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You Can’t Cut Deals with the Devil

by Christopher A. Ferrara

The Vatican’s policy of "ecumenical dialogue" and its China policy have one thing in common: they both involve attempts to negotiate a deal with the devil. To seek "ecumenical consensus" on theological matters with an Anglican "Church" that condones abortion, contraception and divorce, purports to ordain women as "priests" and "bishops" and preaches innumerable heresies and immoralities, is to negotiate with the devil. To dicker with the Red Chinese regime over the rights of the Catholic Church in China is likewise to palaver with Satan.

Hence it should surprise no one that both ecumenical dialogue and the Vatican’s China policy are catastrophic failures. The devil never deals honestly and never makes a real concession.

Witness a report by the Times Online of London, dated June 18, 2006 concerning the failure of the Vatican’s recent diplomatic efforts to gain liberty for the Church in China, where Mao Tse Tung’s "Catholic Patriotic Association" usurps the authority of Rome and loyal Catholics have been driven underground, their bishops and priests routinely arrested and imprisoned.

As the Times report notes: "The plight of seven detained bishops of the underground Roman Catholic Church in China, at least one of whom is gravely ill, has prompted secret negotiations between the Vatican and the Chinese…. Within months, senior clergy in Rome were talking of a grand bargain that would see the Vatican transfer its embassy from Taipei to Beijing and a cordial agreement with China allowing Catholics to profess obedience to the Pope." The Vatican even invited representatives of China’s Religious Affairs Bureau and the state security apparatus to take a grand tour of the Vatican city-state, during which these communist thugs were treated like royalty.

However, says the Times, "as the secret diplomacy unfolded, it caused panic among the legions of Chinese officials whose power and status depend on the continued existence of a state bureaucracy to control religion." So, in the end, the negotiations came to nothing. Rather, Chinese officials went ahead and "ordered the appointment of three bishops not approved by Rome, wrecking months of patient diplomacy. The stage is now set for a clash in which the Catholic clergy of China face their greatest danger for many years."

As things now stand, notes Joseph Kung of the Cardinal Kung Foundation, "All of the approximately 40 underground bishops in China are either arrested and now in jail, or under house arrest, or in hiding, or on the run, or simply have disappeared."

Moreover, the Times reports, despite all the Vatican’s diplomacy "the Chinese position has hardened. Xinhua, the state news agency, said the development of Catholicism in China ‘called for the self-selection and ordination of bishops.’"

The lesson to be learned from all this is best stated by Mr. Kung, nephew of the great Cardinal Kung, who spent 35 years in Red Communist prisons rather than knuckle under to his communist persecutors. As the Times summarizes Mr. Kung’s conclusion: "For the staunch believers of the Cardinal Kung Foundation, the diplomatic debacle has exposed the fallacy of believing that the Communist party could ever compromise on an issue touching on its absolute power. ‘It means the failure of the very confused China policy by the Vatican in recent years,’ said Kung."

Such confusion — the idea that one can negotiate successfully with the devil — is one of the many signs of diabolical disorientation in the Church today. Sister Lucy mentioned “diabolical disorientation” so often in her letters that Fatima scholars believe this phrase is actually to be found in the yet-to-be published words of Our Lady comprising the text of the Third Secret, which describes an apostasy in the Church that “begins at the top,” as Cardinal Ciappi (who read the Third Secret) has revealed.