Hong Kong Cardinal Zen against Vatican diplomacy in Communist China
Settimo Cielo (Seventh Heaven)
by Sandro Magister
Jan. 11 ’16
[Google translation: Currently available only in Italian; will substitute any better translation when and if available]
In the speech that he addressed on January 11 to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, with a large section focused on migrants, Pope Francis has not said a word about China.
But we know that this great country is in the foreground in the attention of Francis, which he remembers the impetuous response to a reporter’s question: “If you go to China? Tomorrow!”.
In mid-October a Vatican delegation went to Beijing. And it transpired that he discussed the procedures for the appointment of bishops, whose recent settlements have taken place almost all to the will of the only communist authorities, in defiance of the authority of the pope.
And the delegates discussed the Vatican he would not require advance as a condition “sine qua non” of the negotiations, the release of Bishop Su Zhimin of Baoding, some time in jail, and the Bishop Ma Daqin of Shanghai, to house arrest for more than three years.
The meetings would come to nothing. which has not prevented the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to declare that “talk is already positive” and “is part of a process that hopefully will end with an agreement.”
Even more optimistic is the picture of the current relations between Beijing and Rome dashed from a book published recently, written by a Chinese Shanghai converted to Catholicism as an adult and a research fellow at the University Sophia Focolare in Loppiano in Tuscany:
> Kim claret Sheung Yan, “The Gospel beyond the Great Wall”, EMI, Bologna, 2015
But there is also a downside. And it is the deadly indictment of Vatican diplomacy published by the Chinese Cardinal Joseph Zen Zekiun, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong – former advisor of Benedict XVI for China but marginalized by Pope Francis – the day of the solemn presentation in Rome, in a ‘ classroom of Vatican Radio, the book just quoted.
According to Zen, on the appointment of Chinese bishops but not only, the path embarked on by Vatican diplomacy can only lead to an outlet receiver, equal to that of Ostpolitik with communist countries.
So in fact Zen concludes his indictment:
“What I do not let it calm to see our eminent Secretary of State still intoxicated miracle Ostpolitik. In a speech last year, commemorating the Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, praised the success of its predecessor have ensured the existence of Church hierarchy in communist countries of Eastern Europe. He said: ‘In choosing candidates for the episcopate, we choose the shepherds and people who oppose the regime on principle, people with attitude of gladiators, people who love the show political stage ‘. I wonder: Who had in mind the cardinal while doing this description? I’m afraid I was thinking of a Cardinal Wyszynski, a Cardinal Mindszenty, a Cardinal Beran. But these are the heroes who bravely defended the faith of their people! It scares me to think this way, I hope I got it wrong.
“The day that you will sign that agreement with China there will be peace and joy, but do not expect me to participate in the celebrations of the beginning of this new church. I disappear, I will start a monastic life to pray and do penance. I will ask to excuse Pope Benedict for not being able to do what he hoped I would I could do. I will ask Pope Francis to forgive this old cardinal suburban for disturbing him with many letters inappropriate.
“The innocent children were killed, the angel told Joseph to take Mary and Child fleeing to safety. But today our diplomats might advise Joseph to go and groped a dialogue with Herod?”.
The full text of the indictment of Cardinal Zen is on this page of “Asia News”:
> What will 2016 bring the Church in China [See comment below]