Who's Sorry, Mao?
By Jonathan Tuttle
Those who have been reading The Remnant for some time have no doubt read my columns regarding the endless apologies issued by the Vatican. For the past three years or so, I have covered diverse apologies, such as those for the treatment of Martin Luther, the treatment of women, and so on. When I penned the first article regarding papal apologies, I never intended this to become a running series. I figured Pope John Paul II had something he wanted to get off his chest, which would take a couple of months, and then he would move on to something else. Though it should have come to me as no surprise, his apologies have continued on and on. The apologies are a sort of papal bottomless pit. Just when you think he has reached his personal nadir, he manages to fall lower into an abyss of remorse.
I think we might have just reached a new low. The Vicar of Christ has just apologized to communist China.
First, some background: Last year, Pope John Paul II canonized 120 Chinese martyrs who died at the hands of the Chinese communists. China officially responded that these 120 people were considered enemies of the state, and that the Chinese people were "insulted" by the canonizations. Apparently, in an effort to "make nice," Pope John Paul II issued the following statement on October 24, 2001.
The Chinese people, especially in more recent times, have set themselves important
objectives in the field of social progress. The Catholic Church for her part regards with
respect this impressive thrust and far-sighted planning…. The Church has very much
at heart the values and objectives which are of primary importance also to
modern China: solidarity, peace, social justice, the wise management of the
phenomenon of globalization, and the civil progress of all peoples.
Let's summarize: (1) the Catholic Church "regards with respect" the far-sighted planning of the Chinese government; (2) the Church agrees with the Chinese leaders on the areas of "solidarity, peace, social justice, and civil progress" and (this is rich) "the wise management of the phenomenon of globalization."
I didn't know the Mystical Body of Christ had so much in common with the satanic regime in China! What a relief it is to find out that social justice is just as important to Chinese communists as it is to the Church. Of course, several questions must be asked.
First, under which category does the Chinese one-child policy (i.e., mandating abortion) fall? "Social justice" or "Far-sighted planning"? Second, since it is illegal, under penalty of imprisonment or worse, to practice the Catholic Faith in China, would this restriction fall under "Solidarity" or "Peace"? Third, does forced slave labor at gunpoint come under the heading "Civil progress" or the "Wise management of the phenomenon of globalization"?
The Holy Father continues:
"…the Catholic Church seeks no privilege from China and its leaders, but solely the resumption of dialogue in order to build a relationship based upon mutual respect and deeper understanding."
Why would the Catholic Church want any privilege from satanic China? I mean, who do we think we are…the Mystical Body of Christ? We shouldn't hold our breath for "mutual respect," either. It's already obvious that the Holy Father's respect for China is unilateral and everything in the Mainland seems to be getting along swimmingly. Why makes waves?
Up until this point in his remarks, the Holy Father has succeeded in only two things: flagellating the Catholic Church to try to satisfy satanic rulers on the back for their unnamed "forward-looking" policies. But just to accomplish these two things is hardly worth the trouble of getting out of bed in the morning. He finished off his statement with (what else?) an apology for the sins of Catholics throughout the ages. Why are we not surprised?
The Holy Father writes:
History, however, reminds us of the unfortunate fact that the work of members of the Church in China was not always without error, the bitter fruit of their personal limitations and of the limits of their action. Moreover their action was often conditioned by difficult situations connected with complex historical events and conflicting political interests. Nor were theological disputes lacking, which caused bad feelings and created serious difficulties in preaching the Gospel. In certain periods of modern history, a kind of "protection" on the part of European political powers not infrequently resulted in limitations on the Church's very freedom of action and had negative repercussions for the Church in China. This combination of various situations and events placed obstacles in the Church's path and prevented her from fully carrying out-for the benefit of the Chinese people-the mission entrusted to her by her Founder, Jesus Christ.
Difficult situations connected with complex historical events," "conflicting political interests," "theological disputes," "negative repercussions." This is pretty heavy stuff. What does it all mean? Does any of this relate to the saintly work in China of St. Francis Xavier?
Unfortunately, this exercise in using long and ponderous sentences doesn't answer one rather simple question: Since you're about to apologize for the heroic martyrs of a continent, could you cite some specific examples of what the heck you are talking about? This statement never gives one specific example of any misguided action on the part of any missionary. Even for the most vociferous defenders of the Holy Father, I must ask: Is it fair to condemn the missionaries to China without providing one example of what they are being condemned for? That is more than dishonest. It is slanderous.
The Pope continues:
For all of this I ask the forgiveness and understanding of those who may have
felt hurt in some way by such actions on the part of Christians…
The Church must not be afraid of historical truth and she is ready-
with deeply-felt pain-to admit the responsibility of her children. This is
true also with regard to her relationship, past and present, with the Chinese
people. Historical truth must be sought serenely, with impartiality and in its entirety.
This is an important task to be undertaken by scholars and is one to
which you, who are particularly well-versed in Chinese realities, can
also contribute. I can assure you that the Holy See is always ready to offer willing
cooperation in this research.
Let me translate, if I may: We are not really sure of what sins any Christians in China may be guilty. At the end of the day, it's really not important. The important thing is that you use the Catholic Church as your personal whipping boy. I know you've heard that "forgive and forget" is the message of Christianity. Not so fast. Not only do we want you to dig up the past sins of anyone who ever claimed to be Catholic, but we will offer you "willing cooperation" in this research.
Of course, Chinese history includes the Chinese smoking priests out of their hiding places and torturing them to break their seal of confession. This should be an obvious starting point for the Chinese in their "research." But it would, no doubt, be a bit too unsavory.
If this next quote were a scene from a movie, I would caution the audience to close their eyes. You've been warned.
Pope John Paul II continues:
Historically, in ways that are certainly different but not in opposition to one another, China and the Catholic Church are two of the most ancient "institutions" in existence and operating on the world scene: both, though in different domains-one in the political and social, the other in the religious and spiritual-encompass more than a thousand million sons and daughters.
Let's be honest: If anyone else ever made this statement, he would be condemned as a lunatic, and for some pretty good reasons. The Holy Father actually claims that the history of the Chinese, the most satanic culture in world history, has not been in opposition to the Catholic Church. Again, to summarize this statement: "Since they're not in opposition to one another, China and the Catholic Church have really had the same goals in mind throughout their histories. The Catholic Church has had the goal of teaching, sanctifying, and ruling, with a constant recognition of the temporal sovereignty of Christ. While the Catholic Church has sought to fulfill this goal, albeit in an incredibly sinful way, China has fulfilled this goal on a political front."
This equation of China with the Catholic Church is eerie. China has a forced abortion policy. If a mother becomes pregnant with a second child, the state will send in a nurse to abort her baby against her will. The body of the baby is then either thrown away in the trash, dissected for parts and sent to medical institutions, or eaten. That is not a misprint. Aborted babies are considered a culinary delicacy in China.
Membership in the Roman Catholic Church in China is illegal. The saintly Cardinal Kung was captured and imprisoned for 33 years for the crime of evangelizing. Before his arrest, he had all his teeth removed so he could not be tortured by the Chinese communists, who used the torture method of drilling teeth to get their victims to talk. According to the Cardinal Kung Foundation, "in April & May, 1996, the Chinese government mobilized 5000 troops, about 30 armored cars and some helicopters, in order to seal a tiny village called Dong Lu in Hebei province and to destroy a Marian shrine there." At the same time, priests are constantly imprisoned in concentration camps, attacked, and/or tortured for their Catholic beliefs.
Next issue: Part Two
[Editor's note: Zenit, Fides and Catholic World News have confirmed this. Here is the CWN story on November 29th:
VATICAN, Nov 29, 01 (CWNews.com) - Following the
disappearance of a bishop and his assistant as well as the
arrest of twelve Chinese priests in the diocese of Feng
Xiang, in the area of Shaanxi on November 4, the Vatican
expressed its regret at the actions, but did not appear to
This would seem then, to confirm Mr. Tuttle's contentions that the direction the Holy Father is taking is not and will not work and will only lead toward more persecution and confusion in China and the universal Church. Be sure to tune in next issue for the second part of his mind-numbing article on "Who's Sorry, Mao?
The Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire reported on Friday
that official sources said this action was perceived in the
Vatican to be "a strategy to spurn the extended hand of John
Paul II." The pope had addressed a message to China on
October 24, in which he earnestly asked for China of resume
a dialogue to establish diplomatic relations with the Holy
See. These relations would be "an advantage for all
humanity" in this moment of deep concern within the
international community, he had said.
"When we decided to send this message, we already knew that
we should not expect a positive answer right away," said the
Vatican source, noting the upcoming elections within the
Communist Party, planned for next spring. "We hope however
that, afterwards, the dialogue will be able to begin
again," he said.
Avvenire also said that an August 1999 "secret protocol"
from the Chinese government would have ordered "the
resumption of repression against clandestine Catholics."
"For two years, the arrests, the destruction of churches,
and the closing of seminaries and convents have continued,"
the newspaper said. This document coincided with the
announcement of the canonization of the 120 Chinese
martyrs-- which took place on October 1, 2000, also the
fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese
Beijing called the action a provocation, although the
Vatican said that no "political or diplomatic
consideration" had entered into the choice of this date. It
was chosen simply because that date was the first Sunday of
the month during the Jubilee year devoted to celebrating
The Chinese government had established a Catholic Patriotic
Association in 1957, with its own bishops ordered for the
most part without the endorsement of the Holy See. From the
beginning of his pontificate, Pope John Paul II has
attempted to bring together the faithful of
state-controlled association with those of the
"underground" Church who remain faithful to the pope. Five
times, he has addressed messages to the Chinese, in
February 1981 and January 1995, during his two trips to the
Philippines; in September 1994; in December 1999; and in
The author of this piece Jonathan Tuttle is a regular contributor to The Remnant, an excellent publication published and edited by Michael Matt, son of the crusader Walter L. Matt, who began the publication thirty-four years ago. He did so becaue he realized the course the Church was taking by adapting the reforms of Vatican II was not the true course and he could not stand by and watch his beloved Church become so decimated. His vision was right on for that is what is happening today and Michael carries on the tradition with The Remnant, which stands as the vanguard of the Traditional movement. We encourage all to subscribe to this outstanding voice for Traditional Catholics by calling 651-462-8323 or emailing www.RemnantNewspaper.com
For previous installments, see FATHER, FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY DO Archives
December 3-9, 2001
volume 12, no. 159
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF THE FAITH