Chinese Catholics Under Siege

by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  December 17, 2018   

Faithful Catholics in China are losing their fearless bishops

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For 70 years, China's Communist government has persecuted Catholics loyal to Rome in what's called the "underground" Catholic Church — but now Rome is no longer objecting.

Last week, Vatican envoy Abp. Claudio Maria Celli came to China wielding a letter from the Vatican authorizing the removal of Bp. Vincenzo Guo Xijin of the Catholic diocese of Mindong to be replaced with a formerly excommunicated bishop that was appointed by the Communist Chinese government — the same government that's been trying to stamp out the underground Catholic Church since 1949. The diocese of Mindong has 90,000 Roman Catholics and only 10,000 are members of the government-fabricated Church called the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

This pattern of removing faithful bishops from shepherding loyal Catholics is nothing new. In November, Communist officials arrested underground Catholic Bp. Pietro Shao Zhumin for the fifth time and sent him away to an indoctrination camp.
Since the Vatican-Sino agreement in September Catholics in China are being forced to submit to the Communist officials or be labeled disobedient. This argument has even caused Cdl. Joseph Zen to submit. The staunch defender of the underground Church in China said as much in November:

Our bottom line is the pope. We cannot attack him. If the pope is wrong this time, I hope he will admit the mistake; if he does not admit, I hope that the future pope will point out the mistake. But in the end, it is still the pope's final decision. If you don't follow, then there is no principle, so the mainland's brothers must not rebel.

Watch the panel discuss the sad plight of the Chinese underground Church in The Download—Chinese Catholics Under Siege.


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