Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cardinal Zen Warns Against Confusion

Surrounding Pope's Letter to the Chinese Catholics, from Asia News Italy:

It is not true that the letter Pope Benedict XVI wrote to Chinese Catholics says that bishops from the underground Church can concelebrate services with “all” bishops from the official Church. It is not correct to claim that the letter says that there are no more reasons for the existence of the underground Church or that “underground” bishops are urged to seek recognition of state authorities. It is not true that there are no more canonical sanctions against unlawfully ordained bishops. This in a nutshell is the reply Card Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, bishop of Hong Kong, delivered to a July 6 article by Fr Jeroom Heyndrickx, head of the Ferdinand Verbiest Foundation at Leuven’s Catholic University (Belgium), that appeared in the UCA News agency (the cardinal’s reply was published on July 18 and Father Heyndrickx’s counter-reply on the 20).

Cardinal Zen does acknowledge that the Belgian sinologist loves China and “has done a lot of work” to bring together “the Chinese Catholic community with the universal Church.” However, he is concerned that the latter’s “every initiative needs the approval of Mr. Liu (Banian) of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA), and has to be carried out according to conditions imposed by him.” This is the same Mr Liu who is the CCPA deputy chairman and whose “enormous power . . . has allowed him to oppress and humiliate our bishops.

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