Monday, June 22, 2020

Secret Agreement Between Red China and Vatican Has Failed

The zero balance of the secret agreement between the Vatican and the People's Republic of China. Pictured: Episcopal ordination of Monsignor Anthony Yao Shun, Bishop of Jining, in August 2019.

(Rome) The 2018 secret agreement between the Holy See and the Communist rulers of the People's Republic of China has "failed". The well-known Vaticanist Sandro Magister comes to this conclusion and explains why.

On June 7, Msgr. Celli said:The 22nd of September 2020 marks the second anniversary of the signing of the agreement between the Vatican and the Chinese state, the content of which is still being kept secret by both sides. However, some elements could be reconstructed: The focus of the agreement is the appointment of bishops. A new detail was revealed a few days ago. According to the Vatican diplomat Claudio Maria Celli, who was instrumental in creating the agreement, the agreement expires on September 22nd should it not be extended. In fact, the Vatican had always spoken of a “provisional” agreement.

In fact, on June 7th Msgr. Celli said:

"I think we should probably extend it for another year or two. The Holy See has not yet made a decision in this regard, which will then be communicated to the Chinese authorities. ”

The Vatican diplomat also spoke of a “not an easy path”. There were "knots left" that could not be loosened and "situations that are very considerable, I would say, make you worried".

Magister even speaks of a “catastrophic record” that has to be taken into account after almost two years.
Without Hong Kong and Macau, two small territories with special status, the People's Republic of China has 135 dioceses and apostolic prefectures. The ecclesiastical hierarchy, as found by the Communists at the time of their violent takeover in 1949, was decimated. The foreign bishops were expelled from the country, the locals imprisoned. In 1958, the new rulers based on the Eastern Bloc model founded a schismatic church, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which they directly control. Since then, the situation has not only been difficult, but complicated and confusing. Rome has not officially been able to appoint bishops for 70 years. The rightful, bishops who are faithful to Rome, who often had to spend decades in prisons and concentration camps, tried to appoint successors. They were partly secret,  and mostly with the consent of Rome. Many of these rightful bishops were not recognized by the communist regime. Only bishops appointed by the Chinese Communist Party ( CCP) are legitimate church representatives for the regime, which is why some diocese had two bishops: a legitimate underground bishop who was in unity with Rome but was not recognized by the regime, and a schismatic bishop belonging to the regime was used by the communists. In the past 40 years there have been some phases of some relaxation, in which bishops could be used, which were recognized by both sides. The choice of words is not easy, as both sides understand "legitimate" and "official" bishops to be different.

The regime exerts massive pressure on Bishops and priests who are faithful to Rome to join the Regime-related Patriotic Association. Arrests, re-education, demolition of monasteries and the destruction of churches are still part of everyday life for Chinese Christians.

At the time the agreement was signed in 2018, only 72 of the 135 dioceses had a bishop. The other half of the diocese were vacant - and still are. Even after two years of "new relations" between Rome and Beijing, which after 70 years should bring a solution to the appointment of bishops - of the greatest importance to the Church - only 72 diocese are still occupied. In Rome, despite all misgivings, the signing of the secret agreement was justified by the fact that the vacant bishops' seats could finally be filled.
Since then, only two episcopal consecrations have taken place, that of Bishop Anthony Yao Shun, Bishop of Jining, and of Bishop Stephen Xu Hongwei, Bishop Co-Adjutor of Hanzhong. The two bishops, who are recognized by both sides, were appointed in April 2019, but had already been agreed before September 22, 2018. In other words, the agreement did not produce a single episcopal appointment in 21 months.

Not a step forward

Magister goes into even more detail.

At the time of signing the agreement, 50 Chinese dioceses were headed by official bishops, which are recognized by both Beijing and Rome. Seventeen dioceses were headed by legitimate bishops, i.e. underground bishops only recognized by Rome. There were also seven bishops belonging to the regime, appointed by the Chinese Communist Party but not recognized by Rome. These bishops were considered schismatics and were excommunicated. Five of them had been employed by Beijing in vacant dioceses that remained vacant for Rome. The Communists installed two in dioceses that were already headed by a bishop who was faithful to Rome.

In return for the agreement, Pope Francis, in parallel with the signature, lifted the excommunication of these seven bishops in September 2018 and recognized them as official bishops of the dioceses assigned to them by the communists. For this, the two bishops who were faithful to Rome had to resign. However, these did not think of clearing the field for schismatics, who in their eyes were traitors and apostates. They could not understand what Rome was doing.

It took several months for the Vatican to put pressure on the two bishops to make them give in. The main emphasis was on obedience to the Pope. It was precisely because of this obedience that they had been persecuted, while the illegitimate bishops for whom they should now make room were part of the regime because of their disobedience and lived carefree. Some even became members of the Chinese parliament.

The 90-year-old Bishop of Shantou, Peter Zhuang Jianjian, was retired, while the 60-year-old Bishop of Xiapu-Mindong, Msgr. Vincent Guo Xijin, was demoted by Rome to the auxiliary bishop of his diocese and was placed under the previously excommunicated but now official bishop. Bishop Guo, who refused to recognize the dictation because the recognition of the "deal" should also have entailed entry into the regime's Patriotic Association . He paid for his refusal with the loss of freedom.

According to the most staunch defenders of the secret deal, including Agostino Giovagnoli, professor of history at the "Cattolica" in Milan and representative of the Community of Sant'Egidio, and Gianni Valente, editor-in-chief of the mission intelligence service Fides, the diocese of Xiapu-Mindong should become a "model diocese" that would convince the world of the new "Eastern Policy" of the Vatican. Instead, it became "for example, for a one-sided capitulation by the Holy See without the slightest consideration from Beijing," said Magister.

On the contrary: As mentioned, at the time of the signing of the agreement, 17 diocese were headed by legitimate underground bishops who were faithful to Rome. Today there are only twelve. Only two of them were recognized by the regime and are therefore now official bishops legitimized by both sides. Bishop Peter Jin Lugang, Bishop of Nanyang, and Bishop Peter Lin Jiashan, Bishop of Fuzhou. Bishop Lin is already 86 years old. Such old age is not an isolated case, but almost the rule among bishops who are faithful to Rome. Because of the uncertain succession, the rightful bishops try to hold out as long as possible. Of the twelve legitimate bishops, five are over 80. In 2019, another died at an advanced age of 92. It is not just the regime that seems to be expecting a “natural solution” to the problem. [WOW, ruthless.]

This group of bishops continues to be harassed by the Communists, despite the "new relationship" with Rome. Bishop Guo is under strict surveillance, and Bishop Augustine Cui Tai, coadjutor from Xuanhua, has been under house arrest since 2014. The same has been true for Bishop Squidward Ma Daqin of Shanghai since 2012. Bishop Ma had declared resignation from the Patriotic Association on the day of his episcopal ordination and was arrested at the exit of the cathedral. After the change of pontificate, he was forced to submit, which he did in 2015 with the approval of the Roman Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica. With papal printing permission, they praised the move as a model for "reconciliation between the Church in China and the Chinese government". But nothing came of it because the regime no longer trusts him.

"The Holy See or the Pope did not say a word publicly to request the release of these bishops," said Magister.

This is especially true for two legitimate bishops who have disappeared for many years. They may not be alive at all. It is Msgr. Jakob Su Zhimin of Baoding, who today, if he is still alive, would be 88 years old, and Msgr. Cosmas Shi Enxiang, Bishop of Yixian, who would even be 98 years old. Bishop Su was arrested in 1996 and Bishop Shi in 2001. In neither case was it their first arrest. Since then, there has been no trace of them.

The composition of the two organs that control the Church in China on behalf of the Communist Party has also not changed since the agreement was signed. The seven bishops now recognized by Rome, who were formerly schismatic and excommunicated, occupy a leading position there. One of these organs is the so-called Bishops 'Council, which is a regimental replica of the Bishops' Conference. The “only” bishops recognized by Rome are excluded. According to the secret agreement, this body has the right to propose the future bishops to the pope after they have been identified by a regime-controlled "election" in their dioceses. Only representatives of clergy, religious and lay people who are loyal to the regime are entitled to vote.

At the head of the Bishop's Council are three former excommunicated bishops: Joseph Ma Yinglin von Kunming as President, Joseph Guo Jincai von Chengde as first deputy and general secretary and the aforementioned Vincent Zhan Silu from Xiapu-Mindong as second deputy. There are another eight deputy presidents and "of course all of them bear the stamp of the Chinese government," said Magister.

The second body is the Patriotic Association, which has been mentioned several times, and its President John Fang Xingyao, Bishop of Linyi, and his four deputies all belong to the group of schismatics who had been excommunicated until 2018. The first deputy is Bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin von Kunming, the President of the Bishop's Council.

The Bishops of the People's Republic of China

Magister published an overview of the bishops in the People's Republic of China as evidence that the secret agreement benefited the regime but not the Catholic Church.

Official Bishops (recognized by Rome and the Beijing regime)

  • Vincent Zhan Silu, born 1961, Xiapu-Mindong
  • Joseph Huang Bingzhang, born 1967, Shantou
  • Joseph Liu Xinhong, born 1964, Anhui
  • Paul Lei Shiyin, née 1963, Leshan
  • Joseph Ma Yinglin, born 1965, Kunming
  • Joseph Guo Jincai, born 1968, Chengde
  • Joseph Yue Fusheng, born 1964, Harbin-Heilongjiang
  • Joseph Li Shan, born 1965, Beijing
  • Francis An Shuxin, née 1949, Baoding
  • Peter Feng Xinmao, born 1963, Jingxian
  • Joseph Liu Liangui, born 1964, Xianxian-Cangzhou
  • Joseph Sun Jigen, born 1967, Yongnian-Handan
  • Peter Fang Jianping, born 1962, Yongping-Tangshan
  • Methodius Qu Ailin, born 1961, Changsha
  • Joseph Tang Yuange, born 1963, Chengdu
  • Joseph Chen Gong'ao, née 1964, Nanchong
  • Paul He Zeqing, born 1968, Wanxian-Wanzhou
  • John Lei Jiaipei, born 1970, Xichang
  • Peter Luo Xuegang, born 1964, Yibin
  • Joseph Cai Bingrui, born 1966, Xiamen
  • Joseph Gan Junqiu, born 1964, Guangzhou
  • Paul Su Yongda, born 1958, Beihai-Zhanjiang
  • Paul Liang Jiansen, born 1964, Jiangmen
  • Joseph Liao Hongqing, born 1965, Meixian-Meizhou
  • Paul Xiao Zejiang, born 1967, Guiyang-Guizhou
  • Matthew Cao Xiangde, née 1927, Hangzhou
  • Paul Meng Qinglu, born 1962, Hohhot
  • Joseph Li Jing, born 1968, Yinchuan-Ningxia
  • Matthias Du Jiang, born 1963, Bameng
  • Joseph Zhang Xianwang, born 1965, Jinan
  • John Fang Xingyao, born 1953, Linyi
  • Joseph Zhao Fengchang, born 1934, Yanggu-Liaocheng
  • John Lu Peisan, born 1966, Yanzhou
  • Joseph Yang Yongqiang, born 1970, Zhoucun
  • Joseph Zhang Yinlin, born 1971, Jixian-Anyang
  • Joseph Han Zhihai, born 1966, Lanzhou
  • Nicola Han Jide, born 1940, Pingliang
  • John Baptist Li Sugong, born 1964, Nanchang-Jiangxi
  • Francis Savio Lu Xinping, born 1963, Nanjing
  • Joseph Shen Bin, born 1970, Haimen
  • Joseph Xu Honggen, born 1962, Suzhou
  • John Wang Renlei, née 1970, Xuzhou
  • John Baptist Tan Yanquan, née 1962, Nanning Guanxi
  • Paul Pei Junmin, born 1969, Shenyang-Liaoning
  • Paul Meng Ningyu, born 1963, Taiyuan
  • Peter Ding Lingbin, born 1962, Changzhi
  • John Huo Cheng, born 1926, Fenyang
  • Paul Ma Cunguo, born 1971, Shuoxian-Shouzhou
  • Anthony Dan Mingyan, born 1967, Xi'an
  • Peter Li Huiyuan, born 1965, Fengxiang
  • Louis Yu Runshen, née 1930, Hanzhong
  • Stephen Yu Hongwei, born 1975, coadjutor Hanzhong
  • Anthony Yao Shun, née 1965, Jining
  • Joseph Han Yingjin, born 1958, Sanyuan
  • John Baptist Yang Xiaoting, born 1964, Yan'an-Yulin
  • Joseph Martin Wu Qinjing, born 1968, Zhouzhi
  • John Baptist Ye Ronghua, born 1931, arrival
  • John Baptist Wang Xiaoxun, née 1966, Koadjutor Ankang
  • Joseph Tong Changping, born 1968, Tongzhou-Weinan
  • Peter Wu Junwei, born 1963, Xinjiang-Yuncheng
  • Peter Lin Jiashan, born 1934, Fuzhou
  • Peter Jin Lugang, born 1955, Nanyang

Legitimate bishops (underground bishops recognized only by Rome)

  • Vincent Guo Xijin, born 1958, officially Auxiliary Bishop Xiapu-Mindong, monitored
  • Thomas Zhao Kexun, born 1924, Xuanhua
  • Augustine Cui Tai, born 1950, Xuanhua, Koadjutor, house arrest
  • Julius Jia Zhiguo, born 1935, Zhengding
  • Joseph Hou Guoyang, born 1922, Chongqing
  • John Baptist Wang Ruohan, née 1950, Kangding
  • Peter Shao Zhumin, born 1963, Yongjia-Wenzhou
  • Joseph Gao Hongxiao, born 1945, Kaifeng
  • John Wang Ruowang, née 1961, Tianshui
  • John Pei Weizhao, born 1966, Yujiang
  • Andreas Han Jingtao, born 1921, Siping-Jilin
  • Joseph Wej Jingyi, born 1958, Qiqihar-Heilongjiang
  • Joseph Zhang Weizhu, born 1958, Xinxiang
  • Thaddeus Ma Daqin, born 1968, Shanghai, deposed by the regime, house arrest

Emeritus official bishops

  • Stephen Yang Xiangtai, born 1922, Emeritus Yongnian
  • Peter Zhang Zhiyong, born 1932, Emeritus Fengxiang
  • Joseph Zhong Huaide, born 1922, Emeritus Sanyuan

Rightful bishops emeritus and those who have withdrawn under pressure

  • Peter Zhuang Jianjian, born 1931, Emeritus Shantou
  • Melchior Shi Hongzhen, born 1929, Emeritus Koadjutor Tianjin
  • Joseph Shi Shuang-xi, born 1967, Emeritus Auxiliary Bishop Yongnian
  • Placido Pei Ronggui, born 1933, Emeritus Luoyang
  • Pietro Mao Qingfu, born 1963, withdrawn, Luoyang
  • Joseph Xing Wenzhi, born 1963, Emeritus Auxiliary Bishop Shanghai
  • Mattia Gu Zeng, born 1937, Emeritus Xining
  • John Zhang Qingtian, born 1956, Auxiliary Bishop Yixian
  • John Chen Cangbao, born 1959, withdrawn, Yixian

Disappeared legitimate bishops

  • Jakob Su Zhimin, born 1932, Baoding, disappeared in 1996
  • Cosmas Shi Enxiang, born 1922, Yixian, disappeared in 2001

Bishop Joseph Fan Xueyan of Baoding
If Bishop Su Zhimin was still alive, he would have spent more than 50 years in concentration camps and imprisoned him.

Finally, there is Bishop Paul Wang Huiyao, who was appointed Rome's underground bishop of Zhouzhi in 2002. However, in 2015 Msgr. Joseph Martin Wu Qinjingo was appointed as the "official" bishop of the same diocese, recognized by Rome and the regime. Wang, born in 1959, continues to work in the diocese of Zhouzhi, which he regards as his diocese, but without any recognition.
The history of the many late legitimate bishops, such as Bishop Joseph Fan Xueyan von Baoding, who was tortured to death by the Chinese state police in 1993, has yet to be written.

It is the story of a martyr church.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: AsiaNews
Trans: Tancred



James said...

Now the Chinese Commies can be just as confused by Francis as everyone else is.

John F. Kennedy said...

"The Vatican accepts bribes of up to 2 billion US dollars from the Chinese Communist Party"

It appears that now that the "deal' is about to expire, the CCP is leaking the details to expose Antipope Begoglio's corruption and to publicly humiliate him.

Tancred said...

Another mess created by McCarrick.