Pompeo Calls on Catholic Church to Be Tough on China Like John Paul II with Soviets — ‘A Powerful Force for Good in the World’

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In a Friday interview on “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sounded off on the arrest of Hong Kong dissident and devout Roman Catholic Jimmy Lai.

Host Hugh Hewitt asked Pompeo if the United States will speak up for Lai, who he noted is “being oppressed by the Chinese Communist Party,” and others like him.

After highlighting how corrupt and oppressive the Chinese Communist Party has been, Pompeo called upon the Catholic Church’s leadership to be as tough on China as Pope John Paul II was on the Soviet Union because the Church is a “powerful force for good in the world.”

“I think the whole world can see that the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t speak the truth, right? It made this promise to the people of Hong Kong that they’d have 50 years where they’d operate under a system that was different. That’s the deal they shook hand with, with the Brits and became an international agreement,” outlined Pompeo. “Instead, they lied. They’ve got a national security law that puts every citizen all across the world at risk, not even just those inside of Hong Kong, if they speak in a way that’s inconsistent with the Chinese Communist Party that deems appropriate or useful. The world can see this. And the world can see the people of Hong Kong now being treated as if they’re just another communist city inside of China. And I think you see the response that not only the people of the world are reacting to, but what the leaders across the world are doing to protect themselves and their people from the challenge that the Chinese Communist Party presents to them.”

He added, “I traveled to the Vatican now a week ago, a week and a half ago to speak with Vatican leadership on this very set of issues. The Holy See has the capacity to exert enormous influence. Their moral witness matters an awful lot. We need them on the world stage, talking about the horrific activities taking place inside of China today, the enormous religious oppression, the sinicization of the Bible, the tearing down of religious buildings, not just Christian buildings, Catholic buildings, but every religion. The oppression of the Muslims is of horrific stature, the worst we’ve seen since the 1930s, what’s going on in Xinjiang today. And I’ve called upon the Catholic Church and the Catholic leadership in the Vatican to stand up for these people. The Church has historically done that. John Paul II was an important part of turning the tide and creating freedom in Europe and the destruction of the Soviet Union and the freedom of people that were oppressed by the Soviet Union. We need that same moral witness today. They’re a powerful force for good in the world, and we need them talking about this in a way that is serious and thoughtful and consistent with the beliefs I know they hold so dearly.”

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent