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                                   December 13, 2005

Selling Out Modern Martyrs

by Thomas A. Droleskey

Today is the Feast of Saint Lucy, the great saint of the early fourth century who gave up her life rather than submit herself to the spectacles of the decadent Roman Empire. She is depicted in paintings and statues as holding her eyes, which were protected from having to look at various and sundry profanities, on a plate. My dear wife chose her as her confirmation patroness to thank her for helping to "see" things clearly when she was finding her way into the Church between 1996 and 1999. Our daughter is named after Saint Lucy in gratitude to this great saint's prayers for making it possible for my wife to be Catholic and thus to be ready to meet me and to be open to accepting a hard life of temporal uncertainties as she assumed the task of assisting me in the work of helping souls to see the necessity of restoring the fullness of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition and the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King.

Saint Lucy gave up her eyesight and then her life in order not to compromise with one little bit of the corrupt and decadent culture that surrounded her. This should teach us a lesson or two in our day. Far too many Catholics, including those who assist at the Traditional Latin Mass, are far too cavalier about their blithe, if not defiant, participation the the rot of our own culture today. Nothing is apparently too dangerous for the welfare of their own souls, no less that of their children, that will cause some Catholics to refrain from exposing the eyes and ears to the sounds of Hollywood movies, the unquestionably objective evil of so-called "rock" music, television programming, and the sordid spectacle that has become professional sports. No, it is to be some sort of spoil-sport even to mention the fact that Catholics cannot and must not support the evils of the Walt Disney Company or other such "amusement" parks and that there are plenty of ways that Catholics can spend their time and enjoy the truly good things of this passing world that redound to the honor and glory of God and thus their own sanctification, not place into jeopardy God's rights and their very salvation. No Catholic who assists at the Immemorial Mass of Tradition can read the name of Saint Lucy in the Roman Canon day in and day out and not seek to root out from his own life those sights and sounds that are inimical to God and thus the right ordering of men and their nations.

Saint Lucy stood immovable in the midst of attempts to force her into a house of ill-repute. She reproached her persecutors, predicting that the brutal reign of the Emperor Diocletian would come to an end, showing us that we must withstand the modern "emperors," whether they are found in politics or the courts or corporate board rooms, when we are more or less commanded to "get with it" and to embrace the false values of a perverted era. It is the case today that we are subjected involuntarily to assaults on our senses even when we go to the supermarket. We are subjected to countless offenses to our immortal souls when driving past billboards, some of which now have the ability to transform themselves in the matter of split-second from one offensive message to another. We cannot even go to the local post office or the bank in many instances without having to be bombarded with "rock" music and/or images. All manner of evil causes are promoted by banks and now displayed on postage stamps, of all things. Do we consider doing what Saint Lucy did, that is, to stand immovable and to condemn these practices and to seek the conversion of those who are offending God and contributing to the decline of social order?

Saint Lucy's willingness to be martyred stands in face of the misuse of civil power by an evil, anti-Catholic emperor stands in sharp contrast to the willingness of many prelates in the Church, including Vatican Secretary of State Angelo Cardinal Sodano and Los Angeles Archbishop Roger Cardinal Mahony, to become supporters of the evil regime that governs the so-called People's Republic of China and to serve as apologists for the schismatic and heretical state-created "church," the Chinese Patriotic Association. The selling out of the modern martyrs of the underground Church in Red China has begun in earnest. Far from exhibiting Saint Lucy's firm spirit of condemnation of evil rulers, Cardinals Sodano and Mahony, assisted frequently by Roger Cardinal Etchegary, have proved themselves to be appeasers of Communist oppressors of Catholics. That they have been able to serve as stooges for the tyrants in the world's most populous nation without a word of papal rebuke leads one to suggest only one logical conclusion: that Pope Benedict XVI himself, following the example of the late Pope John Paul II, seeks to make an accommodation with the schismatic, heretical state-created and state-run "church" in Red China at the expense of those who continue to be brutalized mercilessly by the Communist warlords who want a Catholicism that serves the purposes of the state, not a Catholicism that is faithful to the Church's Invisible Head, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The desire to effect an artificial "unity" in Red China, sadly, follows the modern of pan-Christianity that has been at the heart of the conciliarist novelty of ecumenism. That is, sects that are truly schismatic and heretical are accorded great honor and comfort while those who adhere steadfastly to the Deposit of Faith and to the form of worship that Our Lord taught the Apostles to offer are heaped with sloganeering scorn. There have been a number of recent developments that have confused and bewildered some of the most stalwart defenders of the underground Church in Red China.

Indeed, there have been so many such developments, including reports that most of the renegade bishops of the rump church in Red China have been "reconciled" to Rome without being forced publicly denounce their past support of the policies of the rump church (which have included support of the government's anti-family, anti-life population policies), that Mr. Joseph Kung, the nephew of the late Ignatius Cardinal Kung, who was imprisoned by the Red Chinese for over thirty-five years prior to his release in 1991, has issued a very important review of the state of ecclesiastical affairs in Red China. Although Mr. Kung, the President of the Cardinal Kung Foundation, which is based in Stamford, Connecticut, has been restrained in his criticism of the policies of the Holy See, he is nevertheless continuing to ask very pointed questions about whether the Holy See is about to sell out the modern martyrs of the true Church in Red China, the men and women who have stood as firm as Saint Lucy in their refusal to surrender to the unjust authority of an evil regime.

Mr. Kung has raised a number of questions in his annual Christmas Newsletter. It is worth quoting at length. The questions that he raises, many of which were discussed on this site three months ago in There is Schism and Then There is Schism, are important. They go to the heart of the Vatican's refusal to require the bishops and priests of the schismatic, heretical church in Red China to renounce their adherence to abject errors and to publicly make reparation for them. Here are those passages of Mr. Kung's newsletter that deal directly with the situation of the underground church in Red China:

Readers of our July and Christmas 2001 newsletters will recall my extensive analysis of Cardinal Jozef Tomko’s statement, made earlier that year to the bishops of the United States — the “two groups in the Church in China” (the underground Roman Catholic Church and the Patriotic Association) “are not two Churches because we are all one Church”. I pointed out at the time that Cardinal Tomko’s statement, which is erroneous, contradicts both the Church’s canon law and her basic doctrine. The Patriotic Association’s claim to autonomy since its formation in 1957 conflicts with the doctrinal principle repeated again and again by the late Pope John Paul II in September 1994: “the principle of communion with the Successor of Peter…cannot be renounced by a Catholic who desires to remain such and to be recognized as such.” This clearly invalidates Cardinal Tomko’s statement.

Furthermore, I examined in 2001 the consequences and implications of Cardinal Tomko’s statement. I pointed out that Cardinal Tomko’s statement effectively notifies the suffering underground Roman Catholic Church that there is nothing wrong in joining the Patriotic Association since “these groups …are all one Church.” Such a merger of the underground Church into the Patriotic Association, I explained, would play right into the hands of the communist Chinese government’s plan to eliminate the Roman Catholic Church in China.

As recently as this past October, Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun of Hong Kong essentially repeated Cardinal Tomko’s statement when he told the synod of bishops at the Vatican that “the Church in China, which appears to be divided in two —an official one recognized by the government, and an underground one which refuses to be independent from Rome — is actually a single Church, as everyone wants to stay united with Pope.”

Is any Church’s desire “to stay united with the pope” the deciding factor and the litmus test for being qualified as a true One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church as Bishop Zen has proclaimed? I do not believe that it requires a Ph.D. in theology to realize it is not so. Rather, it is full communion with the Pope, and with the universal Church that decides whether one is the true One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church. It is loyalty and obedience to the Pope that constitute the main ingredients of being in full communion with the Pope; certainly not simply the desire “to stay united with the Pope.” One’s desire to remain in communion with the Church without the willingness to pay the price is not putting into practice the Gospel’s words: “No servant can serve two masters” (Luke 16:13). What, then, did Bishop Zen mean when he announced to hundreds of bishops in the October 2005 synod that the official Church — also known as the Patriotic Association’s Church, which still has an article in its constitution since 1957 to be autonomous from the pope — by virtue of its “desire” “to stay united with the Pope,” is the same Church as the underground Church? The underground Church has no need of such a “desire” because it has in fact always been united with the Pope, and for this has gone through 56 years of persecutions by the Chinese regime.

It boggles the mind to fathom how Bishop Zen, the Bishop of Hong Kong, could repeat Cardinal Tomko’s erroneous statement after Msgr. Eugene Nugent, the Vatican representative in Hong Kong in charge of the See of China, in July 2004, issued a series of guidelines in which he bluntly states: “Obviously, the Patriotic Association has the characteristic of being in schism.” Moreover, in these 2004 guidelines, widely circulated in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, Msgr. Nugent reaffirms the validity and binding character of the Vatican’s guidelines issued in 1988 and authored, ironically, by none other than Cardinal Tomko. Like the 2004 guidelines, the 1988 guidelines clearly refute and reject the notion that the two Churches in China are the same Church.

Tens of thousands of faithful, priests, bishops and nuns suffered and died in Chinese jails because they refused to denounce the Pope and refused to join the official Church for the last 56 years. In these 56 years, the official Church has not changed in that the most important article in the constitution of the official Church — to be autonomous from the Pope — did not change. The Roman Catholic Church’s canon law clearly states that refusal to submit to the authority of the Successor of Peter is nothing short of schism from the universal Church. This is the same official Church or the same Patriotic Church 56 years ago when Pope Pius XII wrote with great foresight on the subject of autonomy in his encyclical Ad Sinarum Gentem in October 1954: “…They (the Chinese Communist government) seek….to establish finally among you a “national” Church, which no longer could be Catholic because it would be the negation of that universality or rather ‘catholicity’ by which the society truly founded by Jesus Christ is above all nations and embraces them one and all…”

When Bishop Zen, Cardinal Tomko, and many other bishops, cardinals, and other people declare that these two Churches are the same Church, they are in effect declaring, in an attempt to legitimize the official Church, that the official Church or the Patriotic Association Church is also the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church, regardless of its autonomy from the Pope. As I said before, this is contrary to the basic dogma of the Roman Catholic Church. Just for the sake of argument, if they were correct, why should the faithful in the underground Church continue to suffer and lay down their lives for their fidelity to the Successor of Peter and for the Church? All they would have to do is to join the official Church since, as Bishop Zen and Cardinal Tomko said, it is the same Church as the underground Church. If they were correct, all those numerous faithful, including Cardinal Kung and many other martyrs who suffered and died in the last 56 years since the communists took over China for refusing to join the official Church or for refusing to be independent from the Pope, would have done so in vain because if they were the same Church now, they would have been the same Church then. Therefore there would be no apostasy involved in joining the official Church during the past 56 years – a sin for which they died or suffered rather than commit. Their sufferings and martyrdom would have no merit for the cause of their beatification or canonization. Pope Pius XII would have been very wrong when he said what I quoted above in his encyclical. The late Pope John Paul II would have been also very wrong in his statement of December 3, 1996 in which he apparently referred to the official Church or the Patriotic Association as “a Church which does not respond either to the will of the Lord Jesus, or to the Catholic faith.” The current Pope Benedict XVI would also be very wrong in that he has not recognized the official Church or the Patriotic Association’s Church as the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church. If the two Churches were indeed the same Church, it is only logical to conclude that the Church is willing to legitimize the official Patriotic Church in spite of its position of autonomy from the Holy See and that the Pope would have declared his recognition of the official Church. However, no Pope in the last 56 years has declared so. It appears that the Popes have not been willing to legitimize the official Patriotic Church as long as it is autonomous from the Pope. Therefore, the official Patriotic Church cannot possibly be, as Bishop Zen and many other members of the Church's hierarchy said, the same church as the underground Roman Catholic Church.

China therefore has two Churches that call themselves Catholic. One Church was founded by Christ 2005 years ago. The other Church is established by atheist communists 48 years ago in 1957. One Church has been under severe persecution for 56 years since 1949. The other one is under the protection of the Chinese communist government and has not been persecuted. One Church is in full communion with the Pope and with the universal Church. The other one, as claimed by Bishop Zen, Cardinal Tomko and other members of the Church hierarchy, “desires” to be with the Pope, but continues serving the atheist Chinese government-founded official Patriotic Church, which is not in full communion with the Pope. One Church, of course, is the underground Roman Catholic Church. The other one is the Patriotic Association or official Church. Don’t let anyone mislead you, even if he is a bishop or a cardinal, into thinking that these two Churches are the same Church. They are not the same Church. Your faith and the gospel will tell you that it is wrong to abandon a primary article of faith, the communion with the successor of St. Peter, even under the most difficult situation.

A secret profession of faith is a contradiction in terms

The fact that a number of official Church or the Patriotic Association Church’s bishops (some say as many as 75 percent), as reported by the media but never substantiated by the official spokesperson of the Vatican, may have confessed, repented, and requested recognition from the Pope and that the Pope may have accepted them does not make the entire official Church the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church. This is a fact because the constitution — specifically its ruling that the Patriotic Church is not subject to the authority of the Pope — that governs the official Patriotic Church as a whole is contrary to the canon law and doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, as Cardinal Roger Etchegaray said in his interview with 30 Days No. 4 2005): “the part of the Church recognized by the (Chinese) government is without doubt linked to and controlled by the Patriotic Association….” When these bishops accepted the appointment from the Chinese government and were consecrated bishops without the approval of the Pope, they did it publicly and pledged their loyalty also publicly, not to the Pope, but to the Chinese government. However, when they supposedly repented and requested recognition from the Pope, they did it secretly, not publicly. They did not profess their faith publicly, but secretly. How could this secret arrangement be justified in view of the damage they have done publicly to the Church and to its faithful? Moreover, the word “profession” comes from Latin and means “PUBLIC PROMISE”. When Christians profess their faith, BY DEFINITION they do so PUBLICLY. There is no such thing as a private or secret PROFESSION of faith. It is a contradiction in terms. Therefore, if those official Patriotic bishops have indeed repented, such repentance, in my opinion and in generally accepted procedures and courtesy, should have been done publicly and their reciting of the Creed for professing their faith, as defined above according to the Latin meaning, should also have been recited publicly for the whole world to hear and for the Pope to judge, regardless of the risk they might have faced. That is what martyrs do. These Patriotic bishops have not done so. The late Pope John Paul II, in his message to China on December 3, 1996, said: “The bishop must be the first witness of the faith which he professes and preaches, to the point of ‘shedding his blood’ as the apostles did and as so many other pastors have done down the centuries, in many nations and also in China.” Besides, these bishops, who have supposedly repented and been recognized by the Pope, still serve on the Board of the official Church and defend its constitution that advocates autonomy from the Pope!

Is the Vatican unwittingly helping the Chinese government to eliminate the underground Church?

In addition, numerous Vatican documents and public statements from members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the Vatican and elsewhere urge unity between the official and unofficial (underground) Churches. In the meantime, the Chinese authority is doing all its best to force the unofficial Church to register with the authority, thereby de facto unifying the two Churches into the one official Church that is independent from the Pope. Many unofficial or underground faithful resisted registering themselves with the official Church and thereby risked three years in the hard labor camp. By actively urging “unity” between the two Churches and by actively proclaiming that these two Churches are the same church, before the Pope recognizes the official Church, is the Vatican actually putting the cart in front of the horse by urging for unity into a Church that the Pope has not even recognized ? Is the Vatican, unwittingly perhaps, trying to help the Chinese authority to accomplish its goal to wipe out the Roman Catholic Church under the glorified name of “unity” so that the two Churches can be combined into One Patriotic and Independent Church?

When one talks about the unity of the Church, it is only logical to think that the schismatic Church should combine with the true Church to become a new unified true church, in full communion with the Pope. The current events described else where in this letter give the impression that the official and unofficial (underground) Churches are to be combined into one official (schismatic Patriotic) Church. Why is the Vatican not saying in public that unity should be achieved by the official (schismatic) Church’s uniting with the underground (true) Church and submitting to the authority of the Pope in order to become one (true) Church, and that the one (true) Church, in communion with the Pope, must become legal in China? By not saying this clearly and forcibly in public, the Vatican may be sending the wrong signal — unintentionally of course — to the Chinese government that the continuous persecution of the underground Church is tolerable because the underground Church is not cooperating to unite with the official Church. Unfortunately, the Vatican does not speak out publicly to protest each time the Chinese authority arrests the underground bishops and other religious. They only do it sporadically with very little public follow up. If the Vatican really wants the underground Church to be merged with the official Church in order to achieve so called “unity,” why doesn’t the Pope openly and officially recognize the official Patriotic (schismatic) Church, regardless of its autonomy, so that, in obedience to the Magisterium, the underground Church’s faithful and bishops can simply cross the line and register with the official Church and thereby prevent much suffering of the ten million underground faithful? However, even the Pope does not have the authority to compromise this fundamental Catholic dogma of communion with the Successor of Peter. The current situation, according to which the Pope, on the one hand, does not officially recognize the official (schismatic) Church but, on the other hand, the members of his hierarchy issue proclamations or slogans such as “two Churches are the same Church” and “unity,” stop appointing underground bishops (see below), recognize the official Church’s bishops, approve new official Church bishops, and approve many other official Church projects. The result is the appearance that the Pope has de-facto recognized the official Patriotic Church, and is thereby nudging the underground (true) Church to merge with the official Patriotic (schismatic) Church under the glorified name of “unity.” This is beyond the comprehension of many faithful, but this is what, I am afraid, is happening.

Why is the Vatican not appointing new underground bishops?

Within the last 5 or 6 years or perhaps longer, many elderly underground bishops died from natural causes or died in jail. One would have thought that the Vatican would approve new bishops to replace them. Not so. Not even one new underground bishop has been appointed by the Vatican in this period, regardless of the fact that many Patriotic bishops have been consecrated. Some of them are reportedly consecrated with Vatican approval. One has to ponder why the Vatican has not appointed new underground bishops for the last few years while in the meantime advocating “unity” by combining the official (schismatic) Church and the underground (true) Church into one official (schismatic) Church and propagating that these two Churches are the same Church. It is frightening just to think about this complicated situation. In the meantime, a Jesuit journal published in Italy, Civita Cattolica, whose articles are generally understood to have the prior approval of the Vatican Secretariat of State, published an article, according to Catholic World News, reporting: “The Vatican no longer needs to appoint bishops to serve the underground Catholic Church in China…” This all adds up to a scenario according to which the Vatican appears to be forsaking the 10 million proven faithful, loyal and obedient underground Roman Catholics in order to appease the four million “catholics” belonging to the official “Patriotic” Church in China. St. Michael, pray for us.

There are many underground faithful without a bishop. Otherwise, some underground faithful have bishops who are likely very elderly and ill, well beyond the retirement age, or in jail, or in house arrest, or under severe surveillance or in hiding. The underground Church is therefore under such severe pressure from our own Church. The underground Church is desperately in need of new bishops, but the Vatican is not appointing them. It does not take much imagination to visualize that, under such pressure, any of the underground faithful might be compelled to do something in order to preserve their Catholic faith, which is certainly in conflict with the official Church that still advocates independence from the Pope in its constitution. Prayers are therefore urgently needed for the survival of the underground Church, which is the only real Roman Catholic Church in China. We also need to pray very hard that, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, the underground Church will have the wisdom to remain faithful to the Pope and to do what they have to do in order to preserve this faith and the courage to say no to the Chinese or any other authority.
Media speculation met by Vatican silence.

Should the Vatican publicly express its approval or disapproval of the appointment of a new bishop in the official Patriotic Church by the Chinese Government?

Recently, AsiaNews and many other Catholic news media have announced that the recent consecration of three official Patriotic Church’s bishops has been approved by the Pope, while the Vatican’s official spokesperson failed to speak one single word about this approval! The Foundation grieves when the media reports, with the glorified phrase “from our reliable source in the Vatican” or something similar, that the Holy See has recognized certain appointment of Patriotic bishops, while the Holy See remains silent, leaving the faithful, especially those in China, confused and demoralized as they continue to suffer for their fidelity to the Successor of Peter. Why is this so? We faithful can only look to the Vatican’s official spokesperson for the truth of any religious matter of significance, and the consecration of three official Church’s bishops is certainly a matter of extreme importance, because it relates to the basic dogma of the Church. Christ gave the authority to the Church to help us find and hold the truth about our salvation. Appointing a bishop certainly has much to do with our salvation. Therefore, why should we be kept in the dark by our own Church and be forced to believe or not to believe the writings or the gossip of the media about such an important matter? By keeping us in the dark, does that mean the Vatican is not doing what Christ has commanded the Church to do, politics notwithstanding? I am not sure. Only God knows. If it is the Vatican’s policy to leave people in the dark and guessing, then the Church should never blame the faithful for believing or for not believing whatever is written in the press about other matters, even though it may be detrimental. How is the public supposed to know which report is true or false about any important matter regarding the Church if the Vatican fails to take a stand? How can this be justified? Why is this kind of treatment of our suffering brothers and sisters of the underground Church — the “stable” in the universal Church — allowed by the Holy See?

The underground Church deserves greater respect in the universal Church

We also have the news of the invitation by the Pope of three of the Chinese official Church’s bishops and one underground bishop to the synod in October and the refusal of the Chinese government to let them join the Synod plastered all over the world’s headlines. Since the Cardinal Kung Foundation is strictly obedient and loyal to the Pope, we respect the Holy Father’s decision of inviting not only the official Church’s bishops, but also more of them to the synod than from the underground Church — one bishop —although we do not understand. However, allow me to share with you a similar event. In 1998, there was a special assembly for Asia of the synod of Bishops in Rome. As the late Cardinal Kung was the acknowledged symbol of both the suffering of the underground Roman Catholic Church in China and of his loyalty, love, and obedience to the Popes, we, together with many Chinese Catholics, expected that Cardinal Kung, who was not retired and was still the reigning Bishop of Shanghai, would be invited and welcomed to the synod with enthusiasm no less than what the Vatican has shown to the four Chinese bishops at present, although it was not very certain that Cardinal Kung would be physically able to travel, just as a number of the invited Chinese bishops to the recent October Synod are known to be very elderly, ill and unable to travel. Anyway, it is still beyond words to describe how disappointed and sad we were that Cardinal Kung was not only never invited to join that 1998 synod, but also never received the program, related materials and conclusions of that synod. Needless to say, Cardinal Kung could not understand why he was not invited, but he accepted the fact. All he had received was a three-sentence letter from Cardinal Schotte, the general secretary of the synod, and a copy of the “Message to the People of God coming from this synodal assembly.” It’s history now.

Sino-Vatican Relations

There have been many times in the past when the media buzzed with speculations that the Vatican and China would soon establish diplomatic relations, only to see that this was not so. However, in my opinion, as long as the Chinese government does not allow the Patriotic Association or the official Church to recognize the authority of the Pope, as long as the Chinese government does not allow the Patriotic Association or the official Church to be obedient to the Pope, and as long as the official Church consecrates its bishops without an explicit approval from the Pope, there is very little likelihood that these two countries could establish diplomatic relations. Unfortunately, the Chinese government has failed on all counts. The Taiwan issue is only a smokescreen.

In order that the Vatican be able to establish diplomatic relationships with the Chinese government, the underground Church and the Patriotic Association must become one Church, recognized by and theologically in full communion with the Pope. Moreover, this one Church would have to be legal in China. This has not happened.

For the Vatican to establish diplomatic relationships with China, which the Pope earnestly desires, the Patriotic Association would have to change its constitution so that it would acknowledge the Pope’s supreme administrative, legislative and judicial authority. It would have to pledge boldly and publicly its loyalty and obedience to the Pope, not merely secretly. There is no evidence that such a change of the Patriotic Association’s constitution is in the making.

Moreover, there are too many bishops, priests, and faithful of the Roman Catholic Church who are still in jail in China. These imprisoned bishops are not only Chinese, but also by definition the citizens of the Vatican. They are also the soldiers of the Church. Any country defends its citizens and soldiers. Therefore, how could the Vatican establish diplomatic relations with China while so many of its citizens and soldiers are still in captivity there? Holy Mother Church, a moral compass of the world, cannot do less than a secular government. All these issues were published in my op-ed article published by the Asian Wall Street Journal on April 7 this year shortly after the death of Pope John Paul II.

Cardinal Roger Mahony: Celebration of Holy Mass in the Patriotic Association Church

News has just reached us from the Los Angeles Times, November 5, 2005, that Cardinal Roger Mahony publicly celebrated Mass in Shanghai at St. Peter’s Parish church belonging to the official Patriotic Association Church. The China guidelines issued by the Vatican in 1988 and authored by Cardinal Tomko said clearly that all “communication in sacris” is to be avoided with the Patriotic Association Church. A Cardinal, who is the prince of the Church, is supposed to set an example to follow and support the guidelines of the Church, not to publicly contradict them. Cardinal Mahony’s offering the Mass in public at an official Patriotic church in China is an act of public display of contradicting and confusing the Church’s official guidelines. In addition, by his public presence in an official Patriotic church, Cardinal Mahony, even if unwittingly, encourages and condones the Chinese government’s continuing its more than 50 years of persecution of the Roman Catholic underground Church without fear of reprisal from the outside world, and gives the false impression that the Cardinal supports the Chinese government’s repressive religious policy. In addition, the Cardinal is also, unintentionally and unlikely as it may sound, indirectly supporting the pastoral letter issued by the official Patriotic Church’s Bishops’ Conference more than ten years ago calling for all Chinese Catholics to support China’s “Platform for the Development of Women” that we all know well includes birth control, sterilization and the one family-one child policy whereby women who are pregnant after having one child are forced by the Chinese government to abort their unborn babies. We are of the opinion that Cardinal Mahony, with our due respect, is not doing justice to the Roman Catholic Church in China by publicly offering a Mass in an official Patriotic church. I have written the above to Cardinal Mahony. I have not so far received his response.

Obedience to Magisterium

We tried to be thorough, fair, honest and factual in reporting the information and analysis above. We do so with sorrow and grief. I hope that in doing so I am able to convince those persons in authority in the Vatican or in a position of influence with a different perspective that unity in the Church in China can indeed be possibly achieved after the Vatican is able to negotiate with the Chinese authority to rescind its autonomy clause in the constitution of the Patriotic Association. The Vatican needs to understand that its policy for China is very unclear to the public and consequently causes great confusion. The Vatican urgently needs to replace the deceased, elderly, and sick bishops of the underground Church, and those replacing them should and must come from the same underground Church, not from the official Patriotic Church as it is now happening. We also want our readers to know that we are strictly obedient to the Magisterium. In his article "Beware Communists Bearing Gifts," published by the Tablet, the Catholic newsweekly of London, on August 6, 2005, Mr. Michael Sheridan of the Sunday Times in London concluded the article by saying, “I do hope, from their undoubted places in heaven, Cardinal Kung and Father Kavanagh (a Vincentian missionary who had suffered much at communist hands in China) will inspire the Pope and his diplomats to realize that the Vatican can afford to wait (to recognize the government in Beijing).” I share the sentiment with Mr. Sheridan.

Mr. Kung, who I am honored to count as a friend and with whom I have been privileged to appear at several conferences over the years, has raised significant questions. many of which have been discussed on this site in the past eight months. As a gentle son of the Church, the nephew of a Catholic cardinal who said "Long live Christ the King! Long live the Pope" when he was taken to to the microphone of a dog-track stadium in Shanghai in 1956 before being taken to prison, Mr. Kung gives much more of the benefit of the doubt to the Holy See than I do. It must be remembered that the late Pope John XXIII specifically forbade any criticism of Communism at the Second Vatican Council, more or less slapping his two immediate predecessors in the Throne of Saint Peter, Popes Pius XI and XII, in the face. Each had criticized Communism directly. Pope Pius XII had written two encyclical letters to discuss the state of the Church in Red China. Oh, yes, the policies of the Holy See at present with respect to selling out the modern martyrs in Red China are just a continuation of the appeasement begun by Pope John XXIII as the basic paradigm for the Second Vatican Council and, with a few exceptions, the whole of the Holy See's geopolitical "strategy" of the pat forty-five years or so.

I believe that it is eminently clear that the Holy See is attempting the sort of sell-out of the martyrs in the underground in Red China that took place when Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty was tricked into thinking that he could resume his post as Archbishop of Budapest and the Primate of Hungary when he was coaxed to leave the American Embassy in Budapest and forced into exile. Pope Paul VI and his pernicious Secretary of State, Jean Cardinal Villot, wanted Cardinal Mindszenty out of the way in order to pursue the mistaken policy of Ostpolitik, which meant to tamp down criticism of Communism and Communist regimes by Catholic bishops and priests in Eastern and Central Europe so as to "improve" the life of the Church there. Just as pro-abortion Catholic politicians have been, for the most part, appeased by American bishops and priests in the past thirty-three years, so is it also the case that Communists were appeased in Eastern and Central Europe for a long time. Communists are being appeased anew by the Holy See in Red China.

A particularly ominous indication of the Vatican's intentions with respect to selling out the modern martyrs in the underground Church in Red China is the fact, reported by The Los Angeles Times and noted by Mr. Kung in his Christmas Newsletter, is the fact that Roger Cardinal Mahony, the nefarious Archbishop of Los Angeles who sees fit to honor pro-abortion politicians with his presence at their inaugurations, offered Mass publicly in a Shanghai, China, church run by the Chinese Patriotic Association. It cannot be the case that Cardinal Mahony did this without the full foreknowledge and approval of Angelo Cardinal Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State, and even the Holy Father himself.

When you think about it, however, the fact that Cardinal Mahony should see fit to offer Mass in a schismatic, heretical church in Red China dovetails perfectly with the ethos of ecumenism that has been one of the sorriest tragedies of the Second Vatican Council and its aftermath. What's the big deal about offering Mass in a Red Chinese state-sponsored church when our popes and cardinals and bishops and priests in the past forty years have offered "joint blessings" with heretics and schismatics without once--and I mean even once--inviting any of them publicly to convert to the true Church? Cardinal Mahony's recent actions, therefore, undertaken certainly with the approval of the Holy See in direct violation of its own announced policies about relations with the Chinese Patriotic Association, are simply a continuation of the ethos of appeasement and indifferentism that has devastated the Church in her human elements ever since the pontificate of Pope John XXIII.

Some will protest that Pope John Paul II was a foe of Communism and that he spoke out against it. Well, yes, the late Pope John Paul II did denounce the tyranny of Communist rule in his native Poland. He did contribute to the appearance of the "end" of Communism there in 1989. However, his failure to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with all of the world's bishops in total fulfillment of Our Lady's Fatima Message made his apparent victory in Poland and elsewhere in the former Soviet bloc very hollow and very ephemeral. Re-packaged Communism is still strong in Eastern and Central Europe. Russian President Vladimir Putin is a former head of the Soviet K.G.B., a man who is prone to commit the typical errors of Russian rule ever since that country broke from Rome along with the other Orthodox churches.

You see, it is precisely the failure to consecrate Russia to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart that have caused the errors of Russia, which trace their origin to the Photian errors of Russian Orthodoxy, to spread under its variant mutations, including here in the United States of America. An article in the journal Chronicles noted in 2002 that most of policies of the current presidential administration have great similarities to positions advanced by one of Joseph Stalin's chief rivals for power, Leon Trotsky, who had an unfortunate end while in exile in Mexico City in 1940. The Catholic Church has been given the roadmap to stop the spread of the errors of Russia: the fulfillment of Our Lady's Fatima Message. The failure of one pope after another to fulfill Our Lady's Fatima Message has caused the errors of Russia to spread and countless millions of Catholics to suffer martyrdom. This failure, if it continues, will result in the annihilation of entire nations, including quite possibly our own. Ancient Rome lasted for about a thousand years. It was wiped away as a result of its own decadence. Does anyone seriously doubt that this country--with all that it owes God for its offenses against His rights and His laws--is not capable of suffering of similar fate?

Doubt my word? Consider the evidence presented by Mr. Howard Phillips in his Howard Phillips Issues and Strategies Bulletin of November 30, 2005:

“Months overdue, the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on China’s military power is a mix of happy talk, flabby strategic musings, and sobering facts. …

“The one thing that is clear is that publication of this year’s Annual Report on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China was delayed while its initial and more alarming conclusions about China’s strategic intent were toned down.

“Senior administration officials overruled the report’s authors, professional analysts, and policy advisers at the Pentagon intent on providing an unvarnished account of China’s military. And, contrary to conventional Washington wisdom, this was done not over the heads of the most senior ranks in the Pentagon but with their agreement.”


“A more accurate picture would take note of China’s noncompliance with its pledges to the World Trade Organization; its failure to use its leverage with North Korea to end Pyongyang’s game of nuclear Russian roulette; its continuing refusal to abide by human rights and refugee conventions it has signed; its less-than-stellar nonproliferation record; its use of Chinese nationalism to browbeat Japan; its refusal to cooperate with the other great powers in the Proliferation Security Initiative; its obstructionist policies on Iran, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Burma; and of course its repeated threats to use military force to unify Taiwan with the mainland – and, if need be, engage in nuclear brinkmanship to prevent the United States from intervening to stop a forcible reunification. It is this fuller – but unstated – account of Chinese behavior that fits with the substantive heart of the report, documenting China’s rapid and dramatic improvements in military capabilities.”


“What’s new in this year’s report is the finding that China’s military buildup has begun to have serious implications not only for the cross-strait balance of power but also for the region as a whole.

“The People’s Liberation Army possesses a growing fleet of nuclear and diesel submarines, has 650-730 mobile ballistic missiles, and is working on aerial refueling for a significant percentage of its 2,600 combat aircraft.”


“Toss in new and improved command, control, and communication systems and over-the-horizon targeting capabilities, and the picture that emerges is a China with military capabilities that are not just Taiwan-centric. While the report suggests that these capabilities ‘could pose a credible threat to other modern militaries operating in the region … over the long term, if current trends persist,’ most regional militaries are already worried. When Chinese ships and subs begin making clandestine trips into Japanese home waters – as they have – the signal being sent to Japan and the region is clear enough.”


“Beijing does not believe a full-fledged invasion would be necessary to accomplish its goal. Rather, the PLA leadership, according to its own doctrinal papers, thinks a combination of ballistic-missile, special-operation, and aerial strikes could be sufficient to shock Taiwan’s population and leadership into accepting Beijing’s version of ‘one China.’

“For similar reasons, China is working hard to develop the capacity to blockade Taiwan. The submarine modernization program that the report details is extensive. Eight new quiet KILO-class diesels will soon be added to the four already in the arsenal; China’s indigenous SONG diesel is now in serial production; and a new diesel submarine, the YUAN class, was launched last year. Chinese naval journals indicate a deep interest in blockading operations, and pay close attention to the vulnerabilities of Taiwan’s island economy. …”


“China’s military knows that it must be able to prevent, or, at least severely complicate, the American Navy’s use of its aircraft carriers. To this end, as the new report spells out, China’s antiship cruise missile force is growing by leaps and bounds. It has begun to field high-end, supersonic and subsonic cruise missiles on its new destroyers, attack boats, and submarines. It has even experimented with use of maneuverable, multiple-entry MRBMs and SRBMs to hit carrier battle groups. Once China solves the problem of longer-range detection and targeting, it will pose the most serious threat to American carriers in the world. …”


“The report also details China’s programs to upgrade its intercontinental ballistic missile force with new solid-fuel, road-mobile missiles and new sea-based, submarine-launched systems. The net effect will be a more survivable, more accurate, and more lethal nuclear strategic capability – aimed primarily at the United States. As General Zhu Chenghu, dean of China’s National Defense University, not so subtly reminded American visitors recently: Should the United States intervene in a conflict between China and Taiwan, ‘the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds … of [their] cities will be destroyed by the Chinese’ nuclear weapons.”


“Combine the PLA’s fascination with ‘carrier killing,’ its ability to degrade severely the operational utility of U.S. air bases in Japan through missile strikes, its aggressive pursuit of space and counterspace capabilities, and its upgraded nuclear arsenal, and you have a military that believes it has or is close to having the means to make any American president think twice before going to Taiwan’s rescue. …”


“But rather than face the facts presented in the report about the character and scope of China’s military buildup, the tendency in the senior ranks of the administration is to wash over them with sound bites about our relationship with China being ‘good but complex.’ Or worse.

“The day after the report was issued, in response to a question about the cross-strait military balance, Marine general Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said, ‘There’s lots of countries in the world that have the capacity to wage war,’ but ‘very few have the intent to do so. … There’s absolutely no reason for us to believe there is any intent on [China’s] part.’ Absolutely? …

“General Pace had better hope his statement doesn’t go down in history alongside George Tenet’s now infamous, ‘It’s [the invasion of Iraq in 2003] a slam dunk, Mr. President.’ ” Source: Gary Schmitt and Dan Blumenthal, The Weekly Standard, August 8, 2005, pp. 14-16


“[H]istory may record this as a moment when the failure to speak truth to the Chinese communists condemned the two nations to conflict later.

“That grim prospect might just be avoided if Mr. Bush reads in the course of his Far Eastern visit the report issued last week by the congressionally mandated, blue-ribbon U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Its bipartisan conclusion is that ‘over the past year, on balance, the trends in the U.S.-China relationship have negative implications for our long-term economic and security interests.’

“The commission backs this up with nearly 170 pages of analysis based on 14 hearings. It represents the only ‘second opinion’ on China both informed by full access to classified information and available to the American people, as well as their elected representatives. …”


“Such a review is made all the more necessary insofar as the U.S.-China Commission notes the United States lacks a ‘coherent strategic framework … grounded in a clear-eyed understanding of how the Chinese military and political leadership leads the country, how decisions are made and how their economy works…. China is an authoritarian regime and a nonmarket command economy still controlled by the Communist Party. The central goal of its leadership is maintaining its own power, at all costs.’ ”


“It flows from this basic insight that we must be concerned about such developments as:

“• The persistent assertion by the Chinese leadership to their political cadre and military officers that America is the ‘main enemy’ and that war with the United States is ‘inevitable.’

“• Official Chinese efforts to secure energy resources from all over the world to meet its yawning needs (notably for oil, coal and natural gas) in a way that seems meant to deny such resources to the U.S. and other global competitors.”


“• The PRC’s predatory trade practices and intellectual property theft that continue in violation of past commitments and World Trade Organization obligations. In part, the result is a bilateral trade deficit that has increased ‘over 140 percent in only four years.’ The wealth thus garnered by China is used – among other things – to fuel the plundering of America’s remaining high-technology industrial base and the utter liquidation of our manufacturing sector.”


“• Wealth transfers from the United States are underwriting Beijing’s ominous build-up of its armed forces, as well. The commission says: ‘China is engaged in a major military modernization program, the motives of which are opaque and unexplained. It is building a modern navy and air force, upgrading its nuclear-armed ICBM force and beginning to operate in a power-projection mode. It has markedly expanded its information warfare operations to a level that is clearly designed to disrupt American systems.’ …”


“• Finally, China is engaged in activities that pose a more immediate danger. Two of its nationals were recently arrested trying to sell Chinese-made QW-2 man-portable surface-to-air missiles in this country. Had they done so, the result could have given rise to a potentially grave threat to American airliners. And Chinese micro-satellites are being readied to attack our space assets as another, potentially devastating manifestation of Beijing’s pursuit of what the Pentagon calls ‘asymmetric warfare’ capabilities against the United States.” Source: Frank Gaffney, Jr., author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World (Naval Institute Press, November 2005, available at www.USNI.org), The Washington Times, 11/15/05, p. A20


“In its annual report, the US China Economic and Security Review Commission said China’s growing economic might and its unfair trading practices were eroding the US manufacturing base and threatening US technological superiority.

“It also concluded that China was building up its military power to confront US and allied forces in Asia and was expanding its global alliances, in part to ensure access to energy resources. …

“The commission’s conclusions have generally been dismissed by the administration of President George W. Bush, who travels to China next week. In spite of occasional warnings from the Pentagon about China’s military modernisation, the administration has favoured close co-operation with Beijing on fighting terrorism, opening trade and trying to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons programme.

“The commission, set up by Congress when it approved permanent normal trade relations with China in 2000, has become increasingly influential in arguing that the administration’s view of China is far too sanguine. Its findings helped to rally congressional opposition to the bid this year by CNOOC, the Chinese state-run oil company, to purchase Unocal. The bid was abandoned over fears that such a deal would face a lengthy and hostile review in Washington. …”


“It said Congress should ‘consider’ imposing across-the-board tariffs on Chinese imports, which have been proposed in legislation by Senators Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham.

“The report also called for a build-up of US military forces in Asia and closer military co-operation with Taiwan to make it clear that the US would defend Taiwan against an attack from the mainland.” Source: Edward Alden, Financial Times, 11/10/05, p. 2


“China’s second manned space launch has ignited a new round of debate over the implications of the PRC’s burgeoning space capabilities. ‘China is serious in investing’ in space capabilities that have ‘significant military applications in the future,’ retired Air Force China specialist Mark Stokes tells Voice of America. ‘Space assets, as well as countering … the U.S. use of space or other countries’ use of space, are important force multipliers that can help to even the playing field when you are going up against a technologically superior adversary.’ According to Stokes, the space launch constitutes ‘a stepping stone for a longer-range program to make them a significant player in military space in the future.’ — October 12” Source: Ilan Berman, China Reform Monitor, 10/20/05


“ ‘If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition onto the target zone on China’s territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons,’ Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu said in yesterday’s editions of the Financial Times and the Asian Wall Street Journal.”


“The comments were the most explicit statement of strategic intent by a Chinese military official since 1995, when another officer, Gen. Xiong Guangkai, implicitly threatened to use nuclear arms against Los Angeles if the United States intervened in a Taiwan conflict.

“ ‘If the Americans are determined to interfere … we will be determined to respond,’ said Gen. Zhu, head of China’s National Defense University. ‘We Chinese will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xian [in central China]. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds … of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese.’ …

“A Pentagon official, speaking on background, said Chinese generals normally express only official positions and that Gen. Zhu’s comments represent the views of senior officers. …”


“The statements contradict China’s publicly stated policy that it will not be the first nation to use nuclear weapons in a conflict. Gen. Zhu was quoted as saying he believed the no-first-use policy applied only to non-nuclear states and could be changed.

“He said Beijing is under internal pressure to change the no-first-use policy and to announce that it will use the most powerful weapons at its disposal to defend its claim on Taiwan. He stated that ‘war logic’ requires weaker powers to use all means to defeat a stronger rival. …”


“China’s current nuclear arsenal is believed by U.S. intelligence agencies to include an estimated 45 to 57 missiles that can reach American cities. However, China’s military is rapidly building up its forces and is developing at least three new strategic missile systems, including the DF-31 and DF-31A road-mobile missiles, and the JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles.” Source: Bill Gertz, The Washington Times, 7/16/05, pp. 1, A5


“Back in the 1980s, David Szady was among the premier Soviet spy catchers at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, studying every aspect of the Kremlin’s mole network. Today, he’s mobilizing agents across the country to sniff out spies from a new rival: Beijing.

“ ‘China is the biggest [espionage] threat to the U.S. today,’ says Mr. Szady, now 61 years old and assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division.

“In one of their biggest initiatives after the fight against terrorism, the FBI and Justice Department have sent hundreds of new counterintelligence agents into the bureau’s 56 field offices, many with a specific focus on China. There is a cloak-and-dagger element to some of this: A principal FBI team focusing on Chinese economic espionage, including some undercover operatives, occupies an unmarked floor in a Silicon Valley office park near a popular Chinese restaurant. …”


“Thousands of Chinese nationals regularly come to the U.S. as students and businessmen, some working for major U.S. defense contractors – something the Russians could only have dreamed of during the Cold War. They are welcomed with open arms by universities and companies who prize their technical acumen and links to capital and low-cost labor back home.”


“The vast majority of them are here innocently working or studying. Counter-espionage experts say the trouble often starts when they are contacted by Chinese government officials or one of the more than 3,000 Chinese ‘front companies’ the FBI alleges have been set up in the U.S. specifically to acquire military or industrial technologies illegally. Sometimes they are wooed with cash, but often the motivation is nationalism.”


“ ‘They can work on so many levels that China may prove more difficult to contain than the Russian threat,’ Mr. Szady says. … The FBI’s Business Alliance, established a year ago, has been meeting regularly with leading defense contractors to understand what technologies they’re developing and what potential threats are posed by company employees. The participants include Lockheed Martin Corp., General Dynamics Corp. and Raytheon Co. …

“About 150,000 Chinese students are currently studying in the U.S., according to the FBI, and the number of new admissions has been rising. Nearly 64,000 Chinese students entered the U.S. last year, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, up from 55,000 in 1998. All told, about 700,000 Chinese tourists and business executives visit the U.S. each year. …

“In addition, the Beijing government runs an extensive, informal, decentralized spy network, counterespionage experts allege. In most cases, Beijing’s spy agencies don’t send trained agents to the U.S. to penetrate companies and government agencies, but rather simply seek to glean information from the hundreds of thousands of Chinese who visit and study in the U.S. every year. They also try to get Chinese-Americans to provide information, appealing to their desire to help uplift China’s economy.” Source: Jay Solomon, The Wall Street Journal, 8/10/05, pp. 1, A4


“China’s government yesterday issued a report stating why the Marxist system will not be changed to allow for Western-style democracy and why democracy is limited to within the ruling Communist Party dictatorship.

“ ‘China’s democracy is a democracy guaranteed by the people’s democratic dictatorship,’ the report said. Under that dictatorship, ‘democratic centralism’ is used to rule collectively by party leaders.

“Real power in the country is held by the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, which has five to nine members. President Hu Jintao, who serves as party general-secretary, leads the committee. The Communist Party also controls the Chinese military through the Central Military Commission. … ‘In building socialist political democracy, China has always adhered to the basic principle that the Marxist theory of democracy be combined with the reality of China …’ the report said.

“The report states that the Communist Party regards itself as a ‘vanguard of the working class.’ The party has rejected copying the ‘Western bourgeois political system’ because it ‘would lead them nowhere,’ the report said. …

“The report said democracy is limited to the 2.8 million members of the ‘people’s congresses’ across China and that of those, 176,000 are not members of the Communist Party.” Source: From Beijing, Bill Gertz, The Washington Times, 10/20/05, p. A13


“American military history records many instances of poor readiness or non-availability of war-fighting equipment when conflicts broke out. (More on that below.)

“In that light, consider these facts:

“ American submarines perform many missions – but serve as the premier anti-submarine weapons platform in the U.S. Navy inventory today.

“ There are 400 submarines in the world today; about half are friendly. China has a larger submarine force than the United States.

“ China is building at least five new nuclear fast attack submarines – and two new ballistic-missile nuclear submarines [today] greatly enhancing Chinese capabilities.

“ Nineteen submarines were launched last year worldwide – nine of them in China.

“ And the United States has launched just four submarines in the last five years.” Source: Vice Adm. Albert Konetzni Jr. (served as Deputy commander and Chief of Staff, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, 2001-’04, and Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 1998-’01), New York Post, 7/5/05, p. 27


“China will remain an important client of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, the bank’s president, said yesterday, despite questions over whether a country with swelling financial resources still needs development assistance as it lifts tens of millions of people out of poverty. …

“China is still the bank’s largest client measured by outstanding loans, but has not been the largest single recipient country in recent years in terms of new borrowings. …”


“But China’s own growing overseas aid programme, its ability to finance expensive programmes such as manned space flights and its huge stock of foreign exchange reserves, which are on track to reach $1,000bn (£570bn, 830bn), have prompted questions about Beijing’s need for development assistance.”


“Mr Wolfowitz defended the loans, saying the bank and China had developed a mutually beneficial partnership, in which each could learn lessons from the other about poverty reduction. ‘I genuinely admire what they have accomplished. I am not without some criticisms, but it has been good for the whole world,’ he said. … Mr Wolfowitz’s trip took in a small village in Gansu in impoverished western China, which is home to a large Muslim minority.”


“The press reported that he joined prayers at the local mosque, reciting from heart parts of the Koran. He said he had first learnt the prayer as US ambassador to Indonesia, but had memorized it during three funerals he had attended for ‘Iraqi martyrs’ in recent years.” Source: From Beijing, Richard McGregor, Financial Times, 10/18/05, p. 9

The Diabolical Disorientation spoken about by Sister Lucia, who was named after today's saint, Saint Lucy of Syracuse, Sicily, has metastasized so much that our prelates really believe that their grand schemes of political and "strategic" appeasement and accommodation will succeed. The mere fact that all empirical evidence on the merely human level contradicts the expectations of these prelates is lost on them entirely. Our popes and cardinals and bishops have placed their trust in their own cleverness and ability to "dialog" with those steeped in evil. Our Lady did not say at Fatima that we had to engage those who fomented the errors of Russia in "dialog." She said, quite simply, it should be pointed out, that Russia had to be consecrated by a pope with all of the world's bishops to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Period.

None of the facts cited above should frighten us one little bit. No, as I noted in a commentary yesterday, December 12, 2005, we must cling to Our Lady entirely. We must get ourselves to the Sacrament of Penance regularly, being ever ready to face the moment of our Particular Judgments. Enrolled in the Brown Scapular and displaying Our Lady's Miraculous Medal, we, the sons and daughters of Our Lady of the Rosary, must understand that the most dangerous thing in the world is not nuclear annihilation but dying in a state of final impenitence. We have nothing to fear as long as we persist in a state of grace and are assiduous about saying our prayers and embracing the crosses that come our way, both in our own personal lives and in the larger life of the Church Militant on earth and the world-at-large, and giving them freely to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as her consecrated slaves. We can only hope and pray that Pope Benedict XVI will come to realize that he has it within his own power to provide the world a "certain period of peace," one that will end the spread of the errors of Russia, which are the errors of Modernity in the world and Modernism in the Church, with one simple act: the consecration of Russia in perfect fulfillment of Our Lady's Fatima Message.

In the meantime, we call upon Saint Lucy this day and every day to help us to see the world clearly through the eyes of the true Faith and to remain as immovable as she was in the midst of temptations to renounce the Faith and to embrace the world and its diabolically disoriented belief that there is any (that means, ladies and gentleman, even one) aspect of our personal and social lives that we can afford not to reference completely and docilely to the standard of the Holy Cross that is lifted high only by the Catholic Church.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Saint Lucy, pray for us.

Saint Dominic, pray for us.

Saint Louis de Montfort, pray for us.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Advocate of the City of Mary Immaculate, pray for us.

Saint Philomena, pray for us.

Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us.

Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.

Blessed Francisco, pray for us.

Sister Lucia, pray for us.

Ignatius Cardinal Kung, pray for us.

Father Matthew Ricci, pray for us.

The Chinese Martyrs, pray for us.





































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