November 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — It is important Christians recognize the broader implications of the disastrous capitulation of Pope Francis to the Chinese government’s ideological agenda.
By allowing China’s government to appoint bishops, he has given over the authority of the church to an oppressive regime and has handed over Catholic dogma to communist spin masters who will shape Christian doctrine according to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ‘Sinicization” program.
Xi’s Sinicization program permits only one viewpoint; namely, that which adheres to Communist dogma as understood by the Chinese government. The Pope has by his actions at least implicitly endorsed an anti-Christian agenda that includes an all-out attempt to convert Catholics into acolytes of the Chinese government, which seeks through its social credit system to Sinicize everyone, conforming every single Chinese to its ideology. Xi’s Sinicization is essentially a revival of Mao Zedong’s approach to China’s internal affairs, but even more hideously strengthened by technological surveillance Mao could only dream of. The new social credit system, in which a person’s every word, deed and thought are evaluated according to conformance to government policies, with rewards and punishments being handed out according to performance on demand, now includes Christians who are expected to work for social credit, also known as government approved behavior. To be authentically Christian is to not receive any social credit.
As Sinicization defined by adherence to communist ideology as promoted by the Chinese government proceeds to infiltrate the church, what policies will the Catholic Church in China be required to accede to in order to retain state favored status? What are the larger implications of the pope’s ceding control of the Catholic Church to the Chinese government?
They are much the same as the results attendant to the capitulation of the Catholic Church when Cardinal Pacelli, the Vatican’s Secretary of State and future Pope Pius XII, signed the Reichskonkordat of 1933. By surrendering the Church’s moral authority and its ability to rebuke and to confront the Nazi state, the church as an institution wound up bearing responsibility for the persecution of the Jews. While individual priests, nuns, laymen and laywomen often stood against the persecution of the Jews in acts of supreme heroism and sacrifice, the hierarchy of the Church sacrificed the moral stand of the Church against the evil of the Third Reich.
The German Catholic laity were out on a limb which the church hierarchy sawed off.
As David B. Green notes, “ … (T)he discussions “were conducted exclusively by Pacelli on behalf of the Pope over the heads of the faithful, the clergy and the German bishops.” (Readers will note a similar hijacking of the moral authority of the laity and bishops is occurring as the Vatican overrides the American conference of bishops meeting to confront the current sex abuse scandal.)
“As James Carroll wrote in ‘Constantine’s Sword,’ his 2001 study of the Church’s relationship with the Jews, ‘The Recihskonkordat effectively removed the German Catholic Church from any continued role of opposition to Hitler. More than that, as Hitler told his cabinet on July 14, it established a context that would be ‘especially significant in the urgent struggle against international Jewry.’“
Those who know 20th century history know how the struggle against “international Jewry” turned out. Millions died.
In a similar manner, by handing over control of the Church to the Chinese communist government in exchange for a tenuous and doubtless soon to be violated agreement to be left alone, the Church commits itself at least tacitly to unseeing the horrors of the Chinese government’s Two Child policy, which in practice is the same as the One Child policy put in place in the 1980s.
The Chinese government has been responsible for the abortion of millions of unborn children, skewed sex ratios due to preference for boys, and for the control of every Chinese woman’s or man’s sex life. Sinicization of the Catholic Church means Catholics will be “encouraged” to go along with to China’s population control policies, which are remarkable for their vicious brutality. Chen Guangcheng, a blind lawyer and human rights advocate, put it bluntly: “First the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) would kill any baby after one. Now they will kill any baby after two.”
As the Charlotte Lozier Institute reports, Stephen Mosher has been eyewitness to the grim results of the One Child Policy since the late 1970s. He has seen forced abortions, sterilizations and third trimester abortions done by C-section. The babies were killed at birth. He concludes: “Regardless of whether Party leaders allow Chinese couples to have one, two, or even three children, the underlying policy has not changed – and probably will not change.”
Reggie Littlejohn, who is founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, clarifies just what the Two Child Policy means. All pregnancies must be permitted by the government, which requires a permit. Women who have pregnancies not permitted by the state are subject to forced abortion. No Christian woman can plead freedom of conscience and the intrinsic value of her child’s life.
Social credit goes to Chinese who follow the state’s draconian Two Child Policy, which is backed up by countless spies and enforcers, as Mosher related in his first book on China’s One Child Policy, Broken Earth; as well as in his most recent book, A Mother’s Ordeal. Mosher states: “The history of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been marred by a long series of violent political campaigns, but none has been more violent, none has claimed more victims, and none lasted a fraction as long as the one-child-policy (now the Two Child Policy). He goes on to note that even the carnage enacted by Mao Zedong was not as great as that resulting from the Chinese government’s efforts to control its people by forced abortion, sterilization and infanticide.
In sum, allowing Catholic bishops to be appointed by the Chinese government amounts to capitulation to abortion and infanticide characteristic of the Two Child Policy, which in turn is part of the all-encompassing social credit system enforced by the Chinese government.
Whether intentionally or not, Pope Francis has thrown all Christians to the lions, including the 30 non-government approved Catholic bishops as well as the burgeoning underground Chinese evangelical and Catholic movements. He has given the papal blessing to state controlled registered churches while at least tacitly giving the imprimatur to state persecution of the entire Christian underground.
By going along with the Chinese government’s goal to Sinicize religion, he is gutting human rights groups, including Christians battling for human rights. As the Washington Times reported, “Several Chinese human rights lawyers jailed for their work, including Jiang Tianyong and Li Heping, are outspoken Christians. So too are many Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, not least among them 2014 protest leader Joshua Wong … Chinese leaders have always been suspicious of the political challenge or threat that Christianity poses to the Communist regime.”
The pope may be interested in ameliorating the suspicions of the Chinese leaders concerning Christianity, but by his actions, he is in danger of eliminating the Catholic Church’s moral authority in China altogether, particularly when it comes to the matter of the infinite value of human life as proclaimed by Christian doctrine.
Noble intentions and sterling motives often are smoke screens that obscure and sometimes even encourage disastrous results. It is hard to avoid the suspicion that Pope Francis has sided with the world, the flesh and the Devil in handing the appointments of bishops over to the Chinese government.
Thus, as noted above, it is hard not to see a repeat of the actions of Pope Pius XII when he signed the Reichskonkordat in 1933. The parallels are there for all to discern. As Robert A. Krieg noted some 15 years before the current actions of Pope Francis:
“The Concordat of 1933 embodied a problematic theology of the Church, for it implicitly reduced the Church to an organization concerned solely about a private, otherworldly realm unrelated to the social and political aspects of human life.”
Krieg goes on to note that while Pius XI and Pacelli may have thought they were protecting the Church as an institution, they wound up severing the Church from its advocacy for human rights, thus lessening “the role of the Church as a proponent of universal human values as embodied in natural law.”
Students of Church history have seen the results of the Catholic Church’s cooperation with an oppressive regime. The outcome of the current pope’s decision may be similar to the Reichskonkordat of 1933: The persecution of faithful Christians and the mass slaughter of innocent lives.
It is up to the faithful Christians within and outside of the Catholic Church to protest the pope’s potentially fateful decision. History must not be repeated.
Fay Voshell holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her its prize for excellence in systematic theology. Her thoughts have appeared in many online magazines, including American Thinker, National Review, The Christian Post, LifeSiteNews, RealClear Relgion, CNS and Russia Insider. She may be reached at [email protected]