Card. Zen on Pope’s upcoming letter to Chinese Catholics

Asia News and ZENIT report that Joseph Card. Zen, Bishop of Hong Kong and all around excellent fellow, says that the Pope’s letter to Chinese Catholics should be ready "around Easter".    Asia News has a somewhat more complete picture, saying that the letter could be around 20 pages in length.

According to Asia News Card. Zen said "… a prudent dialogue is possible with the Chinese government but “on religious freedom, the Vatican should have a clear stance. This is not an irrational request.”

With reference to the way bishops are appointed in Vietnam Card. Zen suggested that the Vietnamese model could be a good reference point for dealings with Beijing.  Apparently the Holy See presents the names of possible bishops to the Vietnamese government, the government responds with feedback, and the Pope makes the final decision.  There is nothing like the government approved Chinese "patriotic Church" in Vietnam.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    It is all very well for the Pope to write a letter to/for Chinese Catholics. But what about the much-rumored motu proprio, and the post-synodal exhortation (it has been 15 months since the end of the synod, after all)? As matters for the universal Church, they should have higher significance and priority. Why these delays? What does this tell us about the state of things in Rome right now?

    I was in Rome on business last week and had the chance to break away for Mass at St. Peter’s and at Nossa Signora di Guadalupe. In both places everything was done very well, and one might even say, serenely, which was great. But on reflection, it also causes one to ask: They seem quite fine there, but don’t they know what is going on out in the hinterlands? Why does there seem to be no sense of urgency? Knowing that they do care, is there some kind of paralysis at the highest level? If so, why? What is going on?

  2. terry says:

    I`m glad that attention is being given to China and the position of Catholics in Mainland China. Catholics there are denied the right to religious freedom and the right to make it manifest in acts.

    The position of Catholics in Mainland China can only be described as “persecution”. See the two papal Encyclicals of Pius XII in the 1950s: AD SINARUM GENTEM and AD APOSTOLORUM PRINCIPIS

    After that the Cultural Revolution in the Sixties made their situation worse.

    How the Church survived there is almost a miracle.

    In the West, Catholics do not have the same struggles as their Chinese brethern. It is important that they are not forgotten or ignored or appear to be.

  3. Woody: It is all very well for the Pope to write a letter to/for Chinese Catholics. But what about the much-rumored motu proprio, and the post-synodal exhortation (it has been 15 months since the end of the synod, after all)?

    “For the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place; and to them he said, `You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing; and he said to them, `Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, `Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, `You go into the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, `Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the householder, saying, `These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, `Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you, and go; I choose to give to this last as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?‘ So the last will be first, and the first last.” (Matthew 20:1-16 – RSV)

  4. Kenjiro Shoda says:

    I getting to the point where I couldn’t care less about the so called “Moto Proprio” for the Tridentine Latin Mass.
    ON these blogs (and there are dozens) the speculation is hot, but the results coming are zero.
    I think it is very harmful to peoples’ souls, and their spirits to post reports which come to nothing.
    I’ve counted 5 times, FIVE when the gossip and reports were wild with expectation. Then it died down and there was nothing.
    It would be better to say NOTHING….no speculation, no gossip, no heresay.
    (I’m not specifying this blog….I mean all (and there are dozens)
    Say nothing until we absolutely know, or after the publication.
    Then everyone will rejoice and give thanks. As it is now, this constant expectation and let down is driving people away from the Faith.

    I for my own part am increasingly coming to believe that this Pope., Benedict XVI is totally incompetent. Not only can He not do His work, but He can’t make decisions either.
    He spends most of His time quoting, remembering, or immitating the actions of John Paul II. A few days ago He visited a prison in Rome. Of course, it had to be one that John Paul II visited in 1980. He visited a hospital. Of course, it was one John Paul II visited before.
    His foreign trip scheduels are all the same itinery etc. as John Paul II.
    It is pathetic when you think of it.
    Verging on sick.

  5. Woody Jones says:

    Dear Father, thank you for your kind and gentle admonition. We are very lucky to have you performing this service for us all, in addition to your day job.

    All the best,

  6. Steven says:

    An interesting interview with Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos (in German) from today:

    One sentence in his answers: “Das Motu proprio macht keine Zahlenangaben.”
    “The Motu proprio doesn’t include numbers.”

  7. David says:

    Ich weiß, dass der Heilige Vater den alten Ritus liebt.

    “I know that the Holy Father loves the old rite”. This is very encouraging.

  8. Jeff Moore says:

    Our Holy Father is very intelligent, extremely competent, wise and very prudent. He is also patient and this is a matter that requires patience. I think he’s letting bishops know and giving them time to get on board, i.e., think about how they are going to address their flock positively when the announcement then criticism does come. This may be an explosive issue for many with many accusations that he is going against Vatican II and is turning the clock back on the Church.

    I am sure that the patients in the hospital have revolved since JP II’s visit and most in the prison as well. I can’t think of any errors our pope has made. Regensburg was certainly not an error. It was an intellectual discourse that was taken up by ill-willed, non-intellectuals and taken out of context. Just my opinions.

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