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COMMENTARY: Why a past historical episode came to mind when learning of reports of espionage shenanigans against Pope Francis’ Vatican by the communist Chinese.
By Paul Kengor, EWTN News, 7/30/20
Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania. His books include A Pope and a President, The Divine Plan and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism.
In October 1997, as Pope John Paul II prepared for a historic visit to Fidel Castro’s Cuba, a once devoutly Catholic country that communists had subjected to a nasty war on religion, Vatican aides found a hidden microphone in the parish house where the Pope was scheduled to stay. The Vatican team made the discovery once it had gone ahead to Havana to help plan for the pontiff’s Jan. 21-25, 1998, visit.
According to the Madrid-based newspaper El Pais, Vatican aides were outraged by this betrayal and threatened to cancel the trip. The Polish Pope, for his part, was no doubt unsurprised. He had long dealt with far worse mischief from communists in his homeland. He was surely also unsurprised when Cuban officials laughably claimed that the microphone was an unnoticed leftover of the Batista era that had somehow eluded their previous inspection.
Such behavior was standard operating procedure for a communist regime.
I thought of this episode when learning of reports of espionage shenanigans against Pope Francis’ Vatican by the communist Chinese. ….