News from the embattled Church in Eastern Asia. First, this from CWN with my emphases:
Cardinal Zen rips Beijing’s bid to control Catholic Church
July 26, 2011
Cardinal Joseph Zen has denounced the “preposterous and ridiculous” efforts by the Chinese government to exert control over the Catholic Church.
The retired Bishop of Hong Kong said: “It is absurd to hear the statements of politically correct state puppets defending Beijing’s policies.” He issued his statement just after the Chinese religion ministry complained about the Vatican’s “rude” excommunication of bishops illicitly ordained by the Catholic Patriotic Association.
Cardinal Zen argued that it is nonsensical to have officials of an officially atheistic state judging the policies of a religious body. The institution that Beijing seeks to build, he said, “can no more be recognizable as Catholic,” and the officials who are pursuing that policy are “making themselves the laughing stock of the world!”
Cardinal Zen exhorted the loyal Catholics of China to maintain their strong ties to the Holy See. Saluting their steadfast determination to preserve the unity of the Church, the cardinal underlined his feeling of solidarity by describing himself as “an old brother who is almost ashamed of living in freedom.”
WDTPRS kudos to the great Card. Zen. His point about an atheistic government pronouncing on religious matters is very good. Also, to label them as a “laughing stock” might sting, given the role of face saving in that culture.
Also from CWN comes this:
Father Nguyen Van Ly, a human-rights activist, has been arrested once again by the Vietnamese government.
In 2007, Father Ly was sentenced of an 8-year prison term for his public criticism of the Vietnamese regime. After many pleas from international advocates, he was released in March 2010 for medical treatment. Father Ly has suffered several strokes that left him partially paralyzed; he also needed treatment for a brain tumor. At that time, prison officials said that he would be jailed again if his medical condition improved.
Friends of the priest say that his medical condition remains very precarious, and the police who re-arrested him came prepared with an ambulance. The decision to put him back in jail appears to have been motivated by his recent public statements, issued from house arrest, denouncing the government for human-rights violations.
And yet again from CWN:
Chinese immigration officials denied permission for an activist priest from Hong Kong to visit the mainland, in the latest sign of escalating tensions between the Beijing regime and the Catholic Church.
Father Franco Mella reported that he was stopped at an immigration checkpoint at Shenzhen and told that his visa had been cancelled. He had never previously been denied permission to enter the mainland.
Father Mella had joined in a public protest in Hong Kong against the illicit ordination of bishops by the Catholic Patriotic Association. However, two other Catholic priests from Hong Kong, who did not take part in that demonstration, were also denied visas recently.