Sacrifice the bishops to gain a … nuncio

Chinese ChessASIANEWS has a fascinating piece about your favorite Cardinal and mine, the Bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Zen:


The cardinal yesterday took possession of his titular church, Holy Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, in Rome. The Chinese government “has warned Liu Bainian, but should illicit ordinations continue, links will be completely severed”.

Rome (AsiaNews) – The government of China has asked the Patriotic Association to stop Episcopal ordinations without the consent of the Holy See, said Cardinal Joseph Zen. The Cardinal was speaking after celebrating Mass to take possession of his titular church in Rome. The Cardinal said the Patriotic Association (PA) “was fomenting dissent between the Chinese government and the Vatican” but was “defeating itself” in doing so.  …

The Chinese neo-cardinal said this low-key response meant that the government “has accepted this new evolution of the situation”. He added: “The Chinese government had clearly told Liu Bainian [PA vice-chairman] to stop these ordinations. But should more illicit ordinations be celebrated, the Holy See will have to announce the rupture of all negotiations with Beijing.”


As WDTPRS has commented before, compromises do not work with China.  Pope Benedict has changed the style of the previous diplomatic approach to the PRC.  He has adopted a position of strength rather than acquiescence. 

In the meantime, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo is saying in Bucharest to Ziud that the Church simply wants to run its own show. “As in every other country in the world, the Church is not asking for any privileges in China; it only wants the right to organise itself as it sees fit.”

“Undoubtedly, these misunderstandings are hindering the dialogue, but with a little bit of good will, it should not be too hard to overcome them”.

Move, counter move.   In this game of xiàngqí­, the PRC’s Commie Party’s shì, or minister, is ready to sacrifice their bishops, xiàng, in order to lure the Vatican into its side of the board by shifting its own shì xiàng.  We have to get the terms right so we know which game it is we are really playing.  D’ya s’pose the Holy See knows that the names of the red pieces and the black names have names that sound the same but mean different things? 

Cardinal Zen does!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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