Chinese Church Chaos

Blessings this Feast of Candlemas,

To commemorate this feast, let me hold out a candle and shed light on another crime that has been wounding our Mother Church. As our Lord had warned: there is nothing done in secret that will not be revealed.

CHNUnderground1WARNING: Before reading this article, please first read this post on Wolves in Wool for context and a good footing in the faith.

The truth will set you free, and truth is: arguably one of the most terrible ongoing failures of Pope Francis has been his dealings with Communist China. Yet, Pope Francis is in the unique and powerful position to solve this disaster, if he would only choose to. It has become apparent he lacks the will, and his mishandling here has harmed many in the Church. Perhaps my family background (Catholic-Chinese-Vietnamese) makes this hit closest to home, and perhaps I know not all the facts, but here are indeed troubling implications that must be known so that we can fast and pray all the more for our Pope:

      1. Pope Benedict XVI attempted to restrict the predatory McCarrick in 2008. McCarrick ignored the sanctions. If you need to know why McCarrick deserved to be restricted (and tried and imprisoned), see commentary here and one of his victims’ testimony here.
      2. After Francis’ 2013 election, McCarrick continued his agenda, despite the restrictions. In fact, during the Francis papacy, “McCarrick’s travels on behalf of the Church increased” even. That’s right: the corrupt cardinal got a promotion.
      3. One of McCarrick’s deeds was his frequent travels to China and meetings with Communist authorities and party-approved clergyman (fakeful bishups). His work went so far as to state in 2016 that Pope Francis and the Chinese dictator have “similarities that could be a special gift for the world.
      4. In 2018, Archbishop Vigano’s testimony against McCarrick and Francis fueled the ex-cardinal’s laicization and apparent quiet retirement (though he should have been–I repeat–tried and imprisoned).
      5. Then from 2018-2019, Cardinal Joseph Zen of embattled Hong Kong came forward with the nightmarish results of the China Deal, presumably designed by McCarrick, Parolin, and Francis (“presumably” since the details of the deal remain secret to all except its architects and the Communists).
      6. Moreover, it is concerning that the entire China Deal was drafted and signed without any input from legitimate Chinese Catholic bishops and cardinals (where’s subsidiarity in that?). That McCarrick was involved should have rendered the deal suspect and worthy of a second look, but instead the Pope has moved forward with it, despite protests from his persecuted Chinese cardinal and his persecuted Chinese sheep under an emboldened Communist president (people are dying). Though “provisional” in status, the deal’s done nothing good for the Church in China, and yet it remains, and remains a useful tool to the Communists who continue using it to draw out confused Catholics from the underground Church.
      7. The China Deal has zero merit, and it is increasingly obvious. Because it is now even obvious to a simpleton like me, it is only a matter of time until other communist countries (i.e., Vietnam, North Korea) catch on that they too can get away with culling the Church’s children without the shepherd of Rome even lifting his staff:
      8. And if one needs a reminder that Communist China is evil (despite the claim of this Vatican official saying China is the “best implementing the social doctrine of the Church“), please view this and see how China persecutes political and religious dissent (Christian, Muslim, and otherwise):
      9. Finally, see here for a decent and recent summary of all the terrors involved and lives at stake.
      10. I love the pope and pray for him everyday, but because of what I now know, I sadly cannot trust him. May Mother Mary severely discipline (Hebrews 12:6, Apocalypse 3:19) all disciples who have become lazy servants, “beating the menservants and the maidservants, eating and drinking and getting drunk” because of our Master’s delay (Luke 12:41-48). With our Blessed Mother’s help, may we all become good and faithful servants, doing whatever He tells us.CHNUnderground7

UPDATE 2/14/2020: Cardinal Zen gives this thorough interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo:

UPDATE 3/10/2020: Sociologist Steven Mosher, who has studied and monitored Communist China for decades, has this to share:

UPDATE 11/22/2020: The Vatican has since renewed its accord with Communist China, and the CCP has used this leniency to rewrite the Bible. Also, this from Cardinal Zen:

UPDATE 12/08/2020 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception: Hong Kong’s most well-known lay Catholic has been imprisoned. Jimmy Lai is founder of Apple Daily, the city’s most critical newspaper against the Communist Party. He wonders why the Pope has remained silent during Beijing’s persecution against China’s Christians and other citizens. More details here from the Wall Street Journal (surprisingly), and his full final interview here before his imprisonment:


Stored in Stomachs

All I can remember is Mother eating my necklace.

I do not remember leaving Vietnam. I do not remember the boat, no matter how small and stinky everyone said it was. I do not remember the night we hid in the jungle, even though everyone said to watch out for scorpions. I do not remember anything except that the necklace was my favorite thing in the world. Its slender body of flat gold links always caught the sun – tracing a halo around my neck. Dad said it made angels jealous of me.

After Bà had given me the necklace for my twelfth birthday, Mother took a stainless steel wire and twisted it through the clasp. She had said it would keep me from ever losing Grandmother’s necklace.

“Hurry, go call Anh Bình and Chị Phôi.” Mother told me. I ran out into the field and found my older brother and sister busy pitting their crickets against each other.

“Má said to come home.” I said to my brother. He pushed me aside and shouted at his cricket to kick more butt. My sister caught me by the arm so I would not fall over. She reached out to snatch my brother’s ear. He yelped and I laughed as she pulled him away.

Inside the house, we watched as Mother rushed about, throwing all of the jewelry onto the kitchen table. Some of the rings and bracelets I had never seen before. My sister helped Mother sort the jewelry into smaller piles.

“Children, do as I say. Men are coming, and they do not like people to have nice things like gold. We are leaving with Daddy when he comes home. We can only bring some of these with us.”

“Má, are we going to Nha Trang?” I asked. I loved Nha Trang. I learned how to swim there and can still remember how the warm Eastern Sea washed my young skin.

“No.” Mother said.

“Is Bà coming with us?” I worried about Grandma.

“No. We are going on a boat and it will take us to a better place.”

I looked around our home and tried to imagine the better place. Would it have crickets for us to catch? Monsoons for us to play in? Red dirt to stain our feet? Was it Nha Trang?

Then Mother filled some glasses with water and set them on the table. She picked up a ring, put it into her mouth and drank it down with a few gulps of water. I thought she was taking medicine until my sister and brother did the same.

I watched them eat gold and jade, and I started to cry.

Mother swallowed a short necklace and coughed, spitting water out from between her pressed lips. Her eyes became red and her face became purple. She drank a whole glass and breathed heavily.

When my brother took a necklace, Mother grabbed it out of his hand.

I touched the necklace around my throat. Mother noticed and tried to unwind the steel wire. Although she barely touched my skin, I could feel her rough hands struggle. The necklace tingled me as it squirmed in Mother’s fingers. When I was younger, I had felt a little snake slip over my bare foot. I began to panic and had to remind myself there was really no snake over my collar.

The wire had cut some of Mother’s fingertips. At first I squealed and thought they were snakebites, but then reminded myself again. She wiped the blood off onto her pants and washed my halo in a shallow dish basin. It felt strange to have nothing tug at my neck anymore. I rubbed my throat – looking for gold. Then Mother looked at me. She tore the wire off the necklace and beckoned me over.

“Will you let Má keep this for you?” She asked.

I could not say anything. I just stared at it, and at the blood dripping out of her fingers into the basin.

“Má will keep it safe until we are safe again.” She promised. I nodded and watched her head lean back. Her hand dangled the shimmering string over her lips, and then she dipped it into her mouth.

That is all I can remember.

I do not even remember the storm that drowned Mother in the sea, even though everyone said I watched and cried.


Copyright © 2009 Evan Pham