A daring AsiaNews analysis of the cost-effectiveness of the 2018 Vatican-China Deal recalls the sad precedent of the Napoleonic attempt to subdue the Church.
In Mindong and Shantou, the Vatican orders Underground bishops to retire and places all Catholics under the jurisdiction of Patriotic bishops.
All religious decorations and furnishings have been removed from an underground Catholic church in Henan’s Baizhuang village as a punishment for refusing to join the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.
Some members of the underground Catholic clergy in China believe that the Vatican-China agreement has exacerbated the persecution of underground Catholics, and they see no hope for their churches to survive.
In a surreal situation of overlaps between the “patriotic” Church and the underground Church, Msgr. Peter Shao Zhumin, bishop of Wenzhou, will be re-educated for 15 days.
The communist government does not stop persecuting the Catholic Church faithful to the Pope despite the provisional agreement reached in September with the Vatican for the unification of the Chinese clergy that has given much hope.
Reports about arrested priests and closed down churches suggest that the authorities are not prepared to ease on the persecution of underground Catholic churches after the Vatican-China agreement.
While many expected that the agreement between the Vatican and China would cause a conservative schism in Chinese Catholicism, in fact the first signs of a possible schism are appearing among the pro-government Patriotic Association.
Talking with journalists, the Pope claimed he was personally responsible for the agreement with China and that he will have the last word in the choice of bishops.
Contrary to exaggerated expectations, the Vatican-China agreement has a limited scope—but is described as “the first step in a process”