Pope Francis and China: Time to Speak?

Aug 1, 2020 | 1 comment

President Xi of China

Pope Francis – no easy choice!








With the USA pivoting towards increasing suspicion of China’s digital technology and encroachment in the South China Sea –  and the UK falling into line in the wake of China’s tightening grip on Hong Kong (a former British colonial possession) – Pope Francis is being called upon by some to speak out clearly in defence of the Muslim Uighur minority in Xinjiang province in Western China.

On August 1st, 2020 the Catholic news outlet Crux reported that international pressure is growing for the Pope to condemn outright a reported campaign by the Chinese government to obliterate the uniquely Muslim culture of the Uighur people by a process of forced indoctrination, birth limitation and cultural assimilation.  This programme may have been triggered by moves by a Uighur minority of separatists to assert claims to independence in 2009, as the Chinese one-party state is especially vulnerable to separatist movements among its different ethnic groups.

The latest criticism of the pope has come from Benedict Rogers, an activist for Christian Solidarity Worldwide, who says he is a Catholic convert sympathetic to Francis, but is ‘confused’ by the pope’s position on China.  He argues that a deal made by the pope with China in 2018 on the appointment of bishops in the official Chinese Catholic Church – soon up for renewal – may have compromised the ability of the church to speak out clearly in defence of a critically important human rights issue in Xinjiang.

If a new ‘Cold War’ does break out between the West and China this could pose further problems for Chinese Catholics, who may constitute a population of over 9,000,000 in a Chinese Christian population of about 60,000,000.  The rapid advance of Christianity in China in recent decades is viewed mostly with alarm by the Chinese one-party state, as Christianity arrived there first alongside ‘western imperialism’.  Chinese Catholics are themselves divided into two ‘camps’, an officially recognised Catholic Church that is strictly supervised by the state, and an ‘underground’ unregistered church which considers itself more truly faithful to the Holy See.

For the full Crux report, click here.

1 Comment

  1. Kevin Walters

    Recently, Cardinal Joseph Zen, The Vatican, he said, “is giving “the flock into the mouths of the wolves. It’s an incredible betrayal.”

    For over thirty five years. I have carried a small yellow book, the “Thoughts of Jesus Christ”. It was issued by the Catholic Truth Society London in 1972 to combat Mao’s Little Red Book (Older readers will remember it) it presents no shallow fashionable image of him. It expresses his unique authority his clear ethic and good news of the kingdom, as it reveals Him God-man, the risen Lord, whose message is truly radial because it is supernatural…

    “Jesus Christ thought is the only message for an era in which human beings find themselves alone and purposeless”… The only information given is direction under different headings with Gospel reference. The simplicity of the book with minimal information impels the reader to contemplate the words of Jesus Christ in different life situations, this can be and is illuminating and encourages further study and spiritual growth, the onward transformation of the human heart…

    Quote “It is the most powerful ideological weapon for opposing oppression, misery, and inhumanity. Jesus Christ’s thought is the guiding principle for all of those who would follow him to perfect manhood. Therefore, the most fundamental task in our social political and ideological work is at all times to hold high the sign of the Cross, to arm the minds of the people throughout the world with it and PERSISTLY use it to command every field of activity”…

    The cover has long gone, like much of my old self, the remaining pages are yellowing and torn, some words can no longer be read but it is of no importance as there is no vacuum in my heart, as to some degree His Word now lives.
    To anyone who may consider reading The Little Yellow Book (if you can obtain one) note it is a tool for contemplation, as it contains the ‘living’, Word of God which is supernatural and radial, it cannot be misunderstood by anyone approaching his Word (Will) with honesty, it’s beauty (Truth) cannot help but inspire integrity, no matter of what religion, race, creed, state of being you are or belong to.

    Whatever happened to the little yellow book?

    But more importantly whatever happened to our God given ideals once propagated by the Church.

    kevin your brother
    In Christ.


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