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the Holy See, the Pope said. might be valid if the consecration itself was administered in a valid form. But they were "gravely illicit, that is sinful and sacrilegious."
"The words of the Divine Master are fitting and are a most serious warning: He who enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up another way, is a thief and a robber'," the Pope said.
Recalling how Pope Pius XI consecrated the first Chinese bishops in St. Peter's 32 years ago, and how he himself later set up a native hierarchy in China, the Pope said:
"But a few years later, unfortunately, dark clouds gathered in the sky, and sad and painful days started for your Christian communities....
"We saw missionaries, including a great number of zealous archbishops and bishops and our own representative, forced to abandon !he soil of China, and goal or hardships of every kind were reserved for bishops, priests and religious and many faithful." The Pope recalled that. he spoke out against the unjust persecution in two encyclicals, in 1952 and 1954, stressing that Catholics are as good citizens as anyone else and that the Catholic Church cannot be considered extraneous, far less hostile, to any people in the world and does not seek
earthly power or influence.
"And since there had spread in your country the deceitful doctrine of the 'three autonomies' we . . warned that it was unacceptable for Catholics because it aimed at separation from the unity of the Church," the Pope said.
Referring to the "worsening conditions" of China, the Pope
added: . at the same time it is our duty to denounce openly, and we do so with profound pain, the latest and most insidious attempt to develop and carry to its ultimate consequences the fatal error which we had already so clearly condemned."
And referring directly to the Chinese Patriotic Association the Pope says: "Under the false pretext of patriotism, the association wants gradually to lead Catholics to give support to the principles of atheistic materialism which denies God and all supernatural principles,
"Under the pretext of defending peace, the same organisation received and spread false suspicions and accusations hy which many in the ranks of the clergy, including venerable bishops and even the Holy See itself are accused of insane imperialistic goals, of consent and complicity in the exploitation of peoples. and of preconceived hostility against the Chinese nation."