Long post today, important subject.
Today is the feast day of St. Thomas of Villanova, according to the traditional Lives of the Saints by Fr. Alban Butler, read about this day at http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/lots/lots294.htm
Reading about these saints is a wonderful daily reflection.
Communism’s Power Over the Church
Its power began during the failure to hear the message of Fatima and increased during Vatican II when KGB assets were allowed to sit in on the proceedings, as I noted in my book:
“The Church and its doctrine of each life being precious to God, has always been attacked by the world from the day its founder was crucified, and far too often, it has become corrupted in its worldly institutional form, but the corruption by Communism, which the 19th and early 20th century popes had warned about so clearly, seems to have begun in earnest by the failure of the Holy Father to fulfill the command of the Holy Virgin at Fatima in 1917, to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
“Much of the horrors she foretold which would happen if Russia was not consecrated, have happened.
“It is within the diplomacy-influenced reasons partially responsible for that failure—the Russian Orthodox Metropolitan who lobbied to ensure the consecration would not happen, was a KGB directed operative—that we see the Vatican corruption that infected the clear support of Catholic teaching about Communism, rendering it virtually mute.
“Amerio (1996) writes about the pact between the Vatican and Moscow regarding Vatican II:
“When one is talking about the liberty of the council, the salient and half secret point that should be noted is the restriction on the council’s liberty to which John XXIII had agreed a few months earlier, in making an accord with the Orthodox Church by which the patriarchate of Moscow accepted the papal invitation to send observers to the council, while the Pope for his part guaranteed the Council would refrain from condemning communism. The negotiations took place at Metz in August 1962, and all the details of time and place were given at a press conference by Mgr. Paul Joseph Schmitt, the Bishop of that Diocese [newspaper Le Lorrain, 2/9/63]. The negotiations ended in an agreement signed by metropolitan Nikodim for the Orthodox Church and Cardinal Tisserant, the Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, for the Holy See. News of the agreement was given in the France Nouvelle, the central bulletin of the French communist party in the edition of January 16-22, 1963 in these terms: ‘Because the world socialist system is showing its superiority in an uncontestable fashion, and is strong through the support of hundreds and hundreds of millions of men, the Church can no longer be content with a crude anti-communism. As part of its dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church, it has even promised there will be no direct attack on the Communist system at the Council.’ On the Catholic side, the daily La Croix of February 15, 1963 gave notice of the agreement, concluding: “Following on this conversation, Msgr. Nikodim agreed that someone should go to Moscow carrying an invitation, on condition that guarantees were given concerning the apolitical attitude of the Council.”
“Moscow’s condition, namely that the council should say nothing about communism, was not, therefore, a secret, but the isolated publication of it made no impression on general opinion, as it was not taken up by the press at large and circulated, either because of the apathetic and anaesthetized attitude to communism common in clerical circles or because the Pope took action to impose silence in the matter. Nonetheless, the agreement had a powerful, albeit silent, effect on the course of the Council when requests for a renewal of the condemnation of Communism were rejected in order to observe this agreement to say nothing about it.” (Italics in original. pp. 75-76). Amerio, R. (1996). Iota unum: A study of changes in the Catholic church in the XXth century. Kansas City, Missouri: Sarto House. (
(pp.79-81) David H. Lukenbill (2013). Catholicism, Communism & Criminal Reformation. Lampstand Foundation: Sacramento, California.
George Weigel wrote about metropolitan Nikodim:
“On September 5, 1978, the new pope [John Paul I] received [Russian Orthodox] Metropolitan Nikodim of Leningrad, one of the six presidents of the World Council of Churches and a man who struck many Westerners as deeply pious. The KGB knew Nikodim as ADAMANT, as it knew his secretary, Nikolai Lvovich Tserpitsky (code name VLADIMIR). At the end of his private audience with John Paul, ADAMANT suffered a massive heart attack and died in the Pope’s arms. John Paul I later remarked that Nikodim had spoken “the most beautiful words about the Church I have ever heard” during their meeting; his last words, as the Pope held the fallen bishop, were said to have been “I am not a KGB agent.” But he was.” (p. 99) Weigel, G. (2010). The end and the beginning: Pope John Paul II—The victory of freedom, the last years, the legacy. New York: Doubleday.
This was also included in my book on page 119.
Communism’s influence appears to be alive and well, at least in China, as this story from OnePeterFive reports; though it is just a report of what might happen, not about what has happened, so take with a grain of salt; an informed grain of salt, however, considering the history.
The Vatican is set to sign an agreement with China by the end of the month, one that cedes control over the appointment of bishops to Beijing. In return, we are told, Beijing has agreed to recognize the pope as the head of China’s Catholics.
From my position as a long-time observer of the machinations of the Chinese Party-State, this seems like a bad deal. The pope is ceding his very real authority to name bishops to China’s Communist authorities in return for the promise of symbolic recognition as the titular head of all Catholics in China. Might he not be giving up something for nothing?
The Vatican originally proposed that China follow the terms of an agreement it had reached with the Vietnamese government over the appointment of bishops. Under its terms, the Vatican and the Vietnamese authorities, working together, draw up a list of potential candidates. The Vatican then chooses someone from the list who, once Hanoi ratifies the choice, is consecrated as a bishop by the pope. Such a model clearly preserves papal authority.
This “Vietnam model” was rejected by China, however. As the official Global Times later reported, “Such a model was not accepted by China when it was tested in the country in 2005, as the Chinese authorities want total control over choosing candidates.” [italics added]
Beijing went on to insist upon a “Chinese model”, under the terms of which the Communist authorities alone will nominate a potential candidate for bishop. The pope must then approve or reject that candidate. If he vetoes the first candidate, Beijing will nominate another.
The pope’s “veto power,” however, is not unlimited.
As a Chinese official familiar with the negotiations was quoted as saying, “We cannot submit endless candidate lists to the Vatican if the pontiff keeps saying no. We may have to appoint bishops unapproved by the pontiff after a set number of rounds of negotiations. Such bishops may not be legitimate under the Church doctrine, but they can still give Church services to Chinese Catholics.”
In other words, the pope may veto an obviously unsuitable candidate or two, but Beijing has made it clear that there is a limit to the number of times a papal veto can be used. It has also limited the amount of time that the Vatican has to respond once a candidate’s name is submitted.
This means that at the end of the day it is the Communist authorities, and not Pope Francis, who will have the final say over who becomes a bishop in the Chinese Catholic Church.
The Vatican is reportedly prepared to make other concessions as well.
Perhaps the most important is that Pope Francis will formally consecrate as bishops seven men who were made “bishops” by the Communist authorities over the past decade. All of these men have been previously rejected by the Vatican as bishop candidates for various reasons having to do with personal morality, public actions, or both.
In a further concession, the Vatican has promised that the Pope will lift the excommunication of the seven illicit “bishops” of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association even before the new agreement is signed.
Second, the Pope will order two bishops of the underground Church, who have faithfully served for decades under intense persecution, to hand over their dioceses to bishops appointed by the Communist authorities. Shantou Bishop Zhuang Jianjian has been ordered to retire, a decision that has caused enormous pain to the local Church, while Mindong Bishop Guo Xijin has been told that he will be made an “auxiliary” of the Shantou diocese he has long headed.
Retrieved September 15, 2018 from https://onepeterfive.com/vatican-to-allow-beijing-to-name-bishops/