“Vatican under fire for moving to renew deal with the Chinese Communist Party”; “Pope tells leaders post-pandemic economic models must change”

October 13, 2020 | By Hollie McKay, Fox News | Source

Worshipers wave the flag of China as Pope Francis leaves St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican on June 12, 2019. AFP via Getty Images

“The Vatican is in the process of renewing a deal with the Chinese Communist Party, raising concerns among U.S. officials and human rights advocates who note that China is one of the most dangerous places on the planet to be Christian.

While the precise terms of the two-year-old agreement are undisclosed, observers say the pope and Beijing will share jurisdiction in the appointment of bishops.

“The first agreement, signed in 2018, was intended to be experimental, but its results have been grim. In the past two years alone, the Chinese government has raided church services, imprisoned non-compliant priests and removed crosses from churches,” David Curry, CEO of international religious persecution watchdog, Open Doors USA, told Fox News. “(The deal) gives the Vatican and the CCP shared authority over the appointment of bishops in the country.”

The initial agreement was designed to resolve the fissure among the country’s 12 million Catholics – half who attend state-sanctioned and monitored religious services under the “Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association,” and the other half, which remains loyal to the Holy See and traditional Catholicism and practice in “underground” churches in private homes and in secret.

Attending such unauthorized services is strictly illegal and comes with the hefty price of imprisonment – or worse.

Under Mao Zedong in the early 1950s, China severed diplomatic ties with the Vatican, razed churches and deported missionaries before setting up its own Catholic Association. Under this self-styled guild, the CCP retained the right to ordain bishops without the Vatican’s approval. In sealing a deal more than two years ago, the Vatican’s goal was to take back control of the process.

Critics have also pointed out that the contract is not merely about the Vatican being in charge of the bishop approval procedure but that it has also been put in a position to recognize the CCP appointees as legitimate.

“The current deal gives the Vatican an official presence in the country through registered churches, preventing the Catholic Church from having to operate underground in China. But an official church presence is on China’s terms,” Curry stressed. “It allows China say in appointing Communist sympathizers as bishops and permits surveillance-state technology to monitor who attends services.”

“The Holy See is immensely respected in the international arena, and the Chinese hope is also likely that an agreement with the Holy See would help China to clean up its image in front of the world,” he said.

Nonetheless, Pope Francis’s bid for stronger ties has come at a time when the Trump-led administration is pushing back against the CCP’s abuses and misgivings on a very public stage.

Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – who visited Rome in late September but was rebuffed by Pope Francis who declined to meet on the basis of refraining from “political” dialogue so close to a Presidential election – has called on the Vatican to take a more “serious” approach to condemn human rights abuses and religious targeting by Chinese authorities.

And despite initial hopes negotiations would facilitate stronger relations and better support for the deeply persecuted, analysts say human rights abuses have only worsened. While the CCP has historically perceived religious independence and theology as a threat to its iron-fisted rule, under the thumb of President Xi Jinping, the party has moved more toward “controlling” it rather than elimination in a policy termed “Sinicization.”

In effect, this establishes state-sanctioned religious institutions to monitor and modify the way individuals practice their faith. In early 2018, under Sinicization, state-registered religious organizations were granted authority to publish texts, possess property, train clergy, and collect donations. But at the same time, the CCP enhanced its power to inflict more stringent controls, such as restricting schooling, and the times and locations of services, as well as mandating reports on monetary donations exceeding $15,900.

Under Jinping’s reign, faith groups are also required to contour their philosophies to align with the officially atheist doctrine, and as of this year, all religious factions are – by law – bound to accepting and disseminating CCP ideology and values. They also must seek authorization from a government affairs office prior to holding any religious gatherings or activities.

To date, China still has one of the world’s largest populations of religious prisoners – believed to be well into the tens of thousands – with pastors and faith followers routinely swept up in police crackdowns, “disappeared” in the dead of night, and detained in dark dungeons and killed with impunity.

“The violations of the human rights of all Christians, despite denomination, in China are overwhelming,” lamented Washington-based Bishop Joseph Grieboski. “(Yet this) deal allows the Vatican partial control over the appointment of bishops while giving Beijing the P.R. victory of saying that the Vatican sides with their choices for bishops. To be frank, the deal benefits the Chinese Communist Party far more than it does the Holy See.”

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“The Vatican, the Devil, and the United Nations”

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“Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, recently denounced “certain right-wing thinkers” who “see the United Nations as the devil.” Bishop Sorondo said, “The Holy See does not see the United Nations as the devil as certain right-wing thinkers do.”

Recently, the Lepanto Institute published an analysis of the Sustainable Development Goals, comparing them to the aims of Communism. As with Bishop Sorondo, some critics simply fail to see the goals of the United Nations as dangerous or the end result of a Communist agenda, and many attempt to put a Catholic spin on the Sustainable Development Goals, trying to interpret them in terms of Catholic teaching. In one interview, Bishop Sorondo actually attempted to place a Catholic understanding on the term “reproductive health” as it is identified in the Sustainable Development Goals:

  1. Undoubtedly, you discussed Ban Ki-moon’s and Jeffrey Sachs’ position on abortion and population control in the lead up to the conference. How were any questions resolved?

S.S. Yes. We had these discussions, and as you can see, the draft SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) don’t even mention abortion or population control. They speak of access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. The interpretation and application of these depends on governments. Some may even interpret it as Paul VI, in terms of responsible paternity and maternity. Instead of attacking us, why not enter into dialogue with these “demons” to maybe make the formulation better, like we did on the issues of social inclusion and new forms of slavery?

While the Sustainable Development Goals do not include the words “abortion” and “population control,” it is rather intellectually dishonest to assert that the UN’s use of the terms “family planning and sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights” do not carry with them the intention to spread abortion and birth control. Even the SDGs themselves identify the definition of these terms. As indicated in our previous report on the abortion and contraception spreading aspect of the SDGs, the SDGs call for:

“universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action.”

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Reproductive Health as defined in the Sustainable Development Goals

In our report, we identified in which ways family planning, reproductive health and reproductive rights were agreed upon in the Programme of Action of the ICPD and the Beijing Platform for Action. In short, both documents indicate these terms mean the full range of contraception, including abortifacients, and the use of abortion except as a means of family planning. Even if, as Bishop Sorondo indicates, some countries may interpret these terms in line with the teaching of Pope Paul VI, the agencies of the United Nations, such as the UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and others who will be implementing the SDGs throughout the world will be doing so according to their use of these terms. And since these agencies push contraception and abortion, we can be certain that they will be doing so with the roll-out of the Sustainable Development Goals as well.”

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“Satan Must Reign in the Vatican. Then Pope Will Be His Slave.”

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Masonic Funeral Parade, 1917

“The bold proclamation in the headline of this article was personally witnessed by St. Maximilian Kolbe, who watched Freemasons celebrate their bicentennial in St. Peter’s Square in 1917. St. Maximilian Kolbe saw banners bearing these words amidst the revelry. It’s a jarring and shocking statement, but it is totally in keeping with the aims of Freemasonry and it bears a great deal of significance for us today.

Before we go any further, it must be made perfectly clear that the Lepanto Institute is in NO WAY accusing Pope Francis of being a Freemason or suggesting that he is a willing advocate for Masonic principles. However, in light of certain recent events, what has become manifestly obvious is that there is a grave moral threat within the walls of the Church being orchestrated by unscrupulous men. The intent of this article is to attempt to shed some light on these events and perhaps make sense of these troubling times.”

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“Pope tells leaders post-pandemic economic models must change”

September 4, 2020 | By

“VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Friday that the coronavirus pandemic had “toppled the shaky pillars” of a world economic model built on the idolatry of money and domination by the rich and powerful.

In a message to participants of the annual European House-Ambrosetti Workshop, which gathers some 200 top managers, economists, and politicians from around the world, he called for new models that would be more inclusive and reduce social inequality.

He also urged “an ecological retooling” of the economy to save the environment and reduce wasteful consumption.

“It (the pandemic) has called into question the scale of values that sets money and power over all else,” he said.

“It has toppled the shaky pillars that supported a certain model of development,” he said, adding that social and economic uncertainties had made many people open their eyes to inequality and environmental blight.

He said economics should be the expression of a society that “refuses to sacrifice human dignity to the idols of finance (and) uses financial resources not to dominate but to serve”.

Francis, who has said any eventual COVID-19 vaccine must not be hoarded by rich countries, is believed to be preparing an encyclical letter – the highest form of papal writing – on what he believes the post-pandemic world should look like.

The event, which takes place in the northern lakeside town of Cernobbio each September, is Italy’s version of the annual Davos Economic Forum in Switzerland. This year, it is taking place mostly virtually because of the pandemic.

Apart from a host of Italian ministers, participants include French President Emmanuel Macron, 2016 U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former U.S. national security advisor John Bolton.”


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