“Conversion of Russia” Update:
Chinese Police Destroy Catholic Church
by Christopher A. Ferrara
While Russian authorities have halted the construction of a Catholic parish church in northern Russia by means of bureaucratic regulations, the Red Chinese are taking a more direct approach: tanks and bombs.
On April 11, 2002 Fides news agency reported that “police demolished a Catholic church in Xiao Zhao village in the province of Hebei, 200 kilometers south of Beijing. Xiao Zhao village is in the underground diocese of Zhen Ding. The local Catholics, who had obtained the land and regular building permit for the church from the local authorities, fear that the demolition orders may have come from higher authorities.”
As recounted by Fides “Early yesterday morning, a security force of about 2000 men entered the village. Military tanks pushed down the semi-finished walls of the building and the foundations were destroyed with explosives. The local Catholic community, about 700 people, could do nothing to stop the demolition. Eyewitnesses say they simply stood and watched, ‘crying and praying’.”
Meanwhile, Fides reports, “The Bishop of Zhen Ding, underground Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo, aged 66, is a very dedicated man who is confined to house arrest periodically. Most recently on March 21 he was arrested and questioned by the police who forbade him to celebrate public religious services for Holy Week and Easter.” We have thus heard the last gasp of the last “underground” — that is, the last true Catholic — diocese in China.
So, once again, the loyal Catholics of the underground Church in China are reaping the bitter harvest of Cardinal Sodano’s “diplomacy” with the blood-drenched regime of “President” Jiang. Behold, dear reader, all the wonderful benefits that have flowed from the papal apology to China in October 2001. Ostpolitik fails yet again. And yet again a diabolical communist regime uses Ostpolitik as a cover for its persecution of the Church, when what the Vatican should be doing (along with President Bush) is publicly condemning this communist persecution of the Bride of Christ.
We have all read in the press about the growing chorus of demands for the resignation of various prelates who have concealed homosexual priest scandals for decades. There has even been a formal petition to the Pope for the removal of Archbishop Flores of Texas, who is actually a lesser offender compared with, say, Cardinal Law. That is all well and good. The house needs to be cleaned, its corruption exposed and eliminated. The faithful have the God-given right to seek that relief from their Pope.
But there is an urgent need for another removal petition, aimed a little higher than the likes of Archbishop Flores and Cardinal Law. The caption on this petition should read: For the Removal from Office of Cardinal Angelo Sodano. The Church has had quite enough of his ruinous exercise of the de facto papacy.