The horrors of communist China under Mao Zedong that most Westerners don't know about


Of course, cooperation with civil authority has always been what the Church has done throughout history. It was Christ who asked us to “render to Caesar what’s Caesar’s and to God what’s God’s.” That’s not the issue here. The issue here is the Church can only work off the list of nominees for bishops from a regime that has had a long history of brutality against humanity, and hostility against the Church. Did you know that, currently in China, there are interment camps for religious dissidents? This regime knows very well that if it controls the appointment of bishops, it controls the Catholic Church in China—a country of well over 1 billion inhabitants and of millions of Catholics. Furthermore, this has direct implications with other countries such as Laos, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea, etc… who have not respected freedom of religion and human rights. These countries have been watching closely the development between Rome and China. This may very well embolden their resolve against the future efforts of the Church.

It was St. Paul, himself, that Pope Benedict quoted in his letter to Chinese Catholics some years ago: “…On the same occasion, my venerable predecessor recalled that “the Bishop, a successor of the Apostles, is someone for whom Christ is everything: ‘For to me to live is Christ …’ (Phil 1:21). He must bear witness to this in all his actions. The Second Vatican Council teaches: ‘Bishops should devote themselves to their apostolic office as witnesses of Christ to all’ (Decree Christus Dominus, 11)” [38].

A bishop belongs wholly to Christ and the Church. He is to work with civil authority to ensure harmony and peace.


I thought it was the ‘gang of four.’


I have been to Vietnam. While the Catholic Church is allowed a certain degree of openness as compared to the period from the fall of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) to the 1990’s, there is still a fair amount of hostility toward it from the government. Hopefully it gets no worse for the Church in that country.


Indeed, what makes you think the Chinese underground Church don’t know that it’s the pope who appoints the bishops?




It boils down mostly (although there are exceptions such as national pride, philosophical ambition, political preference, etc…) to a matter of who have benefited the most from the Maoist’s regime—the current communist regime that rules China today. For those Chinese who have benefited so much from the current Chinese political and economic structure, and have become so wealthy from it, it is likely that they would support Mao’s efforts, or at the very least would turn a blind eye on the atrocity and brutality that he committed, or would point to the few good things in China that Mao did—such the unification as you mentioned. This is analogous to efforts of those people defending/supporting Hitler by pointing to his creation of the German autobahn, the creation of the Porsche/Mercedes companies, the revitalization of the great German patriotic spirit and national euphoria after the invasion of Polland, Czechoslovakia, France, etc… while turning a deaf ear to all the atrocities and brutalities that Hitler committed.

In the West today, we have seen the exertion of China wealth and influence in Chinese goods and businesses. It has been no less than impressive. But, in truth, throughout China today especially in rural China, it is very much a third world country. The impressive wealth of China belongs to a very tiny fraction of the elites. The vast, vast, vast Chinese population are very, very poor. The middle class is small and the low class is painfully very large, These people have little hope of moving up the economic ladder.


Conversely, we can make the same comparision with USA and turning a blind eye to things like Operation Condor, MK-Ultra, and many of the wars in which they have participated; in favour seeing how they protected us from communism and radical Islam…


What you said is very true, indeed. I would go even further to mention among many bad things the US did; the Iran/Iraq war, the fight for oil in the middle east, Nicaragua contra, My Lai massacre, agent orange in Vietnam, etc… The US is in no way an innocent bystander in world affairs. In fact, no countries are.

I realize we are going off the original topic quite a bit. I just want to acknowledge your valid point.


Who was at the Cairo Conference in 1943? Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China. The Allies were already planning what the post-War world would look like. The United States became the biggest world power after dropping two atomic bombs on Japan. President Truman would later regret authorizing the creation of the CIA, which was preceded by the American Office of Strategic Services.


I agree that the US has committed its share of foreign policy bad deeds, morally questionable/ wrong acts, decisions that in hindsight were poor ones, and decisions where every alternative was going to be awful. However, if we ever get to the point of killing off 45 million of our own citizens in peacetime, I will emigrate (or just be one of the dead).


To be fair, last time we let communist poland tell us who we were allowed to appoint as bishops…they appointed Bishop Karol Józef Wojtyła. These things have a history of backfiring on the governments.

The pope is faced with a terrible dilemma. One one hand, government intervention of such sort is to be resisted. On the other hand, it’s been quite clear that the alternative is the persecution and slaughter of Catholics faithful to Rome, and likely the defection of many others to state-sanctioned churches that are not in communion.


You are far from being correct. It was true that Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski did not include the young priest Karol Wojtyla on his list of nominees for the vacant bishop seat, and the Polish Communist regime had rejected the nominees put forth by the Cardinal. It is also true that Karol Wojtyla was seen by the Polish communists as someone who was open for dialogues. But it’s was the Church that chose and appointed Karol Wojtyla. Below is an article by La Stampa recalling the incident:

“It is this point that will find the future John Paul II and Pope Paul VI in agreement. The key moment is his appointment as auxiliary bishop of Krakow. The thirty-eight year old priest is receives a telegram on July 4, 1958, that calls him to Warsaw, to the residence of the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski. The cardinal, who had not included the name of Wojtyla among the priests to be promoted to the episcopate, informs him that Pius XII had appointed him bishop “at the request of Archbishop Baziak (Sapieha’s successor as head of the diocese of Cracow)”. Wyszynski stops to carefully observe the reaction of the newly elected, which that evening he will describe in his private diary. The incident is contained in the book “His Holiness” published by Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi.”

It was the Church that nominated and appointed the young priest Karol Wojtyla—the future pope and Saint John Paul II. Communist Poland saw him as having an opened mind for dialogue and approved him. This young priest did fully use his skills in dialogues to eventually defeat communism in Poland and to eventually convert Wojciech Jaruzelski (a Communist Polish military commander and a communist party leader) to the Church. Karol Woytyla was never a Communist nor was he ever sympathetic toward their cause. In fact, he loathed communism for their atheistic belief.

As for the situation in China, nominees for bishops put forth by communist China were in fact communists. Sometimes, they were high ranking communist party officials.

A key fact must be pointed out here: In Communist countries, including China, the communist party recruits and grooms future communist party members at an early age—9 or 10 year old. They groom these kids and place them in special programs. Then, at the age between 18 - 21, these young people would be asked to officially join the communist party. Many oathes would be taken. One of the oathes is, if they belong to any religion (Catholicism included), they must renounce it. The Communist party is now everything to them—even above their own families. A member of the Chinese communist party is an atheist. Faith in the Catholic Church and in Jesus Christ can not be accepted.

How could a nominee (who is by definition an atheistic communist) for a bishop seat put forth by China be acceptable to the Catholic Church? And don’t be fooled. These eventual “bishops” will be doing propaganda work for Communist China.

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