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Foreign News: The Wolf Enters

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“I have a foreboding that something dangerous will happen to me for having spoken out so frankly, and the missionaries here fear that my fate will be the same as that of so many bishops in certain Red countries . . . We shall see. We are tranquil, but our sorrow lies in the fear that we may be expelled from China and have to leave our flock here and see the wolf enter the fold to make havoc of so many souls.”

So wrote Archbishop Gaetano Pollio, a slim, scholastic man with a black goatee. He saw the danger coming, but he would not leave his see of Kaifeng, in Honan. Nor would he have any truck with the bogus Catholic Church which the Communists were trying to set up. He prayed, he waited, he stayed.

The Reds staged anti-Pollio demonstrations, plastered Kaifeng with posters—one of them proclaimed that “Pollio is the son of a dog and a horse,” which, in China, combines the insult of animal ancestry with the insult of miscegenation. Last spring, Bishop Pollio asked some Red hoodlums outside his church to take their noise elsewhere. The Reds cried that he was “interfering with the liberties of the people,” and he was jailed.

In jail he stayed until a fortnight ago, when he was accused for the first time, and tried before a muttering audience of 2,300. He was sentenced to serve six months (which he had already served), and told to get out of China. This week Archbishop Pollio reached Hong Kong and freedom, saddened by the knowledge that his flock was now the wolf’s.

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