China hacked the Vatican? Of COURSE China hacked the Vatican!

Our Lady of China, intercede for our brethren.

This just in from The Hill.

Group says China hackers infiltrated Vatican ahead of expected talks

A cybersecurity firm has concluded that Chinese hackers penetrated the Vatican’s computer networks in recent months during the lead-up to negotiations between the Catholic Church and Beijing.

The attack, reported Tuesday by the Massachusetts-based firm Recorded Future, comes as the Chinese government works to strengthen its control over religious groups in the country. It also comes before September negotiations regarding control over the appointment of bishops and the status of churches in China.

The infiltration targeted the Vatican and the Holy See’s Study Mission to China, a group of informal Vatican diplomats based in Hong Kong who have been negotiating the Church’s status in China, and began in early May.

One attack during the campaign was hidden in a fake letter from the Vatican to a Hong Kong chaplain in a particularly sophisticated attempt to replicate a letter from the official stationery of Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra. Recorded Future determined the attack was in all likelihood tied to the upcoming negotiations over the 2018 agreement. [Just recently I had reason to question the legitimacy of a nonsensical letter from an official of the CDF shown to me by a canonist.   This happens in all sorts of contexts today.]

The details of the bargain reached two years ago are still largely unknown, but it is believed to have allowed Beijing to name bishop candidates to churches but allowed the pope the final say in the selections.

Recorded Future concluded that the hacking campaign was spearheaded by RedDelta, a state-sponsored Chinese group, and that the tactics mirrored those of other Chinese-approved hacking operations in recent years. However, new techniques and computer code used in the infiltrations made it difficult to discern the source of the hack with 100 percent certainty.


China hacked the Vatican.

Of COURSE. In other news: WATER STILL WET!

I suspect that there is hardly a computer attached to any network controlled by APSA that China doesn’t live in on a daily basis.

The big story would be if China had NOT hacked the Holy See.

China is going to do what its going to do, just like the Scorpion which asked the Frog for a lift across the stream.

A Scorpion, which cannot swim, asks a Frog to carry it across a river on the Frog’s back. The Frog hesitates, afraid of being stung by the Scorpion, but the Scorpion argues that if it did that, they would both drown. The Frog considers this argument sensible and agrees to transport the Scorpion. Midway across the river, the Scorpion stings the Frog anyway, dooming them both. The dying Frog asks the Scorpion why it stung despite knowing the consequence, to which the Scorpion replies: “I couldn’t help it. It’s in my nature.”

The flaw in the analogy is that, in the real world scenario the Frog gets all the way to other bank before the Scorpion stings and there are no consequences for the Scorpion.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Bob says:

    In response to this whole ChiCom/Vatican deal to choose bishops I cannot for the life of me understand why such a deal would be made with communists. It’s not like there have not been communists before and we have no knowledge of their MO! We’ve dealt with communists since it’s inception in Russia in 1917 and they are not to be trusted no matter what they say or do even if they seem legit. They are not. I cannot believe the Vatican is that naive. Or are they? Did they think making a deal with the ChiComs would relieve some pressure currently squeezing the Catholic Church in China? Did the Vatican really believe that things would go easier on the Chinese Catholics if the Church engaged in a bit of ‘give and take’ with the devils? Right now I’m not sure what to think of this whole deal since it was enacted. And the secrecy of the agreement? What’s up with that? Is it for the safety of the Chinese Catholics? There seems very little that would benefit the Catholics in China in this agreement.

    Look, I’m not naive either. There have shenanigans going on behind the curtain in Rome for a long time but with today’s age of information at our fingertips the Vatican is NOT helping itself when it comes to being trusted by the faithful especially since the cover ups of the sexual scandal lighting up the clergy. Yes there are bad actors in every walk of life including the Church but I pray, pray, pray that this ChiCom agreement was done out of complete ignorance and naivete on the Vatican’s side otherwise the only thing I can reason other than that was a deliberate handing over of the Catholic Church in China TO the communists. Why? I cannot even begin to fathom the reason.

  2. DeGaulle says:

    Bob, there are several reasons. The people with the power to hand over the Vatican may themselves be communists. There might be blackmail. Or bribery-according to Abp. Vigano, quite a lot of money has been given by the Chicoms to the Vatican. Nothing unprecedented-Judas did the same.

  3. Ave Maria says:

    Hacked and bought.

  4. Mark says:

    The people at the Vatican negotiating with the Chinese should be forced to watch One Child Nation on Amazon Prime. Then we’ll see if they can still say that the Chinese have done the best job of implementing a government system with Christian values. And maybe they will realize the amount of propaganda the Chinese government puts out and why it might not be a good idea to let them choose the bishops, men who have been brain washed their whole lives. And maybe they could explain to us simpletons how they can watch the Chinese government come into peoples homes and tear down pictures of Jesus and replace them with pictures of Mao. Doubtful, but maybe.

  5. ChrisP says:

    I am sure it has not occurred to many lay folk, that the China sell out portends the future USA Church, then the rest of us, should Biden win.

    If China can now control the Bishop appts, what makes anyone think a victorious, albeit senile Biden, won’t be given control in the USA? With assistance from Emperor Xi. And then South America, and then…….

    That’s the plan imo.

  6. Prayerful says:

    The Vatican sold themselves and the Chinese. Why would the Chicoms hack what they own?

  7. JustaSinner says:

    Brogoglio the Marxist GAVE the info freely. There, fixed all the speculations!

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    Paul Kengor makes a good point. To set the stage:

    “To that end, the Vatican should not only take this as a lesson, but it ought to play Beijing’s duplicity to its advantage. In fact, it should take a page from John Paul II’s trip to Cuba in 1998, which brings me to the rest of the story regarding the hidden microphone found in that parish house in Havana in October 1997.”

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    ChrisP: Good point about a Biden presidency resulting in a more adventurous and more reckless Communist China foreign policy.

    Contrary to occasional rumblings from the current pontificate, Catholic Just War Theory remains relevant.

    Though some think otherwise. One example: several days ago at Crisis an article appeared by one William Smith of CUA titled “Towards a Catholic Foreign Policy.”

    Unfortunately, rather than helpful or insightful it was hand-wringing about “endless wars” and “reckless foreign adventures.” Well, Smith may not be interested in war, but even a cursory glance at the news reveals numerous regimes and violent non-state actors who are definitely interested.

    Smith’s first paragraph is fundamentally unsound. For example: “The United States has launched wars in far-flung corners of the globe…” Smith may be imbibing Howard Zinn and National People’s Radio, and forgot that if Saddam Hussein had not launched his military into Kuwait the First and Second Gulf Wars (with a U.S.-led coalition of dozens of countries) need not have happened. If UBL and alQaeda had not launched aircraft into skyscrapers (and UBL was absolutely not going to stop there) a coalition of dozens of countries need not have counter-attacked the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

    Let’s just skip to Smith’s last paragraph:

    “What would an American foreign policy look like if it were compatible with the Catholic tradition?”

    Smith is referred here to Just War Theory and Catholic history. For example, the First Crusade was a counterattack against a rampaging Islam.

    “It would not be a dreamy, sentimental policy that was unrealistic about the presence of evil in the world; a sound policy must be hard-headed and realistic.”

    Smith sets up a strawman and hurls platitudes at it uselessly.

    “In contrast to our recent policies, however, it would also be magnanimous, temperate, moderate and decent, exhibiting good toward all peoples and cultures.”

    Ah yes, because U.S. servicemen and women over the last few decades, as a matter of policy, killed everyone within range and stacked their skulls into a pile Tamerlane would envy. Smith appears clueless about the basics, to name just a few: the Anbar Awakening, Civil Affairs Teams and Female Engagement Teams.

    Here’s Smith’s goal:

    “The bishops must also work to shepherd lay Catholics, especially those in leadership and governmental positions, to make them aware that their Church is increasingly skeptical of recent American foreign policy.”

    And there is Smith’s Grand Solution: more political indoctrination by the problematic USCCB, which, with notable exceptions, is composed mainly of prelates and staffers too timid and effete to defend statues in these United States.

  10. Semper Gumby says:

    A “news article” headline from WaPo today:

    “Trump views China’s Communist Party as a threat. Young Chinese see it as a ticket to a better future.”

    Young Catholics and young Uighurs, among others, would disagree. And they would be uninterested, as the WaPo article relates breathlessly about one young Chinese woman, in a “selfie with a statue of “The Great Helmsman” Chairman Mao.”

    A probable WaPo headline from 1938: “Pius XI views the National Socialist Party as a threat. Young Germans see it as a ticket to a better future.”

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