Pope Francis, faithful priests loyal to the papacy, and… and… China

torture in china religion

This lady complained about the persecution of Falun Gong. She died of mistreatment. And so it is for other believers, including Christians, including Catholics.

It’s inevitable, you know, the question that comes from faithful young priests:

Why is it that liberal non-believing atheist priests who smash down the faithful in every possible way are always favored by both liberal and perhaps especially noticeably by conservative, devout, believing bishops, and this specifically over-against faithful priests who are just quietly trying their best to follow the doctrine and morality of the Church, the proper way to offer Holy Mass and the other sacraments, who are just being good and kind in their parishes? Why is that? It’s always that way, or at least it seems that it is always that way, since it is just such a betrayal of all that one would otherwise expect in reason and justice and integrity and honesty. So, why is it that faithfulness is not rewarded with at least being left alone to practice the faith, to be good to others?

And this is not just true in parishes, it is also true in the Holy See, in the appointment of Bishops and Cardinals. On and on.

And this is not just true with individuals, but also with entire countries and regions of countries. For instance, with China. I cannot think of any other part of the world where the laity and clergy and bishops have suffered more to remain loyal to the Holy Father only apparently to have been smashed down by him. It almost seems he wants to have the laity and priests and bishops loyal to him be disappeared or put into labor or re-education camps, to be tortured and put to death. It almost seems that he just doesn’t give a damn. Does he really think he will get concessions? Does he really think that this will not embolden the government religion police to crush believers all the more, using this move of Pope Francis as psychological torture. I mean, imagine: “The Pope doesn’t want your loyalty. He despises your suffering and the suffering of all those with you and who went before you. He spits on you.”

But that should make one pause and ask why, and ask not with cynicism, but with a view to getting an answer. To be cynical is deadly. Surely that is not what is wanted by anyone. I am weak. If I were in China and was seemingly betrayed by the Holy Father like this, I must admit that I would be wide open to slipping into this deadly cynicism, wide open to slipping straight into hell. Even though that would not make sense. We are all so fragile.

The answer to the question of my own priest friends about why faithful priests who are loyal are smacked down in favor of filthy-liberal non-believers is two-fold:

  • It is thought that Jesus will take care of those who are faithful. But this is tempting God, is it not? We have an obligation to love and respect others with God’s love and God’s truth and God’s goodness and God’s kindness.
  • It is thought that concessions will win friends and influence people, so that people will simply suffer less, because you know, that’s what it’s all about. But this seems only effectively to reject what little light is in the darkest of peripheries, and it all descends only farther into the depths of hell.

So, can we think about all this in any way that is positive? Well, what if the actor, in this case, Pope Francis, only has concern for less torture and sincerely believes that concessions will make for less torture? I mean, I would not want to be tortured. That would indeed be horrible. Horrible. No, really… horrible. Pope Francis might even think that this “less torture” benefit will solve both points above. Could be.

We pray for Pope Francis. We pray for China.


Filed under Free exercise of religion, Politics, Pope Francis

17 responses to “Pope Francis, faithful priests loyal to the papacy, and… and… China

  1. pelerin

    According to the ‘Catholic Herald’ Catholic Priests in China have been ordered to put up signs in their churches forbidding entry to children. Pope Francis latest move towards China has really worried both Priests and laity alike.

  2. sanfelipe007

    “So, why is it that faithfulness is not rewarded with at least being left alone to practice the faith, to be good to others?”

    I have not read past this sentence, so be patient with my childlike eagerness in raising my hand in class, and not letting you answer the question yourself. It has been said that there are two kinds of people in any organization: Those who believe in the MISSION of the organization, and those who believe in the ORGANIZATION itself. The latter will seek to control of the organization, to occupy positions of power, promoting those if like mind.

    Not being in a position of “power” within an organization pretty much identifies one as a member of the former group. This is not to say one cannot be a member of the “power” and believe in the mission. Or is it?

  3. sanfelipe007

    Two things (and I am only spit-balling here):
    “Why did Moses allow divorce?” Maybe there is an element of acknowledging the hardness of hearts by the Pontiff.
    In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter decides the question of imposing circumcision on the gentiles by not requiring it of them. Maybe there is a question of burden involved here?
    Sure, I want the successor of Peter to be uncompromising, like Jesus, when the crowd declared “this is a hard saying, who can bear it?” Or something. I obviously do not know. I would like to know what hard, unpopular, and troubling decisions the previous Popes made in difficult times, and the consequences. But where else can we go? I join with you and the other faithful in praying for the Holy Father.

    • Father George David Byers

      Moses allowed for divorce for their hardness of heart, as in… I tried to tell you. God tried to tell you. You don’t give a damn. So, go ahead. Do it! And go to hell too! Damn fools with your hard hearts. Go ahead and do it, and go to hell too.

      And they replied to each other: Well, he said we could do it…

      Don’t look at it as Jesus being uncompromising, as if it’s all about moralism. Jesus was, instead, holding out life to them. Choose life.

      But, yes, we pray for the Holy Father. He is placing the Church in much ambiguity. Moses wasn’t ambiguous. Jesus wasn’t ambiguous. The saints weren’t ambiguous. Pope Francis is ambiguous. I’m guessing he is being extorted. I can’t but help thinking of that pregnant girl who was his “Front of House” at Santa Marta. A shot over the bow. This is not unnoticed by those who do not hesitate to use extortion.

      If I stick up for the martyrs of China, it sounds like I’m denouncing Pope Francis. I’m not. I would not want to be the one being extorted. I really think that that is what is happening. When I was in Rome, for decades, I got to know just how much the Open Church is entrenched in the Holy See. This is NOT an easy thing.

  4. sanfelipe007

    “Saint Pius V. Saint Pius X. Saint JP2.”

    Amen, thanks be to God.

  5. sanfelipe007

    ” Pope Francis is ambiguous.”
    I agree. Your points are well made, and I appreciate them.
    “If I stick up for the martyrs of China, it sounds like I’m denouncing Pope Francis.”
    It would not sound that way to me.

  6. James Peters

    What is a ” non-believing atheist priests ” ?
    It seem like an oxymoron to me.

    • Father George David Byers

      An oxymoron is incestuously contradictory. :-) While this is not quite an epizeuxis, or even a diacope, but there are some analogies to be had. There is a long tradition from a rather limited perspective that an “unbeliever” is someone who does not believe in Christ our God, but does think to be theistic in some manner. When priests are both non-believing and atheists… oh my…

      • James Peters

        An Atheist priest ? , this is not just an non-believer in Christ , this is someone who does not believe in God at all !
        Are you referring to the ‘ The Clergy Project ‘?
        The priests in the The Clergy Project are now Atheist , but due to fear / intimidation / peer pressure / social pressures etc , they feel unable to come out as an Atheist and so continue as Priests. Priests who do ‘come out’ are often shunned by their family, ostracized by their friends and even receive death threats.

      • Father George David Byers

        Try reading Romans chapter 1. :-)

      • James

        I am familiar with Romans 1 – Verse 21 ” For although they knew God ”
        If they knew God , the are Theists, not Atheists.

        Atheists do not know God , in fact they don’t even think God is a real thing.

      • Father George David Byers

        Then they suppress that knowledge and then what happens?

      • James.

        // Then they suppress that knowledge //
        Where did you get that from ?
        If people are not convinced that there is a God – OR have never been exposed to the concept of a God – what is it that you think they are ” Suppressing ” ?

        Surely it is the other away around , people who hold the belief that there is such a thing as a God , carry the burden , not those that doubt or are unaware of such an idea.

      • Father George David Byers

        Romans 1

  7. Aussie Mum

    James, re: “If they knew God, they are Theists, not Atheists. Atheists do not know God , in fact they don’t even think God is a real thing.”

    Everyone knows in his heart that there is a God because creation proclaims that reality. Those who have not heard of Jesus Christ remain genuine Theists, but the Gospel has now reached almost every corner of the world and therefore, unless they are living in the heart of the Amazon or perhaps North Korea, they don’t have an excuse for not checking out the Gospel and getting baptised. In other words, there are very few genuine Theists today.

    An Atheist may appear more ignorant than a genuine Theist but that cannot be because God is proven by the atheist’s own being (man could not create himself nor could a single cell or atom exist unless brought into existence by Someone who was eternal). Therefore, there is no such thing as a genuine Atheist. An Atheist knows God is real but suppresses truth in order to deny reality. Such people are not ignorant of God; they hate Him.

  8. Aussie Mum

    Defining my terms.
    In the above comment, I am using the term “Theists” for those who believe in God but do not know He is three Divine Persons.

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