Friday, March 17, 2023

Why Is Pope Francis Dealing With the CCP? (Contribution)

Vatican-China Talks Resume: Pope Francis Says 'It's God's Time' – Eurasia  Review

A few years ago, I taught a course focusing on Chinese transnational crime and money laundering. 

During class discussion, I was asked by one of the students: “If you could wave a magic wand that would transform the People’s Republic of China and correct its criminal trajectory, what would you do?” 

My short, and probably surprising, answer: “The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is in desperate need of morality.”  

I am not referring to the CCP’s current sense of morality. Rather, I am referring to a higher, one true God-given standard of morals and ethics. These are universally recognized values of good that most of us of whatever age and culture know innately. In the case of the CCP, most of these precepts have been rejected or twisted into unrecognizable form. Communist morality is whatever is best for the party.

My examination of China’s involvement in the top twelve categories of transnational crime shows it is the largest actor involved in international lawbreaking. Measuring its involvement in “specified unlawful activities” or predicate offenses to charge money laundering, the PRC is responsible for approximately $2 trillion of illicit proceeds—or roughly one-half of the roughly $4 trillion laundered globally every year. 

CCP’s immoral behavior manifests itself in many other ways. For example, the CCP’s mismanagement, untruths, political and strategic motivations, stonewalling, and secrecy in handling the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrate the kind of government it is. Despite CCP Inc.’s lack of cooperation, evidence is overwhelming that China unleashed the Covid-19 virus, either purposely or by accident, from a biological laboratory in Wuhan.

At the time of the virus’ release, domestic flights in and out of Wuhan were shut down. International air travel was allowed to continue. The policy spread Covid-19 around the world. Even more shocking are videos of Chinese government representatives welding the doors of Covid-19 patients shut. These policies speak for themselves.  

The worldwide costs of the pandemic will never be fully known, but certainly the economic costs are measured in the tens of trillions of dollars and tens of millions of lives. The associated human, familial, and societal costs are staggering. The attacks on human dignity caused by the manufactured disease are innumerable. The lost opportunity costs are incalculable. 

Countless businesses and industries were destroyed or damaged; medical systems and medical credibility have been strained to the point of collapse; some countries and locales were rent asunder by lockdowns; the 2020 U.S. presidential election was turned upside down; transport and supply chain systems are still in disarray; there has been a horrible interruption of children’s education and development; the pandemic resulted in the loss of confidence in governments and non-governmental organizations; there are rising cases of mental illness, accelerating drug use, feelings of helplessness and anger, spikes in suicide and increased vulnerability of the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions; as well as many other ills that will take years to manifest and fully understand. 

Yet the CCP’s handling of the Chinese coronavirus is not isolated. The history of the CCP is similarly brutal, depraved, and corrupt. More than three decades after the Tiananmen Square massacre, the CCP’s version of morality has been on display during the Hong Kong democracy protests; the million-person forced labor and reeducation camps for Uyghur Muslims; the multi-faceted repression China practices at home and seeks to export abroad; internal all-encompassing Orwellian surveillance; persecution of Christians and the proscribed Falun Gong religious group; and countless other human rights abuses, including the one-child policy, enforced abortions, involuntary sterilizations, and the confiscation of children by the authorities. Investigations have shown that some of the country’s physicians have been ordered to engage in grotesque experiments on people or, even worse, to maim or kill them for their organs and profit.

By 2021, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CCP, it was estimated that the Communist party was responsible for the deaths of over 65 million people. It is probable that more than 400 million abortions have been performed in China since the CCP implemented a controversial one-child policy 50 years ago. No organization in human history has killed more human beings than the CCP; not Nazi Germany, nor the Soviet Union, nor the Mongol invaders of the 13th century, nor even the decimation of the native populations of the Americas due primarily to imported European disease and epidemics. In all of human history, the CCP has shown itself to be the world’s most ruthless murdering machine. 

China’s lack of morality also manifests itself in its policies of exploiting developing countries.  Ironically, today’s “communist” China is the world’s premiere mercantilist and imperialist power. It has taken its domestic corruption and exported it overseas. The PRC exploits vulnerable countries’ national resources including endangered flora and fauna. 

China is the greatest threat to the viability of the world’s oceans. China is by far the world’s largest air, sea, and land polluter. China emits more greenhouse gases than the entire developed world combined. China is the largest source of mismanaged plastic waste, and it is the biggest offender of ocean plastic pollution; it’s estimated China is responsible for a quarter of the plastic choking our oceans. The above are not the policies or practices of a moral nation.

Communism is “godless.” Proponents of communism say that man and history are driven by economics and politics not religion and certainly not anything spiritual. They deny the concept of sin. Communism rejects the idea of an ethical arbiter greater than man. Rather, communism itself is the standard of behavior and belief and everything is subsumed to the greater interest of the State. CCP members and members of the armed forces are required to be atheists. They are forbidden from engaging in religious practices. To communists, the end (the good of the party) justifies the means (including the trampling of human rights and dignity).  

Yet the current pope turns a blind eye to the sins of the CCP. In 2018, Francis agreed to a Vatican-Beijing deal that handed over to the CCP the power to nominate the bishops of the Chinese “Catholic” Church. The details of the agreement are cloaked in secrecy. This agreement is directly contrary to the stance of his predecessors. Cardinal Zen of Hong Kong denounced the deal as a complete betrayal of the real Catholic Church in China, which operates underground and has suffered CCP persecution for decades. Cardinal Zen, 91 years old, was recently arrested by the CCP and convicted of trumped-up charges. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Vatican under Francis is just one more sycophant of Beijing.

The Vatican’s dealings with Beijing are particularly scandalous because over its history the CCP has actively persecuted Christians. For example, in the book Heavenly Man, Chinese Christian Liu Zhenying, aka Brother Yun, documents his decades of repeated imprisonment and barbaric torture for his faith. Brother Yun eventually escaped to the West, but thousands like him remain underground and persecuted within China.

The CCP police-state hands out financial rewards for reporting house-churches to the authorities, priests and bishops are arrested for loving Christ instead of Xi Jinping, and faithful Christians are penalized and arrested for helping their underground clergy. The CCP is also cracking down on Christian websites and apps in an attempt to cancel Christianity from cyberspace.

The current pope and most bishops are unwilling to speak out against the destruction of democracy in Hong Kong and the threats to Taiwan and China’s bullying and exploitation of other nations. Why is the pope not defending free speech, democratic rights, or indeed the rights of practicing Christians and particularly Catholics within China? Why is Pope Francis capitulating to a regime that harbors approximately 100 million Christian souls? In short, why did Francis enable and possibly sell out to the CCP?  

A few months before the secret 2018 “agreement,” or concordat, between the Vatican and Beijing, exiled dissident Guo Wengui accused the Vatican of receiving $1.6 billion every year since 2014 in bribes from the CCP. Francis became pope in 2013. According to the dissident, Beijing “wanted the Vatican to shut up about China’s religion policies.” I emphasize the above allegation is not confirmed. However, it is clear the Vatican has received some sort of quid in return for its pro CCP quo.  

Bribery is part of the CCP’s gameplan. The CCP’s modus operandi abroad is using corruption and “corrosive capital” as instruments of foreign policy. This is further augmented by “elite capture” and sophisticated influence operations. Almost all of its commercial, financial, military, and developmental agreements overseas are also clouded in secrecy. 

As for the Vatican, its whole reason for existence is Christ—honesty, truth, goodness, and transparency incarnate. There is simply no excuse for “secret” deals with the CCP. Even the appearance of the Vatican taking 30 pieces of silver from the CCP is a betrayal. Scandals involving the Vatican Bank and clergy abuse should demonstrate that transparency is essential. 

Hasn’t the current pope learned anything? Why is Pope Francis dealing with the CCP?