Sam Gregg, director of research at Acton Institute, has a strongly worded piece at Liberty and Law about the seriously bizarre remarks from Argentinian Bp. Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, presently the head of both the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Sorodono Sanchez recently visited China and, subsequently gushed about how wonderful the communist state is and how Catholic social teaching has been implemented there.
Gregg has taken off the gloves.
The whole thing hits hard. Here’s a taste:
Bishop Sanchez’s peculiar ruminations about world affairs are, however, emblematic of how concern for precision and facts seems to have disappeared throughout much of the Vatican over the past five years. One need only recall the notorious 2017 Civiltà Cattolica article penned by Father Antonio Spadaro, S.J. and Rev. Marcelo Figueroa: a piece which even some of its defenders conceded contained substantive errors about the history of religion in the United States and the role played by Evangelicals and conservative Catholics in American politics.
It doesn’t help the Holy See’s reputation to have some Vatican officials parading their fact-free, strikingly incoherent views of the world on the public stage. Bishop Sanchez’s claim that China is somehow one of the world’s leading exponents of Catholic social doctrine is frankly outrageous. It is also insulting to those Catholics and other Christians who have suffered so much for their faith under what is, after all, a regime that remains ideologically committed to atheistic materialism. In any organization that took reality and its own credibility seriously, such remarks would likely result in such a person being formally, if not publicly rebuked by more senior officials and perhaps even removed from office.