The Bitter Fruit of the Secret Vatican-Beijing Accord, by Phil Lawler

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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, April 22, 2020

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

As you may already have seen, Civilta Cattolica, the Jesuit-run Vatican journal, is now available in China. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, welcomed the appearance of the Chinese edition as “fruit of the friendly encounter with the rich tradition of the Chinese people.”

It isn’t surprising that China would welcome Civilta Cattolica. The magazine has enthusiastically supported Pope Francis in his outreach to the Beijing regime. Its editor, Father Antonio Spadaro, traveled to Beijing last June to organize a “Forum for Civilizational Dialogue.” The current issue features an editorial entitled: ”Confidence in the Journey of the Church in China.”

But let’s take a closer look. What is this “friendly encounter” between Rome and Beijing? What other fruit has it borne? And when a Vatican journal expresses “confidence” about the Church in China, doesn’t that imply that there’s a question being asked: a reason why some people might not feel confident?  …

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