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Benedict XVI welcomes Communists to the Vatican

by James W. Bannister, B.A., LL.B.

A few days ago I commented on the Vatican’s recent statements which seem to presage an effort to establish diplomatic relations with the Communist rulers of China. This must surely mean a sellout of the underground Catholic Church in China.

The underground Church is the one that lives on in spite of the Communists’ attempts to coerce Chinese believers into joining the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, the schismatic and heretical puppet “church” set up by the Communists in 1957.

This is the real Church that lives on in spite of the persecution and martyrdom of thousands of believers. This is the Church, loyal to Rome and the Papacy, which the Vatican seems set to sell out in the name of compromise.

There is another country, bordering China, in which the Church is struggling to survive. Here too Catholics are being persecuted and forced to submit to control by the Communist government’s Commission for Religious Affairs. That country is Vietnam.

Back in the Cold War era, General MacArthur, President Nixon and others spoke of “the domino effect” in east and south Asia. China fell to the Communists in 1949. Then North Vietnam, then Cambodia, then South Vietnam. Eventually, they said, the entire region would come under Communist control.

Now the Communist rulers of these states are intent on destroying the Catholic Church in their countries. They tried coercion and failed, thanks to the courage and bloodshed of thousands of martyrs. So now, having come with the sword, they come with the olive branch. The amazing thing is, they are being received!

On January 25th, Benedict XVI met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. The Pope thus became the first ever to receive a Communist Vietnamese leader in audience. Also present at the closed‑door meeting, besides two interpreters, was the head of the Vietnamese Commission for Religious Affairs, Ngo Yen Thi.

Why did the Holy Father do this? A statement described in the press as coming “from the Holy See” described the audience as “an important step” in establishing diplomatic relations. This sounds suspiciously like the “respectful and constructive dialogue with government authorities” mentioned in last week’s statement regarding China.

As usual, the authors of these statements are cloaked in anonymity. But, dear reader, please take note of what happened following the Pope’s private chat with Mr. Nguyen and his “religious affairs” henchman.

After meeting with the Pope, Messrs. Nguyen and Ngo met with Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for relations with states. We see whose fine hand is at work here!

The Vatican press office described the visit as “a new and important step toward the normalization of bilateral relations”. The press release went on to say, “Those relations have, over the last few years, made concrete progress opening new spaces of religious freedom for the Catholic Church in Vietnam.”

To which we can only say, really?! Does Cardinal Bertone mean the same kind of “space for religious freedom” that exists in China? Does he mean space to worship in puppet “churches” that owe their allegiance not to Rome but to Hanoi or Beijing?

Hard though it is to believe, the Vatican communiqué called for “a fruitful cooperation between Church and state”. Does Cardinal Bertone really believe that the Catholic Church and the Communist Party can somehow coexist?

Cardinal Bertone should remember what Our Lord taught. Man cannot serve two masters. The Communists believe and teach this to their own members. You cannot be a “good Communist” — an oxymoron if ever there was one — and yet be a Christian.

The Catholic Church used to say the same thing! The Church used to teach us that you cannot call yourself a Catholic if you belong to the Communist Party or other forbidden organization. Cardinal Bertone should remember this.

The Cardinal should remember too that, as Pope Pius XI taught us, “Communism is intrinsically evil.” One cannot be a true Communist and a true Catholic at the same time.

It is all just as Our Lady of Fatima predicted. The errors of Russia have spread through China to North Korea, Laos and Vietnam. Where and when will this end? The Blessed Virgin gave us the answer. The spread of Russia’s errors will only end when Russia is consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart!

Let us continue to petition the Holy Father to do the Consecration as Our Lady commanded. That is a far better thing to do, in the quest for peace and religious freedom, than all the meetings with the enemies of freedom and peace!

Facts and quotes from Zenit, 25/1/07Note: