MINDSZENTY REPORT November 1994
RED CHINESE HOAX: PATRIOTIC CHURCH
This past September 8, Pope John Paul II issued a letter (which received
little notice in the media- including the Catholic press) directed to "All
the Catholic sons and daughters of the great and illustrious Chinese
family." In it he stressed:
Clearly this was no message of concession, modification, rapprochement or
mediation. It was addressed to the more than 8 million faithful Catholics
in the "underground Church" of Red China telling them their sacrifices for
the faith and the Church remain an inspiration; to hold strong and
Chinese underground Catholics . But elsewhere Catholics
in the non-Communist world are falling for a clever hoax that religious
freedom is being revived "as the Church in China emerges from the dark
night of more than three decades of Communist persecution" to quote the
nation's oldest diocesan newspaper, of Boston, 3/4/94.
By the "Church of China," the paper meant-but didn't say -the so-called
Communist-directed Patriotic Church which hasn't at all. It was
created in the 1950's by the Religious Bureau of the Chinese Communist
party and has been in good standing because it parrots the
official Party line: In particular a "Catholic" church with no ties to the
Holy See; acceptance and promotion of official government policy (including
persecution of the underground Church); and a new ruse: implying actual
Vatican of the Communist Patriotic Church.
Here is a perfect example how Patriotic Church lackeys operate. In 1988
Rome issued an advisory to the world bishops on their relationships with
the Communist-directed "Chinese Catholic" officials, including forbidding
Roman Catholics priests to concelebrate Mass with patriotic association
clergy. For what happened next, we turn to the Autumn 1994 newsletter of
named in honor of His Eminence Ignatius
Cardinal Kung, Bishop of Shanghai:
According to Shanghai Catholics, the Patriotic Association appointed bishop
of Shanghai, Aloysius Jin, has printed a large number of copies of this
fake document and distributed them throughout China with many Patriotic
Church bishops organizing classes to teach the fraudulent "Eight
Directives" line. This is the same "Bishop" Jin who has also set-up his own
real estate company to systematically sell or commercially redevelop
properties belonging to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Shanghai and
religious orders all confiscated by the Communists.
The ease with which the Patriotic Association has been able to sell its
propaganda to gullible Catholics around the world is truly amazing. A good
example appeared in the June 12, 1994 --one of the most
popular religion-oriented weeklies in the U.S.
Reporting that Archbishop Roger Vangheluwe of Bruges, Belgium had recently
concelebrated Holy Mass with fifteen visiting Communist Chinese Patriotic
priests-clearly contrary to the 1988 Vatican advisory-the guessed
Did Rome approve of this reversal of its 1988 advisory? The
didn't ask or even suggest that the Archbishop of Bruges might
have decided to ignore the Vatican's directives. .
And it is happening more and more often that the patriotic
church is deceiving well-meaning Catholics. Some examples:
A highly-respected Catholic relief organization known for its good work in
the former Soviet satellite nations some months ago gave the Patriotic
Association of China $32,000 to print bibles and breviaries-their contents
altered to omit Communist non-approved teachings such as papal supremacy.
According to the publication <30 Days> (issue 5, 1994) $4.7 million has
been contributed to the Patriotic Association recently by such Catholic
religious communities as Maryknoll, Italian PIME, Jesuits, Franciscans
Missio, Misereror, the French Missions de Paris, the Belgians of Scheut and
others. As for the underground Church-said <30 Days>-it "was left with
Seminarians from the Communist Patriotic Association are being instructed
in at least ten leading U.S. seminaries; "they will return to the land of
their birth to train the next generation of Catholic priests (and) some may
eventually lead their own dioceses as bishops", according to of
Boston (March 4, 1994).
How this latter development came about is chronicled in the paper under the
headline: CAMBRIDGE MARYKNOLLER MOVES CHINESE CHURCH FROM CATACOMBS. It
involves one Father Flynn who left the Maryknoll order as a young man, "to
pursue a career as an English teacher and returned to the mission in middle
Although the Patriotic Church has , because it is
controlled by the Communist Party, here is how tells the story:
When asked how Communist Patriotic seminarians-contrary to the Vatican 1988
advisory-are permitted entry at Roman Catholic seminaries in the U.S., as
his paper reported, the editor of responds:
Strangely, however, no one will reveal the identity of in Rome who
gave permission for Shanghai's Real Estate Patriotic "Bishop" Jin and
Maryknoll to circumvent Vatican directives on the Patriotic Association.
Given the Holy Father's September 8 letter reaffirming the Church's staunch
support of the underground Church, the likelihood of such an authority ever
surfacing remains slim indeed.
Back on June 4, 1989-when Maryknoll Father Flynn was
beginning his "careful diplomacy" with Patriotic "Bishop" Jin-ABC
television aired a glowing documentary on the Chinese Catholic Patriotic
Association produced by the U.S. Catholic Conference's Office of
Communications. Only at the end of the program was there a short interview
with a Chinese underground bishop loyal to the Church. And he was dismissed
as a sincere but backward patriarch.
No similar TV program has ever been produced about the Catholic underground
Church of China, although an estimated 95 percent of the country's 8
million Catholics remain loyal and persecuted members. But, an opportunity
exists for ABC television and the U.S. Catholic Conference to prepare
to do that in May 1995.
There are two famous Marian Shrines in China. One is the national shrine
dedicated to Our Lady of Sheshan in Shanghai controlled by "Bishop" Jin's
Patriotic Association; the other is dedicated to Our Lady of Dong Lu in
Hubei, where thousands of underground Catholics come to pray twenty-four-
hours-a-day, during the entire month of May, in honor of the Blessed
They will be there in May 1995 at Dong Lu in Hubei as usual, if TV
documentary filmmakers are willing to present a true view of the
Catholic Church in China.
From underground Catholic Chinese sources, this is what TV crews and the
USCC's Communications office would have discovered had they set-up their
video cameras in Hubei this May:
This is the true face of Catholic China. Yet the false Patriotic
Association is treated by many in the West, and elsewhere, as if it were
reviving the faith crushed by Communism for decades. In truth it is engaged
in typical Communist deception.
Traveling each year to the U.S. and other free world nations, Patriotic
bishops, priests and seminarians assure their overseas benefactors they are
"loyal to the Holy Father in " Yet back home, these same
people actively advocate "independence and separation from the Pope." That
is how such Patriotic bishops as Zong Huaide, Jin Luxian, Fu Teshan, Cai
Tiyuan and others are able to collect millions of dollars in donations in
the West. All have proclaimed "intimate union" with the Holy See on their
trips abroad, but back in China these bishops are officers of the Patriotic
Association and its Bishops' conference which declares separation on their
church from the Pope.
Why have church leaders in the free world been so deceived? Here is an
explanation from the
Meanwhile as the publication <30 Days> points out: "Financial relief from
abroad ultimately widens the gap between them (Patriotic Association and
the loyal clandestine Church)."
Chinese Catholics would rather kneel in the mud in a field celebrating Mass
than in some new White Elephant of a church approved by the Communist
government and placed in the hands of a Patriotic Association bishop.
* Remember the persecuted Chinese Catholics in your prayers and Masses.
Once a month say the Stations of the Cross, daily or often the Rosary, for
the faithful bishops and priests in China suffering their own Way of the
* Be wary of any special Mass collection for "the Church of China". If you
or your parish would like to support the training of a Chinese seminarian
faithful to the Holy Father, please write for information to , P.O. Box 8086, Ridgeway Center, Stamford, CT 06905.
* Write to the U.S. Catholic Conference's Office of Communications
suggesting a documentary on the underground Catholic Church in China and
its heroic Catholic faithful. Address: Office of Film & Broadcasting, USCC,
3211 Fourth St., N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017.
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Eleanor Schlafly, Publisher John D. Boland, Editor The Cardinal
Mindszenty Foundation may be contacted on CRNET. The address is Cardinal