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In China,  there are two versions of the Catholic Church:

The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), which is a Chinese government lead and run version of the Catholic Church. The Chinese government hands picks the Bishops and dictates policy for the CPCA.

Then, there is the true Catholic Church which is in union with Rome.  This true Catholic Church is forced to exist underground in China and her Bishops are often persecuted, arrested and, at times, killed, by the Chinese government.

In a paper by CTU Faculty member, Edmund Chia (Everyone wants a piece of China, including Christians; National Catholic Reporter, January 24, 2006; Vol. 3, No. 25) of which two comments are worth reviewing, and I am comfortable that these statements are not taken out of context, Mr. Chia proudly stated that:

• “…the church in China does not take orders from any foreign powers, including the Vatican.”

• “…local communities actually have a say, even if guided by Big Brother (Chinese government), in the appointment of their on Bishops and are not subject to an appointment made by someone sitting in faraway Rome…”.

Based upon the style in which the paper was written, it is obvious that Mr. Chia is in union (at least in spirit) with the CPCA, and more important – he is not in union with the Roman Catholic Church. In his paper on the Catholic Church in China, there was no mention of the true Catholic Church which is underground in China and which is in union with Rome.

Also, his use of the term ‘Big Brother’ is in direct reference to the Chinese government. His implication is that he is more comfortable with the Chinese government being actively involved in the selection of Bishop’s, than with Rome’s involvement.

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