In modern times, tyrannical states almost always dress themselves up in religious trappings. What’s new for our times is that religions are acting more and more like branches of the state. Instead of maintaining a separation of church and state, some religious leaders seem to prefer a union of the two.
Pope Francis is a prime example. He is a great fan of the UN, and one gets the impression from many of his statements that he believes that the world would be a better place if it moved in the direction of a one-world government modelled on the UN. For the time being, however, various progressive and socialist governments can serve as models. With few exceptions, his own policies mirror the policies of liberal secular states. Whether the issue is climate change, poverty, borders, or economics, his policies bear a remarkable similarity to those of the ruling socialist parties in Canada, America and Europe.
More disturbing, Francis seems to have a partiality toward communist China. Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, who Francis appointed as Chancellor of both the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, declared in 2018 that “those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese.”
“Social doctrine of the Church”? Would that include the persecution of Catholics in the “underground Church”—that is, the authentic Catholic Church in China? Does it include the intense pressure tactics, such as house arrest and starvation, used to force Catholic clergy into joining the communist-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association? Does it refer to the mass internment of Uighur Muslims in Orwellian “reeducation” camps?
It’s not as though the Vatican doesn’t know about these abuses. Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong accused Pope Francis of selling out the underground Church in a secret agreement that allowed the legitimate underground Church bishops to be replaced by government-chosen bishops. At the same time, Francis urged Chinese Christians to be “good citizens” and to avoid “proselytism.”
It’s widely believed that the Vatican’s cooperation with the Chinese government has to do with the payment of hush money. According to Chinese dissident Guo Wengu, the Chinese Communist Party allocates up to two billion dollars a year as an incentive for the Vatican to keep quiet about human rights abuse in China. Guo claims that, in addition to buying influence, China’s global expansionist policy also involves sexual seduction. One thinks immediately of Hunter Biden and Eric Swalwell, but it’s not unthinkable that some of Rome’s wayward clergy could easily be entrapped and blackmailed—another reason for the Vatican to overlook Chinese abuses.
It seems as though a parallel Catholic Church has already developed in America alongside the real one. A sizable number of Catholics no longer agree with Church doctrine on the real presence, hell, marriage, divorce, abortion, homosexual unions, and various other teachings. Yet most of them are quite sure that they are good Catholics because, increasingly, a good Christian is thought to be tolerant, non-judgmental, and anti-racist, and also pro-open borders, pro-environment, and pro-liberal social programs.
Progressive Catholic politicians such as Andrew Cuomo, Kathy Hochul, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden reinforce this view of what the thoroughly modern Catholic should think and do. And the fact that they suffer no consequences from Church leaders suggest that their brand of Catholicism may well be the wave of the future.
Notice that Francis makes no reference to God but is quite willing to accept the advice of public health authorities—no questions asked. As evidenced by his recent initiatives—such as the document on “Human Fraternity”—Francis seems to be hoping for an eventual one-world religion which would be based more on secular “humanistic” principles than on divine ones.
Still, progressive Catholics have not yet entirely excluded Jesus from the picture. As Governor Hochul has suggested, Jesus wants us to get the vaccine. Undoubtedly, Hochul has a long list of things that Jesus wants us to do. The thing to remember ‘though is that in the minds of Hochul and other liberal Catholics, Jesus is not just our brother. He can also be usefully employed as our Big Brother.