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The Patriotic Catholic Church of Canada?
Catholic Exchange ^ | July 22, 2005 | Joe Pacuska

Posted on 07/22/2005 10:02:25 AM PDT by NYer

In 1956 a diminutive and humble Catholic bishop was forcefully escorted by an armed guard to a stage at a dog-racing stadium in Shanghai, China. Despite his five-foot stature and poor health after months of imprisonment, Bishop Ignatius Kung was considered a very dangerous man by the Chinese Communist Party.

In September of the previous year Bishop Kung and two hundred priests in Shanghai were arrested and imprisoned for refusing to renounce their allegiance to the Vatican and transfer their loyalties to the state-sanctioned “Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association” (CPA), an Orwellian institution which is often referred to as the Patriotic Catholic Church of China. After coming to power in 1949, the Beijing communist government had created and organized the CPA, established it as the “official” Catholic Church in China, severed ties with the Vatican in 1951 and mandated that all three million Chinese Catholics transfer their allegiance from Rome to Beijing. This blatant schismatic act was the means by which the communist government intended to established state control of the Catholic Church in mainland China.

Throughout those first years of state-sponsored persecution, Bishop Kung had steadfastly held his ground as a Church leader faithful to the Vatican, and his followers, known as “The Legion of Mary,” continued to hold public activities in spite of threats, intimidation, arrests and imprisonments. By 1955 the communist government had come to the end of its patience with Bishop Kung, and on the night of September 8th security police bathed his residence in spotlights and climbed the walls. They arrested Bishop Kung, handcuffed him and led him away to prison.

Months later, Bishop Kung found himself standing on the stage of that stadium in Shanghai surrounded by thousands who had been forced to attend and witness the Bishop’s public confession of his “crimes.” But when they pushed Bishop Kung to the front of the stage the heroic priest, ignoring the armed guards surrounding him, shouted into the microphone, “Long live Christ the King! Long live the pope!”

The crowd burst into shouts of “Long live Christ the King! Long live Bishop Kung!”

Four years later Bishop Kung was sentenced to life in prison for “counter-revolutionary crimes and treason,” and spent the next twenty-five years in solitary confinement. Throughout his imprisonment Bishop Kung refused to confess to any of the charges brought against him, saying only that he was “in prison simply for being a Bishop of the Catholic Church.” Secretly elevated to cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 1979, Cardinal Kung died in exile in March of 2000 at the age of 98.

If only he were alive today, I think Cardinal Kung would have a few strong words for former Canadian professor, Bob Ferguson.

In a recent commentary on Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) radio (somewhat the equivalent of National Public Radio here in the United States) Ferguson proposed the creation of a “code of moral practice for religions” in Canada. Fueling Ferguson’s proposition is his concern that religion, while admittedly “important in our lives,” “can become a danger to society when people claim that the unalterable will of God is the basis for their opinions and actions.”

And he sees such opinions and actions as a real threat to society. After all, he says, “we cannot take rules from our holy books and apply them to the modern world without democratic debate and due regard for the law” now, can we?

Ferguson would make the Chinese communists proud.

A former professor at the Royal Military College, Ferguson sees “legislation to regulate the practice of religion” as the solution to the problem. Why not? The government regulates many other aspects of Canadian lives, doesn’t it? So, then, as Ferguson postulates, why can’t Canadians “insist that human rights, employment, and consumer legislation apply to [religious institutions] as it does other organizations?”

In Ferguson’s brave new world, adherents to any state-approved religion will be registered (an “RRP” or “registered religious practitioner” as Ferguson calls them) and will have to conform to a “new code.” Though he declined to spell out all the specifics of this code, Ferguson offered a few items that, he claims, should be obvious to us all: “It should be unethical for any RRP to claim that theirs was the one true religion and believers in anything else or nothing were doomed to fire and brimstone. One might also expect prohibition of ritual circumcisions, bans on preaching hate or violence, the regulation of faith healers, protocols for missionary work, etc."

I’m not making this up.

For the record, Cardinal Kung would have had a hard time with Ferguson’s clause against teaching that “believers in anything else or nothing” would be “doomed.” During the persecutions of faithful Chinese Catholics, Cardinal Kung taught his followers that “If we deny our faith, we will die and there will be no resurrection. If we stay faithful, we will still die, but there will be resurrection." I wonder what penalty Ferguson has in mind for someone like Cardinal Kung?

And it should be noted that the Catholic Church is the one religious institution that Ferguson feels compelled to single out as especially in need of these regulations. Apparently, the Church’s steadfast resistance to changes in its teachings, most recently manifested by its opposition to Gay Marriage Bill C-38, makes it necessary for the government to step in and “encourage reform.” In other words, if the Catholic Church won’t conform to the secular norms of Canadian society, then the Canadian government will have to force change upon it.

For all his academic bluster, Ferguson apparently doesn’t know that he’s a Johnny-come-lately to the concept of a state-run department for regulating religions. Communist China already beat him to it. They call it the National Religious Affairs Bureau, and for the last half century it has been the instrument for repression, persecution and almost unimaginable human rights violations against Roman Catholics and other adherents to “non-authorized" religions in that country.

That sad fact was apparently not considered when Ferguson was formulating his ideas. But then high-minded intellectuals don’t often allow for the fact that their enlightened proposals may have already failed miserably elsewhere. Why let facts get in the way? Why would Ferguson even consider that state regulation of religion could lead to brutal repression?

Actually, numerous Canadian government and religious leaders warned that passage of the proposed (and now enacted) same-sex marriage law would lead to religious persecution. And Ferguson had to know that. Still, he continues to fantasize that his “code of moral practice for religions” would actually make things better. “Of course the Vatican wouldn’t like the changes” he said, “but they would come to accept them in time as a fact of life in Canada. Indeed I suspect many clergy would welcome the external pressure.”

Really? Did Cardinal Kung “welcome the external pressure” imposed on the Catholic Church by the communist government in China? Did the Vatican or the thousands of faithful Chinese Catholic priests who were imprisoned by the communists “come to accept” the changes in time? Are faithful Canadian Catholics expected to welcome the creation of the Patriotic Catholic Church of Canada?

God forbid! We can only hope and pray that faithful Canadian Catholics will reject the half-baked musings of so-called “intellectuals” like Bob Ferguson and echo Cardinal Kung’s shout to the crowds, “Long live Christ the King! Long live the pope!”


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Canada; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: catholic; kung; pope
Canadian National Public Radio Broadcasts Call for State Control of Religion, Especially Catholicism
1 posted on 07/22/2005 10:02:26 AM PDT by NYer
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
Catholic Ping - Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


2 posted on 07/22/2005 10:03:43 AM PDT by NYer ("Each person is meant to exist. Each person is God's own idea." - Pope Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer

thank you"NYer"what do you think good friend?


3 posted on 07/22/2005 10:05:54 AM PDT by anonymoussierra (Nie bądź pochopny w duchu do gniewu, bo gniew przebywa w piersi głupców)
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To: NYer

This idiot wants to debate every individuals basis of Faith? It is Faith you screaming, meaningless fool.


4 posted on 07/22/2005 10:09:27 AM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: NYer
Bob Ferguson is an idiot -- one of those eccentrics who abound on college campuses but rarely get on the air in the US.

It sounds like his true religion is Bobism. Maybe he still has Microsoft "Bob" as his operating system.

5 posted on 07/22/2005 10:19:56 AM PDT by x
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To: NYer

The said thing is the patriotic church is becoming accepted. I've been at parishes here in the U.S. that have priests from the patriotic church. It's sad. because nearby are a few Jesuits who were imprisoned for many years in China.


6 posted on 07/22/2005 10:30:21 AM PDT by nickcarraway (I'm Only Alive, Because a Judge Hasn't Ruled I Should Die...)
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To: NYer

Cardinal Kung is buried at the Jesuit cemetary in Santa Clara, California, not far from the Santa Clara Mission. A local Jesuit performed the traditional funeral Mass Cardinal Kung requested, which the Bishop very reluctantly allowed. Hopefully Cardinal Kung is praying for us now.


7 posted on 07/22/2005 10:32:02 AM PDT by nickcarraway (I'm Only Alive, Because a Judge Hasn't Ruled I Should Die...)
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To: nickcarraway

Why has Cardinal Kung not been considered for sainthood, or has he?


8 posted on 07/22/2005 12:02:13 PM PDT by Romish_Papist (The times are out of step with the Catholic Church. God Bless Pope Benedict XVI.)
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To: TattooedUSAFConservative

Well, the five year anniversary of his death was this past March, so his cause could not be advanced until tehn. I know the Bishop of Bridgeport was contacted, but I don't know what the current status is.


9 posted on 07/22/2005 12:09:35 PM PDT by nickcarraway (I'm Only Alive, Because a Judge Hasn't Ruled I Should Die...)
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To: nickcarraway

Ahhh, got my dates mixed up, it has only just been five years, hasn't it?


10 posted on 07/22/2005 12:54:28 PM PDT by Romish_Papist (The times are out of step with the Catholic Church. God Bless Pope Benedict XVI.)
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To: ncountylee
The Left wants to abolish religion. This is a natural outgrowth of the corollary the bourgeois family is extinct. Why allow people to persist in antiquated delusions? They'll be brought into the modern world one way or another. To put it somewhat differently, "God is Dead! Long live the State!"

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
11 posted on 07/22/2005 1:11:34 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: NYer

One thing that we Catholics can always be proud of is that Hitler hated Catholics. He had good reason to becuase the Catholics in Western Germany resisted him and eventually were the ones that tried to blow his worthless butt up.
He started his own church, registered the members and picked its bishops. Sound familiar?
"In Ferguson’s brave new world, adherents to any state-approved religion will be registered (an “RRP” or “registered religious practitioner” as Ferguson calls them) and will have to conform to a “new code.”


12 posted on 07/22/2005 1:51:58 PM PDT by jmaroneps37 (Dealing with liberals? Remember: when you wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty and he loves it.)
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