Calling himself "an old brother who is almost ashamed of living in freedom," His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun blasts the "[n]on-believing authorities [who] want to lead evangelization and pastoral care" and "want to create a schism" and "find a Luther or Henry VIII" — Cardinal Zen: the absurdity of an atheist government that wants to lead the Catholic Church.
"China's Bureau of Religion reacted as stung by the Vatican's threat to excommunicate bishops ordained without the permission of the Holy See," writes Francesco Sisci, "but nevertheless indicated for the first time that China's government has no desire to rule the religious affairs of the Catholic Church" — Reading between the lines of the Vatican rift. He begins, "The rift between China and the Holy See is deepening as it enters the rutted territory where Rome and Beijing historically have something in common: convoluted political procedure."
"All this is the independent, prideful nationalism of China, which many Chinese people can easily fall into – even Catholic bishops, I suppose," says Nathan Faries, author of The Inscrutably Chinese Church, who makes note of the "the more complex situation that is going on, on the ground, that doesn't always come out in our Western consciousness" — Author laments Chinese response to recent excommunications. Arguing that "Chinese Catholics' strong sense of cultural and national identity can benefit the universal Church in the long run," Dr. Faries says, "Once it's blended back in with some sort of relationship with the Vatican, as in the late 70s and 80s, you perhaps have a healthy mix of national, Catholic and Christian identity, that can do interesting and important things theologically and for the nation."
UCA News notes the confusion on the ground — Mixed reception for Vatican’s view.
Labels: The Catholic Faith, The Holy Father, The Holy See, The Middle Kingdom