9 August 2016
Hong Kong’s retired bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun said on Monday that allowing the Chinese government to appoint Catholic bishops in the pope’s stead would mean “surrender.”
The statement came after the city’s current bishop, John Tong Hon, said last Friday that the Chinese government and Vatican are in dialogue to discuss the contentious issue of appointing bishops in China.
The official Catholic church of China is currently run by the government-controlled Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which appoints its own bishops, whereas the Vatican insists on its right to appoint bishops in the region, prompting the creation of underground churches which swear allegiance only to the pope, according to Agence France-Presse.
“To officially let [the Chinese government] manage the church? That would mean surrender,” Zen told Apple Daily.
“Once the relationship has been established, what then? When the pope visits China, and the [central government] selects only the obedient people to meet the pope, what then for those belonging to the underground churches?” he added.
* * *