In response to Vatican Bishop Marcelo Sorondo's claim that Communist China is among the "best" countries "implementing the social doctrine of the Church," Catholic author and analyst George W. Weigel, who wrote the biography of Pope St. John Paul II, said that to try "to square" the totalitarian practices of China "with the social doctrine fo the Catholic Church requires something approaching a psychotic detachment from reality."
Last week, as reported in the Catholic Herald, Bishop Sorondo, an Argentinian who oversees the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences at the Vatican, said, “Right now, those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese."
The brutal Communist state is "extraordinary," he claimed. “You do not have shantytowns, you do not have drugs, young people do not take drugs," and there is a “positive national conscience." He furtehr claimed, “the economy does not dominate politics, as happens in the United States, something Americans themselves would say.”
George Weigel, who is well-schooled in the history of communism, rejected Bp. Sorondo's fantastic assertions.
"Catholic social doctrine is built on four foundational principles," he explained in National Review. "[T]he inviolable dignity and value of every human person, the responsibility of all to exercise their rights in ways that contribute to the common good, the importance of social pluralism and civil society (and thus the rejection of totalitarianism), and the imperative of solidarity (the virtue of civic friendship that binds free societies together)." None of this is allowed in Communist China today.
Weigel then noted the well-documented human rights abuses, religious persecution, and genocide that occurs in China.
There are more than 1,000 laogai political prisons in China, where slave labor is enforced and some prisoners are murdered so their bodily organs can be sold. Also, as Weigel explained, the Chinese state regulates family size; there was a one-child policy for decades and now there is a two-child policy. Forced abortions are not uncommon. This is "a grotesque cruelty regularly practiced in the PRC today," said Weigel.
Also, there is "no right of free movement within" Communist China, said Weigel, and China is an officially atheist state where religious persecution is common.
"Those are the facts," said Weigel. "To try to square them with the social doctrine of the Catholic Church requires something approaching a psychotic detachment from reality — or, worse, a willful ignorance, turning a blind eye to repression and persecution in order to indulge fantasies of a socialist paradise freed from the unpleasantness of bourgeois liberal society."
"The same detachment from reality also informed Bishop Sánchez’s praise of China’s adherence to the Paris climate accord and its 'moral leadership' in the field of climate change." said Weigel. "What air, one wonders, did the bishop breathe in China, one of the most heavily polluted countries in the world?"
"And does His Excellency imagine that a totalitarian regime, bent on asserting itself as a global power and unaccountable to its populace, is going to seriously address its problems of massive air, water, and soil pollution because it signed a piece of paper in the City of Light?" said Weigel.
As documented in The Black Book of Communism (Harvard University Press), at least 65 million people have been killed in China as a direct result of Communist policies there since the revolution in 1949-50. This number is greater than the estimated worldwide death count of World War II at 50-million-plus.
The political, class-genocide in Communist China has never been publicly addressed in a fully factual way by the regime. Its crimes, which are still ongoing today, are hidden by the Chinese media, their friends in the Western media, Westeran academia, Hollywood and, apparently, some of their fellow-travelers at the Vatican.