Papal Crony Praises Communist China, Denounces America

By Steven Mosher Published on February 6, 2018

Recently back from his very first trip to China, Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo is waxing ecstatic. “Those who best realize the social doctrine of the Church at this time are the Chinese.” So Sorondo gushed to the Italian newspaper, La Stampa, on Friday. “They seek the common good, subordinating all things to the general good.”

That reminds me of Lincoln Steffens’ awestruck assessment of the Soviet Union. He said: “I’ve seen the future, and it works!”

China is morally superior because it pays lip service to Global Warming? Really?

As we all know, Stalin’s USSR turned out to be one of the great killing fields of the Twentieth Century. Mao’s China was another.

China: A New Paradise?

Sorondo serves as the Chancellor of the both the Pontifical Academy of Science and the Pontifical Academy of Social Science. He’s not a reporter. “I found an extraordinary China,” he continued breathlessly. “You do not have shantytowns. You do not have drugs, young people do not have drugs. There is a positive national consciousness. They want to show that they have changed, they already accept private property.”

Archbishop Sorondo surely rode in a chauffeured limousine from the airport to his five-star hotel. He probably did not see any shantytowns. The route, after all, got carefully Potemkinized. Foreign visitors get a splendid first impression.

His government handlers didn’t hesitate to lie to him about politically sensitive topics. They may have assured him that China’s youth are drug-free. But the country’s National Narcotics Control Commission recently said otherwise: “China’s drug problem is severe and growing, with sharp rises in the abuse and production of synthetic drugs.”

China, for Sorondo, has “positive national consciousness.” It relentlessly “seeks the common good.” It’s also the main manufacturer of opioids such as fentanyl. Such drugs, illegally exported by China to the rest of the world, have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of young Americans, Canadians, and Filipinos.

How about China’s respect for “private property”? See the ongoing destruction of Catholic and other Christian churches in China. These churches stoof on “private” land. With the written permission of the Communist-dominated state. Which turned out to be worthless.

Chinese Communism Saving the Planet?

Sorondo’s most extravagant claim? That Beijing is “defending the dignity of the person.” How? By “following Laudato Si on the care of our common home [to limit CO2 emissions. . . China] is here assuming a moral leadership that others have abandoned.”

China is morally superior because it pays lip service to Global Warming? Really?

Is Beijing defending the “dignity of the human person” by forcibly aborting women who conceive children outside the Communist Party’s birth plan? Is the Party showing “moral leadership” by executing more people each year than the rest of the world combined?

Does Sorondo even know that China’s workers can’t organize free labor unions along the lines of Poland’s Solidarity? Or that workers who strike for higher wages — or for any wages at all — often face deadly force?

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America: The Enemy

Of course, no interview with Archbishop Sorondo is complete without a little America-bashing. He said: “The economy [in China] does not dominate politics, as it does in the United States. How is it possible that the petroleum multinationals control Trump, when we know that this is bad for the earth.”

No, Your Excellency, the economy in China does not dominate politics. But that is only because China is a bureaucratic totalitarian state. The Chinese Communist Party — and its politics — dominate not just production, but reproduction as well.

Sorondo’s slur that the oil companies, or anyone else for that matter, control President Trump is simply laughable. If anyone is his own man, it is Donald Trump.

Some of this nonsense is pretty much what we have one to expect from an anti-American Argentinean socialist. Especially one who thinks that the government can — if only we allow it enough power — to solve all social problems.

An Embarrassment to the Church

Sorondo, despite being the head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, is known for being a sloppy thinker.

Not long ago, for example, he claimed that the Pope’s specific views on global warming were just as authoritative as the Church’s condemnation of abortion. Father Joseph Fessio, SJ, who studied theology under Joseph Ratzinger commented. He called these comments “worse than wrong. They are an embarrassment to the Church.”

But Sorondo is probably just as much Chinese dupe as socialist fellow traveler.

After you’ve been treated like visiting royalty, it seems churlish to remark on China’s continuing imprisonment of bishops or destruction of churches, even if they are your own bishops and your own churches.

It is an exhilarating experience to be flattered by a coterie of Chinese officials. They carefully gauge your political sympathies. They know how to appeal to them while flattering you. The treatment has made better men — Henry Kissinger, for example — lose their heads. So one might excuse Soronda by saying that he is a victim of China’s exquisite skills in barbarian management.

The Royal Treatment

After you’ve been treated like visiting royalty, it seems churlish to remark on China’s continuing imprisonment of bishops or destruction of churches, even if they are your own bishops and your own churches.

I suspect that Sorondo was also, in his clumsy way, trying to blunt criticism of the forthcoming agreement between the Vatican and the Chinese Communist Party over the appointment of bishops.

If China is really, as he claims, doing such a remarkable job carrying out the “social doctrine of the Church,” then the implication is that we should just overlook its persecution of the Church itself.

Torturing Christians

We should overlook the findings of the U.S. State Department. Its most recent annual report on freedom of religion found the Chinese government “physically abused, detained, arrested, tortured, sentenced to prison, or harassed adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups for activities related to their religious beliefs and practices.”

We should put all that aside. Why? For the sake of an agreement which cedes control of both the Patriotic and Underground churches in China to the Chinese Communist Party.

Perhaps Sorondo and others in the Vatican seem deluded. Communist Party negotiators convinced them that if the Vatican orders the Underground Church out of the catacombs and allows Beijing to choose its bishops, that the CCP will reciprocate by allowing greater scope for religious freedom and practice. If so, nothing could be further from the truth.Bully of Asia - COVER v5__1517902683_70.123.104.176

The Bully of Asia

As I write in Bully Of Asia, the CCP still:

practices ‘brainwashing’ not merely on outspoken dissidents but on everyone. The point of the ‘self-criticism’ sessions that were a regular feature of life under chairman Mao — and that have been reinstituted under Party Supremo Xi Jinping — was to bring everyone’s thoughts into alignment with the Party’s. Even today, there is nothing akin to a Western ‘right of privacy’ or ‘right of conscience’ that would prevent the Party-State from imprinting its policies wholesale on the minds and bodies of its subjects. … Big Daddy Xi [as he is called in China] is ratcheting up controls over all kinds of ‘thought work’ and has made it clear that all Chinese media must serve the interests of the ruling Communist Party.

Of course, I’m an American. So Archbishop Sorondo would probably discount what I have to say. But I will say it nonetheless: Those of us who know Communist Chinese officials as the most duplicitous and masterful manipulators on the planet know that Chinese Party-State will violate any agreement that is signed before the ink is dry on the paper.

Giving the Communists Control

And whether Sorondo understands it or not — and I would guess he doesn’t have a clue — there’s only one reason why the Chinese Party-State wants an agreement with the Vatican at all. For control. It wants to control the appointment of bishops so that it can create a breakaway national church. It wants to control and limit the contact of that church with the outside world, and to put it on a path to gradual extinction.

Most of all, it wants to force the Underground Church out into the open. There its heroic bishops will give way to state lackeys. Its members more effectively watched. Its preaching stopped.

That the Vatican is contemplating cooperating with this scheme is mystifying. Why would any believing Catholic consent to hand over millions of believers in China to an officially atheistic Communist Party that is hostile to Catholicism, treats Catholics as second-class citizens, and will not even let them serve in the government or the military?

What You Must Do, Do Quickly

It is, as Cardinal Zen says, nothing less than a betrayal of faithful Catholics in China.

If Archbishop Sorondo and others in the Vatican ignore the true Church in China, if they’re determined to cave to the Chinese Communist Party, then they should simply shut up and do so.

Don’t insult our intelligence. Don’t claim that the Communist revolution has finally produced a society that has solved all of mankind’s social ills. Or that the Chinese Communist Party has done a better job implementing the social gospel than, say, the United States of America.

We’ve heard that claim before from political pilgrims to China going all the way back to Edgar Snow, who in Red Star Over China tried to convince us that Mao Zedong was building heaven on earth.

I will let you, dear reader, decide whether the Archbishop should be treated as a laughingstock or a liar, a dupe or a fellow traveler.

But, for whatever reason, he is propagating a myth as old as Marxism. And it is a myth that kills.

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  • Tony Chow

    Maybe he should move to China.

  • Ransom

    I would love to post regarding this idiocy, but I’m speechless.

    • Mark Mills

      Please do not be silent.

      • Ransom

        I thought of something to say:
        Msgr. Sanchez Sorondo is not new to praise for China. In February 2017, at an international meeting on organ trafficking, he defended Beijing against the charge of forced transplants operated by Chinese doctors on prisoners and death row inmates. (See Asia News, 2/8/17)

  • grateful1

    The upper echelons in the Church are demented — or maybe “possessed” is a better word. And these are the people Pope Francis surrounds himself with, and continues to appoint and promote. With God’s grace, future generations will be spared this nightmare, but I fear that this one (and likely the next) is doomed.

  • IWantALamborghini

    St Michael the Archangel, Defend Us In Battle

    • Mark Mills

      Lord, they say the Church is a hospital for sinners. Yet when some of its own doctors are cancerous, how can they heal others? For the sake of the Church , I beg of you Father. Please excise these cancerous growths and heal Her .

  • Gail Finke

    It takes a breathtaking amount of gullibility to believe that.

  • Lana Hughes

    I’m so terribly sorry for all of the Underground Christians in China. They will soon become Martyrs if they’re brought out into the open. The communist gov’t has no Mercy. They do not now, nor have they ever been sympathetic or fair minded to those who oppose their mindsets. God help these dear helpless people.

  • Patmos

    Francis and his enablers just need to come out of the closet already, and admit they are Marxist and not Christians. They’re not really fooling anyone anymore.

  • cestusdei

    Introduce him to some of the tortured Catholics who have escaped. Remind him of what has happened in the past. If he trusts the communists then he has learned nothing.

  • Vatican credibility took a bigger plunge than the stock market this week.

  • Darren

    “They seek the common good, subordinating all things to the general good”.

    That is the biggest crock of ****. So, forcing women to kill their unborn children is the general good? What propaganda did China sweetly spoonfeed Archbishop Sorondo? How does a man become an Archbishop who holds views like this. The harvest is plentiful and the harvesters are few. I don’t think this is what Jesus meant by praying for God to send harvesters.

    Has the Archbishop ever read the Church’s teaching that Socialism especially Communism is completely against Catholic Social Doctrine? Pope Pius XI stated that “No one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true socialist.”

    Pray for the Archbishop. Pray for good and holy priests. Pray the Divine Mercy chaplet. Pray the Chaplet of St. Michael. Pray the Rosary.

    The smoke of Satan has entered the Church. It’s time for St. Michael to throw Satan into hell and not just out of heaven and onto the earth.

    I love G.K. Chesterton’s quote:

    “For solemnity flows out of men naturally; but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy, hard to be light. Satan fell by the force of gravity.”

  • mollysdad

    I suspect that, what the Vatican is calculating, is that the Chinese Communist Party is not going away soon, or any time ever before the Last Judgement. Neither is China going to become a confessionally Christian state any time soon, or any time ever.

    The Achilles’ heel of the Communists is their forced abortion policy. The unrestrained killing of the unborn could be seen as divine punishment for the refusal of the nation to submit to Christ, and it carries with it a guarantee of destruction for the nation that embraces it.

  • ArthurMcGowan

    I had forgotten that it was Sorondo who had equated the Global Warming Hoax and the Church’s teaching on abortion. That’s not “sloppy” thinking. It’s full-blown demonic dementia.

    But you can go far in the Church on nothing but America-bashing and slandering Donald Trump.

  • Ravedao

    Banner week for our church; labeling Chilean abuse victims liars, folding to a murderous Chinese regime and selling out true Chinese Catholics, and then praising said murderous regime.

    I am disgusted to be a Catholic. I want this fake Pope out of the Vatican.

    What does one do? Leave the church? Turn one’s back on their personal church they’ve attended their entire life? Withhold money? That will hurt my church more than anything.

    I wonder what to do. This is the beginning of the end for our unified church. A schism is coming.

    • Support the Church with your prayers first. In terms of supporting the ministry of the Church, you can ensure that your money is going to praiseworthy people and causes by giving directly to those causes, this includes causes at your local church, (capital campaigns, charity drives, etc). Very little money you tithe to your local church finds its way to the Vatican, though some of it is funnelled to the Diocese and USCCB. You can also donate goods and services rather than giving a monetary donation.

      By giving less money directly to the Church and more of it to worthy causes performed by individual apostolates within the Church, you’re following the desire of Pope Francis who wants a Church that is poor and for the poor. And, given the state of Church leadership, I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment.

    • DrRoss

      Do not be afraid, my brother. Stay true to your bride. By baptism, we are each priest, prophet, and king. Christ summons us to respond to this dark plague of evil infidelity within our ranks, within our households, and within our Church. Let us rise up and rout the fake clergy and all their lay minions. We are the priesthood of the laity. Faithful clergy may provide the sacraments, but faithful laity must take up the Sword of the Spirit. If each will listen for the call of the Holy Spirit inspiring each of us to act in the light of the Lord, the God of love will manifest our unity and faithful works to assist the authentic bride of Christ up to her feet to lift up the torch of love, which is the light for our darkened world. It is this simple: “If then my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and heal their land.”-2 Chr 7:14

  • NotMuchWhatsNewWithYou

    I hate to think of what he would say after visiting North Korea.

  • Mark Mills

    Geeze Bishop!
    China does a few things right, so let’s ignore the litany of evils the leaders do and sanction.
    They still threaten their neighbors by claiming territory which is not theirs and building man made islands for strategic purposes. They still imprison political and religious dissenters. They raze churches. They claim the authority to choose bishops for the Church. They cover for the systemstic theft of intellectual property. They harvest organs from prisoners as the “need” arises.
    Go aheaf Bishop. Turn a blind eye.
    Perhaps, if physical persecution comes to the Vatican and you and like minded individuals are rounded up, I or someone like me will turn a blind eye as well.

    • CruisingTroll

      Their one child policy has led to the murder of millions of Gods children in the womb.

      Not just “in the womb”

      • Mark Mills

        Too true. Many baby girls have been left to die simply because they were not males who could one day grow older and help support the family.
        God said “Be fruitful and multiply.”
        The Chinese government says “If you’ve already got one, kill the rest.”
        Perhaps the “good bishop” is having a crisis of faith and doesn’t exactly know where his loyalty lies.

  • Monica Kolars

    This is the best the Church has? An Archbishop that is so ignorant and blinded by his own bias. Ridiculous.

    • Morenowthanever

      Just look at the rest of the bunch in the Vatican…the word best does not apply in any regard.

  • DebraBrunsberg

    I am so very weary of these men of Satan in positions of power in the Church. I guess that is how we know the time is short. How anyone in the entire universe can be praising China is beyond me. You have to either be the most stupid human on earth or you are a tool of the devil. Yes, we do have smoke in the Vatican.

  • As George Weigel says in today’s National Review,

    “How playing Let’s Make a Deal with totalitarians in Beijing who at this very moment are imprisoning and torturing Christians adds to the sum total of Catholicism’s moral authority, or the papacy’s, is, to put it gently, unclear.”

    • Matt

      Weigel is not a bad man, but he has been putting it gently for far too long.

  • The two words I did not see in this article were “Pope Francis”. Where is he on this? He seems to be right onboard, with his recent capitulation regarding bishops.

  • Maggie Sullivan


  • Chris C.

    If the worst happens and the right to approve bishops is ceded to the Chinese leadership by what rationale will such a right be withheld anywhere else? When the progressive left assumes power again in the U.S. can we expect them to demand a say in who our bishops are?

  • rvhdpal

    I have not read the comments of others, but I recall a story told to me by a visitor to China, after the country opened up to tourism in the late 1970’s. He was a close family friend. His tour of course was carefully structured by the authorities. He did have some free time. This I shall always remember. “I saw Christ message lived by the people – they care for each other”. He did not see selfishness. Perhaps that is what people see, although as capitalism filters through, I hope they combine it with that caring for others. So what Sorondo saw may have that effect. This is not to say the people are free. They are not, but they are caring. Entirely different concept. To be free doesn’t mean anything if some are deprived of the necessities of life.

    • Communist China’s “Great Leap Forward” caused the greatest famine in history, resulting in the starvation of more than 40 million people. I would not call that caring or selflessness.

    • rvhdpal

      We fall into a problem of understanding – the government is not the people. The people are the caring element, they suffered under Mao as some have pointed out, but they cared for each other. Perhaps an awareness that they are all suffering.

      • The fallacy that governments are not to be identified with the people they govern allows us to easily dismiss their crimes as though some impersonal entity or perhaps one person alone committed the atrocities perpetuated by them. Who do you think implemented the “Great Leap Forward?” Was it some impersonal government force? Perhaps a terracotta army? No, it was a massive military regime, powered by the will of the people who caused their own demise. Maybe a large portion of the people were opposed to it the communist regime, but the fact is, governments are run by a large percentage of the people they govern. They can do nothing without the consent and cooperation of the governed.

        • rvhdpal

          Did you fail your history courses? You really believe everyone is governed in a democracy? This site is getting so un-Catholic, I wonder what you should be called. Jesus was a man of mercy, forgiveness and understanding of a people under the yoke of a cruel governing body.

          • Kevy Moranski

            Seriously? Are you kidding or just passionately ignorant?

  • Morenowthanever

    There is NOTHING Holy, Christian, certainly NOT Catholic regarding the people occupying our Vatican these days.

  • thushjz

    I was in Beijing 9 years ago playing in a band, the communist Govt. was beginning to put Christian Pastors in Prison and knock down Churches…Is that what the Catholic Hierarchy wants? It would appear so…

  • teo

    Prayer For The Silence of A Pope.

    Dear loving and merciful Father,
    We pray for your Son’s earthly guardian
      of the deposit of faith.
    Grant to your humble servant N. __________
    that he may reserve and decline both speech and writing so as to safeguard your tradition that you so lovingly have bestowed on us for thousands years.
    May you grant our Vicar the peace and courage needed for earthly solitude and contemplation.
    Eternal and loving giver of all that is good, we beseech thee, to guide Him in his duties in living the gospel without words.
    We ask this thru Christ Our Lord.

  • handydan

    Paul VI said that the smoke of Satan had entered the Vatican; with Francis, it has turned into a raging inferno. I do not know how to say this kindly, buy I wish he would not be Pope anymore. Peace and God bless.

    • Calixtus III

      Are you or could you be a sedevacantist?

  • J_Bob

    Is it small wonder why the Evangelical movement is growing so much in S. & Central America, as well as China?

  • Astounding. What a liar he is. Forced abortions. Now children forbidden from going to church. Economics? And no shanty-towns? Families have been destroyed in China: no aunts nor uncles nor cousins, not to mention brothers and sisters. Such is the One-Child policy.

  • DrRoss

    Hope burns bright. For the day is coming, says the Lord, “Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.” [Mt 7: 19-20] And on that day when the wicked, unfaithful cabal of Vaticanistas, who have broken trust violating our Lord’s teachings and His people, say to Jesus, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?” Jesus promises, “Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you.’ Depart from me, you evildoers.” -Mt 7:22-23

  • Kevy Moranski

    There is an old Arabic slogan, ” It is better to have 10,000 enemies outside your tent than to have one inside.”

  • David

    It is hard to believe he is that dumb; so one must conclude he is working for China. Therefore I must conclude that he is evil.

  • Dave

    Mr Mosher: Well Done! this is what happens when you are surrounded by walls. Same effect is happening to Francis.
    Xi is the new Mao.

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