(LifeSiteNews) – In May, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) arrested a Vatican-appointed Catholic bishop, Joseph Zhang Weizhu, along with seven priests and a number of seminarians in the Diocese of Xinxiang.
It was disturbing news, but not surprising. The genocidal Chinese Communist Party, which currently holds millions of Uyghurs in camps and ferociously oppresses devout Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims alike, has always been an enemy to the Church. And since the Vatican struck a deal with the Communist regime in 2018 – ostensibly to appease it for the sake of the Church in China – such attacks have only increased.
More alarming, in a way, was the fact that most Catholics in America never heard about the May arrests at all. Why not? Because the Western Church refused to mention it. I heard about it through my channels in the world of human rights advocacy. I did not hear any prominent members of the Church hierarchy speak a word of it.
Fast-forward to just last week, when we got one of those pieces of news that stirs the whole Catholic Church. Several Catholic friends texted me all at once. “Finally!” “Did you hear?” “Great news, Jason!”
Ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had been charged with the sexual assault of a 16-year-old in the 1970s. You can read the outline of the story here. It’s heartbreaking what McCarrick did to the boy, now a man bravely standing up for himself and others like him.
Three long years after what Catholics call “The Summer of Shame,” when allegations against McCarrick first emerged, I’m not surprised that many are now feeling a sense of relief.
Justice, you might think, is finally being served. Perhaps the formal charge against McCarrick even represents a glimmer of hope that the Church can now begin to regain Her former glory in the eyes of the public. “Let’s get McCarrick’s day in court over with,” we might even be tempted to say, “so we can return to normal.”
But it’s that temptation that compelled me to write this piece. Because it’s a temptation that we have to resist. In fact, as much as we might long for an end to the whole ugly saga of “Uncle Ted” McCarrick, it’s actually important for us to hope and pray and advocate for the scandal to continue.
Let me explain.
McCarrick wasn’t just any cleric. He was Pope Francis’s American kingmaker, able to handpick trusted friends for positions of influence in the hierarchy of the Church. More to the point: he also played a role in brokering the now-infamous – but little understood – Vatican-China deal in 2018.
As the Catholic News Agency reported that year:
Over 20 years, Archbishop McCarrick traveled to China on at least eight occasions, sometimes staying in a state-controlled Beijing seminary, often serving as an unofficial bridge between the Vatican and Chinese government-appointed bishops until 2016.
Prior to allegations of sexual abuse and harassment becoming public this summer, the former cardinal had been an outspoken proponent of a deal between Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Church under Pope Francis, according to Chinese reports.
“I see a lot of things happening that would really open many doors because President Xi and his government are concerned about things that Pope Francis is concerned about,” McCarrick told The Global Times in an exclusive interview in Feb. 2016. The interview quoted McCarrick as saying that the similarities between Pope Francis and Xi Jinping could be “a special gift for the world.”
Which brings us back to the mass arrests in May. As I mentioned, we’ve seen a sharp rise in such incidents since the Vatican sealed its mysterious deal with China. So you would think that Catholic leaders living in America would speak out more adamantly than anyone.
But instead, our most influential clerics won’t say a word about it.
Bishop Robert Barron ignored the tragedy altogether. As I wrote at the time, instead of standing in solidarity with the persecuted Church, Barron created a happy birthday video for Bob Dylan.
Just a few weeks later in June, I attended the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, D.C. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York was one of the speakers. In front of the Chinese Christian refugees and Uyghur escapees from CCP concentration camps who came to testify, Dolan made no mention of any of China’s crimes against religious freedom.
Why the silence? We don’t know for certain. But perhaps we know who does: McCarrick.
A Vatican-China gag order?
Are you starting to see what I mean when I say we must work to ensure that the McCarrick scandal “continues”?
In a way, McCarrick’s sex scandal, horrific in itself, might prove providential – if we have the will to take it by the horns.
After all, as an architect of the Vatican-China deal, McCarrick is not only responsible for the horrific rapes he himself allegedly committed. Nor should he merely be tried for covering up clerical sex crimes in the U.S. Think bigger.
The McCarrick scandal is an international scandal, involving a secret deal between the Vatican and America’s foremost adversary, China, which may include something very much like a gag order against public criticism of its abuses by American clergy.
The Communist-run People’s Republic of China is guilty of systematic human rights' abuses which are totally and utterly inconsistent with the spirit of the Olympic Games.
And yet, the 2022 Winter Olympics are scheduled to be held in Beijjing, starting in only one year's time.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which calls on the International Olympic Committee to take emergency action and relocate the 2022 Winter Olympics away from China for widespread human rights' abuses incompatible with the ethos of the Olympic Games.
Think about the ongoing genocide of the Uighur people who inhabit the North-west corner of China; think of the recent crackdown and arrest of dozens of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong; think of the detention of members of Falun Gong; and, think of the persecution of Christians in China.
This is sickening.
China should be held to account for its manifest human rights' abuses, not lauded on the world stage. The Chinese Communist Party should be shamed, not celebrated.
Right now, the delay of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which were scheduled to begin last summer, provides the perfect opportunity for the IOC to press pause on the Beijing Games, and take emergency action to relocate them away from China.
Not only that, but it could be very strongly argued that sending athletes from around the world to the "breeding ground of Covid-19" and then back home again, makes absolutely no sense from the perspective of protecting public health.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition which calls on the IOC to cancel the 2022 Winter Games in China and relocate them to another country which upholds and defends human rights.
Here are just some of the human rights' abuses which China is guilty of:
GENOCIDE. In a report released on January, 19th of this year, the U.S. State Department found that, at least since 2017, the Chinese Communist Party is guilty of "genocide" against the Uighur population, living in Xinjiang Province. An abbreviated list of lesser crimes committed by the state against this largely-Muslim ethnic group includes:
- Torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained
- Forced labor
- The imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement.
CRACKDOWN ON HONG KONG DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS. China's newly-implemented National Security Law (NSL) is being used to enforce a draconian clampdown and arrest of pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong, who have bravely resisted the Communist Party's efforts to squash the right to vote and the right to run for political office.
PERSECUTION. China has mercilessly persecuted practioners of Falun Gong and Christians of every denomination. Over the last few years, incidents of persecution include:
- Christian churches have been destroyed by authorities.
- Two million Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Falun Gong followers have been held in detention.
- Christian teachings have been reinterpreted according to socialist doctrine.
- Churches in Hunan province were forced to remove displays of the Ten Commandments and replace them with quotes of President Xi Jinping.
These appalling human rights' abuses don't even include the extensive history of forced abortion and sterilization which the Chinese Communists are known to have committed in their ruthless enforcement of their "one-child policy," which only ended in 2015.
Of course, the world's premier amateur athletes should not be punished for the sins of the hosting nation, but neither should they lend their credibility and talent to support a nation which is guilty of so many systematic human rights' abuses.
That's why the IOC has an obligation to act and pull the Olympics out of China; otherwise, the IOC, itself, faces losing all credibility with sports fans around the world.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition which urges the IOC to take emergency action and relocate the 2022 Winter Olympics out of China. Not only will the IOC avoid the disgrace of supporting a human rights abuser, it will also help to ensure that yet a new wave of Covid doesn't emanate from China.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'One of Trump’s last moves: US declares China’s actions against Uyghurs ‘genocide’' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/one-of-trumps-last-moves-us-declares-chinas-actions-against-uyghurs-genocide
'Hong Kong authorities arrest dozens of prominent pro-democracy activists' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/hong-kong-authorities-arrest-dozens-of-prominent-pro-democracy-activists
'It’s time for the Pope to recognize the carnage among Uighurs, Catholics in China' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/its-time-for-the-pope-to-recognize-the-carnage-among-uighurs-catholics-in-china
Remember: McCarrick is a master coverup artist. After decades of serial sexual abuse, he had dozens, perhaps hundreds of fellow clerics keeping mum for him. How might such a man go about paving the way for a secret Vatican-China deal over the course of 20 years?
Even after the McCarrick sex scandal initially broke, the best many of McCarrick’s longtime confidantes and collaborators in the Catholic hierarchy could muster was a few mutterings about being shocked, while their eyes darted around the floor in front of them during TV interviews that looked more like damage control than any kind of reckoning with the scale of McCarrick and his network’s crimes.
We must ensure we get more out of the McCarrick scandal this time around.
Because what many thought of as a story about a dirty old man and his victims could turn out to be a story of genocide, of betrayal, and of treason.