A week or so ago there were two news blurbs in our local Catholic newspaper- one about valid, but illicit ordinations in the SSPX and one about valid, but illicit ordinations in the Patriotic Association (the puppet church of Communist China). The two articles were almost exactly the same, but the tone of the latter seemed slightly more sympathetic.
I never had any idea that the Patriotic Association actually had real priest who could celebrate Mass. So, I looked into it some and here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
- There is an underground Church in China. The identities of the Priests and Bishops are kept secret because being a Catholic can get you fined, jailed, tortured, or even killed.
-There is the Patriotic Association. This is a “church” setup by the Communist rulers in China. As such it supports the positions of those rulers including the “one child policy” and forced abortions. What I never knew before is that the Priests in this “church” are actual priests. The Communists select candidates for Bishops, and in some cases send them to Rome for approval- which Rome has given in the past. The reason for the latests article I read is that the Communists ordained a Bishop without getting approval from Rome prior to doing so.
This boggles my mind a good bit. Why in the world is the Church approving of anyone who would be part of a “church” run by Communists- when the Church has taught clearly that mandatory communism is evil and can not be cooperated with?
There was a followup in our newest issue of the local Catholic paper. The Vatican praised members of the Patriotic Association who refused participate in the illict ordination…UNTIL PRESSURED TO DO SO, and THEN DID PARTICIPATE. Again, why are we praising people are complicit in the evils of communism? The actual underground Priests and Bishops are under a great deal of pressure as well and are actually going to prison and being tortured instead of caving in.
I’m also confused about what a Catholic from elsewhere should do when going to China. My wife says that outsiders are not supposed to even look for the underground church as this would pose a risk of “outing” them and place them in grave danger. On the other hand, the Patriotic Assocation would appear to me to clearly be evil. Does the Church advise Catholics to attend these Masses?
Again, I am new to this, so if I am getting any facts wrong, please correct me. I knew there was a puppet Church in China, but until the last few weeks I never had any idea that the puppet church was intertwined with the true Church in such a manner.