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U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon with Archbishop Sorondo and Pope Francis

September 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Vatican bishop is rebuking critics of the Holy See’s controversial deal with China by insisting the nation, known for its flagrant human rights abuses, “observes the common good.”

Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academies for Sciences and Social Sciences, had claimed in February that the Chinese are “those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church.”

In the “provisional agreement” signed today between the Holy See and China, the Church has agreed to officially recognize bishops of the “Patriotic Church” set up by the government.

Many Catholics have criticized the deal as a “sell out” by the Vatican of China’s underground Catholic Church and its bishops, who have undergone great persecution to remain faithful. Hong Kong’s Cardinal Joseph Zen called the deal a “complete surrender” that “giv[es] the flock into the mouths of wolves.” He has urged Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, to resign over it.

Bishop Sorondo criticized opponents of the deal on Friday in an exclusive interview with the Global Times, a daily tabloid owned by China’s Communist Party. The article was tweeted Saturday by the official account of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences.

“[The critics] are very strong in their position. They are loud, but there are not very many of them. They are a loud minority,” he said. “In our interpretation, the critics are a little minority group of people, people who wanted to create trouble.”

The bishop went on to praise China for its fight against “poverty and pollution.”

“The country has a large population with good quality people, it observes the common good and it has proved its ability to great missions like fighting against poverty and pollution,” he said.

As head of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences, Sorondo has famously hosted numerous high-profile advocates of abortion and population control at Vatican conferences. These include Paul Ehrlich, famed author of The Population Bomb; UN advisor Jeffrey Sachs; and former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

He has claimed Pope Francis’ views on climate change are as authoritative as the Church’s teaching against abortion, and has suggested education as a means to reduce family sizes.

Sorondo’s praise of China is ‘psychotic’

George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope, a biography of St. John Paul II, has called Sorondo’s attitude to China “psychotic.”

Claiming China is the “best” at implementing Catholic social doctrine “requires something approaching a psychotic detachment from reality” or “willful ignorance” that turns “a blind eye to repression and persecution in order to indulge” socialist “fantasies,” he wrote at National Review in February.

Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, which fights forced abortion in China, also criticized Sorondo after his remarks in February.

“I find the Bishop’s remarks frankly incredible,” she told LifeSiteNews. “How could anyone with even passing knowledge of the atrocities committed by the Chinese Communist Party, historically and at present, possibly say that ‘those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese’? One of primary social doctrines of the Church [is] respecting ‘life and the dignity of the human person.’

“The Chinese government has boasted of ‘preventing’ 400 million lives through its One Child Policy. In so doing, women have been forcibly aborted up to the ninth month of pregnancy,” she said. “Some of these forced abortions have been so violent that the woman died, along with her full term baby.”

“China has also sterilized hundreds of millions of women,” Littlejohn continued. “Some of these forced sterilizations have butchered the women, destroying not only their reproductive health, but their overall health as well.”

And “because of the One Child Policy, there is not enough of a young population to support the elderly. Many elderly are left destitute and elder suicide in China is on the rise.”

“How is any of this consistent with respecting ‘life and the dignity of the human person’ – a doctrine absolutely central to Catholic social teaching?” Littlejohn asked.