China : Vatican Favours Govt. Ordained Priests

Discussion in 'News of/from Rome' started by Admin, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. Admin

    Admin Moderator Staff Member

    upload_2018-1-25_10-48-49.png


    Vatican ‘asks underground Chinese bishops to
    stand aside for government-backed ones’

    A Vatican delegation reportedly asked two bishops to stand down as part of a deal with Chinese authorities

    The Holy See has reportedly asked two Chinese bishops to stand aside to make way for illicitly ordained, Chinese government-backed counterparts.

    A Vatican delegation asked Bishop Peter Zhuang of Shantou and Bishop Jospeh Guo Xijin of Mindong to retire or accept demotion in order to smooth relations with the Chinese government.

    Asia News, the outlet of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, reports that 88-year-old Bishop Zhuang received a letter dated 26 October asking him to resign to make way for the government-backed Bishop Huang Bingzhang.

    Bishop Huang was excommunicated in 2011 after being consecrated without Vatican approval. He is also a member of the National People’s Congress, the Chinese parliament.

    Asia News reports that Bishop Zhuang was escorted to Beijing, where he met Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, former president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, who told him to retire – but with the proviso that he could nominate three priests, one of whom Bishop Huang would appoint as his vicar general.


    [​IMG]


    Sources said Bishop Zhuang burst into tears on hearing the demand, adding that “it was meaningless to appoint a vicar general, who is still a priest that Bishop Huang could remove him anytime.”

    Cardinal Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, confirmed the situation regarding Bishop Zhuang, Asia News says.

    The delegation then travelled south to Fujian province where they asked Bishop Joseph Guo Xijin on Mindong, who belongs to the underground Church, to accept demotion to coadjutor bishop under the government-backed Vincent Zhan Silu.

    Bishop Guo went missing for some time last year after authorities forced him to pay a visit to the religious affairs bureau in Fuan. His absence prevented him from celebrating the diocesan Chrism Mass.

    A source said that signing a document to accept demotion was one of the conditions authorities put to him before releasing him.

    An underground priest in Mindong said Catholics would feel conflicted over the move. “We of course feel hard to accept but do we have the right to oppose the Vatican?” He said that he may leave the priesthood over the Vatican’s decision.


    China: Bishops tortured and martyred for faith

    Chinese Government Threatens The Church

    Pope would ‘betray Christ’ if he allows Communist China to select bishops


    Source
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  2. Admin

    Admin Moderator Staff Member

    [​IMG]

    29th January, 1018

    Danger of Schism in China. Cardinal Zen: "The Pope Told Me…"


    The open letter reproduced in its entirety below was published today, Monday, January 29, by Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, on his blog, and was immediately republished by the agency Asia News of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.

    In it, the cardinal reveals the essential contents of a conversation he had with Pope Francis, to whom he revealed his grave fears over the steps taken recently in China by Vatican representatives.

    These steps consisted in asking two “underground” bishops who are recognized by the Holy See, those of Shantou and Mindong, to make way for two bishops appointed by the government, both illicit and, the first one, excommunicated.

    For more details on these steps:

    > The Vatican asks legitimate bishops to step aside in favour of illegitimate ones

    Cardinale Zen now reveals that Pope Francis replied to him that he had given the order “not to create another Mindszenty case,” alluding to the heroic cardinal and primate of Hungary who was required by the Vatican authorities to leave his country in 1971, was removed from his position in 1973, and in 1975 was replaced with a new primate favored by the communist regime.

    But now it’s the cardinal’s turn.

    *
    Dear Friends in the Media,

    Since AsiaNews has revealed some recent facts in the Church in mainland China, of legitimate bishops being asked by the “Holy See” to resign and make place for illegitimate, even explicitly excommunicated, “bishops”, many different versions of the facts and interpretations are creating confusion among the people. Many, knowing of my recent trip to Rome, are asking me for some clarification.

    Back in October, when Bishop Zhuang received the first communication from the Holy See and asked me for help, I send someone to bring his letter to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, with, enclosed, a copy for the Holy Father. I don’t know if that enclosed copy reached the desk of the Holy Father.

    Fortunately, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai was still in Rome and could meet the Pope in a fare-well visit. In that occasion, he brought the two cases of Shantou and Mindong to the knowledge of the Holy Father. The Holy Father was surprised and promised to look into the matter.

    Given the words of the Holy Father to Archbishop Savio Hon, the new facts in December were all the more a shocking surprise to me. When the old distressed Bishop Zhuang asked me to bring to the Holy Father his answer to the message conveyed to him by the “Vatican Delegation” in Beijing, I simply could not say “No”. But what could I do to make sure that his letter reach the Holy Father, while not even I can be sure that my own many letters did reach him.

    To make sure that our voice reached the Holy Father, I took the sudden decision of going to Rome. I left Hong Kong the night of 9th January, arriving in Rome the early morning of 10th January, just in time (actually, a bit late) to join the Wednesday Public Audience. At the end of the audience, we Cardinals and Bishops are admitted to the “bacia mano” and I had the chance to put into the hands of the Holy Father the envelop, saying that I was coming to Rome for the only purpose of bringing to him a letter of Bishop Zhuang, hoping he can find time to read it (in the envelop there was the original letter of the Bishop in Chinese with my translation into Italian and a letter of mine).

    For obvious reasons, I hoped my appearance at the audience would not be too much noticed, but my late arrival in the hall made it particularly noticeable. Anyway, now everybody can see the whole proceeding from the Vatican TV (by the way, the audience was held in Paul VI Hall, not in St. Peter’s Square and I was a little late to the audience, but did not have to “wait in a queue, in a cold weather”, as some media erroneously reported).

    When in Rome, I met Fr. Bernard Cervellera of AsiaNews. We exchanged our information, but I told him not to write anything. He complied. Now that someone else broke the news, I can agree to confirm it. Yes, as far as I know, things happened just as they are related in AsiaNews (the AsiaNews report “believes” that the Bishop leading the Vatican Delegation was Msgr. Celli. I do not know in what official capacity he was there, but it is most likely that he was the one there in Beijing).

    In this crucial moment and given the confusion in the media, I, knowing directly the situation of Shantou and indirectly that of Mindong, feel duty-bound to share my knowledge of the facts, so that the people sincerely concerned with the good of the Church may know the truth to which they are entitled. I am well aware that in doing so I may talk about things which, technically, are qualified as “confidential”. But my conscience tells me that in this case the “right to truth” should override any such “duty of confidentiality”.

    With such conviction, I am going to share with you also the following:
    In the afternoon of that day, 10th January, I received a phone-call from Santa Marta telling me that the Holy Father would receive me in private audience in the evening of Friday 12th January (though the report appeared only on 14th January in the Holy See bulletin). That was the last day of my 85 years of life, what a gift from Heaven! (Note that it was the vigil of the Holy Father’s departure for Chile and Peru, so the Holy Father must have been very busy).

    On that evening the conversation lasted about half an hour. I was rather disorderly in my talking, but I think I succeeded to convey to the Holy Father the worries of his faithful children in China.

    The most important question I put to the Holy Father (which was also in the letter) was whether he had had time “to look into the matter” (as he promised Archbishop Savio Hon). In spite of the danger of being accused of breach of confidentiality, I decide to tell you what His Holiness said: “Yes, I told them (his collaborators in the Holy See) not to create another Mindszenty case”! I was there in the presence of the Holy Father representing my suffering brothers in China. His words should be rightly understood as of consolation and encouragement more for them than for me.

    I think it was most meaningful and appropriate for the Holy Father to make this historical reference to Card. Josef Mindszenty, one of the heroes of our faith. (Card. Josef Mindszenty was the Archbishop of Budapest, Cardinal Primate of Hungary under Communist persecution. He suffered much in several years in prison. During the short-lived revolution of 1956, he was freed from prison by the insurgents and, before the Red Army crashed the revolution, took refuge in the American Embassy. Under the pressure of the Government he was ordered by the Holy See to leave his country and immediately a successor was named to the likings of the Communist Government).

    With this revelation, I hope I have satisfied the legitimate “right to know” of the media and of my brothers in China.

    The important thing for us now is to pray for the Holy Father, very fittingly by singing the traditional song “Oremus”: "Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco, Dominus conservet eum et vivificet eum et beatum faciat eum in terra et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius."

    Some explanations may still be in order.

    1. Please, notice that the problem is not the resignation of the legitimate Bishops, but the request to make place for the illegitimate and even excommunicated ones. Many old underground Bishops, though the retirement age law has never been enforced in China, have insistently asked for a successor, but have never received any answer from the Holy See. Some others, who have a successor already named, may be even already in possession of the Bulla signed by the Holy Father, were ordered not to proceed with the ordination for fear of offending the Government.

    2. I have talked mainly of the two cases of Shantou and Mindong. I do not have any other information except the copy of a letter written by an outstanding Catholic lady, a retired University professor well-acquainted with affairs of the Church in China, in which she warns Msgr. Celli against pushing for the legitimization of “bishop” Lei Shi Ying in Sichuan.

    3. I acknowledge myself as a pessimist regarding the present situation of the Church in China, but my pessimism has a foundation in my long direct experience of the Church in China. From 1989 to 1996 I used to spend six months a year teaching in the various Seminaries of the official Catholic community. I had direct experience of the slavery and humiliation to which those our brother Bishops are subjected. And from the recent information, there is no reason to change that pessimistic view. The Communist Government is making new harsher regulations limiting religious freedom. They are now strictly enforcing regulations which up to now were practically only on paper (from the 1st of February 2018 attendance to Mass in the underground will no longer be tolerated).

    4. Some say that all the efforts to reach an agreement is to avoid the ecclesial schism. How ridiculous! The schism is there, in the Independent Church! The Popes avoided using the word “schism” because they knew that many in the official Catholic community were there not by their own free will, but under heavy pressure. The proposed “unification” would force everybody into that community. The Vatican would be giving the blessing on the new strengthened schismatic Church, taking away the bad conscience from all those who are already willing renegades and those others who would readily join them.

    5. Is it not good to try to find mutual ground to bridge the decades-long divide between the Vatican and China? But can there be anything really “mutual” with a totalitarian regime? Either you surrender or you accept persecution, but remaining faithful to yourself (can you imagine an agreement between St. Joseph and King Herod?)

    6. So, do I think that the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China? Yes, definitely, if they go in the direction which is obvious from all what they are doing in recent years and months.

    7. Some expert on the Catholic Church in China is saying that it is not logical to suppose a harsher religious policy from Xi Jinping. However, we are not talking about logical thinking, but the obvious and crude reality.

    8. Am I the major obstacle in the process of reaching a deal between the Vatican and China? If that is a bad deal, I would be more than happy to be the obstacle.

    Hong Kong, January 29, 2018

    Chiesa News

    ..
     
  3. Admin

    Admin Moderator Staff Member

    Cardinal Zen: Vatican is now backing a
    ‘new…schismatic Church’ in China
    CHINA, January 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – China’s leading prelate, Cardinal Joseph Zen, is sounding the alarm that the Vatican "is selling out the Catholic Church in China" and that it is "giving the blessing on the new...schismatic Church" created by the Communists.

    "So, do I think that the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China? Yes, definitely, if they go in the direction which is obvious from all what they are doing in recent years and months," the 86-year-old retired Bishop of Hong Kong wrote in a Jan. 29 letter addressed to “Friends in the Media,” in which he confirmed a report that the Vatican had asked legitimate Chinese bishops to step down in favor of communist-picked bishops.

    Cardinal Zen outlined how the Vatican's capitulation to China’s communist regime is only making the regime clamp down harder on faithful Catholics.

    "The Communist Government is making new harsher regulations limiting religious freedom. They are now strictly enforcing regulations which up to now were practically only on paper (from the 1st of February 2018 attendance to Mass in the underground will no longer be tolerated)," he wrote.

    The Cardinal's letter comes days after news broke that the Vatican has allegedly asked legitimate bishops to step down from their post in order to make way for the installation of new, illegitimate bishops, hand-picked by the government.

    READ: Vatican asks legitimate Chinese bishops to step down in favor of communist-picked bishops: report

    The Cardinal related in his letter that when China’s Bishop Zhuang, secretly ordained with Vatican approval in 2006, was asked by the Vatican last fall to step down in order to be replaced by government-approved, excommunicated Bishop Huang Bingzhang, Zhuang reached out to Zen for help.

    Uncertain whether or not his own letters ever reach Pope Francis, Cardinal Zen said that he traveled to Rome eariler this month to "make sure that our voice reached the Holy Father."

    Cardinal Zen landed in Rome on the morning of January 10, and went straight to the Pope’s Wednesday Public Audience held in Paul VI Hall, hoping to have an opportunity to place his letter in the Pope’s hands. When he had the chance to greet the Pope, he explained that this was his sole reason for his spur-of-the-moment travel to Rome.

    Two days later, Cardinal Zen was invited to Santa Marta where he met privately with Pope Francis. “I was there in the presence of the Holy Father representing my suffering brothers in China,” recounts Zen in his letter. Pope Francis promised to look into the matter.

    Zen related that after he outlined his concerns the Pope told him the following words: “Yes, I told them (his collaborators in the Holy See negotiating with China) not to create another Mindszenty case.”

    Commented the Cardinal in his letter:

    I think it was most meaningful and appropriate for the Holy Father to make this historical reference to Card. Josef Mindszenty, one of the heroes of our faith. (Card. Josef Mindszenty was the Archbishop of Budapest, Cardinal Primate of Hungary under Communist persecution. He suffered much in several years in prison. During the short-lived revolution of 1956, he was freed from prison by the insurgents and, before the Red Army crashed the revolution, took refuge in the American Embassy. Under the pressure of the Government he was ordered by the Holy See to leave his country and immediately a successor was named to the likings of the Communist Government).

    Cardinal Zen had previously denounced a Vatican agreement with the Chinese atheistic Communist government and had indirectly accused Pope Francis of backing a “fake” church in China.

    “But the whole thing is fake. They [the Vatican] are giving decisive power to the government … how can the initiative of choosing bishops be given to an atheistic government? Incredible. Incredible,” he said at that time.

    While the first part of Cardinal Zen’s letter is a simple narrative about the events surrounding his trip to Rome, the second part reveals his alarming assessment of the events which have transpired between the Vatican, the legitimate Chinese “underground” Catholic Church, and the Chinese communist government.

    Cardinal Zen offers eight points which underscore the urgency of the situation which now exists. Among these are:
    • "[T]he problem is not the resignation of the legitimate Bishops, but the request to make place for the illegitimate and even excommunicated ones."
    • “I acknowledge myself as a pessimist regarding the present situation of the Church in China, but my pessimism has a foundation in my long direct experience of the Church in China. From 1989 to 1996 I used to spend six months a year teaching in the various Seminaries of the official Catholic community. I had direct experience of the slavery and humiliation to which those our brother Bishops are subjected.”
    • “And from the recent information, there is no reason to change that pessimistic view. The Communist Government is making new harsher regulations limiting religious freedom.”
    • “Some say that all the efforts to reach an agreement is to avoid the ecclesial schism. How ridiculous! The schism is there, in the Independent Church! The Popes avoided using the word “schism” because they knew that many in the official Catholic community were there not by their own free will, but under heavy pressure. The proposed “unification” would force everybody into that community. The Vatican would be giving the blessing on the new strengthened schismatic Church.”
    • Regarding attempts to bridge the long divide between the Vatican and the Chinese government, “can there be anything really “mutual” with a totalitarian regime?”
    • “[C]an you imagine an agreement between St. Joseph and King Herod?
    • “[D]o I think that the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China? Yes, definitely, if they go in the direction which is obvious from all what they are doing in recent years and months.”
    The Vatican was not pleased with Zen's accusations.

    In a move to perhaps gain control of the narrative regarding the shift in Chinese diplomacy under Pope Francis, Holy See Press Office Director Greg Burke issued a statement attempting to reassure Catholics that the Pope and members of the Curia are in close contact and working together on the issue:

    “The Pope is in constant contact with his collaborators, in particular in the secretariat of State, on chinese issues, and is informed by them faithfully and in detail on the situation of the Catholic Church in china and on the steps in the dialogue in progress between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China, which he follows with special attention. It is therefore surprising and regrettable that the contrary is affirmed by people in the Church, thus fostering confusion and controversy.”

    A report issued by Catholic News Service notes that the Vatican Press Director’s statement was silent regarding the accuracy or inaccuracy of the proposed transfer of bishops in China.

    As such, the most pressing questions raised by Cardinal Zen’s letter remain unanswered.

    Pundits say that the Chinese government is cracking down on the religious liberty of faithful Catholics because they represent an existential threat to the communist regime.

    “The Chinese Communists studied the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 and the liberation of the nations behind the Iron Curtain thanks to St. John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and many others in the West who kept the pressure on Moscow,” explains The Catholic Thing’s Robert Royal. “They appreciate the power of religion and clearly believe they can prevent Christianity from doing in China what it did in Poland and elsewhere.”

    Catholics, though not a huge percentage of the country’s population, total roughly 60 million faithful, notes Royal. “It’s safe to say that more Christians are in church on a Sunday morning in China than in all of Europe.”

    “The Vatican seems to be stumbling in its relations with a regime that we can be sure will not respect the freedom of the Church since it doesn’t respect the freedom and dignity of its own people,” says Royal. “Vatican negotiators would do well to remember the lessons of the Communist Era in Europe, particularly Solzhenitsyn’s warning that we must fully understand the nature of Communist regimes and not give in to the illusion that the split between us and them ‘may be abolished through successful diplomatic negotiations.’ Because the split is spiritual, deeply so, not political.”

    Cardinal Zen, at the end of his letter, asks, “Am I the major obstacle in the process of reaching a deal between the Vatican and China? If that is a bad deal, I would be more than happy to be the obstacle.”

    ***

    Cardinal Zen's January 29, 2018 letter to the Media.

    Dear Friends in the Media,

    Since AsiaNews has revealed some recent facts in the Church in mainland China, of legitimate bishops being asked by the “Holy See” to resign and make place for illegitimate, even explicitly excommunicated, “bishops”, many different versions of the facts and interpretations are creating confusion among the people. Many, knowing of my recent trip to Rome, are asking me for some clarification.

    Back in October, when Bishop Zhuang received the first communication from the Holy See and asked me for help, I send someone to bring his letter to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, with, enclosed, a copy for the Holy Father. I don’t know if that enclosed copy reached the desk of the Holy Father. Fortunately, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai was still in Rome and could meet the Pope in a fare-well visit. In that occasion, he brought the two cases of Shantou and Mindong to the knowledge of the Holy Father. The Holy Father was surprised and promised to look into the matter.

    Given the words of the Holy Father to Archbishop Savio Hon, the new facts in December were all the more a shocking surprise to me. When the old distressed Bishop Zhuang asked me to bring to the Holy Father his answer to the message conveyed to him by the “Vatican Delegation” in Beijing, I simply could not say “No”. But what could I do to make sure that his letter reach the Holy Father, while not even I can be sure that my own many letters did reach him.

    To make sure that our voice reached the Holy Father, I took the sudden decision of going to Rome. I left Hong Kong the night of 9th January, arriving in Rome the early morning of 10th January, just in time (actually, a bit late) to join the Wednesday Public Audience. At the end of the audience, we Cardinals and Bishops are admitted to the “bacia mano” and I had the chance to put into the hands of the Holy Father the envelop, saying that I was coming to Rome for the only purpose of bringing to him a letter of Bishop Zhuang, hoping he can find time to read it (in the envelop there was the original letter of the Bishop in Chinese with my translation into Italian and a letter of mine).

    For obvious reasons, I hoped my appearance at the audience would not be too much noticed, but my late arrival in the hall made it particularly noticeable. Anyway, now everybody can see the whole proceeding from the Vatican TV (by the way, the audience was held in Paul VI Hall, not in St. Peter’s Square and I was a little late to the audience, but did not have to “wait in a queue, in a cold weather”, as some media erroneously reported).

    When in Rome, I met Fr. Bernard Cervellera of AsiaNews. We exchanged our information, but I told him not to write anything. He complied. Now that someone else broke the news, I can agree to confirm it. Yes, as far as I know, things happened just as they are related in AsiaNews (the AsiaNews report “believes” that the Bishop leading the Vatican Delegation was Msgr. Celli. I do not know in what official capacity he was there, but it is most likely that he was the one there in Beijing).

    In this crucial moment and given the confusion in the media, I, knowing directly the situation of Shantou and indirectly that of Mindong, feel duty-bound to share my knowledge of the facts, so that the people sincerely concerned with the good of the Church may know the truth to which they are entitled. I am well aware that in doing so I may talk about things which, technically, are qualified as “confidential”. But my conscience tells me that in this case the “right to truth” should override any such “duty of confidentiality”.

    With such conviction, I am going to share with you also the following:

    In the afternoon of that day, 10th January, I received a phone-call from Santa Marta telling me that the Holy Father would receive me in private audience in the evening of Friday 12th January (though the report appeared only on 14th January in the Holy See bulletin). That was the last day of my 85 years of life, what a gift from Heaven! (Note that it was the vigil of the Holy Father’s departure for Chile and Peru, so the Holy Father must have been very busy).

    On that evening the conversation lasted about half an hour. I was rather disorderly in my talking, but I think I succeeded to convey to the Holy Father the worries of his faithful children in China.

    The most important question I put to the Holy Father (which was also in the letter) was whether he had had time “to look into the matter” (as he promised Archbishop Savio Hon). In spite of the danger of being accused of breach of confidentiality, I decide to tell you what His Holiness said: “Yes, I told them (his collaborators in the Holy See) not to create another Mindszenty case”! I was there in the presence of the Holy Father representing my suffering brothers in China. His words should be rightly understood as of consolation and encouragement more for them than for me.

    I think it was most meaningful and appropriate for the Holy Father to make this historical reference to Card. Josef Mindszenty, one of the heroes of our faith. (Card. Josef Mindszenty was the Archbishop of Budapest, Cardinal Primate of Hungary under Communist persecution. He suffered much in several years in prison. During the short-lived revolution of 1956, he was freed from prison by the insurgents and, before the Red Army crashed the revolution, took refuge in the American Embassy. Under the pressure of the Government he was ordered by the Holy See to leave his country and immediately a successor was named to the likings of the Communist Government).

    With this revelation, I hope I have satisfied the legitimate “right to know” of the media and of my brothers in China.

    The important thing for us now is to pray for the Holy Father, very fittingly by singing the traditional song “Oremus”:

    Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco, Dominus conservet eum et vivificet eum et beatum faciat eum in terra et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.

    ————————————-

    Some explanations may still be in order.

    1. Please, notice that the problem is not the resignation of the legitimate Bishops, but the request to make place for the illegitimate and even excommunicated ones. Many old underground Bishops, though the retirement age law has never been enforced in China, have insistently asked for a successor, but have never received any answer from the Holy See. Some others, who have a successor already named, may be even already in possession of the Bulla signed by the Holy Father, were ordered not to proceed with the ordination for fear of offending the Government.

    2. I have talked mainly of the two cases of Shantou and Mindong. I do not have any other information except the copy of a letter written by an outstanding Catholic lady, a retired University professor well-acquainted with affairs of the Church in China, in which she warns Msgr. Celli against pushing for the legitimization of “bishop” Lei Shi Ying in Sichuan.

    3. I acknowledge myself as a pessimist regarding the present situation of the Church in China, but my pessimism has a foundation in my long direct experience of the Church in China. From 1989 to 1996 I used to spend six months a year teaching in the various Seminaries of the official Catholic community. I had direct experience of the slavery and humiliation to which those our brother Bishops are subjected.

    And from the recent information, there is no reason to change that pessimistic view. The Communist Government is making new harsher regulations limiting religious freedom. They are now strictly enforcing regulations which up to now were practically only on paper (from the 1st of February 2018 attendance to Mass in the underground will no longer be tolerated).

    4. Some say that all the efforts to reach an agreement is to avoid the ecclesial schism. How ridiculous! The schism is there, in the Independent Church! The Popes avoided using the word “schism” because they knew that many in the official Catholic community were there not by their own free will, but under heavy pressure. The proposed “unification” would force everybody into that community. The Vatican would be giving the blessing on the new strengthened schismatic Church, taking away the bad conscience from all those who are already willing renegades and those others who would readily join them.

    5. Is it not good to try to find mutual ground to bridge the decades-long divide between the Vatican and China? But can there be anything really “mutual” with a totalitarian regime? Either you surrender or you accept persecution, but remaining faithful to yourself (can you imagine an agreement between St. Joseph and King Herod?)

    6. So, do I think that the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China? Yes, definitely, if they go in the direction which is obvious from all what they are doing in recent years and months.

    7. Some expert on the Catholic Church in China is saying that it is not logical to suppose a harsher religious policy from Xi Jinping. However, we are not talking about logical thinking, but the obvious and crude reality.

    8. Am I the major obstacle in the process of reaching a deal between the Vatican and China? If that is a bad deal, I would be more than happy to be the obstacle.

    Source

    ..
     
  4. Admin

    Admin Moderator Staff Member



    [​IMG]

    29th Jan. 2018

    Danger of Schism in China. Cardinal Zen:
    "The Pope Told Me…". With a Postscript

    The open letter reproduced in its entirety below was published today, Monday, January 29, by Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, on his blog, and was immediately republished by the agency Asia News of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.

    In it, the cardinal reveals the essential contents of a conversation he had with Pope Francis, to whom he revealed his grave fears over the steps taken recently in China by Vatican representatives.

    These steps consisted in asking two “underground” bishops who are recognized by the Holy See, those of Shantou and Mindong, to make way for two bishops appointed by the government, both illicit and, the first one, excommunicated.

    For more details on these steps:

    > The Vatican asks legitimate bishops to step aside in favour of illegitimate ones

    Cardinale Zen now reveals that Pope Francis replied to him that he had given the order “not to create another Mindszenty case,” alluding to the heroic cardinal and primate of Hungary who was required by the Vatican authorities to leave his country in 1971, was removed from his position in 1973, and in 1975 was replaced with a new primate favored by the communist regime.

    But now it’s the cardinal’s turn.

    *
    Dear Friends in the Media,

    Since AsiaNews has revealed some recent facts in the Church in mainland China, of legitimate bishops being asked by the “Holy See” to resign and make place for illegitimate, even explicitly excommunicated, “bishops”, many different versions of the facts and interpretations are creating confusion among the people. Many, knowing of my recent trip to Rome, are asking me for some clarification.

    Back in October, when Bishop Zhuang received the first communication from the Holy See and asked me for help, I send someone to bring his letter to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, with, enclosed, a copy for the Holy Father. I don’t know if that enclosed copy reached the desk of the Holy Father.

    Fortunately, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai was still in Rome and could meet the Pope in a fare-well visit. In that occasion, he brought the two cases of Shantou and Mindong to the knowledge of the Holy Father. The Holy Father was surprised and promised to look into the matter.

    Given the words of the Holy Father to Archbishop Savio Hon, the new facts in December were all the more a shocking surprise to me. When the old distressed Bishop Zhuang asked me to bring to the Holy Father his answer to the message conveyed to him by the “Vatican Delegation” in Beijing, I simply could not say “No”. But what could I do to make sure that his letter reach the Holy Father, while not even I can be sure that my own many letters did reach him.

    To make sure that our voice reached the Holy Father, I took the sudden decision of going to Rome. I left Hong Kong the night of 9th January, arriving in Rome the early morning of 10th January, just in time (actually, a bit late) to join the Wednesday Public Audience. At the end of the audience, we Cardinals and Bishops are admitted to the “bacia mano” and I had the chance to put into the hands of the Holy Father the envelop, saying that I was coming to Rome for the only purpose of bringing to him a letter of Bishop Zhuang, hoping he can find time to read it (in the envelop there was the original letter of the Bishop in Chinese with my translation into Italian and a letter of mine).

    For obvious reasons, I hoped my appearance at the audience would not be too much noticed, but my late arrival in the hall made it particularly noticeable. Anyway, now everybody can see the whole proceeding from the Vatican TV (by the way, the audience was held in Paul VI Hall, not in St. Peter’s Square and I was a little late to the audience, but did not have to “wait in a queue, in a cold weather”, as some media erroneously reported).

    When in Rome, I met Fr. Bernard Cervellera of AsiaNews. We exchanged our information, but I told him not to write anything. He complied. Now that someone else broke the news, I can agree to confirm it. Yes, as far as I know, things happened just as they are related in AsiaNews (the AsiaNews report “believes” that the Bishop leading the Vatican Delegation was Msgr. [Claudio Maria] Celli. I do not know in what official capacity he was there, but it is most likely that he was the one there in Beijing).

    In this crucial moment and given the confusion in the media, I, knowing directly the situation of Shantou and indirectly that of Mindong, feel duty-bound to share my knowledge of the facts, so that the people sincerely concerned with the good of the Church may know the truth to which they are entitled. I am well aware that in doing so I may talk about things which, technically, are qualified as “confidential”. But my conscience tells me that in this case the “right to truth” should override any such “duty of confidentiality”.

    With such conviction, I am going to share with you also the following:
    In the afternoon of that day, 10th January, I received a phone-call from Santa Marta telling me that the Holy Father would receive me in private audience in the evening of Friday 12th January (though the report appeared only on 14th January in the Holy See bulletin). That was the last day of my 85 years of life, what a gift from Heaven! (Note that it was the vigil of the Holy Father’s departure for Chile and Peru, so the Holy Father must have been very busy).

    On that evening the conversation lasted about half an hour. I was rather disorderly in my talking, but I think I succeeded to convey to the Holy Father the worries of his faithful children in China.

    The most important question I put to the Holy Father (which was also in the letter) was whether he had had time “to look into the matter” (as he promised Archbishop Savio Hon). In spite of the danger of being accused of breach of confidentiality, I decide to tell you what His Holiness said: “Yes, I told them (his collaborators in the Holy See) not to create another Mindszenty case”! I was there in the presence of the Holy Father representing my suffering brothers in China. His words should be rightly understood as of consolation and encouragement more for them than for me.

    I think it was most meaningful and appropriate for the Holy Father to make this historical reference to Card. Josef Mindszenty, one of the heroes of our faith. (Card. Josef Mindszenty was the Archbishop of Budapest, Cardinal Primate of Hungary under Communist persecution. He suffered much in several years in prison. During the short-lived revolution of 1956, he was freed from prison by the insurgents and, before the Red Army crashed the revolution, took refuge in the American Embassy. Under the pressure of the Government he was ordered by the Holy See to leave his country and immediately a successor was named to the likings of the Communist Government).

    With this revelation, I hope I have satisfied the legitimate “right to know” of the media and of my brothers in China.

    The important thing for us now is to pray for the Holy Father, very fittingly by singing the traditional song “Oremus”: "Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco, Dominus conservet eum et vivificet eum et beatum faciat eum in terra et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius."

    Some explanations may still be in order.

    1. Please, notice that the problem is not the resignation of the legitimate Bishops, but the request to make place for the illegitimate and even excommunicated ones. Many old underground Bishops, though the retirement age law has never been enforced in China, have insistently asked for a successor, but have never received any answer from the Holy See. Some others, who have a successor already named, may be even already in possession of the Bulla signed by the Holy Father, were ordered not to proceed with the ordination for fear of offending the Government.

    2. I have talked mainly of the two cases of Shantou and Mindong. I do not have any other information except the copy of a letter written by an outstanding Catholic lady, a retired University professor well-acquainted with affairs of the Church in China, in which she warns Msgr. Celli against pushing for the legitimization of “bishop” Lei Shi Ying in Sichuan.

    3. I acknowledge myself as a pessimist regarding the present situation of the Church in China, but my pessimism has a foundation in my long direct experience of the Church in China. From 1989 to 1996 I used to spend six months a year teaching in the various Seminaries of the official Catholic community. I had direct experience of the slavery and humiliation to which those our brother Bishops are subjected. And from the recent information, there is no reason to change that pessimistic view. The Communist Government is making new harsher regulations limiting religious freedom. They are now strictly enforcing regulations which up to now were practically only on paper (from the 1st of February 2018 attendance to Mass in the underground will no longer be tolerated).

    4. Some say that all the efforts to reach an agreement is to avoid the ecclesial schism. How ridiculous! The schism is there, in the Independent Church! The Popes avoided using the word “schism” because they knew that many in the official Catholic community were there not by their own free will, but under heavy pressure. The proposed “unification” would force everybody into that community. The Vatican would be giving the blessing on the new strengthened schismatic Church, taking away the bad conscience from all those who are already willing renegades and those others who would readily join them.

    5. Is it not good to try to find mutual ground to bridge the decades-long divide between the Vatican and China? But can there be anything really “mutual” with a totalitarian regime? Either you surrender or you accept persecution, but remaining faithful to yourself (can you imagine an agreement between St. Joseph and King Herod?)

    6. So, do I think that the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China? Yes, definitely, if they go in the direction which is obvious from all what they are doing in recent years and months.

    7. Some expert on the Catholic Church in China is saying that it is not logical to suppose a harsher religious policy from Xi Jinping. However, we are not talking about logical thinking, but the obvious and crude reality.

    8. Am I the major obstacle in the process of reaching a deal between the Vatican and China? If that is a bad deal, I would be more than happy to be the obstacle.

    Hong Kong, January 29, 2018

    ----------

    POSTSCRIPT – On January 30 Vatican press office director Greg Burke released the following statement:

    "With reference to widespread news on a presumed difference of thought and action between the Holy Father and his collaborators in the Roman Curia on issues relating to China, I am able to state the following:

    'The Pope is in constant contact with his collaborators, in particular in the Secretariat of State, on Chinese issues, and is informed by them faithfully and in detail on the situation of the Catholic Church in China and on the steps in the dialogue in progress between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China, which he follows with special attention. It is therefore surprising and regrettable that the contrary is affirmed by people in the Church, thus fostering confusion and controversy'."

    In return, Cardinal Zen wrote in a fresh blog post that the Vatican had shifted the focus on the issue of appointment of bishops to the relations between the pope and his diplomats.

    "In fact, my blog never mentions that the pope does not know (what the Vatican diplomats are doing), but the pope really told (Archbishop) Savio Hon Tai-fai: 'Why the group (Vatican diplomats) never discussed with me (about recent appointments)?'

    "What the pope told me is true: That his opinions are different to theirs. Therefore, at the end of the 'statement,' they cannot doubt the pope telling a lie, and then assert that I tell a lie," he wrote.

    "I say in my blog that they are doing bad things (wrong things) but not say that they are lying, and now, readers are needed to judge either I or they tell a lie," he wrote.

    "Of course I know my [first] statement will cause controversy but not confusion. I hope the result of the controversy is that they admit what they are doing is bad (wrong) and should step back from the precipice."

    Meantime, Vatican Insider interviewed Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State:

    > Parolin: "Why we are in dialogue with China"

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  5. Admin

    Admin Moderator Staff Member


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  6. Admin

    Admin Moderator Staff Member

    Unfortunately, we have only been able to access two chapters of Joy in Suffering.
    Please pray for our Chinese Martyrs led by Cardinal Zen
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  7. Admin

    Admin Moderator Staff Member

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    Chinese Bishops Illegitimate, Official, Clandestine… Which Ones Francis Is Rewarding and Which He Is Not
    05 feb

    To judge from what is happening in China, from the sortie of Cardinal Joseph Zen Zekiun, from the Vatican’s reply, from the interview with Cardinal Pietro Parolin and from the words of Pope Francis to Zen, an accord between the Holy See and the authorities of Beijing on the appointment of the bishops would seem to be in the home stretch:

    > China and the Vatican are close to a groundbreaking agreement

    The two dioceses, in fact, in which the controversy was ignited, those of Shantou and Xiapu-Mindong, have remained the only ones in which there are two competing bishops: one that is legitimate in the eyes of Rome and another who is illegitimate, if not downright excommunicated; or viceversa, one officially appointed and recognized by the Chinese government and another who was not and is treated as clandestine.

    To clear the field of this anomaly on the brink of schism - a serious obstacle to an agreement - the Vatican authorities have decided, for both dioceses, to “ask a sacrifice” of the two legitimate bishops, to step aside and recognize as the only titular bishop of the diocese the one appointed by the government, legitimizing him and absolving him if he was excommunicated.

    It comes as no surprise, therefore, that this decision of the Vatican authorities has wounded not only the two bishops who have been urged to abandon their office, but also a large part of the Catholic community in China, to which Cardinal Zen has given voice.

    Nor does it come as a surprise that Pope Francis should have told Zen that he had instructed the Vatican diplomats involved in the negotiation to “not create another Mindszenty case,” alluding to the heroic cardinal primate of Hungary who in 1971 was obliged by the Holy See to leave his country, in 1973 was removed from his position, and in 1975 was replaced with a new primate agreeable to the communist regime.

    Zen interpreted these words of Pope Francis as “a consolation and an encouragement,” in addition to an expression of dissent from the pope with respect to the stance of “concession” of the Vatican diplomats.

    But it is much more likely that Francis wanted to say something else. Cardinal József Mindszenty never agreed to resign voluntarily from the position of primate, it was Paul VI himself who was constrained to remove him from authority. And it is to this point that Jorge Mario Bergoglio does not want to come. He has told his associates to do all they can to convince those two bishops to resign of their own spontaneous will. In exchange, the Chinese authorities would officially bestow upon the older of them the title of "bishop emeritus" and on the younger that of "auxiliary bishop."

    For his part, cardinal secretary of state Pietro Parolin has defended the justice of the course taken by Vatican diplomacy, the framework of which continues to be traced back to the letter of Benedict XVI to Chinese Catholics in 2007.

    But a key element of that letter has certainly been dropped: where it defines as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine” the membership of bishops and clergy in the so-called Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the main organism through which the authorities of Beijing exercise their full control over the Church. Today this membership is de facto allowed by the Holy See.

    Moreover, it is astonishing that the Vatican diplomats are not demanding as a preliminary condition for an accord at least the restoration to freedom of the bishops still under arrest.

    One of these, Peter Shao Zhumin, bishop of Wenzhou, was able to go back to his diocese a few days ago, on January 27, after eight months of abduction and unfruitful attempts to force him to join the Patriotic Association. A public appeal for his liberation had been made in June by the German ambassador in Beijing.

    But Augustine Cui Tai, coadjutor bishop of Xuanhua, still remains in confinement. And the same is true of Thaddeus Ma Daqin, bishop of Shanghai, whose case is even more spectacular.

    On July 7, 2012, when he was ordained bishop with the approval of both Rome and Beijing, Ma Daqin withdrew in obedience to the pope his membership in the Patriotic Association. He was arrested for this and is still impeded from governing the diocese, in spite of the fact that he retracted his dissociation in 2015, made a public profession of submission, and stooped to concelebrating a Mass with a bishop who is illegitimate but in the good graces of the regime, precisely the one who is supposed to become the sole titulary of the diocese of Xiapu-Mindong. Incredible but true, “La Civiltà Cattolica” judges the fate of Ma Daqin not as an example of “surrender” but of “reawakening” to reality, an exemplary model of “reconciliation between the Church in China and the Chinese government,” which the Holy See should “support and give a chance.” See, in this regard, the just-published book “In the soul of China,” edited by the Jesuit Anthony Spadaro, director of the magazine printed with the “placet” of Pope Francis, on page 217.

    *

    But what is the up-to-date picture of the bishops in China, which will be affected by the accord given as imminent between the Holy See and Beijing?

    Here is a classification for them by category and name, with their respective ages and dioceses, taken from the book by Gianni Cardinale “Vescovi nella terra di Confucio,” published last summer by Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

    With one advisory: that all those born before 1943, meaning over the age of 75, are required to present their resignation to the pope, who reserves the right to accept it or not.

    1. ILLEGITIMATE (RECOGNIZED BY BEIJING BUT NOT BY ROME)

    The bishops appointed by the Chinese authorities and not recognized as legitimate by the Holy See at present number seven, three of whom are also under public excommunication.

    Two of them work in the two dioceses in which are present also the two legitimate bishops who have been urged by the Vatican to step aside:

    Vincent Zhan Silu, b. 1961, Xiapu-Mindong
    Joseph Huang Bingzhang, b. 1967, Shantou, excommunicated

    The other five are in dioceses that for the Vatican figure as vacant:

    Joseph Liu Xinhong, b. 1964, Anhui
    Paul Lei Shiyin, b. 1963, Leshan, excommunicated
    Joseph Ma Yinglin, b. 1965, Kunming
    Joseph Guo Jincai, b. 1968, Chengde
    Joseph Yue Fusheng, b. 1964, Harbin-Heilongjiang, excommunicated

    It turns out that all seven sent to Rome the request to be reconciled with the Church. And this is what will happen, in the framework of the agreement that is given as imminent.

    2. LEGITIMATE AND “OFFICIAL” (RECOGNIZED BY BOTH ROME AND BEIJING)

    Joseph Li Shan, b. 1965, Beijing
    Francis An Shuxin, b. 1949, Baoding
    Peter Feng Xinmao, b. 1963, Jingxian
    Joseph Liu Liangui, b. 1964, Xianxian-Cangzhou
    Joseph Sun Jigen, b. 1967, Yongnian-Handan
    Peter Fang Jianping, b. 1962, Yongping-Tangshan
    Methodius Qu Ailin, b. 1961, Changsha
    Joseph Tang Yuange, b. 1963, Chengdu
    Joseph Chen Gong’ao, b. 1964, Nanchong
    Paul He Zeqing, b. 1968, Wanxian-Wanzhou
    John Lei Jiaipei, b. 1970, Xichang
    Peter Luo Xuegang, b. 1964, Yibin
    Joseph Cai Bingrui, b. 1966, Xiamen
    Joseph Gan Junqiu, b. 1964, Guangzhou
    Paul Su Yongda, b. 1958, Beihai-Zhanjiang
    Paul Liang Jiansen, b. 1964, Jiangmen
    Joseph Liao Hongqing, b. 1965, Meixian-Meizhou
    Paul Xiao Zejiang, b. 1967, Guiyang-Guizhou
    Matthew Cao Xiangde, b. 1927, Hangzhou
    Anthony Xu Jiwei, b. 1935, Linhai-Taizhou
    Paul Meng Qinglu, b. 1962, Hohhot
    Joseph Li Jing, b. 1968, Yinchuan-Ningxia
    Matthias Du Jiang, b. 1963, Bameng
    Joseph Zhang Xianwang, b. 1965, Jinan
    John Fang Xingyao, b. 1953, Linyi
    Joseph Li Mingshu, b. 1924, Qingdao
    Joseph Zhao Fengchang, b. 1934, Yanggu-Liaocheng
    John Lu Peisan, b. 1966, Yanzhou
    Joseph Yang Yongqiang, b. 1970, Zhoucun
    Joseph Zhang Yinlin, b. 1971, Jixian-Anyang
    Joseph Han Zhihai, b. 1966, Lanzhou
    Nicholas Han Jide, b. 1940, Pingliang
    John Battista Li Sugong, b. 1964, Nanchang-Jiangxi
    Francis Xavier Lu Xinping, b. 1963, Nanjing
    Joseph Shen Bin, b. 1970, Haimen
    Joseph Xu Honggen, b. 1962, Suzhou
    John Wang Renlei, b. 1970, Xuzhou
    John Battista Tan Yanquan, b. 1962, Nanning-Guanxi
    Paul Pei Junmin, b. 1969, Shenyang-Liaoning
    Paul Meng Ningyu, b. 1963, Taiyuan
    Peter Ding Lingbin, b. 1962, Changzhi
    John Huo Cheng, b. 1926, Fenyang
    Paul Ma Cunguo, b. 1971, Shuoxian-Shouzhou
    Anthony Dan Mingyan, b. 1967, Xi’an
    Peter Li Huiyuan, b. 1965, Fengxiang
    Louis Yu Runshen, b. 1930, Hanzhong
    Joseph Han Yingjin, b. 1958, Sanyuan
    John Battista Yang Xiaoting, b. 1964, Yan’an-Yulin
    Joseph Martin Wu Qinjing, b. 1968, Zhouzhi
    John Battista Ye Ronghua, b. 1931, Ankang
    John Battista Wang Xiaoxun, b. 1966, coadjutor Ankang
    Joseph Tong Changping, b. 1968, Tongzhou-Weinan
    Peter Wu Junwei, b. 1963, Xinjiang-Yuncheng

    To whom must be added:

    Thaddeus Ma Daqin, b. 1968, Shanghai, impeded

    3. LEGITIMATE BUT “CLANDESTINE” (RECOGNIZED BY ROME BUT NOT BY BEIJING)

    Two of them work in dioceses in which they are supposed to surrender their titles to their illegitimate competitors:

    Vincent Guo Xijin, b. 1958, Xiapu-Mindong
    Peter Zhuang Jianjian, b. 1931, Shantou

    The others are the following:

    Stephen Li Side, b. 1927, Tianjin
    Thomas Zhao Kexun, b. 1924, Xuanhua
    Augustine Cui Tai, b. 1950, Xuanhua, coadjutor, under arrest
    Julius Jia Zhiguo, b. 1935, Zhengding
    Joseph Hou Guoyang, b. 1922, Chongqing
    John Baptist Wang Ruohan, b. 1950, Kangding
    Peter Lin Jiashan, b. 1934, Fuzhou
    Peter Shao Zhumin, b. 1963, Yongjia-Wenzhou
    Joseph Gao Hongxiao, b. 1945, Kaifeng
    Peter Jin Lugang, b. 1955, Nanyang
    John Wang Ruowang, b. 1961, Tianshui
    John Pei Weizhao, b. 1966, Yujiang
    Andrew Han Jingtao, b. 1921, Siping-Jilin
    Joseph Wej Jingyi, b. 1958, Qiqihar-Heilongjiang
    Joseph Zhang Weizhu, b. 1958, Xinxiang

    4. “OFFICIAL” EMERITUS

    Stephen Yang Xiangtai, b. 1922, emeritus Yongnian,
    Joseph Zhu Baoyu, b. 1921, emeritus Nanyang
    Andrew Jin Daoyuan, b. 1929, emeritus Changzhi,
    Peter Zhang Zhiyong, b. 1932, emeritus Fengxiang
    Joseph Zhong Huaide, b. 1922, emeritus Sanyuan

    5. "CLANDESTINE” EMERITUS OR RETIRED

    Melchior Shi Hongzhen, b. 1929, coadjutor emeritus Tianjin,
    Joseph Shi Shuang-xi, b. 1967, auxiliary emeritus Yongnian,
    Joseph Ma Zhongmu, b. 1919, emeritus Yinchuan-Ningxia,
    Placidus Pei Ronggui, b. 1933, emeritus Luoyang
    Peter Mao Qingfu, b. 1963, retired, Luoyang
    Joseph Xing Wenzhi, b. 1963, auxiliary emeritus Shanghai,
    Matthias Gu Zeng, b. 1937, emeritus Xining
    John Zhang Qingtian, b. 1956, auxiliary emeritus Yixian
    John Chen Cangbao, b. 1959, retired, Yixian

    6. DISAPPEARED

    James Su Zhimin, b. 1932, Baoding, disappeared since 1996
    Cosma Shi Enxiang, b. 1922, Yixian, disappeared since 2001

    *

    There is also the case of a bishop who is illegitimate for both Rome and Beijing: Paul Wang Huiyao, b. 1959, Zhouzhi.

    The dioceses enumerated above with their respective bishops amount to 74. While the dioceses and apostolic prefectures in China number 137 in the partition adopted by the Vatican, and 97 in that of the Chinese authorities, not recognized by Rome. Therefore with numerous vacant dioceses, in both partitions.

    But it is also important to note which bishops the Chinese authorities wanted at the head of the Patriotic Association and of the Council of Bishops, whose terms were renewed at the end of 2016.

    The president of the Patriotic Association is John Fang Xingyao, bishop of Linyi, recognized by both the Vatican and the Chinese government.

    While the vice-presidents are the illegitimate and excommunicated bishops Lei Shiyin of Leshan, Huang Bingzhang of Shantou, and Yue Fusheng of Harbin-Heilongjiang, the illegitimate Ma Yinglin of Kunming, plus the legitimate and “official” Shen Bin of Haimen and Meng Qinglu of Hohhot.

    The president of the Council of Bishops is Ma Yinglin, illegitimate bishop of Kunming.

    While the vice-presidents are the illegitimate bishops Guo Jincai of Chengde, who is also secretary general, and Zhan Silu di Xiapu-Mindong, plus the legitimate and “official” Fang Xingyao of Linyi, Shen Bin of Haimen, Fang Jianping of Tangshan, Pei Junmin of Liaoning, Li Shan of Beijing, Yang Xiaoting of Yulin, He Zeqing of Wanzhou, Yang Yongqiang of Zhoucun.

    The Council of Bishops is an imitation episcopal conference under the strict control of the regime, from which are excluded all bishops who are recognized by Rome but not by the Chinese authorities.

    And in the accord that is given as imminent, it would be up to precisely this Council to select and propose to Rome the names of future bishops.

    Chiesa News

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  8. Admin

    Admin Moderator Staff Member

    China’s state-run paper praises Pope Francis’ ‘wisdom’ in making concessions on bishop appointments


    BEIJING, February 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A newspaper controlled by the Chinese government has praised Pope Francis for making "concessions" to the Communist regime that have effectively resulted in the Vatican legitimizing excommunicated bishops loyal to the regime while forcing legitimate bishops of the underground Church into retirement.

    The Global Times told its readers in a February 5 editorial titled China-Vatican relations take clearer shape that the Roman pontiff had made “substantive concessions to China on bishop appointments.”

    It called the on-going Beijing-Vatican negotiations "tremendously beneficial to Catholics,” without specifying that it was likely referring to those Catholics who belong to the government-run Patriotic Catholic Association, what Chinese Cardinal Zen called a "new...schismatic Church."

    The Beijing-Vatican negotiations are not yet finalized. The Global Times suggested that the Vatican allowing Communist China to appoint bishops would "reflect Catholics’ ability to adapt to changes.”

    The article praised the "wisdom" of Pope Francis, saying that the negotiations are taking a “clearer shape” despite the opposition of “Western media and certain radical religious groups opposed to enhanced Sino-Vatican ties.”

    The article comes at a time when the Vatican is receiving heavy criticism from Catholics around the globe for what Cardinal Zen says amounts to "selling out the Catholic Church in China." Critics say that the Vatican’s negotiating strategy in China is nothing more than "simply negotiating the surrender of the underground Church" to the false church created by the Communists.

    China expert and director of the Population Research Institute Steve Mosher called the Global Times' article "propaganda."

    He explained to LifeSiteNews that the Global Times is the “mouthpiece” of the Chinese communist government, directed at the outside world.

    Mosher said he does not believe the Vatican should trust China’s new “god-emperor” Xi Jinping, saying that the whole thrust of Xi’s activities has been to consolidate his own power.

    “Xi Jinping has more power than Mao had at his height,” he said.

    Xi is not only the leader of China, but the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, the head of the military and of a dozen leading groups.

    “He’s basically done a power grab,” Mosher said.

    Mosher said he, like many Catholics around the world, cannot understand Pope Francis' dealings with Xi Jingping’s regime.

    “Obviously the ten million to twenty million Catholics in the underground Church have voted with their feet to stay underground," he said. “Why not just let the underground spread the Gospel?”

    Mosher observed that Matteo Ricci and his fellow Jesuits, the 15th-16th century missionaries to China, sought to convert the Chinese Emperor to Christianity so that his subjects would follow suit. But today, in Xi Jinping’s negotiations with Francis, the roles seem to have been reversed.

    “It’s not the Jesuit missionaries convincing the Emperor,” Mosher said. “It’s the Emperor convincing the Jesuit missionaries.”

    Source

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  9. Admin

    Admin Moderator Staff Member


    [​IMG]



    Hong Kong Catholics hold prayer vigil to oppose
    Vatican capitulation to China

    Tue. Feb 13, 2018 - 3:15 pm EST
    HONG KONG, February 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In a clear sign of escalating anxiety, about 200 Hong Kong Catholics gathered for an all night-vigil to pray and express alarm over the Vatican’s pending capitulation to mainland China’s push for more communist control over the Chinese Catholic Church.

    “It’s a precarious situation. There’s a real danger of division,” said one priest at the prayer service who asked to remain anonymous, according to a Reuters report.

    Those attending the vigil share Hong Kong Cardinal Zen’s concerns. After visiting the Pope in Rome in late January, the 87 year-old Cardinal minced no words, saying, “So, do I think that the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China? Yes, definitely.”

    Open letter to the Vatican
    On the same day as the prayer vigil, an open letter addressed to bishops’ conferences around the world––signed by Hong Kong-based academics, lawyers and human rights activists––warned that the Vatican’s actions would plunge Chinese Catholics “into confusion and pain, and schism would be created in the Church in China.”

    The letter implores the world’s bishops to ask the Vatican to “rethink the current agreement, and stop making an irreversible and regrettable mistake.”

    “We fully understand that the Holy See is eager to be able to evangelize in China more effectively. However, we are deeply worried that the deal would create damages that cannot be remedied,” say the signatories, as reported in Crux.

    “The Communist Party in China, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, has repeatedly destroyed crosses and churches, and the Patriotic Association maintains its heavy-handed control over the Church. Religious persecution has never stopped. Xi has also made it clear that the Party will strengthen its control over religions,” the letter continues. “So, there is no possibility that the Church can enjoy more freedom. In addition, the Communist Party has a long history of breaking promises.”

    They warn that the Vatican’s handshake with Beijing would “also damage the Church’s holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity, and deal a blow to the Church’s moral power.”

    The fate of millions of faithful members of China’s underground Catholic Church which, unlike the state-sanctioned Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, has been as closely tied to the Vatican as practicable, now hangs in the balance.

    Chinese Catholics foresee danger
    Reports in recent weeks coming out of China speak of the fear caused by the Vatican’s recent dealings with China’s communist regime.

    John, an underground priest, told ucanews.com that the Vatican’s plan is “like asking the underground church to take communion with the devil.” The underground church feels abandoned and betrayed, he said.

    He went on to say that the “Holy See is mistaken if it believes it can achieve unity by supporting the Communist Party-controlled Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association,” according to the report.

    Father John of Yunnan underground community told ucanews.com that the Holy See and the Catholic Patriotic Association have the same aim: “Both want to extinguish our underground community.”

    The hidden meaning of “sinicization”
    Lost amid recent controversies sparked by the Vatican abdication of bishop appointments to the Chinese government is the regime’s enactment of strict new regulations concerning religious affairs.

    While presented as nothing more than a bureaucratic revision to existing regulations, the move is seen by many as a giant step backwards toward increased state control of all religions––including Catholicism––by the nation’s communist government.

    Chinese officials insist that their goal is benign “sinicization,” a process where foreign influences within the country are made more compatible with Chinese culture. In reality, it is a mandate to co-opt Christianity––a process which is exacting an increasingly quantifiable toll on Chinese Christians.

    “Sinicization,” according to China Aid’s 2014 Annual Report of Religious and Human Rights Persecution in China, “amounts to de-Christianizing the church in China and eradicating the universal nature of Christianity,” elevating “the interests of the Communist Party,” and “usurping Christian doctrine that ‘Christ is the head of Church.’”

    And now, days after Vatican Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo praised China as ‘best’ at implementing Church teaching on social doctrine, China’s millions of underground Catholics have more reason than ever to worry that they are being abandoned by Rome to a communist regime’s state-controlled church.

    What Westerners need to understand
    A cloud of dread has hung over tens of millions in the Christian community since the new laws were announced last year.

    “In recent months Catholics in China had anticipated the upcoming February 1 implementation of the government’s new, stricter regulations on religion with a sense of foreboding,” says John Lindblom, writing for Notre Dame University’s Church Life Journal.

    Lindholm says that Chinese Catholics view the new regulations, “as the regime’s attempt to achieve two goals with regard to China’s divided Catholic Church: 1) to greatly increase its already strong control over the ‘official’ (government-recognized) church, and 2) to eradicate the activities of the ‘unofficial’ or underground church though fines and prohibiting their gatherings (presumably stopping them by force, whereas they had previously often turned a blind eye), with the goal of eliminating it altogether by forcing it to amalgamate with the official church.”

    “Many Catholics, however, especially in the underground Church,” interpret the Vatican’s sudden eagerness to work with the communist regime “as the wrong approach, rewarding those who are least worthy of being in leadership,” Says Lindholm.

    “The regime’s ultimate policy,” warns Lindholm, “is that no organization, least of all a religious one, is to be governed by a foreign power, which can lead to insurgent movements and threaten the party’s rule.”

    When news of the Vatican capitulation emerged in the weeks leading up to the enactment of the new laws, many Catholics worried “that by aligning with Beijing, the Vatican risks betraying the underground clergy and followers who have remained loyal to the Pope’s authority to appoint bishops.”

    “We are simply negotiating the surrender of the underground Church,” says Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute and author of Bully of Asia, “the delivery of underground Catholics into the hands of the Patriotic Association, which is beholden to the Communist Party of China and answers to it.”

    China’s recent crackdown on religion
    According to its 2017 Annual Report issued by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, “In 2016, the Chinese government continued its campaign to remove crosses and demolish churches.”

    “Since 2014, authorities have removed crosses or demolished churches at more than 1,500 locations in Zhejiang Province alone,” continues the report. “During 2016, Chinese authorities arrested Christians for displaying the cross in their homes and printing religious materials, threatened parents for bringing their children to church, and blocked them from holding certain religious activities.”

    All this was occuring before the new, stricter regulations became law last week.

    Imbedded deeper in the official report, one comes across disturbing allegations of imprisonment and barbaric violence against China’s religious minorities, who become nothing more than a source for organ harvesting. “Organ donors often are nonconsenting, particularly executed Falun Gong prisoners and detainees, though individuals from other faiths also have been targeted, such as Uighur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, and Christians.”

    Most westerners think that this sort of barbarism exists only in China’s distant past, yet it is here and now.

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