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Update
“Fruits of Ostpolitik”

Chinese Destroy Catholic Churches While Vatican Remains Silent

by Christopher A. Ferrara

According to the NE news agency, a number of “underground” Chinese Catholics who remain loyal to Rome are still celebrating Mass in defiance of their communist persecutors at the site of a Catholic church, in the town of Lupu, which was destroyed by communist officials. The report notes that “the church had been destroyed previously on Easter Sunday of the year 2000, but it had been reconstructed by the same faithful in June of the same year.”

After the church was rebuilt the communists destroyed it again — this time on December 8, 2000, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Now there is a Cross on the pile of rubble. The faithful “have continued celebrating liturgies in the open field, and they are growing in number after the demolition of the church, a neighboring chapel, and the priest’s residence.” Several other Catholic churches in the area have also been destroyed.

In recent columns I have pointed out the growing chumminess between Communist China and “formerly” communist Russia — trade and technology agreements, a joint military alliance and identical foreign policy aims. The fatuous Fatima revisionists ask us to believe that this unholy alliance is consistent with the alleged consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart in 1984. But what is really going on is the re-consolidation of the communist empire, with a few capitalist additions. While this is happening, the Vatican does nothing to oppose it. Why? In a word: Ostpolitik.

Father Nicholas Gruner’s apostolate has told the truth about the Vatican’s policy of Ostpolitik, under which the Vatican remains silent in the face of communist persecution in the hope that “dialogue” and “quiet diplomacy” with communist regimes will gain concessions. In practice, the policy only legitimates communist governments while prolonging the persecution of the faithful, as Father Alexis Floridi, S.J., demonstrates in his book Moscow and the Vatican.

Thus, we have heard no Vatican condemnation of the destruction of the churches in Lupu, or the recent arrest of a Catholic bishop and priests of the loyal “underground Church,” or the illicit ordination of 100 communist, schismatic bishops hand-picked by the Peking regime. Quite simply, Ostpolitik is a betrayal of the Gospel and the teaching of Blessed Pius IX, Saint Pius X, Pius XI and Pius XII that the Church cannot fail to condemn the evil of communism.

Even Pope Paul VI was torn by doubt about the morality of Ostpolitik, which was administered during his pontificate by the late Cardinal Casaroli. In an interview not long before his death, Casaroli revealed that Pope Paul feared he was not being faithful to the Gospel in remaining silent while Catholics were suffering communist persecution, and that Casaroli had to persuade the Pope “to stay with his (Casaroli’s) policy.” [“Paul VI had doubts about Ostpolitik,” CWN news interview, Nov. 24, 1997]

And so the Vatican, still chained to the millstone of Ostpolitik, says nothing, while the true Church in China continues to suffer. But the Vatican has a great deal to say about Father Gruner, who has committed the one unpardonable offense in the Church today: criticizing the diplomatic policies of the Vatican Secretary of State.