The disciples of Agostino Casaroli are not at all up to the standard of their master
Monsignor (and later Cardinal) A. Casaroli wrote “The Martyrdom of Patience,” I finally read it.
I always knew that he was an exemplary clergyman, a zealous priest (especially on weekends with his boys in the reformatory), but the misdeeds of his disciples aroused in me a negative image of their master. Reading the booklet corrected this image.
Casaroli knew that Vatican Ostpolitik was an impossible business. There is the essential incompatibility between the Catholic faith and communist ideology. The dialogue is only an almost desperate attempt to make some small breach in that almost impregnable wall.
Casaroli accepted an impossible mission, especially because he was swimming in the dark, at that time totalitarian regimes were able to close themselves completely (the iron curtain) and nothing leaked out of that reality of an absolute oppression.
He admired and had great respect for the heroes of the faith such as Card. Mindszenty and Card. Beran, even though he could not completely renounce all dialogue with atheist governments.
The dialogue with Czechoslovakia reached no conclusion, but this was not his fault. On the contrary, it is to his credit that he did not want a conclusion at any cost, when this would mean betraying the principles of faith.
The agreement with Hungary for the nomination of bishops, even if judged by some as too advantageous for the government, but at least formally had not renounced the principles of Catholic Ecclesiology: in fact, the right of initiative in choosing candidates for the episcopate remains in the hands of the Church.
The present Vatican diplomats have instead left the initiative in the hands of the atheist government and the pope has “only” the last word, with the predictable embarrassment of having to veto indefinitely.
There is another important fact: while Casaroli went to dialogue, Paul VI did not give up his right to raise his voice when the other side, while dialoguing, persists in oppressing the Church. Exemplary was the speech at the Catacombs of Domitila, where the Pope said: “The analogies between the Churches that today struggle and barely survive in the countries of the atheist-totalitarian regime with the Church of the ancient Catacombs are all too real.
Obviously this irritated the other side of the dialogue, but the pope did not renounce his right and duty to proclaim the truth, given also that from the dialogue nothing good was forthcoming, and of what ever eventually may be agreed upon there was not much to be trusted, for those who have no other principle of truth than their own gain, the agreements are worth the paper on which they are written.
After a brief interruption they return to dialogue, because it is to their advantage to show the world that even the Vatican trusts them as credible interlocutors.
Today, however, in order to obtain and maintain an agreement, the value of which is not even known (see recent interview with Bishop Gallagher), the Secretariat of State forces the Holy Father to say nothing about the tragic situation in China (especially Xinjiang and Hong Kong).