According to LifeSite News, a number of English Catholics, which includes Deacon Nick Donnelly and frequent LifeSite contributor Dr. Joseph Shaw, have signed on to an open letter demanding that the Vatican’s deal with China be “torn up.”
“We the undersigned are writing to express our burning anxiety at the Vatican’s treaty with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the light of the China Tribunal’s findings into forced organ harvesting,” the letter published in the Catholic Herald started off with.
The China Tribunal, a human rights group based in London, informed the U.N. Human Rights Council in September 2019 that China harvests skin, kidneys, lungs, and hearts from members of persecuted religious groups, such as the Falun Gong and Uighur Muslims.
Deacon Donnelly Tweeted the contents of the letter by English Catholics protesting Pope Francis’s deal with the People’s Republic of China, in which they described it as “no coincidence.”
“With burning anxiety was the title of Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Mit brennender Sorge protesting the inhumanities of the Nazis regime,” he remarked.
The letter highlights the “[w]idespread accounts of rape and torture” committed in the Chinese government’s state-run program of forced organ-harvesting from prisoners of conscience. In addition, it calls attention to how the government also “harasses and detains leading Catholic clergy and destroys Catholic shrines and churches which refuse to join the official ‘Patriotic Church.’”
“Despite these recent and present human rights abuses, some Vatican representatives have shamed their office and their Christian profession in their responses to concerns about the Holy See’s 22nd September 2018 provisional agreement with the PRC,” the letter declared.
“In 2018, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, the head of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, asserted that the Chinese government had ‘accomplished the reform of the organ donation system’ and even went on to claim that ‘those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese.’”
The details of The Vatican-China agreement, which was signed in September 2018, has yet to be publicized. However, many Vatican-observers believe it would allow Chinese communist leaders to handpick bishops who will then receive the pope’s approval, which goes against Catholic teachings.
Last August, the Vatican confirmed the consecration of the first Chinese bishop in the aftermath of the controversial deal. On March 6, 2020, Pope Francis urged Chinese Catholics in the Communist country to be “good citizens” and not partake in “proselytism.”
The signatories of this letter declared that it is a “scandal” that Cardinal Zen, the retired bishop of Hong Kong, has not even seen a copy of the agreement.
“The time has come for the Vatican to rescind its treaty with the PRC and by so doing stand in forthright solidarity with all victims of totalitarian oppression,” the letter concluded.
HISTORIC: President Trump Brokers Two-State Solution Between Israel and Palestine
On August 13, 2020, Israel and the United Arb Emirates announced that they will normalize diplomatic relations and establish new broad-based ties.
This represents a pivotal moment in Middle Eastern politics, as the hot-button political issues shift from the issue of Palestine to Iran. The Trump administration helped broker this deal.
Under this new agreement, Israel has nominally agreed to stop its plans to annex the areas of the occupied West Bank. This agreement also solidifies opposition to Iran, which has become stronger ever since the U.S. launched its disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003. At the moment, the U.S. views Iran as the principal threat in the Middle East.
Israel previously signed peace agreements with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. Up to this moment, the UAE and most other Arab countries did not maintain formal diplomatic or economic relations with the country until now. In normalizing relations with Israel, the UAE became the first Gulf Arab country to reach such an agreement with the Jewish state.
According to White House officials, the agreement was the result of extended discussions between Israel, the UAE, and the U.S.
In a joint statement featuring President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, they declared that they had “agreed to the full normalisation of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.”
“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” the statement read.
Reuters reported that in another statement, the crown prince highlighted that the agreement would prevent further Israeli annexation of Palestinian land, which Israel claims to have been waiting for U.S. approval.
The agreement is known as the Abraham Accords. It provides Trump a foreign policy accomplishment as he pursues re-election in November.
“HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” Trump Tweeted.
HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2020
In a separate tweet, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, announced that the Trump administration was able to get Israel to agree with Palestinian people on a two-state solution.
The White House’s Twitter account announced this development:
President @realDonaldTrump was able to get Israel to agree to a two-state solution with the Palestinian people—and, for the first time in history, agree to a map that outlined the territory.
President @realDonaldTrump was able to get Israel to agree to a two-state solution with the Palestinian people—and, for the first time in history, agree to a map that outlined the territory. pic.twitter.com/8r3DWmzzOx
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 13, 2020
The Trump administration revealed that deals similar to the UAE and Israeli agreement are being crafted by Israel and other Arab states.
This marks a change in strategy from the nation-building of the Obama and Bush administrations, which largely benefited the defense industry, and relied upon misguided hard power instead of smart diplomacy to settle disputes.
Time will tell if such policies will last.
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