The cross and the dragon – how Pope Francis is lining up with Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s five-year policy of “Sinification” requires that religious believers be more loyal to the Communist Party than to their religion.

The Chinese flag flies in front of a Catholic church in the village of Huangtugang, China. (photo credit: THOMAS PETER/REUTERS)
The Chinese flag flies in front of a Catholic church in the village of Huangtugang, China.
(photo credit: THOMAS PETER/REUTERS)
The Vatican and the Communist Chinese Government signed a provisional agreement. Full terms have never been released, but it deals with the appointment of bishops, and expires on October 22, 2020. Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin reported the Pope’s intention to maintain the accord. Critics assert that the agreement advances the Communist regime’s control over the Catholic Church, represses dissent and procures the Pope’s silence on human rights abuses in China.
Tangled history of the Catholic Church in China dates to the Tang Dynasty in the 8th century. When the Chinese Communist Party took control in 1949, missionaries of every faith were forced to leave the country. Legal religious worship was permitted only through the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, which does not recognize the authority of the Pope. In 2018 when Beijing and Rome signed the agreement, Beijing accepted Pope Francis as the head of China’s Catholics.
Pope Francis highlights areas of human rights abuses to the world in his Sunday addresses. Not a word has passed his lips about the horrific abuses in China. Francis remains silent about the government persecution of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, devotees of Falun Gong, the atrocities against the Uighurs, the repressions in Hong Kong and in Tibet.
American Catholic conservatives are hostile to the Pope’s outreach to China, his denunciation of free-market capitalism, his open-borders proposals, and his Al Gore endorsed global warming encyclicals. Detractors include Cardinal Raymond Burke and former White House adviser Steve Bannon. Francis remarked “It is an honor if the Americans attack me.”
Documents show that the George Soros Open Society Foundation worked to create a profusion of American bishops and lay Catholics to support Pope Francis during his 2016 visit to America. Francis advocated socialism during that trip. Author Sam Wise wrote The Catholic Spring: Wikileaks Reveals How George Soros, Obama and Hillary Orchestrated a Coup Against Pope Benedict for Their Puppet Pope Francis. Benedict XVI was the first pope in 600 years to vacate the chair before death.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s five-year policy of “Sinification” requires that religious believers be more loyal to the Communist Party than to their religion. One of the worst persecutions are the Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. Xinjiang was East Turkestan until 1949 when it became part of China. There are 380 documented “re-education camps,” which look like massive high security factory complexes. More than one million Uighurs have been tortured, beaten and interrogated in these nightmare forced-labor camps. Each camp in Xinjiang is more than 25 acres with 90-100 buildings more than 12 stories high. Government officials drag men and women from their homes for minor offenses, such as not eating pork. Families are told nothing. Some are returned after a year or two, others are never seen again. There are credible rumors about organ harvesting from prisoners at re-education camps. A letter condemning the Chinese leadership was signed by 22 countries and sent to the UN Human Rights Council.
US Ambassador to the Holy See Callista Gingrich hosted an event in Rome for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month. Pompeo declared “nowhere is religious freedom under assault more than in China. The Chinese Communists Party has battered every religious community in China: Protestant house churches, Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong Devotees and more. Nor have Catholics been spared this wave of repression: Catholic churches and shrines have been desecrated and destroyed. Catholic bishops like Augustine Cui Tai have been imprisoned, as have priests. And Catholic lay leaders in the human rights movement, not least in Hong Kong, have been arrested. The Church is in a different position. Earthy considerations shouldn’t discourage the principled stances based on eternal truths and, as history has shown, Catholics have often deployed their principles in glorious, glorious service of human dignity.”
Pompeo requested an audience with the Pope to express apprehension about continuation of the agreement between the Vatican and Beijing. Pope Francis denied Pompeo’s request. Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong was distressed about renewal of the Rome/Beijing agreement. He flew to Rome but also was denied an audience.
Was Francis afraid that Pompeo or Zen would influence his decision, or was he determined to side with the Communists; perhaps Francis was apprehensive about sending the wrong message to Beijing.

The writer was an English teacher, stockbroker and president/owner of a small corporation. She is active with Republican Women Federated, the California Republican Party, the Lincoln Club of Coachella Valley and the Armed Services YMCA-29 Palms Marine Base. She can be reached at darlenecasella@msn.com.