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BEIJING (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA) — the government-run Catholic church — is forcing Catholics to toe the party line on contraception and abortion, according to Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher.
Since the Chinese communists brokered a deal with the Vatican in September 2018 — a deal that is still ambiguous and confusing even to Catholic clergy in China — authorities in Beijing have been clamping down on Chinese faithful.
Viewing Catholicism as a threat to their own power, officials are demanding that faithful adhere, first and foremost, to the Communist Party, even when this means renouncing the infallible moral teachings of the Church on sexuality and human life.
Vatican Secretary of State Cdl. Pietro Parolin is said to be the one who brokered the historic deal for Pope Francis with Beijing in 2018. It has been condemned by many China observers — including Mosher — as well as those who live in the Asian nation.
In an interview with EWTN's Raymond Arroyo, Mosher, an expert on Chinese population control efforts, made clear that the China-Vatican agreement has sparked persecution and watered-down Catholicism. Mosher, author of Bully of Asia: Why China's Dream Is the New Threat to World Order, mentioned there were 80–90 thousand Chinese flourishing in the underground Church before the agreement, with around 10,000 in the CPCA.
Mosher says that with regard to the Patriotic church, all clergy are stating that one must put country over Christ: Being a good Chinese citizen loyal to the Communist Party comes first; the Catholic faith comes second. "The CPCA cannot deviate from the Party's position since it is controlled by the Party," Mosher told LifeSiteNews. "And the Party's position is that contraception, abortion and euthanasia are moral."
An American consultant to the Vatican on China, Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo, admitted to the National Catholic Register early in 2018 that the government-appointed bishops of the CPCA support China's totalitarian two-child policy.
"I spoke with some of these bishops and some of the officials at the bishops' conference on issues such as abortion, the two-child family policy, and certainly in those areas — and I won’t hide this — they do back the government on those areas because I think they feel they need to," Figueiredo said.
"They need to because they're part of [the Patriotic Association], there's a loyalty to the government," he continued. "I think that conversion, that opening, can only take place if there is a first step and there is dialogue that's opened. Again, it's very much I think within Pope Francis' thinking: 'We're not going to wait until everything is absolutely perfect in order to say, well, we're now going to approve these bishops.'"
In accordance with the Vatican-China agreement, underground Bp. Guo Xijin of Mindong in China's Fujian province agreed to relinquish his position to a handpicked bishop by the patriotic church, agreeing to be his auxiliary. But that proved to be not enough, said Mosher. He was then pressured to sign allegiance to the Chinese church, which he could not do in good conscience. He is now on the run.
Cardinal Joseph Zen, the outspoken archbishop emeritus of Hong Kong, said of Parolin, "It's a real mystery how a man of the Church, given his knowledge of China, of the communists, could do such a thing as he's doing now. The only explanation is not faith. It's a diplomatic success — vainglory."
When asked for a comment on the role of Pope Francis, Zen said, "He has low respect for his predecessors ... he is shutting down everything done by John Paul II and by Pope Benedict."
Calling Zen one of the foremost experts on the Church in China, Mosher claimed that Zen should have been consulted before any Church agreement was reached between the Chinese government and the Vatican.