Surely there are geopolitical considerations at work, and I should also note that many in the audience that day were students from local high schools, so the Dalai Lama was not exactly in a position to launch into a detailed discussion about the history of Chinese oppression or the future prospects of the Tibetan government-in-exile in northern India. Also, the Dalai Lama has long said that he is a Marxist—flabbergastingly, he once asked to join the Chinese Communist Party. So probably no blistering critiques of Beijing from someone who has criticized the PRC for not being Marxist enough.
But even given all this, how could a man who has not been to his homeland in nearly sixty years refrain from giving voice to the fact?
To my further surprise, when asked what he thought was the biggest problem facing the world today, the Dalai Lama said that global warming was causing him the greatest amount of concern. At that point, and afterwards as the Dalai Lama rattled off a list of platitudes that could easily have come from either a Davos press kit or an issue of Self magazine, I realized that the Dalai Lama, for all of his palpable greatness of soul, had become a guru of globalism. In the same instant, I realized something else: he has a rival.
If you replaced the word “compassion” with the word “mercy,” and the saffron-colored robes with a white cassock, you would come very close to His Holiness Pope Francis. Mouthing the pabulums of the globalist elite seems to be the best our religious leaders can do nowadays. The Dalai Lama does it very well, but nobody does it better than Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Internationalist liberalism has conquered the planet, and it has turned even spiritual figures into spokesmen for that brand of smug secularist progressivism that seeps from every pore of our modern media-political arrangement.
To be sure, religion bending the knee to politics is as old as either institution. But there is something more sinister at work here than the usual human tendency to take the easy way out and be popular with one’s captors. Navigating among hostile forces is one thing; rushing out to crown them with laurels and sacrifice the faithful under one’s charge is quite another.
In July of 1927, in the midst of an anti-religious holocaust that eventually killed as many as 20 million Christians, Sergius, the Patriarch of Moscow, pledged that not only his own but the “complete” loyalty of the entire Russian Orthodox Church would reside with the militantly atheistic Soviet Union. This written declaration, a shocking document surrendering the Orthodox Church and all its clergy and faithful over to the hands of one of the most murderous regimes in human history, made its author so infamous that there is even a heresy named for him. Sergianism is that admixture of apostasy, cowardice, dereliction of duty, and material cooperation with grave evil that needed the czar-worship of the Russian Orthodox and the utter depravity of the Russian communists to bring into existence.
Do we see a one-upping of Sergianism in the making today?
Just a couple of months ago, Pope Francis inked a deal with a regime that is even worse than the Soviet Union. Over the course of the One Child Policy in the People’s Republic of China, Chinese “doctors” have performed hundreds of millions of abortions, more murders than Stalin dared to dream about carrying out. And the Chinese have been even more hostile to religion than the Soviets were. A million Muslims are in concentration camps in East Turkestan, and Tibetan Buddhism has been largely reduced to ashes and PTSD in its homeland.
Meanwhile, my sources within the PRC continue to report arrests of Christians, disappearances of bishops and clergy, and the widespread destruction of churches and religious imagery such as icons and crucifixes. The People’s Republic of China is not a nation-state, it is a horror movie starring a billion enslaved extras. Trying to negotiate with such a lucid nightmare is like trying to sit down and hammer out a contract with Norman Bates.
And yet, like the Dalai Lama, Francis blithely ignores the reality of the PRC, preferring to bask in the adulation of the globalists who praise him from the pages of the elite-run transnational newspapers and media conglomerates in chic metropolises like London, New York, and Washington, DC.
Unlike the Dalai Lama, however, Bergoglio has made the arrangement official, surpassing the Sergianism of the last century with Francisism, the not-so-subtle swapping of the Chair of Peter for the Couch of Oprah.
Francisism is the selling out of all of the Church’s spiritual and moral authority, the bargain-basement offloading of the ecclesial capital accrued by twenty centuries of suffering so that one man, the pope, can have the honor of giving Leonardo DiCaprio and Bono a platform for their globalist buncombe.
The next pope will not just have to recover the Magisterium—he will have to rehabilitate the Church after Francisism, that period in Church history when the pontiff tried to bless godless government but found that all he got in return was even more mayhem and death than before.