When the Vatican's Sells Moral Relativism to us as Pragmatism.
There is a lot of stuff I want to blog about. Sometimes it feels a bit overwhelming - there is such a pace to happenings in the Church under Pope Francis and I do feel I want to document it and record what was going on and the contemporary discussions that surround each event.
I've meaning meaning to write something about China and the Vatican's involvement.
It is hard to see how there could be any justification for the secret agreement between Rome & Beijing, the results of which are the silence of the Vatican on Chinese civil rights violations, the persecution of faithful Catholics & the imposition of a syncretic form of Catholicism which advocates worship of "the Party".
I don't know about you, but I'm starting to see a pattern here.
Amoris Laetitia could be said to be an argument for Fundamental Option. Pope Francis has praised Bernard Haring. The Pope's approach to Islam and defence of Mazzucato seem clearly Utilitarian. Is he trying to reintroduce the pre-conciliar moral relativism already dealt with in Veritatis SplendorWith regards to China: Some say it is about money. Guo Wengei, exiled Chinese dissident, has claimed that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) assigns $2 billion every year to pay off the Vatican for its silence concerning atrocities by Beijing.
"Qualifying China as undemocratic, I do not identify with that, because it’s such a complex country ... yes, it is true that there are things that seem undemocratic to us, that is true."As is normal for this Pontiff, we must make do with “impressions,” rather than clear statements, much less denunciations. He does not want to say that China in undemocratic. He does allow, however, that some of Beijing’s actions might seem undemocratic to our unsophisticated Western understanding.
The Pillar piece notes many of the inconsistencies and concerns:
- The banning of under 18's from Mass
- Bishops are to swear to the supremacy of Communist Party doctrine and authority over Church teaching and hierarchy.
- Many of the bishops appointed before the agreement have been turned out of their homes, arrested, or made fugitive.
- In some parts of the country, local Communist Party authorities have continued to order Catholic church buildings and shrines be bulldozed.
- Bishops are being appointed without the Vatican's approval (albeit it is given following the appointments).
- The direction of travel in China is away from democracy, not toward it.
Patten slammed the Vatican for being "incredibly quiet or discreet" over the persecution of "other Christian churches in China," as well as Muslims who face incarceration, forced sterilization and forced abortions, which have been denounced by the United Nations.
"If they can be denounced by the U.N., why aren't they denounced by the Catholic Church?" he asked. "When things are wicked, when things which are done are wicked, we should call them out as wicked."
Nina Shea on Vatican-CCP deal & how approved “bishops”lead clergy to re-education courses to “conform to socialist society” & to“listen to the word of the Party, feel the grace of the Party, & follow the Party.” Everything Cardinal Zen said would happen. https://t.co/4usNAlzLRU— Lord (David) Alton (@DavidAltonHL) October 25, 2022
Papal bull: the shame of the Vatican’s dealings with the CCP | Damian Thompson in The Spectator. https://t.co/z7ITYT5RnL— Lord (David) Alton (@DavidAltonHL) October 27, 2022
Lord Alton is a deeply faithful Catholic and someone who has devoted his life to defending human rights.
Even if all those calling out the hypocrisy of the Vatican - CCP deal are wrong and there is some secret magic thing going on, the damage being done to the Vatican's political capital here is breath-taking.
More importantly, if Mike Lewis and WPI thesis is correct, it does nothing to absolve Pope Francis and the Vatican from a serious breach of Catholic moral principles. Rather it condemns the Vatican, providing incontrovertable evidence of the Utilitarianism and moral relativism we increasingly see evidenced throughout the papacy of Pope Francis.