04/25/2012 China (AsiaNews) – Today’s Episcopal ordination in Changsha shows that Maoism is still alive in China. For over a month, the Chinese and foreign newspapers have been full of stories about the dismissal of Bo Xilai, the former Communist Party secretary of Chongqing, famous for his Maoist revival of songs and readings of the Great Helmsman, a ruthless campaign against triads, and an equally unscrupulous corruption.
On the same occasion, Wen Jiabao promised deep political and economic reforms for the country and many have hoped that – with the same readiness with which Bo was eliminated – there would be new freedoms. Instead a subtler but equally totalitarian Maoism, continues to be present in Chinese society: the media, economy, religions.
Regarding the field of religion, some prominent Chinese personalities point the finger at Zhu Weiqun, vice president of the United Front, famous for his speech against religion and against religious conversions of party members. Zhu has a curriculum similar to that of Bo Xilai: he studied law with him, similarly he is the son of high ranking party leaders, and he also supports a resumption of Maoism.
Thanks to his policies in the United Front, which dominates the state administration for religious affairs, religious communities suffer endless controls, the same as the underground community, destined to be canceled, after a process of “brainwashing”.
For months now groups of priests and bishops of the underground Church are taken, isolated and subjected to political sessions to make them understand the benefits of the Party’s religious policies.
The Maoism inherent in these policies is also evident in the ordinations of bishops: each new bishop must be above all an instrument of the Party and then the official Catholic Church. In this way, each Episcopal ordination becomes an endowment of this policy, giving the bishops appointments, salaries, honorifics, and turning them into quasi low-ranking quasi officials of the Chinese government.
As a result they are chosen according to their use to the Party and not for the pastoral care of the population or according to the pope. This is what happened in last year’s ordinations in Leshan and Shantou, with candidates chosen by the government and without papal mandate. And even if there are candidates wanted the pope, the Party forces the neo-ordained to suffer the presence of illegitimate and excommunicated bishops, as was the case last March 19 in Nanchong, and Changsha today. The two candidates are good pastors, but it was the government to choose who should and who should not be invited to consecrate.