Every Christian baptized is called to be “priest, prophet, and king.” As a Catholic I believe that this is true in special way for pastors, bishops, and most of all the pope. A prophet, I’ve always been taught, is a person who speaks God’s truth in and out of season, even when it is unpopular and especially in defense of the most vulnerable. He isn’t someone who tickles the ears of the privileged and flatters their sense of invulnerability. He certainly isn’t a coward who carefully minces words when he should be speaking up for the meek and the persecuted.

That’s why I’m on many levels scandalized by the example of Pope Francis. The latest Vatican action, making room (with some Jesuitical caveats) for blessings of same-sex couples, has stunned and traumatized serious believers around the world. As John Zmirak wrote here, this Vatican action will open up Catholic clergy to legal persecution (like Christian bakers and wedding planners), stripping them of a key First Amendment defense.

The bishops of multiple countries, including the brave, beleaguered Catholics of Ukraine, have announced that they will defy this Vatican diktat. So will the bishops of several African countries where the church faces militant Islamists. These shepherds aren’t willing to cave in to the pressure of the massively well-funded, bullying LGBT juggernaut, just so that same-sex couples can ornament their existing legal privilege with posh little ceremonies “sanctified” in historic churches.

Fabulous Little Rituals for the Best Kind of People

We already saw close papal ally and client Rev. James Martin, SJ, celebrate a cozy blessing for a same-sex “married” couple, with a New York Times photographer on hand to record the solemnities. If (as my desperately upbeat Catholic friends insist) the Vatican action hasn’t changed anything, then James Martin will be disciplined by the Church for misinterpreting its decision. If he isn’t, then the church is signaling that he understood it all too well.

But much as I’m upset about what the Vatican did, I’m even more appalled by what it wouldn’t do. This Vatican will not speak a word about the savage, ongoing persecutions waged by the Chinese Communist government, especially of religious believers (both Christians and Uyghur Muslims). Indeed, as The Stream reported, when it emerged (according to Forbes magazine) that China was raking in millions each year by selling organs cut from the living bodies of these prisoners of conscience, Pope Francis wasn’t just silent. He sent his right-hand man, Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, to speak at a conference of the regime’s organ harvesters, to praise their work and China’s regime.

Yawning at China’s Holocaust

Even as Francis’ Vatican prepared its document launching church-based blessings for upscale same-sex couples, China is cracking down on its best-known freedom activist, Jimmy Lai. The Epoch Times reported on

the “show trial” of media tycoon Jimmy Lai, which began in Hong Kong on Monday, as the UK government continues to be barred from assisting the British citizen.

Mr. Lai, 76, founder of the now-defunct pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily, is accused of “collusion” with foreign forces under a draconian National Security Law that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) imposed on Hong Kong in 2020.

He’s also accused of taking part in a conspiracy to publish “seditious” publications under a British colonial-era sedition law.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Pope Francis has said nothing about this outrageous persecution, just as he has said nothing and done nothing about the imprisonment of more than one million Uyghurs in concentration camps. In fact, he sent child molesting then cardinal Theodore McCarrick to sign a partly secret deal with China’s government, throwing faithful Catholics under the bus. He allowed the same Bishop Sorondo I already mentioned to praise China as better living out Catholic social teaching than Donald Trump’s America.

A New Borgia Pope with None of the Art

When the persecuted Cardinal Joseph Zen got a three-day pass from prison to visit the pope and flew to Rome, Francis refused to see him — unlike Sen. Bernie Sanders, population controller Jeffrey Sachs, pro-abortion zealot Chelsea Clinton, and countless other figures who share Francis’ politics. They got their papal meetings.

Francis has even issued a document praising China’s environmental policies, condemning instead Westerners for using fossil fuels and air conditioning.

Francis is missing in action when Christians were ethnically cleansed from Iraq under George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Instead he signs empty declarations of good will with Islamic leaders that belie their religion’s plain teachings on the subject of religious freedom.

I’m not ready to join The Stream’s John Zmirak in concluding that Pope Francis is an unbeliever, much less a Communist agent who was recruited by the Party to infiltrate a seminary.

But I must say that I do not understand what could possibly be motivating Francis, who started his pontificate with big talk about reaching out to and speaking up for “vulnerable” people “on the margins.” It seems to me that Francis is more comfortable with well-heeled globalists, dictators, and power-brokers, and has very little time or interest in those who are persecuted. He seems more like a Renaissance pope, preoccupied with power and princes.


Jason Jones is a film producer, author, popular podcast host, and human rights worker. He is president of the Human-Rights Education and Relief Organization (H.E.R.O.), known for its two main programs The Vulnerable People Project and Movie to Movement. His latest book, The Great Campaign Against the Great Reset, will be released in Spring 2024.

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