A Chinese Cardinal Meets the Real Bush
By Robert D. Novak
Thursday, June 21, 2007; A23
On May 31, President Bush met for 35 minutes in the private living quarters of the White House with Cardinal Joseph Zen, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Hong Kong, in an event that was not announced and did not appear on his official schedule. Their meeting did not please the State Department, elements of the Catholic hierarchy and certainly not the Chinese government. But it signifies what George W. Bush is really about.
In Hong Kong, Zen enjoys more freedom to speak out than do his fellow bishops in China proper, and he has become known as the spiritual voice of China’s beleaguered democracy movement. Since Hong Kong was handed over to Beijing by the British government in 1997, he has increasingly called for both religious freedom and democracy in China. Consequently, the China desk at the State Department in Washington and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing contended that, for the sake of Sino-American relations, it would be a bad idea for the president to invite the cardinal. So did some of Zen’s fellow cardinals. [Like…. who? Which cardinals? See below…]
So, why did the president invite him? The fact that no news of the session leaked out for two weeks indicates that this was no political stunt to revive Bush’s anemic poll ratings. The president got divided counsel from his advisers regarding the impact the meeting would have on China’s rulers. As he nears the end of a troubled presidency, Bush as a man of faith places the plight of the religious in unfree countries at the top of his agenda.
Pope Benedict’s decision last year to place the red hat of a cardinal on Joseph Zen Ze-kiun at age 74 was not popular among advocates of a negotiated settlement between the Vatican and the Chinese government. For the past decade, Zen has been an increasingly vigorous and even strident advocate of democracy for China.
The suggestion that Zen conclude his three-week visit to 14 North American cities with a meeting in the White House came from presidential speechwriter Bill McGurn. One of the most conservative White House aides, McGurn had become acquainted with and impressed by Zen during his time as editorial page editor of the Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review.
McGurn’s advice did not please the State Department, which contacted the politically well-connected Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, [That figures. The picture is much clearer now.] the former archbishop of Washington. According to Hong Kong sources, McCarrick advised that it might be better if the U.S. government worked through the regular Vatican diplomatic corps.
Clark T. Randt Jr., the U.S. ambassador in Beijing, also weighed in against a Bush-Zen meeting. Randt is an old China hand who has spent 30 years in Asia as a lawyer-businessman and is fluent in Mandarin. He is referred to as "Ambassador Squish" by pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. Randt is also a good friend of the president, dating to their days at Yale. [Maybe they were in the same…. organization?]
But more important to Bush than advice from a college chum is what he believes, as the difficult days of what has been an unpopular presidency dwindle. He met in Washington last year with dissident "House Christians" from China. Speaking in Prague, a week after his talk with Zen, Bush affirmed his position on the side of religious dissidents everywhere: "Freedom is the design of our Maker, and the longing of every soul."
In a city abounding in leaks, I first learned on June 13 about the cardinal’s visit to the White House via a circuitous route, from an American Catholic layman. That same day, Raymond Arroyo of the Eternal Word Television Network, acclaimed reporter of Catholic news, made public that the meeting took place.
Bush asked Zen whether he was the "bishop of all China." [The President might not know much about Catholics but he sure does like and respect them.] Replying that his diocese was just Hong Kong, Zen told Bush of the plight of Catholics in China, including five imprisoned bishops. The cardinal is reported by sources close to him to have left the White House energized and inspired. George W. Bush is at a low point among his fellow citizens, but he is still a major figure for Catholics in China who look to him as a clarion of freedom.
Search Fr. Z’s Blog
SHOPPING ONLINE? Please, come here first!
Your use of my Amazon link is a major part of my income. It helps to pay for insurance, groceries, everything. Please remember me when shopping online. Thanks in advance.
Try AmazonFresh Free Trial
Shop Amazon Gold Box - New Deals. Everyday
Shop Amazon Gift Cards - Instant Delivery or Free One-Day Shipping
Try Prime Discounted Monthly Offering
And you do need a Kindle! - HERE
Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans
About this blog…
“This blog is like a fusion of the Baroque ‘salon’ with its well-tuned harpsichord around which polite society gathered for entertainment and edification and, on the other hand, a Wild West “saloon” with its out-of-tune piano and swinging doors, where everyone has a gun and something to say. Nevertheless, we try to point our discussions back to what it is to be Catholic in this increasingly difficult age, to love God, and how to get to heaven.” – Fr. Z
Coat of Arms by D Burkart
CLICK and say your daily offerings!
Do you want to show some appreciation?
Do you have a faithful Catholic website that needs competent and reliable tech support?
YOUR RECENT COMMENTS
- Gregg the Obscure: local government capped attendance at 80 and we were very close to that. Mass is livestream ed and communion distribute d for 10 min or so after Mass for those who watched...
- KateD: Ooooo! Very cool! Lucky us. :D
- Sue in soCal: Our priest emphasized that fear should not be the focus of our lives but faith in God. Our attendance is way down percentage -wise. The bishop allows us a maximum of 25. We have to...
- Michael Haz: Our TLM church is open but limited to a fraction of seating capacity. So the number of Masses was increased in compensati on for the capped attendance and the Sunday total is about the...
- Semper Gumby: AOC is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. DSA was formed when a faction of the Socialist Party of America (1901-1972 ) later merged with another radical leftist group....
- exNOAAman: Can’ t really comment on the sermon because I’m hearing impaired and didn’ ;t catch most of it. However, I did notice a very significan t increase in attendance since my...
- WVC: @Mary Jane Thank you for your prayers. We are very much indebted to the many good people who have supported us with their prayers. I know there is little else that can explain the graces we...
- Grant M: Decrepit at forty? People aged fast back then.
- Semper Gumby: A 9 July 2019 Washington Free Beacon article on AOC’ s then-Chief of Staff, Saikat Chakrabart i: AOC Chief of Staff Wears T-Shirt Supporting Nazi Collaborat or “Bos e met...
- Fr. John Zuhlsdorf: Sonnets first, for now.
- newishconvert: I vote YES for the Psalms, Father. What a great idea. Wish I had a way to capture your rendition on a podcast listener (what are those things called?). It would be a wonderful way to...
- Jim Dorchak: Our Churches are closing tighter here in Chile.
- benedetta: Excellent! I’m looking forward to hearing these!
- Fr. John Zuhlsdorf: It is hard to go wrong with the Folger Shakespear e Library edition: US HERE – UK HERE As a matter of fact, the hardcover version is what I used in Sonnet 1.
- scrchristensen: Fr. Z, Is there a particular published collection of Shakespear e’s sonnets that you would recommend?
- Andreas: “I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks… 221; – The Bard, Twelfth Night
- hwriggles4: In my younger days a group of us young adults (25-39) often helped once or twice a year with a vocations awareness weekend that attracted three dioceses. Most of the younger women who...
- Baritone: Even though I did laugh at the examples Father gave, in the back of my mind, I thought, sadly, there̵ 7;s a reason these examples exist … there̵ 7;s a reason I̵...
- Mary Jane: @WVC, @MaskedChi cken, thank you both so much for your thoughts on this issue. My husband and I both appreciate d your exchange, as well as your respect for one another. WVC, my husband...
- Elaine Vaccaro: I like the sonnets as they force me to listen closely and it lightens my day. Of course, the psalms would be lovely. You have a good voice for this work. Bring it on!
- Unwilling: I would gladly subscribe $1/day for Psalm reading and comment. But Shakespear e? the Sonnets? a Priest? Fr Z!? [Don’ ;t be silly. If you don’ t like Shakespear e, don’ t...
- Veilinglady: I really like the psalms idea!
- SanSan: Nice! Thank you Father. I haven̵ 7;t heard Poetry or read Poetry for years. Fun.
- acardnal: Nice. Thank you. Now I have to listen to this several times to figure it out. Poetry . . . . I like your supplement ary idea of reciting the psalms, too.
- Tom Ormon II: I had to click on the link to NCR, and got an ‘eve r-so-accur ate’ popup assessment . [Darn those clairvoyan t algorithms :-( ]
Fr. Z’s VOICEMAIL
Nota bene: I do not answer these numbers or this Skype address. You won't get me "live". I check for messages regularly.
020 8133 4535
Books which you must have.
Don’t rely on popes, bishops and priests.
“Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops.”
- Fulton Sheen
Therefore, ACTIVATE YOUR CONFIRMATION and get to work!
Send Snail Mail to Fr. Z
“The modern habit of doing ceremonial things unceremoniously is no proof of humility; rather it proves the offender's inability to forget himself in the rite, and his readiness to spoil for every one else the proper pleasure of ritual.”
- C.S. Lewis
This blog has to earn its keep!
PLEASE subscribe if it is useful.
That way I have steady income I can plan on, and you wind up regularly on my list of benefactors for whom I pray and for whom I periodically say Holy Mass.
For a one time donation...
I set up a
CONTINUE TO GIVE
account, which functions rather like PayPal. Some of you use it. Here is a QCode you can use with your smart phones. Try it!
Also, to receive a link to donate via Continue To Give using your smart phone SEND MESSAGE:
4827563 TO: 715-803-4772 (USA)
Some donations also come through CHASE. That works well. I don't think they take any percentage as fees.
I was at this conference last year. IT IS ON FOR THIS YEAR!
As for Latin…
"But if, in any layman who is indeed imbued with literature, ignorance of the Latin language, which we can truly call the 'catholic' language, indicates a certain sluggishness in his love toward the Church, how much more fitting it is that each and every cleric should be adequately practiced and skilled in that language!" - Pius XI
"Let us realize that this remark of Cicero (Brutus 37, 140) can be in a certain way referred to [young lay people]: 'It is not so much a matter of distinction to know Latin as it is disgraceful not to know it.'" - St. John Paul II
- Your Sunday Sermon Notes – 10th after Pentecost (NO: 19th Ordinary) 2020
- #ASonnetADay – SONNET 02
- 9 August – LIVE VIDEO Traditional Latin Mass – 1200h CDT (GMT/UTC -5): 10th Sunday after Pentecost
- Wherein Fr. Z is challenged to record a Shakespeare #ASonnetADay
- 8 August – LIVE VIDEO Traditional NUPTIAL Mass – 1330h CDT (GMT/UTC -5): Wedding
- Wherein Fr. Hunwicke made me laugh.
- 7 August – LIVE VIDEO Traditional Latin Mass – 1200h CDT (GMT/UTC -5): St. Cajetan
- Nun TikTok
- LCWR and CMSWR: compare and contrast
- More love from @AustenI
- A great piece about St. Damien of Molokai and a couple thoughts about AOC
- JUST TOO COOL: Feast of the Transfiguration – special blessing of grapes!
- 6 August – LIVE VIDEO Traditional Latin Mass – 1200h CDT (GMT/UTC -5): Transfiguration of the Lord
- Sun Daggars!
- URGENT: CDF responds to ‘dubia’ about the baptismal formula, “WE baptize you….”
- 5 August – Traditional Latin Mass – St. Mary “at the snow” – VIDEO: 1200h CDT (GMT/UTC -5)
- VIDEO: Beirut blast hits church during Mass. Awful.
- @BishopBarron held a secret, “invite-only” meeting about the rise of “trads”. Wherein Fr. Z opines and invites (again)
- 4 August – Traditional Latin Mass – St Dominic – VIDEO: 1200h CDT (GMT/UTC -5)
- 3 August – Traditional Latin Mass – Intention: Benedict XVI – VIDEO: 1200h CDT (GMT/UTC -5)
- ACTION ITEM! Benedict XVI “frail” and sick with bacterial infection
- Concerning COVID-1984 masks
- 2 August until midnight: “Portiuncula” Plenary (or Partial) Indulgence
- Your Sunday Sermon Notes – 9th after Pentecost (NO: 18th Ordinary) 2020
- 2 August – Traditional Latin Mass – SERMON ONLY 9th Sunday after Pentecost – VIDEO: 1200h CDT (GMT/UTC -5)
- HORRIFYING: Cathedral priests reject for confession anyone not-registered, verified by their documented GIVING in the last year!!
- PODCAzT 183: Bp. Schneider’s call for a Crusade of Eucharistic Reparation – ACTION ITEM!
- 1 August: Feast of Blessed M. Stella and her Ten Companions, the The Martyrs of Nowogrodek – FOLLOW UP
- Notes about how the relics of the Old Testament Maccabees martyrs reached Rome
- Washington DC: young people chalk “Black Pre-born Lives Matter” on sidewalk and are ARRESTED!
Let us pray…
Grant unto thy Church, we beseech Thee, O merciful God, that She, being gathered together by the Holy Ghost, may be in no wise troubled by attack from her foes. O God, who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy people making supplication unto Thee,and turn away the scourges of Thine anger which we deserve for our sins. Almighty and Everlasting God, in whose Hand are the power and the government of every realm: look down upon and help the Christian people that the heathen nations who trust in the fierceness of their own might may be crushed by the power of thine Arm. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.
Yes, Fr. Z is taking ads…
Because it matters what children read…
Be a “Zed-Head”!
I carry one of these super-strong rosaries in my spare mag pouch! The Swiss Guards have them too!
My "challenge coin" for my 25th anniversary of ordination in 2016.
Want one? I do exchanges with military and LEOs, etc. and you can make a donation.
PLEASE RESPOND. Pretty pleeeease?Loading ...
This is really useful when travelling… and also when you aren’t and you need backup internet NOW! I use this for my DMR “Zednet” hotspot when I’m mobile. It’s a ham radio thing.
If you travel internationally, this is a super useful gizmo for your mobile internet data. I use one. If you get one through my link, I get data rewards.
Please use my links when shopping! I depend on your help.
WDTPRS POLLLoading ...
“Rigid”? Pfffft. “Faithful!” No priest’s desk or kitchen is complete without one, for young, old, and priests in general.
Fr. Z’s stuff is everywhere
Help support Fr. Z’s Gospel of Life work at no cost to you. Do you need a Real Estate Agent? Calling these people is the FIRST thing you should do!
GREAT causes to support