gerald R. Ford’s refusal to provide federal assistance to New York City, then on the verge of bankruptcy, declared: “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.” Ford had never actually uttered that phrase; the headline was meant to capture the editorial board’s view of his decision.
It would be quite appropriate for the Catholic press to feature a comparable headline concerning the Vatican’s secret deal with the butchers of Beijing, which, as we now see, constitutes a death warrant for the faithful Underground Church in China.
As Catholic News Agency reports: “Two underground bishops in China have agreed to step aside in favor of bishops of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, in the wake of a deal signed between the Holy See and the Chinese government.” Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin of Mindong (Ningde) has accepted demotion to auxiliary bishop in favor of Bishop Vincent Zhan Silu, who will now be viewed by the Vatican as the legitimate Bishop of Mindong.
Likewise, Bishop Peter Zhuang Jianjian of Shantou will step down in favor of Bishop Joseph Huang Bingzhang, who will now be treated as the legitimate Bishop of Shantou.
Both Zhan and Huang are essentially Chinese government officials, being members of the Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA), the “official” Church that Beijing created to usurp the authority of the true Catholic Church in China — the same pseudo-church that promptly declared its independence from Rome after the accord was signed and its irrevocable commitment to the “Sinicization” of Catholicism in China, meaning its conformity to the demands of communist dictators.
And now that Rome has legitimated the CPA and its puppet bishops, Beijing begins the process of shutting down the underground Church and forcing its members to join the CPA, which, after all, the Vatican now recognizes as legitimate. Hence Bitter Winter, a web journal dedicated to exposing human rights violations in China, now reports that “In Fuzhou city, a coastal Fujian Province opposite Taiwan, authorities have raided and harassed multiple meeting venues of the Underground Catholic Church on the grounds that to hold gatherings, it is necessary to join the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA). During the raids, believers were photographed and videotaped, and their personal information was registered. Plainclothes police took secret photos and videos of church clergy while they were changing into their clerical vestments.”
Back in September, the same report notes, “an underground Catholic meeting venue, which could accommodate more than 1,000 worshippers, was closed. According to the building manager, the Vatican-China deal of 2018 seems to have emboldened the Religious Affairs Bureau. Many underground meeting venues have been placed under surveillance, and priests are often summoned for questioning by the National Security Bureau.”
As Bitter Winter concludes, “This confirms, once again, that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) interprets the Vatican-China agreement to the effect that priests and congregations of the Underground Catholic Church should simply join the CPCA.”
And what does the Vatican say to the Underground Catholic Church? In essence: Drop dead.
The enlightened ones in the Catholic commentariat laughed at Father Gruner when, in issue after issue of The Fatima Crusader, he warned that Ostpolitik — the Vatican II-era policy of capitulation to the demands of communist regimes in the vain hope of concessions — was still at work and would continue to cause incalculable harm to the Church and the cause of the Gospel. I don’t hear them laughing now.
Pray for the faithful of the Underground Church. For they have been left to the wolves by their own shepherds, including a universal shepherd the likes of which the Church has never seen before.