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Monday, October 02, 2000, updated at 21:08(GMT+8)

True Colors of "Saints" Exposed

Xinhua News Agency released a long signed article October 2 exposing the true colors of some of the 120 foreign missionaries and their Chinese henchmen which were bestowed "sainthood" on Sunday by the Vatican.

The article categorized those "saints" into three groups:

-- The first group were foreign missionaries who helped colonialists and imperialists to invade and pillage China.

-- The second group were Chinese Catholics serving as "accomplices and henchmen" of foreign missionaries who were notorious for their crimes.

-- The rest were Chinese Catholics who were killed in the struggles of the Chinese people in resistance against foreign missionaries, who had taken advantage of unequal treaties imposed on China to tyrannize and bully the people in China. The Chinese Catholics who were killed in this period of time were victims of imperialist invasions and sacrifice for the colonialist church forces.

Of the 120 "saints," 17 were executed by the government of Qing Dynasty for violating the century-long government ban on foreign missionaries preaching, which took effect in 1717, 15 died in "religious cases" in which the Chinese people fought against the oppression of foreign churches between 1840 and 1900; there were 86 that died in the Boxer Uprising in 1900, a peasant movement to fight against foreign invasions, and two died in 1930.

Of the "canonized" October 1, 33 were foreign missionaries, and 87 were Chinese.

The article cited several cases of the "canonized saints" as follows:

Case I: "Saint" Auguste Chapdelaine (1814-1856)

According to an unequal treaty forced on the Qing Dynasty in 1844 by the French government, French missionaries were allowed to preach in five designated port cities of China but not in inland areas.

But Auguste Chapdelaine, a French priest by the Chinese name "Malai," secretly began his mission to Hunan and Guizhou provinces in central and western China in 1852. In 1855, he went to Xilin county in Guangxi. According to many archives, he collaborated with corrupt local officials, raped women and was notorious in those areas.

Chapdelaine defied the ancient Chinese custom of worshipping deceased ancestors and ordered all his followers to stop such practices and forbade them to marry their children to nobody other than Catholic adherents, which led to many family and clan feuds.

He even resorted to using local bandits to expand his "evangelical influences." He bribed local officials so that the bandits would not be punished.

It was also known that he cohabited with an attractive widow by the name of Cao, and induced other pretty women to join the church so that he could fool around with them.

When church followers married, he held mass for them and many times he raped the brides, according to archives that quoted local people in Xilin.

Indignant local people brought a lawsuit against him at the county government, and a newly appointed county magistrate by the name of Zhang Mingfeng sentenced him to death according to the Qing law.

This was the Xilin Religious Case, quite well-known in history, which gave the then French government a pretext to collaborate with Britain in starting the second Opium War in 1856, which later on brought even more misery to the Chinese people.

Case II: "Saint" Albericus Crescitelli (1863-1900)

The mere mention of this Italian missionary's Chinese name "Guo Xide" still stirs anger and feelings of humiliation in local people in the Yanzibian area of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

He went to this area to preach in 1898 and ordered all the daughters of his church followers must be "baptized" by him on the eve of marriage.

No one could escape from being raped by this "saint." The wives of local Catholics Pan Changfu, Zheng Ganren and Yang Hai had all been raped by the missionary before marriage.

He robbed real estate and land of local people, forced people to donate and pillaged their fortunes. He actively converted local tyrants, bandits and hooligans to help him extort "taxes" and labor services.

In 1898, the area was severely flooded, and Albericus Crescitelli was "authorized" to hand out government aid from the Qing Dynasty government. But he told the suffering peasants they had to join his church in order to get more aid. He also lent the money to peasants at an exorbitant interest rate.

Local people decided then they could no longer put up with this sinning so they killed him at a dusk in 1900.

Case III: "Saint" Franciscus de Capillas (1607-1648)

He was a Spanish missionary who came to Taiwan in 1641 and then to Fujian province.

He had a penchant for converting young women and caused domestic instability and divorces. A young woman by the name of Chen in Xiapi, a village in Fu'an in Fujian province had been engaged. Capillas told her that she should remain a virgin and forced her to break off the engagement. In the end, the young woman fell into his hands and was spirited away.

It was also known that he broke the Catholic rule of celibacy and committed adultery with a widow who later gave birth to a girl.

Together with other evils, he was brought to the government courtroom, and he was arrested in 1647 and executed in 1648.

The article also exposed the smuggling activities of Franciscus Fogolla, also a "saint" commended in the Roman Curia's canonization ceremony.

He collected many "gifts" when he was in Taiyuan of Shanxi province, mostly bronze sculptures and silver utensils, and brought 40 boxes of precious Chinese antiques to Italy.

"Being a foreign missionary he collected many Chinese relics and traded them for 'a considerable amount of money,' he is nothing but a missionary racketeer," the article said.

The article also cited several infamous Chinese henchmen of the foreign missionaries.

Petrus Wu Guo-Sheng (1768-1841), who was "canonized" yesterday, lived in Longping, Zunyi of Guizhou province. He was hated in that area for forcing people to go to church by relying on foreigners with influence there. Even a 3-year old child, let alone others, who passed his gate, would be forced to go to his home to recite verses from the Bible.

"Saint" Augustinus Zhao Rung (1746-1815), the first Chinese "canonized" by the Vatican, was known in China for launching verbal attacks against Buddhism and Daoism. He lived in Wuchuan County of Guizhou province.

"Saint" Ioannes Baptista Luo Ting-Yin (1825-1681) of Guiyang city, capital of Guizhou, was known for beating a group of children in front of a church, because he thought that their happy folk songs were an insult to God.

The article noted that some Chinese Catholics had become victims in the struggle against imperialist and colonialist invasions. But their deaths inevitably led to more lunatic retorsion from invaders, and led to more deaths of Chinese people as a result.

"The Chinese people have always been the prime victims of imperialist and colonialist invaders, as well as their accomplices -- the foreign missionaries," the article said.

China's history book is evidence that there were numerous crimes committed by foreign missionaries relying on unequal treaties imposed on China, but the Vatican not only refuses to repent to the Chinese people, but also goes so far as to distort the history by beautifying their monstrous criminal deeds, the article pointed out.

The Vatican has been saying that its canonization has been intended to "honor" the Chinese people, its words, however pleasant, can by no means cover up its real attempt to serve its anti-China political purpose, and regain its control over Chinesereligious organizations and to interfere in China's religious affairs, the article concluded.

In This Section

Xinhua News Agency released a long signed article October 2 exposing the true colors of some of the 120 foreign missionaries and their Chinese henchmen which were bestowed "sainthood" on Sunday by the Vatican.

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