Miraculously, in that sweeping, panoramic tour of world problems, the pope’s gaze failed to notice the more than one million Uighur Muslims interned in a network of more than 85 Chinese concentration camps in the region of Xinjiang, where they are being systematically tortured, raped, enslaved, and forcibly sterilized.
In fact, the pontiff’s only mention of China in the address was in reference to last October’s renewal of a secret agreement between the Vatican and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regarding the naming of Catholic bishops in the country.
“The agreement is essentially pastoral in nature, and the Holy See is confident that the process now begun can be pursued in a spirit of mutual respect and trust, and thus further contribute to the resolution of questions of common interest,” Francis said.
Unfortunately, this “spirit of mutual respect and trust” seems to mean the inability to call out China for its egregious violations of human rights.
China is notoriously thin-skinned and vindictive when it comes to public criticism and the pope is apparently unwilling to risk upsetting them or jeopardizing the precarious Vatican-CCP deal by coming to the defense of the victims of Chinese atrocities.