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Pope Fransis understands "the customer is always right".

The Chinese Gov isn't so bad!

Of Catholics and Chinese Communists

The Vatican renews its bad deal with Beijing that ignores human-rights and religious abuses.

By The Editorial Board, WSJ

Oct. 23, 2022 6:30 pm ET

Even as Xi Jinping was being crowned as China’s unchallenged dictator, the Vatican said Saturday it has renewed its agreement with the Chinese Communist Party. This is the second renewal since the deal was brokered in 2018, though there’s little progress on religious freedom to show for it. Its main contribution has been to mute Vatican criticism of human-rights abuses, from the genocide of the Muslim Uyghurs to the political prosecution of Cardinal Joseph Zen in Hong Kong.

The deal gives Beijing a say in the appointment of Catholic bishops, but it’s telling that its terms are secret. A handful of mostly pro-Beijing bishops have been appointed. But the National Catholic Register reports that 36 of China’s 98 dioceses lack a bishop.

All this comes as China insists that priests and bishops serve the interests of the ruling and atheistic Communist Party. Yet Pope Francis, who is so critical of the U.S. and capitalism, is silent on China. This is a return to the Vatican’s failed Ostpolitik of the 1960s and 1970s, when Rome muted criticism of the Soviet Union and its East European satellites.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who as secretary of state is the most powerful man in the Vatican after Pope Francis, has acknowledged limited progress from the deal but last month on Italian TV said it is imperative to assume Beijing’s “good faith.” The use of “faith” in that sentence is appalling since China’s Communists repudiate all religious faith. China has also done nothing to merit this presumption.

In the history of the papacy, perhaps nothing was as thrilling—even for non-Catholics—as the election in 1978 of a Polish pope from behind the Iron Curtain. “Be not afraid,” Pope John Paul II would tell believers, and he set the example by morally challenging regimes such as the Soviet Union and using his papacy to bring the plight of the forgotten and persecuted to the world’s attention.

The current Vatican’s motto is: be afraid. Pope Francis has given the Chinese Communist Party a free pass on its inhumane behavior, and in so doing he has compromised the moral authority of the Catholic church.

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