December 2, 2005


Five Chinese Nuns Hospitalized After Land Dispute (Philip P. Pan, December 2, 2005, Washington Post)

At least five Catholic nuns resisting a government plan to sell land claimed by their church to a real estate developer are hospitalized in the Chinese city of Xian after thugs armed with sticks and clubs assaulted them, a witness and others familiar with the incident said Thursday.

One of the nuns, identified as Cheng Jing, 34, was blinded in the attack and has recovered the use of only one eye, and another nun was scheduled for surgery on her spine, according to people who have visited them. A third was recovering with a broken arm, and two others incurred serious head injuries.

The attack occurred on the night of Nov. 23 on a parcel of disputed land in downtown Xian adjacent to the city's main state-sanctioned Catholic church, the Southern Cathedral. About 30 to 40 nuns were trying to stop workers from demolishing an elementary school there when the thugs began beating them, injuring at least 16, the sources said.

Violent conflicts over housing and land have become common in Chinese cities as developers, often backed by Communist Party officials, seek to evict whole neighborhoods to make way for lucrative real estate projects.

It's long past time to turn up the heat on the Pope for putting the Church in bed with the PRC.

MORE (via Qiao Yang):
I believe it was (Richard John Neuhaus, First Things: On the Square)

I believe it was the nineteenth-century Swiss historian Jakob Burckhardt who said that you can always count on Rome to come to terms with the barbarians. He did not intend it as a criticism but merely to observe that the Church will make political accomodations necessary to securing its mission. The observation is pertinent to the long-standing desire of the Vatican to normalize relations with China.

John Allen spoke recently with Ambassador Chou-seng Tou of Taiwan. The Holy See is the last remaining European state to maintain relations with Taiwan. “Once the people of mainland China enjoy religious freedom, the demand for other freedoms will follow,” Tou said. “The regime is afraid that it will become a tidal wave and things will get out of control.”

“We are somewhat the victims of the Holy See’s strong desire for rapprochement with the mainland,” Tou said.

He cited the fact that the Holy See has not appointed a nuncio, or full ambassador, to Taiwan since 1979. The pope is represented in Taipei by a chargé d’affaires, in what many see as preparation for an eventual shift to Beijing. “We’re the victims,” Tou repeated, “but we also understand.” Perhaps Mr. Tou has read Burckhardt.

President Bush was in China last week and was outspoken about the imperative of religious freedom. According to the Italian daily La Stampa, anonymous Vatican sources called his efforts unschedued and unhelpful. “If we go to Beijing, it will certainly not be on the back of the U.S.,” a Vatican official was quoted as saying. “The Chinese authorities will not grant us greater religious freedom on the basis that Bush asked for it.”

This is a typically churlish expression of the anti-Americanism that is to be found in some Vatican circles.


Posted by Orrin Judd at December 2, 2005 8:29 AM

Boxer-Leninism. This is what Vietnam was really about.

Posted by: Lou Gots at December 2, 2005 8:37 AM

When was the church on the side of the good guys?

Posted by: erp at December 2, 2005 8:59 AM

WWII and the Cold War for starters.

Posted by: oj at December 2, 2005 9:26 AM

Sorry, no.

Posted by: erp at December 2, 2005 9:58 AM

Exchange the word "beatings" with "just compensation" and you have the Kelo Decision.

The convergence continues.

Posted by: Bruno at December 2, 2005 10:55 AM

erp: Are you going all Harry Eagar on us?

Posted by: b at December 2, 2005 11:18 AM

Bruno: Because you don't see any moral difference between beatings, on the one hand, and just compensation, on the other?

Posted by: David Cohen at December 2, 2005 4:10 PM

b. I'm not sure if I am or not. I don't remember Harry's positions.

I'm not pro-religion like most of you guys and I don't think the Catholic church has stood up for the people the Beatitudes talk about. Individual priests and nuns yes. The church as an institution, no. There are so many examples, but the recent disgusting cover up at the highest levels of the church hierarchy of the decades long sexual abuse of children is the one comes most readily to mind.

It's also pretty obvious that those wishing to wage war for fun and profit find it easiest to use religion as an excuse ala in Northern Ireland, the Middle East, Kashmir.

Posted by: erp at December 2, 2005 4:16 PM