Tag Archives: China

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.

7 Comments

Filed under Free exercise of religion, Politics, Pope Francis

Going to Confession in China, or not

chinese patriotic association

In China, churches by the thousands are being defaced and destroyed by the communists of the Patriotic Ass. (an abbreviation), which also hunts down, spies on, murders, imprisons, jails and tortures the bishops and priests and laity of the underground church, sending them off to labor and reeducation (torture) camps. It is illegal for any priest to enter into a hospital to provide pastoral care regardless of whether the priest is faithful to Rome or is a freakoid marxist belonging to the Patriotic Ass. Oh, is that impolite? At any rate, there is no chance at all for the sacraments or last rites. The Patriotic Ass. was always a joke, meant as a stepping stone for something even worse.

But hey! I have an idea! Let’s give a Catholic Church to the Patriotic Ass. right here in these USA! Sorry, we already did that back in the 1990s. I spoke with those priests at some length at the time face to face and a number of times by phone. They were trying to fake like they were not the Patriotic Ass., but finally admitted it:

  • “It’s complex,” they said, just as they had been trained.
  • “But how can you enjoy all the benefits of having a church and car and the nice things of life when you know that your fellow bishops and priests and seminarians are being hunted down, spied on, murdered, imprisoned, jailed and tortured, and sent off to labor and reeducation (torture) camps?” I asked.
  • “It’s complex,” they said, just as they had been trained.
  • “Who am I to judge,” said I, “not being in dire circumstances in China, but I do think that God gives the grace to be faithful to Him and His Church especially in dire circumstances.”
  • “It’s complex,” they said, just as they had been trained, insisting that the US bishops were behind them, fully supporting them, though not saying a word about those faithful to Rome.
  • “And when you die and go before the Judge, and those martyr bishops and priests are standing next to Jesus, what complexity is it that you will offer to our Lord, who was Himself tortured to death, betrayed by His fellow priests?”
  • “I have to make a phone call,” they all agreed, running away.

Perhaps I am bad and evil, impolite and discourteous, but I’ve had this exact same conversation with priests and seminarians of the Patriotic Ass. so very many other times throughout the subsequent years, throughout the world (especially frequently at the Casa Santa Maria in Rome where they were guests) always with the statements about complexity and phone calls being made.

The phone call thing, by the way, is actually a threat. They will make a call and report who was giving them trouble, for, you see, I could be a Patriotic Ass. plant, presenting them such trouble to test to see if they will make the call or not. And I don’t say that just to be paranoid about it. This is what happens:

Say there is a priest who wants to be faithful to Rome but has caved under pressure to the Patriotic Ass., has a church and car and servants and a nice life, but is feeling guilty, which is immediately known. So, he is tested in the confessional. A fake penitent from the Chinese communist police goes to confession and confesses, say, to having recklessly endangered the lives of others by organizing a protest against the Patriotic Ass. that will be televised by foreign media. If the priest, who is bound by the seal of confession does not report that confession and that person to the police, he himself will be put into prison as a traitor. So, what does he do?

“It’s complex!” they scream, eating ice cream and smiling a sick smile. But it’s not complex. One can be faithful. No one is ever “forced” to do the wrong thing. One can always suffer. It’s as simple as saying, “Abba, Father! Not my will but thine be done.” Heaven is forever. And so is hell. It’s not about our lack of strength. Jesus lifts us up into His strength.

Oh, and the upshot of all this? Let’s all of us go to Confession regularly while we can. Let’s walk humbly with the Most High God who has walked among us. Let’s pray always.

1 Comment

Filed under China, Confession, Priesthood, Vocations