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VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - A high-ranking Vatican prelate is making the claim that of all nations, China best exemplifies the social doctrines of the Catholic Church.
Speaking of his recent visit to the communist republic, Bp. Marcel Sanchez Sorondo, prefect of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, told Vatican Insider, "[A]t this moment, those who best realize the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese."
Sorondo praised the industry of the Chinese ("the central Chinese principle is work, work, work"), along with their alleged commitment to environmentalism, advances in organ donation, and the good relations between China and the Vatican. There was no mention of the recent controversy surrounding the Vatican's order to remove two Catholic bishops and replace them with communist-backed, excommunicated bishops — a move former Hong Kong bishop Cdl. Joseph Zen is calling a betrayal of the Church in China.
"So, do I think that the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China?" he wrote in an opinion piece. "Yes, definitely, if they go in the direction which is obvious from all they are doing in recent years and months."
One critic is expressing amazement by Sorondo's remarks. In a response titled "The imaginary country visited by Mons. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo," Spanish commentator José Miguel Arráiz wrote:
As is well known, since Stalin's time, communist countries have been accustomed to inviting unsuspecting Western journalists, scientists and progressive thinkers to see the communist paradise with their own eyes . What those Westerners did not know (or preferred not to know) was that what they were being taught was always carefully prepared to give a false image of prosperity, freedom and happiness, even in times of the most terrible famines and Stalinist purges. It seems that Bp. Sánchez Sorondo has fallen into that old trap, preferring to believe in the theater that the government has shown him and not in the reality that clandestine Chinese Catholics tell us.
In response to Sorondo's claim that China "best" exemplifies the social doctrine of the Church, Arráiz continued:
It is not easy to understand in what sense the tyrannical oppression of a totalitarian regime that completely controls the entire society , the prohibition and violent repression of any dissent, the censorship of all media or the official materialist atheism best put into practice the teaching of the Church.
Nor does the persecution of Catholics, Protestants , Muslims and other Asian religions (such as the Falun Gong movement) seem to be very much in accordance with the social doctrine of the Church .
Sorondo is responsible for inviting a host of pro-abortion, pro-population control advocates to speak at the Vatican, including Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders, Columbia economist Jeffrey Sachs, former U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and leftist California governor Jerry Brown.
Journalists have noted the Argentine bishop is a dominating figure in the Pope's close circle of advisors, and exercises a heavy influence over Vatican affairs. Sorondo is widely acknowledged as the guiding hand behind Laudato Sí, the Pope's encyclical on climate change — notable for its scant mention of Church doctrine in favor of a lengthy exposition on environmentalist concerns.
Sorondo is also speculated to be the main force behind the choice of Hans Joachim Schellnhuber — an atheist population control advocate — to author the encyclical's portions on climate change. Schellnhuber was among four speakers present for the roll-out of the encyclical in Rome, and was shortly afterwards inducted into the privileged circle of members of the Pontifical Academy of Science, headed by Sorondo.
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