People put on masks at the Nanjing Pedestrian Road, a essential purchasing space,, in Shanghai, China, January 24, 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters) China is a horrible oppressor of non secular liberty and persecutor of trustworthy folks. Think organ harvesting of Falun Gong. The stomping of Tibetan Buddhism. The genocide of Uyghurs and their impressment into slave labor. Christians subjected to the nation’s under-construction, pernicious social-credit system. The listing goes on and on.
Chinese Catholics haven’t been spared. But some fear that Pope Francis has not taken a tough sufficient line opposing the persecution of the genuine Catholic Church in China. Unfortunately, Pope Francis simply gave religious-freedom advocates extra motive for concern.
Slightly background: The Vatican and China are negotiating an extension of a two-year settlement — phrases undisclosed — designed to guard China’s Catholics. Writing in First Things, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo anxious that the settlement had not achieved its objective, citing Fr. Paul Zhang Guanghun, a priest who was overwhelmed and “disappeared,” amongst many different examples. (Read the complete factor. It could be very illuminating.)
Pompeo’s advocacy seems to not have been appreciated at the Holy See. He was supposed to fulfill with Francis this week when at the Vatican to ship a robust speech on threats to spiritual freedom typically in China and the risk to Chinese Catholics particularly. At the final minute, that assembly was canceled — ostensibly as a result of the pope didn’t need to look like taking sides in the American election.
But some suspect that the actual motive was that the pope is reluctant to take the laborious line Pompeo advocates — a concern amplified by the pope’s concurrent refusal to fulfill with the Cardinal Emeritus of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen, additionally in Rome. It’s all very regarding.
Pompeo did ship his speech. Here are few excerpts from, “Moral Witness and Religious Freedom”:
The Chinese Communist Party has battered each non secular group in China: Protestant home church buildings, Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong devotees, and extra. Nor, after all, have Catholics been spared this wave of repression:
Catholic church buildings and shrines have been desecrated and destroyed. Catholic bishops like Augustine Cui Tai have been imprisoned, as have clergymen in Italy. And Catholic lay leaders in the human rights motion, not least in Hong Kong, have been arrested.
Authorities order residents to interchange footage of Jesus with these of Chairman Mao and people of General Secretary Xi Jinping.
All of those believers are the heirs of these Pope John Paul celebrated in his speech to the UN, those that had “taken the risk of freedom, asking to be given a place in social, political, and economic life which is commensurate with their dignity as free human beings.”
We should assist these demanding freedoms in our time, like Father Lichtenberg did.
Pompeo ended with an exhortation:
It’s now some twenty years in the past this very week that Pope John Paul II canonized 87 Chinese believers and 33 European missionaries killed in China earlier than the present Communist regime took energy.
At the time, he mentioned the following: He mentioned that “the Church intends merely to recognize that those martyrs are an example of courage and consistency to us all, and that they honor the noble Chinese people.”
Brave women and men throughout the world, taking that “risk of freedom,” proceed to battle for respect for his or her proper to worship, as a result of their conscience calls for it.
Pope John Paul II bore witness to his flock’s struggling, and he challenged tyranny. By doing so, he demonstrated how the Holy See can transfer our world in a extra humane course, like nearly no different establishment.
May the Church, and all those that know that we’re in the end accountable to God, be so daring in our time. May all of us be so daring in our time.
And to that, could all of us say merely, “Amen.”