A senior Vatican member says he hopes the agreement signed with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on the appointment of bishops in China, which is soon to expire, will be renewed with modifications.
Pietro Parolin, Cardinal and Vatican secretary of state, stated his intentions to modify the controversial agreement with the Chinese regime during an interview with the Catholic News Agency (CNA).
The secret agreement was first signed in September 2018. It was valid for two years and was renewed for another two years in October 2020, without modifications.
Under the controversial pact, 6 bishops have already been appointed, all of whom have to swear allegiance to the atheist Chinese Communist Party, thus moving away from orthodox practices of Catholicism.
Previously, they were appointed internally by the Chinese Church and were usually opponents of the regime.
Within Catholicism, one of the criticisms of the secret pact came from Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen, who in 2018 called for Cardinal Parolin’s resignation for executing the agreement, which he called “an incredible betrayal” of the underground Catholic Church in China, according to Life Site News.
“I don’t think he has faith,” Zen said of Parolin. “He is just a good diplomat in a very secular, mundane meaning. He should resign. It’s a complete surrender … I have no other words.”
While Cardinal Gerhard Müller, supported the assessment made by the Hong Kong cardinal, stating, “I trust more in Cardinal Zen,” Müller said, “because he has all the experience with the Communists and with their lies and the persecution they have made.”
“Surely the Pope has the office and the task to recall these schismatics to the full communion of the Church,” Muller continued, “but the question is, ‘What is the price for it?’ Can we make a deal, the Holy Church, the Body of Christ, with communist atheists?'”
After signing the agreement, the Chinese regime made it clear that it followed its own rules and would not be subject to Vatican laws.
According to an AsiaNews report, the Patriotic Association of Chinese Catholics and the Council of Bishops of the Church of China, issued a statement at the time declaring that “The Chinese Catholic Church ‘will continue to operate independently.'”
“We love the country and the Church. We will carry forward the principle of independence and the concept of the sinicization of religion while remaining on the path that leads to socialist society,” the Chinese Church added.
Both internal and external criticism is raised by the Chinese regime’s long history of religious persecution. As a result, the believers have been a continuous target of attacks that go as far as the most terrible torture methods to persuade them to abandon their faith and accept the communist doctrine.
An example of this is the destruction of Tibetan temples, of Christian churches that do not respond to the regime, so they must choose to practice their religion clandestinely and the merciless persecution of Falun Dafa, spiritual discipline of the Buddha school, whose practitioners are victims of illegal imprisonment, torture, slave labor and the forced removal of organs to supply the CCP’s obscure transplant trade.