How horrible is China’s persecution of religious peoples and other dissenters? Ask any member of the Falun Gong sect, the Chinese Muslim Uyghurs or any Christian church, including the Chinese Catholic Church.

One Christian recently spoke out:

Li Yuese is a member of a house church in Sichuan, a province in southwest China. After being picked up in a raid in 2018 and serving a period of “criminal detention”, he says he was held for ten months in a windowless basement “transformation” center without ventilation, according to an interview he gave recently to Radio Free Asia. He says he was beaten, verbally abused and subject to other forms of mental torture while receiving only two meals a day without any time outside. He said he took to bashing his head against the wall because death seemed preferable to life in his darkness.

This is how you come between people and their God in an aggressively anti-religious country that brooks no interference with its power.

These “transformation centers” are run by the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front work Department. It is in the business of brain washing Christians. Priests have been known to disappear for five to ten years at a stretch.

This is the government with which my pope and his Vatican lieutenants have concluded — and this year renewed — an agreement that insists on permitting government-appointed, invalidly ordained bishops of the so-called Chinese Patriotic Church to assert their dubious influence and oversight, at the Communist government insistence, over church affairs, while validly ordained bishops and clergy of the faithful underground Catholic still loyal to Rome, having endured generations of torture, imprisonment and persecution for resisting Communist control, have now been left naked to their determined enemy.

The Vatican has offered no reasonable explanation for this reversal of the prior policy of uncompromising, undiluted support for long-suffering underground Chinese Catholics. The reversal is baffling, inexplicable and cannot fail to demoralize faithful Catholics in that huge country.

That is a tragedy and a damn shame. What is this pope thinking?

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