Opinion

Holy Father: Now that the death penalty is ‘inadmissible,’ play hardball with China

Is Pope Francis ready to make the Church the latest victim of China's bloodthirsty policies?
Tue Aug 14, 2018 - 8:30 pm EST
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Chinese President Xi Jinping. Kaliva / Shutterstock.com

August 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis has amended the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Before, it said the death penalty was permissible, but would be, in most circumstances, inappropriate.  Now, it says that the death penalty is “inadmissible.”

That brings us to China.

According to Amnesty International, 2017 witnessed 993 executions across the world.  Those executions were limited to 23 countries, the top offenders of which were (in order): China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Pakistan.

China remains, by far, the world’s top executioner.  To make the situation even worse, it is believed that thousands of executions in China go unreported, making the already lopsided statistics even more lopsided.  In fact, China executes more people than all other countries combined.

This all comes when we know the Vatican is in ongoing negotiations with China concerning its relationship with the Holy See.  One of the main issues on the table is who will have the right to appoint bishops, and how.

Catholics in China are severely restricted in their religious liberty.  They must attend party-approved churches in party-approved parishes run by party-approved clerics.  And that’s what is being negotiated now.  China wants bishops they have approved.  The Vatican wants bishops the Pope has approved.  There’s the rub.

So in light of the Pope’s updated teaching on the inadmissibility of the death penalty, I have a humble suggestion for the Holy Father: if China is unwilling to severely curtail their use of capital punishment, I say “non multum”—“no deal.”

If indeed the death penalty is inadmissible, and, in the words of the new Catechism, the Church “works with determination for its abolition worldwide,” how can this issue not be at the forefront of negotiations with the world’s foremost executioner?  

Of course, I haven’t even mentioned China’s new “Two-Child Policy.”  Yes, they have scrapped the infamous “One-Child Policy,” but the situation is the exact same under the new policy: women who have more children than are allowed by the State, whether on purpose or by accident, are often forced to abort those children.  How is this anything but an execution?  The State’s law is violated, and a child is killed as punishment.  Sounds like capital punishment to me, under a different name.  Red China is drenched in blood.

Today, the Catholic Church in China is already split between those who attend underground churches in which the Communist Party plays no role in determining its leadership, and those who attend churches in the state-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association, which is controlled by the Communist Party.  The Communist Party is terrified of social organizations and civic life that it can’t control.  The Catholic idea of subsidiarity and mediating institutions are basically non-existent in China.  Centralization, dictatorship, violence, and murder are the norm.  Yes, the days of Mao are gone.  But thousands, millions if you include abortion, continue to draw blood as a result of the policies of the totalitarian socialist government of China.

If the Vatican, given its teaching on abortion, and especially after declaring the death penalty is “inadmissible” and its intent to push for its abolition across the world, is unwilling to play hard ball with the world’s worst abortionist and executioner, then what is the Catholic Church even doing?  

If the Church will allow the Communist Party that has formulated and executed these blood-drenched policies a say in its own leadership, and at the same time fails to raise its voice against the ongoing execution of thousands, and the abortion of millions, then the Church has in all but name ceased being the Church in China, and become only the latest victim of that Communist country’s bloodthirsty policies.


  catholic, china, death penalty, pope francis

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