On September 22, 2018, representatives from Beijing and the Holy See signed the Vatican-China Agreement, an accord which has only just recently begun to show its influence. This agreement was created to put an end to a crisis that had lasted since 1957 between the Catholic Patriotic Church, faithful to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and the underground Church, faithful to Rome. Although the details of the agreement are still secret, its implications have raised fears that the Catholic religion has bowed to the CCP and in doing so shamefully abandoned millions of genuine Catholic practitioners being persecuted by the regime.

Until the signing of this text, the 12 million Chinese Catholics had one choice. On one hand they could integrate into the patriotic Church, corrupted by communist ideology, directed by Beijing and run by bishops selected by the Communist Party, or they could choose to be one of the courageous believers who continued to follow the Pope, at the cost of being continuously hunted and persecuted by Chinese officials.

Of the few details that have leaked, reports state that the agreement has stipulated that future bishops will be appointed by the Pope but through a list presented and approved by the Chinese authorities. The Holy See has already acknowledged eight Chinese bishops, including one posthumously. Each of the newly acknowledged bishops has been appointed directly by the Chinese Communist Party without the Vatican’s approval and had previously been excommunicated by Rome.

This agreement is a clear sign from the Vatican that they too are yielding to the orders of Communist China. In the agreement China has kept all the rights to name the bishops, each of whom will be assessed by their conformity to the “official ideology”. Beijing will determine which Christian doctrines are “valid” and which are not, while at the same time adding their own communist elements. In this way Xi Jinping has come out on top in this agreement which practically grants him the right to form a “Religion of State”.

However, we must reflect that for someone to win, others must lose and in this case it is the millions of “resisters” who have been betrayed by the very church to whom they have remained faithful. While the signed compromise saw the bishops of Beijing retroactively appointed by the Pope, it is unlikely that the clandestine bishops are being recognised by the CCP, which remains a militant atheist organisation full of hatred towards religions and traditions not conforming with the CCP political indoctrination. The deal has given the regime a free pass to persecute thousands of innocent Christians simply because they do not follow the officially approved church. Many clandestine Christians, who secretly practice their faith according to tradition, tell stories of torture by communist authorities who force them to adopt the new Christianity approved by the state, with the endorsement of Pope Francis.

The Pope, like the leaders of many nations, seems fascinated by China and has spoken of a desire to go there. Fortunately, he is curbed in his ardor by the Vatican provisions which continue to recognise the Taiwan government, making such a trip impossible at the moment. Shortly after the adoption of this agreement, Pope Francis recalled the “great martyrdom” of Catholics, as a means to justify a measure that makes him visibly uncomfortable. It is not sure that the faithful share the same opinion – those who have paid dearly in the past for their loyalty to Rome with years of discrimination at work, imprisonment, and even torture of themselves, their families and friends. They have experienced the destruction of churches, the disappearance of crosses in public spaces, the installation of the Chinese flag in places of worship, the prohibition of the sale of the Bible on the Internet and the arrest of priests and bishops faithful to the Holy Sea, faithful believers like Shao Zhumin, a bishop who has been arrested 5 times in the last 2 years.

Will Pope Francis continue to sacrifice the values of Christianity to the illusion of Chinese power, abandon the faithful, betray Taiwan and Hong Kong, or will he open his eyes to the totalitarian nature of this regime?

Source : https://eptoday.com/catholics-oppressed-by-china-rejected-by-rome/