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Friday, 08 August 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXtiES0url0

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PERSECUTION OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IN COMMUNIST CHINA

By Theresa Marie Moreau

Religious and personal freedom for the people of China began to disintegrate back in 1949 (after the end of the three-year Chinese Nationalist-Communist Civil War that followed in the wake of World War II), when the Communists (headed by Tse-Tung Mao) defeated the Kuomintang -- the Chinese Nationalist Party (headed by Kai-Shek Chiang) that fled to Taiwan (historically known as Formosa ).
On October 1, 1949, the Chairman stood in Tiananmen Square and announced the founding of the People's Republic of China -- with himself the head of the beast.
In an attempt to break with the Holy See, the xenophobic Communists established, in 1949, the Three-Self Reform Movement, so-called for its aim to be Self-governing, Self-supporting and Self-propagating. Relations between the Vatican and China first froze then officially broke in 1951 after Mao kicked out Archbishop Antonio Riberi, papal nuncio.
But Mao discovered the "official church" wasn't catching on. There was an underground Roman Catholic Church that was still alive, thriving.
For the next couple years, the Reds rounded up and expelled all foreign-born clergy and religious. Next, they began arresting and imprisoning Chinese priests and religious. Then the laity.
Make no mistake. This practice continues to this day.
On July 15, 1957, the Three-Self Reform Movement was replaced by and integrated into the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.
To be patriotic in China means to be revolutionary. To be faithful to the Pope, regarded as an imperialist power, is considered a counterrevolutionary act.
Why does Beijing attempt to force its atheistic will upon Roman Catholics?
Speculation rests on the argument that the Communists want to have the underground Church clutched tightly in their five-starred fists before establishing diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
According to "Document 26" issued by the Secretariat of Party Central on August 17, 1999, "The normalization of China-Vatican relations offers a beneficial opportunity to solve the problem of the underground Catholic forces. If we can use this opportunity...to win the majority of the underground Catholic forces over to our side, to convert them, then a key link in Party Central's strategic plan will be realized...The plan is: Positively struggle, treating each case differently, to convert the majority and to isolate the minority...making the leading authority in our country's Catholic Church to be always in the hands of the patriotic forces. Distinguish the different circumstances of each underground bishop and priest, and deal with them accordingly."
Long-term mission: Force the unofficial, illegal, underground Church into the official, legal, aboveground church.
Short-term mission: Behead the dioceses. Without shepherds, the sheep shall perish.

ENDNOTE: All Chinese names have been written in a manner to avoid confusion and to remain consistent with the English standard of writing proper names: given name first, family name last. In Chinese, names are traditionally written with family name first, given name last.

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