The Vatican rapprochement with the Chinese government brings Church leaders “closer to a Communist Party that is responsible for the deaths of over four hundred million unborn children and hundreds of millions of Chinese people,” Chen wrote.
Chen maintained that Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been increasingly hostile to religion as more and more Chinese people put their trust in a faith higher than the party state.
“The CCP has been arresting priests, threatening congregants, and searching churches and places of worship. Many have disappeared and been tortured while under the regime’s control, refusing to relinquish their beliefs to a degraded, intolerant political party, and proving the power of their faith,” Chen wrote.
Religion is “at odds with the self-serving atheism and extreme party loyalty the CCP has long sought to inculcate in the population,” he argued. “Religion asks for … faith in ideas that are beyond the reach of the regime’s clutches.”
He cited reports that the CCP has destroyed more than 1,300 crosses and churches in the past few years in Zhejiang Province alone.
In Xinjiang Province, “Muslims have been rounded up in the hundreds of thousands and forced into re-education camps,” he said.
After the Sept. 22 agreement between the Holy See and Beijing to normalize the situation of China’s Catholics, Chinese authorities demolished two Catholic Marian shrines in Shanxi and Guizhou.
“Through isolation, threats, detention, and torture, the CCP instills a sense of instability and insecurity, to nip in the bud any incipient movement that could prove a threat to its power,” Chen said.
Before the agreement, the Church in China had been split between the “underground” Church, in full communion with Rome, and the state-run Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), which was not. The Chinese government appointed bishops of the CPCA.
The September agreement was designed to unify those groups, by approving a formula through which Pope Francis would approve bishops nominated by Beijing.
“It is also a regime that knows how to present itself to the West, saying and doing the right things to draw support from leaders abroad. Its veneer of civility is an attempt to cover up the reality of its immorality,” Chen argued.
“Clearly, the agreement is a blatantly political move designed only to serve the CCP’s interests,” he said.
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