Mindszenty Report (November 1994)

Author: Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation



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 unyielding.

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 that ""

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 nothing."

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 age."

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 Mother.

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 Cross.

* 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 Mindszenty Fn.