The Vatican Must Take a Strong Stance Against Religious Persecution in China

November 3, 2020

In an article published recently in The American Spectator, RFI President Thomas Farr and Congressman Francis Rooney (FL-19), write:

Since his elevation to the papacy in 2013 Pope Francis has continued the Church’s staunch defense of religious freedom and human rights for all, a key theme of every pope since Dignitatis Humanae.

Tragically, the Vatican’s engagement with China is different. Dr. Farr and Congressman Rooney, who also served as United States Ambassador to the Holy See from 2005 to 2008, write:

This important legacy, and the role of the Catholic Church in defending inalienable rights, is gravely imperiled by the Vatican’s decision to renew the Sino-Vatican accord. Signed in 2018, the accord has utterly failed to achieve its stated goals of unifying the Chinese Church into one, speeding the appointment of Vatican-approved bishops, and normalizing the lives of Chinese Catholics. Instead, since 2018 Beijing has increased its persecution of Chinese bishops and priests, the bulldozing of countless churches, and the cowing of lay Catholic faithful. Beijing has, for the most part, ignored Vatican wishes on the appointment of bishops. Some 50 Chinese sees remain vacant — a matter of indifference (at best) to the communists, but a crisis for the Catholic faithful.

While Beijing’s restrictions on the Catholic Church in China, and this accord in particular, represent an appalling infringement on institutional religious freedom, “The accord has also lamentably silenced the Holy Father as other Chinese religious communities are brutalized. The Chinese attack on Uighur Muslims is in effect a 21st-century version of Mao’s cultural revolution.” The Vatican must change course at once.

Read the full article: The Vatican Must Take a Strong Stance Against Religious Persecution in China.

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