Miles Kwok: Dear friends, I am having an interview with Steven Bannon, chairman of our Rule of Law Foundation, who is now in Vatican, Rome of Italy, standing on a balcony.
Today we are going to talk about Vatican that is welcoming the visit of a very important guest, President Xi Jinping of China. On September 28, 2018, Vatican signed a historical agreement with China, an MOU on China’s underground churches. Later in December, they had a revised version of the agreement; after that, China started a widespread crackdown on the country’s Christians, Catholics and underground churches. Since then, tens of thousands of Catholics and Christians have been arrested, threatened, and persecuted; nearly a hundred churches were demolished. Only in the south of Fujian Province, many bishops were dismissed from their posts or downgraded from bishops to assistant bishops.
The signing of agreement between Vatican and the Communist government of China has severe impacts on religious followers across the world, and thus caught widespread attention.
As we all know, Mr. Steven Bannon is a devoted Catholic, and all his family members too. He cares very much about the issue as it relates closely to his faith. I have deep discussions with Mr. Bannon on the issue and Mr. Bannon questions the Vatican-China agreement in many respects.
Today we’d like to ask how Steven Bannon thinks about the issue.
Steven Bannon: Thank you, Miles. First I want to thank the Guo.media and his professional team for having this broadcast live today from the Vatican. We are here on the roof of the Convene of the Sister of Mary, the Mother of Jesus the Holy Child…right across the street here on St. Peter’s Square. Today it’s a great compliment to have CBS and the Guo.media team broadcasting here.
By people here in Vatican, this is the first time for a live broadcast into China, for the Chinese underground church, and for all the citizens of China to be able to see something dreadful from the Vatican.
One of the reasons we are here is that there is a very important four-day summit that has been called by the Pople to bring the heads of bishops from all over the world together to deal with the crisis in the Catholic church. There’s been a crisis of sexual abuse of minors. They’ve called all the heads of the Catholic churches here under the Pope’s guidance for four days. We have been here monitoring that for a couple of days.
The reason we have come here during the summit when the whole world is focusing on the Pope and how the Pope is interacting with bishops, is particular this deal that was signed by the Vatican with the CCP. It was announced about a month ago.
It is very important for people throughout the world to understand what this agreement is actually discussed and what this agreement means to the people of China, and particularly what I call the saints of the underground church have been persecuted for so many years by the radical faction of the CCP.
One thing I want to make sure people are standing here actually in the Vatican itself, which is the first time to be allowed to be broadcast inside the ground of the Vatican. The reason this is important is that this deal with the Chinese Communist Party is one of the most controversial deal that the Catholic church has ever entered into. The Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen have come out totally against this deal.
Anyone that can see this broadcast from China, particularly those living saints of underground churches…they should understand and remember that people here in the Catholic church in Rome in the Vatican are very concerned about this deal, particularly the fact that this deal is secret; this deal has not been exposed to the public;it’s a secret transaction between the Pope in Vatican and the Chinese Communist Party. It is in violation frankly of the Treaty signed between the people from the People’s Republic of China and the United Nations. All treaties must be publicized. This is a clear violation of the Holiness Treaty.
People should understand that Cardinal Zen is universally considered one of the world’s holiest men on the level of the Dalai Lama as far as his holiness and his goodness goes. Cardinal Zen has come out and said this is a “sell-out”; this is a compete betray of the underground church. And I think as Miles said from the very beginning immediately after the deal was signed in secret, you saw destruction of churches, you saw destruction of convenes; you saw removal of bishops. And so we are here in Rome today actually in the Vatican City, trying to get answers.
I think what has outraged people in the Catholic church who have offered their support to the brothers and sisters in the underground churches in China. And Cardinal Zen said what Pope Francis and the hierarchy of the Vatican did was to allow the CCP, to allow this radical faction of Wang Qishan and President Xi to actually be able to select and approve bishops, which is really the central piece of the power of the church, allowing them to have the power for selection of bishops. Two of the most important bishops of the underground church were removed from office after signing of this document.
I think many Catholics throughout the world think it is unacceptable, agreeing with Cardinal Zen that this is the sell-out of the Chinese people; this is the sell-out of the living saints of the Chinese underground church. Some of the devoted Catholics of the world think that this is the sell-out of the dedicated and profound Christians and Catholics in China.
That’s why we are here at the Vatican, to start the process of demanding that the secret deal signed between the Vatican and the CCP be opened up so that everybody can review it, and particularly the people in the underground churches in China can see exactly what the deal is between the Chinese Communist Party and the Vatican.
Miles Kwok: Mr. Bannon, please allow me to give a brief report on the history of Christianity, Catholics, and other religions, and their relations with the CCP. I want to give some evidence of facts and the logic behind these events and relationships.
In 1934, Fang Zhimin from the CCP’s Red Army kidnapped the US archbishop John Stam and his wife on his mission in China and asked for ransom. The couple was murdered after torture by the communist red soldiers.
In 1935, the CCP’s red army kidnapped another British missionary of Christianity Rudolf Bosshardt Piaget and asked for ransom. He was also murdered.
In 1922, the CCP fore-runners organized a “No Jesus Movement” in Peking University, Li Dazhao, Hushi, Cai Yuanpei, and Chen Duxiu. Their crackdown on Christianity in China was unprecedented, more devastating than the elimination of Buddhism by four emperors in ancient Chinese history. The impact is profound and long lasting.
And in recent years in Hong Kong, the Cardinal Joseph Zen was threatened with assassinations. After he was finally removed from office, a retired bishop John Tong Hon selected by the CCP was put onto the top job of Eminence Cardinal. This is the biggest joke in Hong Kong’s religious circles.
These are some major events in the history of Christianity and Catholicism in China under CCP persecution.
Next what actions will be taken in Europe, especially in Vatican, Italy, by the Rule of Law Foundation? Mr. Bannon, please tell us something about this?
(To be continued)
From the Vatican