A Vatican official is under fire from Chinese Catholics after saying that China is the best implementer of Catholic social doctrine. Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academies for Science and Social Sciences, heaped praise on China in an interview
with the Spanish edition of the Vatican Insider
. He said China has no shabby slums, no drugs and the Chinese people have a "positive national consciousness." He praised the Chinese government for its dedication to upholding the Paris Agreement
on climate change and said it had taken the initiative to shoulder the responsibility that some other countries abandoned. The mid-ranking Vatican official said China's political system is not money-oriented like that in the United States and criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for being "controlled by multinational oil companies." He said China is now well developed and urged people not to view China as they used to look at the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Argentinean bishop's comments provoked a storm of outrage among China's long-suffering Catholics and even general people across social media. An underground priest called John told ucanews.com that "justice is no longer upheld, especially when a Sino-Vatican deal is being made." Peter, another priest, said the Vatican is trading with the devil and selling righteousness, and "they do not understand what has really happened in China." Retired Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun
told ucanews.com that some people in the Vatican do not understand the China Church. "They [the authorities] know very well that there are many underground priests holding Mass and many people are going to Mass. All the neighbors know that. No people are going to denounce them because they are good people. They do not make any revolutions," he said. Cardinal Zen emphasized that in some regions open churches and underground churches are living in peace and cited an example of a bishop's funeral that "5,000 people both from open and underground churches came to join. All priests co-celebrated. They are always there." A China religious expert who asked to be unnamed told ucanews.com that "the Vatican does not understand the China Church but only wants to appease the authorities." After reading the news on Bishop Sorondo and the Sino-Vatican agreement
on the appointment of bishops, a Chinese Catholic who has emigrated to the United States told ucanews.com: "Why cannot the Holy See see the real China? People will never forgive Bishop Sorondo for being so stupid. How can we evangelize?"