Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Another Cardinal in the State of Resistance
Folha de S. Paulo, May 12, 1974
Cardinal Paul Yu Pin, Archbishop of Nanjing, Dean of the Catholic University of Taipei (1901-1978)
Today I had planned to comment on the moral aspects of the fall of German socialist Prime Minister Willy Brandt. However, there came into my hands a document of such importance on the resistance of Catholics to the Holy Father Paul VI’s policy of rapprochement with communist regimes that I cannot fail to bring it to the attention of our readers. They are statements by his Eminence Cardinal Yu Pin, Archbishop of Nanjing, now Dean of the Catholic University of Taipei (Taiwan), published on February 15 by the American bulletin The Herald of Freedom, reproducing a release from the Religious News Service.
The prelate told that news agency he did not take seriously the rumors that negotiations between the Vatican and the communist regime in Beijing were under way. He added that “Catholics in China are certainly not sympathetic to this kind of attitude” and that the Vatican should not expect Communist China to change its anti-religious policy, “not even for propaganda purposes.”
“We do not like to be pacified by others,” Cardinal Yu Pin stated. “That is called opportunism. We want to remain faithful to the perennial values of international justice ... The Vatican can act otherwise, but that would not move us much. I think it is an illusion to hope that a dialogue with Beijing would help Christians on the (Chinese) continent…. The Vatican is obtaining nothing for Christians in Eastern Europe …. If the Vatican cannot protect religion, it has no reason to pursue this matter…We want to remain faithful to our mandate but are victims of communist repression. With this rapprochement (between the Vatican and Communist China) we would lose our freedom. As Chinese we must fight for our freedom.”
To these lucid and vigorous observations reminiscent of St. Paul's “I resisted him (St. Peter) to his face” (Gal. 2:11), the prelate added this moving remark: “There is an underground Church in China. The Church in China will survive just as the early Christians survived in the catacombs, and this could mean a true Christian rebirth to the Chinese.”
The Cardinal also defended the right to “fight with arms” against “oppression” and concluded with this exciting phrase: “If I could, I would organize a real army to protect the Church.”
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I quote these words by the Chinese Cardinal not only for the authority of the one who pronounced them but also to underscore a noteworthy coincidence.
Cardinal Yu Pin has before him a panorama fundamentally different from that which is usually before our eyes. The Archbishop of Nanjing has his attention especially centered on China, enclosed by a bamboo “curtain”. However, the way in which the Chinese prelate considers the current Vatican policy toward communist regimes coincides with the analysis made by the Cardinal-martyr, Jozsef Mindszenty, on that same policy toward regimes behind the Iron Curtain. It also coincides with the assessment on the Vatican’s policy toward Allende’s Chile, Castro’s Cuba etc. made by the TFPs in a recent position paper titled “The Vatican Policy of Détente with Communist Governments – Should the TFPs Stand Down? Or Should They Resist?” Accordingly, this Vatican policy is giving rise to identical objections around the world from people of indisputable fidelity to the Holy See.