In reference to the Vatican’s pending agreement with the Communist Chinese government on a shared role in the appointment of Catholic bishops, famed Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng said the Vatican “has abandoned its principles” and is “making a deal with the Devil,” the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“After the CCP holds the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in March this year, Beijing will send representatives to the Vatican to sign the agreement,” said Chen in a commentary published by Radio Free Asia and translated by Chinascope.org.
“This, in fact, is the equivalent of selling out God’s home to the Devil,” said Chen. The Vatican’s deal with the CCP has been denounced by other China-watchers, including Cardinal Joseph Zen, the coadjutor bishop of Hong Kong. Cardinal Zen has described the Vatican-China plan as “suicidal” and believes the Vatican is “selling out the Catholic Church in China.”
Since 1951, when the Communists took over China, the government has sought to eradicate all religion and, if not destroy it, then control it. The Vatican has not had normal diplomatic relations with China for nearly 70 years. To counter the real Catholic Church in China, which is largely underground, the CCP established the Catholic Patriotic Association in 1958, which appoints its own clergy.
The CPA is not in union with Rome and its clerics are not loyal to the Pope. In addition, the CPA supports the policies espoused by the Chinese government, including the one-child, now-two-child policy, forced abortions, contraception, etcetera. All of this makes the CPA schismatic. Nonetheless, the Vatican wants to establish normal relations with the Communist regime and reportedly has worked out a deal that will allow the CPA to appoint its own bishops but give the Vatican a veto.
In addition to criticizing the Vatican plan, Chen Guangcheng sharply denounced the pro-Communist China remarks of Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorodono, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in Rome.
In early February, Bishop Sorodono said, “Right now, those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese.” He praised the brutal Communist regime as”extraordinary,” and falsely asserted, “You do not have shanty towns, you do not have drugs, young people do not take drugs,” and there is a “positive national conscience.”
Chen Guangcheng said, “Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo’s recent remarks are disconcerting. I cannot but ask: Are they pretending to be naive, or are they really that naive? Are they really trying to lead the Catholic Church, which has more than one billion followers, to make a deal with the anti-Christian and antichrist CCP?”
“It is not that China does not have slums,” said Chen. “Rather, the CCP does not allow slums. In other words, slums are everywhere in China. There are many socially vulnerable groups. … For example, handicapped people have a hard life without medical insurance. Mr. Zheng Yanliang in Hebei could not afford medical treatment. He had no choice, so he bought a saw blade and cut off both of his diseased legs at home.”
“Use of illegal drugs has in fact been rampant and unabated in China,” said Chen. “Such things can hardly be reported in the media, only because, under the CCP’s censorship of the media, there is no freedom of speech or freedom of the press.
Bishop Sorondo had also praised China for its alleged best practice model to end the trafficking of body parts.
“Sorondo’s willful ignorance is beyond disgusting,” said Chen. “I would like to ask him: ‘Did you know that, last year, 32 college students in Wuhan inexplicably went missing?… In China, many children were stolen or snatched while playing in the street. Their organs were later removed and sold. In addition, there are investigative reports by Falun Gong practitioners on organ harvesting as well as reports of the disappearance of some migrant workers for no apparent reason.”
“All these appalling occurrences under the CCP’s rule demonstrate the rampant trafficking of organs in China,” said Chen.
Ending his commentary, Chen said, “At the time when the Chinese people are constantly awakening and moving toward revolt, knowing that the dictatorship is the source of so much social injustice; at the time when Western countries are gradually recognizing the evil nature of the CCP and see the dawn of China’s impending revolution, the Vatican’s making a deal with the devil CCP, [which] will not only humiliate the Vatican itself but it will also tarnish the church of God that it supposedly represents.”
Part of Chen’s bio at the Witherspoon Institute, where he is a Distinguished Senior Fellow in Human Rights, reads, “Mr. Chen is a Chinese civil rights lawyer and activist who has been a persistent voice for freedom, human dignity, and the rule of law in his native country. Working in rural communities in China, where he was known as the ‘barefoot lawyer,’ Chen advocated the rights of disabled people, and organized class-action litigation against the government’s violent enforcement of its one-child policy.
“Blind since his childhood, Chen is self-taught in the law. His human rights activism resulted in his imprisonment by the Chinese government for four years, beginning in 2006; after his release he remained under house arrest, until his escape from confinement in 2012, whereupon he came to the United States where he was a fellow at NYU School of Law in 2012-13.”
Chen also is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.