U.S. Report Condemns Vatican-China Deal Involving Theodore McCarrick

Last fall, we reported that Theodore McCarrick played a central role in the treasonous agreement between the Vatican and communist China.

This week, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) issued its 20th annual report on International Religious Freedom. China is highlighted as a particularly vicious perpetrator against religious freedom. The committee commented that, of all the countries, “China is in a category all by itself.” The report spares no words for the vicious Chinese regime: “One such saga is currently unfolding in China where the government has been particularly pernicious toward religion and religious believers during the last 20 years — and increasingly so in recent years, including in 2018.”

The commissioners also expressed deep concern about the persecution of religious minorities in China, specifically highlighting the troubling Vatican/China deal. In fact, one of the commissioners, Johnnie Moore, issued a pointed written statement regarding the Vatican agreement:

My personal opinion is that one of the most alarming incidents as it relates to religious freedom in the entire year was the decision by the Vatican to negotiate a diplomatic relationship with China that resulted in the recognition of government-appointed bishops and which also — in effect deposed prominent Chinese religious leaders who had persevered through horrific persecution in previous generations in China, including China’s most well-known Catholic leader.

Literally, within days of the Vatican negotiating its deal, the Chinese used it as cover to embark upon the closure of several of the nation’s largest and most prominent unregistered church communities. That has continued. Being that the Vatican is both a Church and a State, it is my opinion that the Vatican now bears a significant moral and legal responsibility to help solve the problem which it helped created — albeit inadvertently — by providing China license to viciously crack down on Christian communities (as cited in this report), and by providing the Chinese government further cover to continue its incomprehensible, inexcusable and inhumane abuses of Muslim citizens in the western part of the country.

While I am entirely for direct engagement on these issues, including with the most severe violators in the world, that engagement must not result in these types of unintended consequences, as has been the case in China. The Vatican made a terrible mistake, which it must take seriously. This debacle must be dealt with urgently and seriously.

The report’s conclusion sadly mirrors the statements by the heroic retired Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen. Cardinal Zen pleaded with the Vatican not to negotiate with the Chinese for fear of renewed Christian persecutions. Zen’s prophetic plea proved correct according to the Religious Freedom report. Zen described the China deal as “suicide” and “an incredible betrayal” and a “complete surrender” for the underground Chinese Catholic Church. As he predicted, persecutions increased and the suffering is ongoing at the hands of the Vatican’s negotiation partner, the Chinese Communists.

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