Paul P. Mariani
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Harvard University Press
Pages: 310
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  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    Paul Mariani tells the story of how Bishop Kung, the Jesuits, and the Catholic Youth resisted the Chinese Communist regime and refused to renounce the Church in Rome. Mirroring tactics used by the previously underground CCP, Shanghai’s Catholics persevered until 1955, when the party was betrayed from within their own ranks.

    eISBN: 978-0-674-06317-4
    Subjects: Religion, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiii)
  5. Map
    (pp. xiv-xvi)
    (pp. 1-26)

    Late on the evening of September 8, 1955, the day the Catholic Church traditionally celebrates the birth of Mary, Mother of God, public security officers arrested and held for interrogation Bishop Ignatius Kung Pinmei of Shanghai, the most influential churchman still free in China and one of its few Catholic bishops not already either exiled or imprisoned. In simultaneous attacks throughout the darkened city, police raided local seminaries, churches, and even private dwellings. On that night alone, more than three hundred Catholics from the bishop to high school students were handcuffed, thrown into police vans, and driven to increasingly overcrowded...

    (pp. 27-67)

    To “scattered rifle fire,” the soft-soled soldiers of the PLA entered Shanghai on May 24, 1949.¹ The main attack occurred at Xujiahui where some bullets pierced windows near the Jesuit seminary. The mostly peasant soldiers—encountering little resistance—fanned out through the city. They were “quiet and disciplined and they even politely refused cigarettes. They joked with the Jesuits at Xujiahui.”² For the past several years, the PLA had moved from strength to strength—exceeding even the wildest expectations of its generals. One by one, its armed enemies were vanquished. Now the CCP had its biggest prize. The Military Control Commission (MCC) took...

    (pp. 68-108)

    The CCP billed the Three-Self Movement as a “purely patriotic movement.” Catholics saw the movement as a clever stratagem designed to break their ties with the pope. As Catholics rushed to the defense of the church, the CCP, for its part, pressed its advantage. The lines had been drawn and the enemies targeted. The battle was about to begin.

    The first salvo was fired by the CCP. The CCP chose its targets wisely: those who had most frustrated the Three-Self Movement. The first target was Riberi, who represented the pope in his person. The second target was the Catholic Central...

    (pp. 109-142)

    The Shanghai Catholic community had been damaged, but the Shanghai CCP had also sustained setbacks. So far, the church “reform” movement had largely failed in Shanghai, as had thought reform at Aurora. Shanghai Catholics would not be “reformed” in any way if it meant breaking ties with the universal church. Neither side had backed down at the September 1952 meeting. An uneasy peace ensued, during which time both sides continued to strengthen their positions.

    The church had learned that the presence of foreign missionaries was an asset, but also a liability. The wounds of imperialism and the sins of past...

  10. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  11. 4 ASSAULT
    (pp. 143-168)

    In a beautiful Qing-era villa—located at the edge of Shanghai’s upscale Lilac Park in the old French Concession—the preparations began on August 12, 1955. A document written the next day on Shanghai Propaganda Department stationery responded to a request that came directly from the Shanghai Municipal Committee.¹ Members of the Propaganda Department had been asked to form a “working group” to prosecute Bishop Kung. The document asked, in response, for an official name for the “working group” and permission to form an official stamp. The “working group” would draw upon the talents of well-trained cadres and coordinate its efforts with...

    (pp. 169-205)

    The CCP was expert in cracking recalcitrant organizations. By December 1955—after a six-year “war”—it had decisively smashed Catholic resistance in Shanghai. With the legitimate bishop imprisoned along with 1,200 leading Catholics, the Shanghai Diocese was effectively dismantled. Now the CCP had to demonstrate that no such thing had ever happened.

    After all, the regime had—over the years—repeatedly said it was not against the Catholic Church; it was only against “counter revolutionaries hiding under the cloak of religion.” The best way to show that the “church” still existed was to finally establish a puppet church, a “church” that answered only to...

    (pp. 206-228)

    By 1960, the CCP had effectively subdued the Shanghai Catholic community, the church militant. By 1966, during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, it would deal it the coup de grace.

    It was a brutal period. No public religious practice was permitted, and many remaining vestiges of religion were destroyed. Catholics who remained in Shanghai during this dark period buried their precious photographs and religious items from happier times. Red guards toppled the spires of St. Ignatius in Xujiahui and smashed its beautiful stained glass windows. St. Peter’s became an exhibition center; Christ the King, a warehouse; and much of the...

    (pp. 231-234)
  15. NOTES
    (pp. 235-264)
    (pp. 265-274)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 275-283)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 284-284)