The Underground Church in China:
Is a Vatican Sellout Imminent?
by Christopher A. Ferrara
March 16, 2016
In China, Edward Pentin notes, there are some 12 million Catholics, “of whom around 5.3 million are represented by the 70 bishops appointed by the state-controlled church,” the so-called “Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA).”
That is, the majority of Catholics in China, including their bishops, refuse to recognize the “official Church” and its schismatic bishops appointed by the atheist regime in Beijing. They have thus been driven “underground” and face constant persecution by the Chinese communist state, including arrests and campaigns of overt suppression of “underground” parishes, with the government even ordering the removal of crosses from parish buildings.
So tight is Beijing’s control over its puppet bishops that when Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin dissociated himself from the CPA, he was declared “suspended” from his episcopal ministry. The bishops who remain in the CPA are tools of the government, whereas those who refuse to bow before the Beijing regime, and the faithful Catholics who follow them, are suffering the dry martyrdom of official suppression.
Yet, Pentin reports, according to the arch-liberal Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, “who is of similar mind as the Holy Father, nine out of 10 bishops in China are now in communion with the Pope.” The claim is laughable. A bishop consecrated without a papal mandate, who pledges allegiance to a communist government and the pseudo-Church created by that government, cannot possibly be “in communion with the Pope” in any meaningful sense of the term “communion.” They are in “communion” with Beijing, not Rome.
If McCarrick is indeed “of similar mind as the Holy Father,” then the members of the faithful underground Catholic Church, the only true Church in China, have reason to fear an imminent sellout according to which CPA bishops selected by Beijing would be approved by Rome, thus making a mockery of the suffering of China’s underground Catholics. Referring to Cardinal Zen’s strong criticism of the Vatican’s policy of appeasement in China and Zen’s own suffering under the Beijing regime, McCarrick offered this stupefying opinion:
If you have a Church that considers martyrs, that sets them off against the others, this in itself contains the pebbles of a rocky road to disunity. Sure I appreciated [Cardinal Zen’s] concerns and sufferings… You have to be proud of the Church that suffers, but also worried that a Church that suffers allows that suffering to be a barrier to the common union to which the Lord has called us.
Incredibly enough, McCarrick views the martyrdom of China’s faithful Catholics as a barrier to unity with the clergy and laity who have avoided persecution by participating in a false church erected by communist dictators! He appreciates the suffering of the underground Catholics: thanks a lot for suffering, folks! But what is the point of their suffering if there is to be “unity” with those who have not suffered precisely because, contradicting the revealed truth declared by Saint Peter, the first Pope, they have obeyed men rather than God (cf. Acts 5:29)? And what sense does it make for McCarrick to claim that he is “proud” of the suffering of China’s persecuted Catholics — no he isn’t! — at the same time he calls for “unity” with those who, to their everlasting shame, have put on the yoke of an atheist government rather than the yoke of Christ the King?
This is diabolical nonsense, symptomatic of the “diabolical disorientation" Sister Lucia warned had infested the Catholic hierarchy — no doubt as foretold in the Third Secret of Fatima. As Pentin’s story notes, Cardinal Zen “warned the Holy See should not accede to Beijing’s demands that the Vatican recognize all official bishops, even excommunicated ones. Such bishops need to repent first. ‘Has the mercy of God come to this?’ he asked, adding that if the Holy See signed such an agreement, it would cause ‘a severe wound to the conscience of the faithful.’ It would be the equivalent, he said, of ‘dialogue with Herod.’”
But a “dialogue with Herod” is exactly what much of the human element of the Church has been conducting for nearly fifty years under the beguiling slogan “dialogue with the contemporary world.” It is a dialogue with the Devil. And he who dialogues with the Devil can only be led to his ruin.