China and the world silent before news of crosses torn down from churches in Henan and Anhui. Acceptance of violence "the only thing granted" to Christians in China. Nationalism is destroying justice and humanity. The Jesuit magazine removed. The Wuhan diary written by Fangfang.
Beijing (AsiaNews) - "Now when a cross is removed, Christians must be calm and smile," this is the bitter consideration of Shanren Shenfu, a blogger priest who belongs to the official Church. Commenting on news of a cross torn from the tympanum of a church in Henan on Easter Sunday, he points out that now the Church in China preaches that everything must be accepted, even passing evil off as good. He also quotes an article from Jesuit magazine "Civiltà Cattolica" from which he draws this conclusion: "Considering and accepting the removal of the crosses as an everyday event therefore seems to be the only great contribution that the Chinese Catholic faithful and all the people of God can make to the continuation of the [Sino-Vatican] Agreement ". From his blog, we learn that the Civilità Cattolica seems to have been blocked in China: the article he refers to has disappeared ("deleted").
Shanren Shenfu believes that there is a risk that "acceptance" will now be "the only thing granted" to Christians in China, similarly to acceptance that "coal is white" and not black. And this, he says, is "a very sad joke".
Coal is white
Whenever I want to write an article, first of all I always think of a possible title. I'm certainly not one who counts on the title to attract the attention of readers, and I never thought of doing it, however I always dedicate a lot of time to this. The above headline came to my mind yesterday, but I didn't have enough time to write. Another reason is that there is not much to write now: life seems a such a standstill, there is nothing more that can be changed. Isn't what we see today ridiculous?
On April 12, Easter Sunday, a member of the faithful sent me a photo showing the cross above a church in the diocese of Xinxiang (Henan), which was removed on Easter Sunday. That cross and that church have a history of almost 100 years. The faithful asked me to write something about it! What I think: there is really nothing to write! It's not that I don't feel anger anymore ... The point is that many people could say: what's the point of being angry? Moreover, if you are angry about it, you are also considered a criminal!
Now when a cross is removed, Christians must all be calm and smile. In fact, just a few days ago, the cross of an ancient Anhui church was also removed, and it is not mentioned at all!
Civiltà Cattolica and demolished crosses
The other day, "Civiltà Cattolica" published an article written by Father Lombardi on "The history of relations between the Holy See and China". Just enough time to read it only once, and the article was deleted [from the internet]. It is truly a great regret not to have been able to save it. On the conclusion of that article I made some small comments quoted in my article: [the conclusion of the article by Fr. Lombardi is this] "If the meaning and spirit of the Agreement signed on September 22, 2018 were understood correctly and positively, the support and communion of the Chinese Catholic faithful and of all the people of God with the Pope could give a precious contribution to the continuation of a journey that has already begun, producing an increasingly solid fruit ". My personal comment has a sad ending, if you deepen the meaning of what is said. In order to have a correct and positive interpretation of the meaning and spirit of this Provisional Agreement, we must support each other and be united. Only in this way can one contribute to the progress of the Agreement, and from here obtain an increasingly solid fruit. Therefore, considering and accepting the removal of the crosses as an everyday event therefore seems to be the only great contribution that the Chinese Catholic faithful and all the people of God can make to the continuation of the Agreement!
I accidentally listened to Father Fei Jisheng's homily with a group of priests, entitled "Reflection during a difficult period". The comments of the Chinese faithful are very positive. Father Fei is an eloquent person, he also knows how to quote the Bible spontaneously, so his faithful treasure it. After listening to Father Fei's reflection, I decided to write this article, and the title emerged almost spontaneously. His reflection speaks exactly of how, as Christians, we must deal with the removal of crosses by government authorities. His reasoning is very simple: first, everything that happens is willed by the Lord; second, through this, God teaches his faithful to recognize their sins; because, in the end, it is precisely the sins committed by the Church that produce these events. The conclusion is that one should not complain, but rather confess! This is my superficial summary of Father Fei's profound reflection. I don't know if anyone was left with a similar sentiment: these words are likely to mislead.
In the common perception, coal is black, but now people are being educated to say it is white. To make people believe that coal is white, we proceed with multiple manifestations, words or posters. The reasons given by government authorities for the removal of the crosses are always manifold, but are Christians really required to look for the reason as to why a cross is demolished? Can't they keep claiming that the color of coal is inherently black?
In the sacrament of confession do I have to take charge of the sin committed by others and do I no longer have to judge facts the very nature of which is evil?
The diary of Fangfang
The values of Chinese society is in total chaos, and this is noticeable from the criticism of Fangfang's diary[i]. Some mean people started looking for old speeches delivered by Professor Liang Yanping of the University of Hubei, denouncing the professor to the university to take severe measures against her. And this, only because she was in favor of the article written by Fangfang. The people's impression is that Fangfang and Professor Liang agree. They do, but because they support justice and proclaim humanity.
Since when did justice and humanity become less important than the nation? The crosses that symbolize the Christian faith are removed, and Christians not only cannot stop this act, but they cannot even out against it. Acceptance now seems to be the only thing granted!
White coal is a lie and a joke. As some say: “There is no lie that you dare not tell; there is no limit that you dare not exceed, and no one knows how many people have yet to be sacrificed ". Therefore, this is a very sad joke!
Modified on April 28, 2020
[i] Fangfang is a renowned writer. His real name is Wang Fang. He kept a journal of his life in Wuhan during the coronavirus epidemic, also voicing criticism of the government over the crisis management. The news that his diary will be published in the United States in June has sparked criticism from nationalists in China, who accuse him of selling off the country's honor to foreigners.