With Western companies like Mercedes, Marriott and Zara engaging in the most humiliating and unseemly Panda-groveling, perhaps we should not be too surprised to see a senior Catholic official effusively praising China. We might, however, raise an eyebrow at the academician-bishop concerned for specifically commending the Communist regime for adhering to the Church’s ‘social doctrine’ (here and here).
This follows a recent visit to the country on a diplomatic mission, which left him hugely impressed by the absence of shantytowns and drug-taking youths, and the tons of human dignity, national conscience and focus on the common good. He somehow neglects forced abortions, persecution of religions and suppression of human rights – which one Catholic commentator points out are ‘not optional extras’.
There is a long tradition of this one-trip-and-you’re-maximum-bullish sort of thing, going back to Lincoln Steffens and Edgar Snow up to modern-day investors. Among the less gullible, there is also a provocative tradition of Commie-hugging-as-anti-Americanism – say among 1970s-style trendy leftists. The bishop does this when he uses China’s enlightened wonderfulness (‘moral leadership on climate change’) as a counterpoint to evil Yankee individualist capitalism (‘oil multinationals manage Trump’).
The bishop is from Argentina, as is the current Pope. During the 1970s, that country was run by the usual Cold War third-world US-backed right-wing dictatorship/military regime, which sent death squads after opponents. Many social-activist priests and nuns were tortured and killed, though the Catholic hierarchy officially pretty much supported the junta’s fight against godless Communists.
So to some South American Catholics, it is possible to view Communism nostalgically as a social-justice movement. To others, the Church’s past tolerance of fascism as a bulwark against Bolsheviks (in which Pope Francis allegedly played a role) would perhaps provoke some feelings of self-reflection or even guilt.
So it’s complicated. But we can be sure that – as for Marriott and Mercedes – this is ultimately about market share and growth, perhaps at the risk of overall brand image.
(Before any Catholic-bashing or -defending starts, a little disclosure: I attended Catholic schools from convent kindergarten/junior level up to a Jesuit-run university, went through such rituals as First Holy Communion and confessions, and was an altar boy who rang the bell to mark transubstantiation (ie, I personally decided exactly when bread would become human flesh which people would eat – cool, huh?) The teachers encouraged critical thinking to the extent that they almost viewed lapses into atheism as a sign of success. I think all religions are equally good/bad/wondrous/absurd/essentially stupid.)
I declare the weekend open with the inspiring promise that the next one will be of the four-day variety.
Pope Francis has already capitulated to the atheistic communists on the appointment of bishops and he is apparently on the verge of selling out all of the Catholics who worship in underground churches on the mainland.
It’s a major victory for the CCP. It’s a disgrace for the Pope.
Personally, I don’t blame Hemlock. But others might.
Personally, l am not surprised at this.
I’ve always seen the CCP and the Roman Church as two buttocks of the same bum.
I mean, how do you think Carrie, John, Donald, and Raphael manage to square the circle? It really is a lot easier for them than it looks.
@Red Dragon – “I’ve always seen the CCP and the Roman Church as two buttocks of the same bum”.” Nice one – gives “turn the other cheek” a whole new dimension!
If the commies and the papists form the buttocks, then the Unholy Trinty would be complete with Anglican Red Dragon as the c@*k
Gregory VII must be turning in his grave now.
“hugely impressed by the absence of shantytowns and drug-taking youths . . .”
This is one of those things I wish I had made a note of, but I think I remember it correctly:
In the early 1980s, soon after China started opening up, a militant black American civil rights activist was taken on a tour, and came back praising conditions in Chinese prisons.
For the weekend
The Great and Lesser Lady
(Carrie Lam went to Myanmar a few months ago and met Aung San Suu Kyi)
The great Lady, elegant, restrained,
For all those years detained,
By everyone admired.
The lesser lady in her office sat,
A proper bureaucrat —
Soon to be retired.
In Burma, to use its former name,
The Lady then became
Prime Minister, in effect.
In Hong Kong, Mrs Carrie Lam
Came forward. “Here I am,
Ready to elect.”
In Myanmar, the generals hardly yielded
The power they wielded.
She is just a token.
In Hong Kong, though nominally CE,
She isn’t really free
Unless Beijing has spoken.
In Myanmar, the world saw with revulsion
Murder and expulsion.
The Lady’s in disgrace.
Here (thank heaven) our troubles are much less,
But it’s a mess.
Who runs this place?
I am not RC and bow to your infinitely greater experience and knowledge. However I have never noticed flesh being placed in the missus’s mouth at Christmas midnight mass (am made to go), and rather think she might object.
I had thought the moment of transubstantiation was either when placed in the mouth (although see above) or swallowed.
Perhaps you can enlighten me as to how the RC church accommodates vegetarians and vegans?
There are no atheists in foxholes.
Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, praised the Communist state as “extraordinary”, saying: “You do not have shantytowns, you do not have drugs, young people do not take drugs”. Instead, there is a “positive national conscience”.
Now there’s a lad who’s not left the tour bus or read any Murong Xuecun or Wang Shuo.
“People say there are no atheists in foxholes. A lot of people think this is a good argument against atheism. Personally, I think it’s a much better argument against foxholes.”
― Kurt Vonnegut
You’re quite right, JFK. I am, indeed, a very good cook.
I knew I should’ve left that final initial off the censored expletitive.