Inter-religious wars are brutal. Each group thinking their side has divine support while the others merely worship air. Intra-religious battles; however, can be even more brutal. The enemy is not some heathen who does not know better but a heretic apostate who knew and rejected the truth. The bloody Sadr-Zaraqawi tick-for-tat antics demonstrate this well. The battles do not have to be physical. The battles can be like the current conflict between the Catholic Church and the People's Republic of China.
In the last few weeks strange news was coming from
The talks were going well until
American Papist is having an updated rundown of the account at The Chinese Excommunications: Finding Answers.
The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association was formed because the Communist government thought an independent religion could bring down governments. It has rejected Catholic law changes since the 1950s including Vatican II. For a while they even did Latin Mass until changes were made in the 1990s to bring Mass in line with other Catholic Masses. Estimates state 80% of the Chinese bishops are in secret union with Rome. Most bishops appointed by the government ask for approval from Rome first.
The Catholic Church is not the only religion run by the Communists:
- The Three-Self Patriotic Movement is the official Protestant church in
. It considers itself "post-denominational." China
- The Chinese Patriotic Islamic Association is the official Islamic group in
. It teaches loyalty to the state before Allah (it briefly tried to ban the Hajj, which is mandatory according to the Qur'an). China
It will be interesting to see what happens. Will the Church and Communists resume dialog, will Benedict XVI fight government-control like John Paul II did and inspire new Lech Walesa's, or will the status quo hold of both sides ignoring each other? Only time will tell.