Chinese Joseph Card. Zen’s Open Letter to all the other Cardinals

The great Chinese prelate Joseph Card. Zen has sent a letter to all of the members of the College of Cardinals.   HERE  It includes Dubia of the cardinal regarding “Pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of clergy in China”

This pontificate doesn’t have a great track record with dubia.

Here is Card. Zen’s letter, which was originally at Marco Tosatti’s place in Italian.  My emphases and comments.

27 September 2019

Dear Eminence,

Please forgive me for the disturbance that this letter will cause you. I am writing you because, in conscience, I believe that the problem that I am presenting concerns not only the Church in China, but the entire Church, and we cardinals have the grave responsibility to help the Holy Father in guiding the Church.

Now, based on my analysis of the Document of the Holy See (June 28, 2019) “Pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of clergy in China” it is absolutely clear that it encourages the faithful in China to enter into a schismatic Church (independent of the Pope and under the orders of the Communist Party).

On July 10 I presented my “dubia” to the Pope. His Holiness, on July 3, promised me that he would be interested in it, but until now I have heard nothing[It has only been… what?… half a year?]

Cardinal Parolin says that when we speak of the independent Church today, we should no longer mean that this independence is absolute, because the agreement recognizes the role of the pope in the Catholic Church.

First of all, I cannot believe that there is such a statement in the agreement and I still have not seen it (among other things, why should such an agreement be secret and not even given to me, a Chinese cardinal, to see it?), [?!?] but, even more clearly, the whole situation after the signing of the agreement shows that in reality nothing has changed.

Cardinal Parolin quotes a phrase from the letter of Pope Benedict completely out of context, indeed, in such a way that it is diametrically opposed to the whole meaning of the paragraph [from which it comes].

This manipulation of the thought of the Pope Emeritus is a grave lack of respect; indeed, it is a deplorable insult to the person of the very meek still-living pope.

It also disgusts me that they often declare that what they are doing is in continuity with the thought of the preceding pope, when in fact the opposite is true. I have good reason to believe (and I hope that one day I will be able to prove it with archival documents) that the accord that has been signed is the same one that Pope Benedict had, at the time, refused to sign.

Dear Eminence, can we passively witness this killing of the Church in China on the part of those who should be protecting and defending it from its enemies? Begging you on my knees, your brother

Cardinal Joseph ZEN, S.D.B.

This just makes your heart cry.

The dubia.

Perhaps he and Cards. Brandmüller and Burke should have special jackets made.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. mysticalrose says:

    Of all the things that I do not understand and that trouble me about this pontificate, Pope Francis’ betrayal of Chinese Catholics tops the list. And no matter how many “company men” are among our Cardinals and Bishops, I cannot believe that they have largely remained silent. One would think even the progressive/liberal faction of the Church would oppose the Vatican’s new policy. I am absolutely disgusted.

  2. This is not the first time a “conciliatory” approach has been used with Communist powers. The current policy simply resurrects that of Paul VI and Cardinal Casaroli with the Soviet Block. The results today seem to be mirroring those then.

    Now at least some in the hierarchy are objecting. They were pretty much all silent back in the 1970s as well, with the exception of two courageous Poles. History proved them right. See on this:

  3. Nathanael says:

    The scriptures of the loyal Leonatus,
    All turn’d to heresy? Away, away,
    Corrupters of my faith! you shall no more
    Be stomachers to my heart. Thus may poor fools
    Believe false teachers: though those that
    are betray’d
    Do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor
    Stands in worse case of woe.

  4. teomatteo says:

    In my miniscule understanding of what is quite complicated, I cant help but wonder what the Holy See is gaining from the Chicoms for this agreement? I am sure the Cardinal knows. Sad.

  5. samwise says:

    Time > Space? , whole > part?…clearly with China this mode of decision making underestimates the gov’t. In the interest of time and preserving space, likewise respecting a part in the interest of the whole, an about-face is necessary, saying “yes, predecessors were correct in not making this deal, We shall retract agreement “

  6. JustaSinner says:

    Marxists do what Marxists do… what’s new about this?

  7. Amerikaner says:

    No Pachamamas in China and so Rome doesn’t care.

  8. carndt says:

    China being able to say that the Vatican believes China is right about having the right to regulate religion.
    In bed with Satan.

  9. Benedict Joseph says:

    Does not Cardinal Zen’s appeal simply say it all about the current state of affairs in the Church?
    They have eyes but they do not see.
    They have ears but they do not hear.

  10. Benedict Joseph says:

    Does not Cardinal Zen’s appeal simply say it all about the current state of affairs in the Church?
    They have eyes but they do not see.
    They have ears but they do not hear.

  11. Kathleen10 says:

    Yet tomorrow is Friday and the sun will come up and things will go on as they did today and nothing will change. The church is on fire and the world is suffering as a result but our bishops and Cardinals and man on the Chair just continue on having circuses and dancing boys and ladies gyrating at the altar and talking about their Freemasonic goals for humanity and fraternity and none of them care an iota about the Chinese Catholics or Catholics anywhere. We watch while madmen have taken over and they flaunt in our face that they have taken over. We who would do something about the poor Chinese Catholics can do nothing. But we may end up joining them.
    Please God, help us soon. Bless Cardinal Zen because when you call him home we are going to see the last of his kind leaving us. At least the Chinese can say they had a Cardinal who loved them deeply and fought for them.

  12. Archlaic says:

    Cardinal Zen lays it bare. As much as anything else in this pontificate – perhaps even more – this Chinese betrayal stinks to highest Heaven, especially in the nostrils of the remnant Faithful.

  13. chantgirl says:

    If Francis declines to answer the various dubia sent to him, could not a future pope answer them, possibly with answers contrary to those Francis might have given?

    Just a thought.

  14. The Astronomer says:

    This is Our Lady of Fatima’s worst nightmare coming true. I am sadly reminded of Saint John Fisher’s answer to Bishops Stokesley, Gardiner and Tunstal, who were sent to the Tower of London by Thomas Cromwell to persuade Fisher to submit to the King:

    “Methinks it had been rather our parts to stick together in repressing these violent and unlawful intrusions and injuries dayly offered to our common mother, the holy Church of Christ, than by any manner of persuasions to help or set forward the same…

    And we ought rather to seek by all means the temporal destruction of the so ravenous wolves, that daily go about worrying and devouring everlastingly, the flock that Christ committed to our charge, and the flock that Himself died for, than to suffer them thus to range abroad.

    But (alas) seeing we do it not, you see in what peril the Christian state now standeth: We are besieged on all sides, and can hardly escape the danger of our enemy. And seeing that judgment is begone at the house of God, what hope is there left (if we fall) that the rest shall stand!

    The fort is betrayed even of them that should have defended it. And therefore seeing the matter is thus begun, and so faintly resisted on our parts, I fear that we be not the men that shall see the end of the misery.

    Cardinal Parolin, are you listening? Have you no fear of God, man?!?!?! You are acting like the Man Iscariot.

  15. pascal788 says:

    Kathleen. You are right of course. The Holy Catholic church is in meltdown everywhere. Something must be done soon before it is completely gutted.
    We need good holy priests who offer the TLM to lead us out of this disastrous mess.

  16. pascal788 says:

    Chant girl. Yes we desperately need a new pope to correct and undo all the disaterous things this unworthy man has done. I hope he goes soon.

  17. pascal788 says:

    Thank you Fr. Z for this blog. By it you are giving help to catholics who are otherwise completely isolated in their faith. They have no TLM they have no priests who are genuine. They have nothing but an old missal and the internet.

  18. HvonBlumenthal says:

    Yes Pascal788, I am truly grateful for Fr Z and his blog. Even though I am lucky enough to have Tridentine Mass every Sunday in my own house, attended by 60 people or so, I would still feel isolated and insular without this blog.

  19. DeGaulle says:

    The kind of ‘Church’ that the Chicoms seem likely to engineer seems to me to closely resemble that kind to which those now in charge in the Vatican aspire.

  20. SanSan says:

    heartbreaking. Prayers for Cdl. Zen. We need more faithful like him at the top. Praying for our poor brothers and sisters who faithfully live out their love for Holy Mother Church. God be with them.

  21. samwise says:

    @chantgirl: well said. But I will pray for Francis’s metanoia on this. Trouble with time > space criteria is that one can presume that there will be time for mercy. Meanwhile, entire chinese parishes are being wiped out or their space is filled with idols to the State

  22. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Even the “Patriotic Association” churches are being destroyed or closed, and the churches that stay open are defiled by putting pictures of Communist leaders in place of Jesus.

    The same thing is happening to pagan temples, mosques, and Buddhist shrines. (Probably synagogues too, but I haven’t seen pictures of that.)But

    It’s amazing how much time and energy the Communists spend on destruction, when they could be building and growing. But it isn’t about what would be good for the country or the people. It is about control.

    And some Vatican bureaucrats that, too.

  23. DisturbedMary says:

    The third annual Lepanto Conference will take place in New York City on Saturday, February 15, beginning with a Pontifical Mass in the traditional rite at the church of St Vincent Ferrer, a Votive Mass of the Chinese Martyrs. The Mass will be celebrated by His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Zen, Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, beginning at 11 am., and followed by followed by conferences and a procession; for more information, see the event Facebook page. The church is located at 869 Lexington Avenue. Last year’s conference was a massive success, boasting 700+ in attendance.

    Bookmark and Share
    Posted Thursday, January 09, 2020 Comments (1)

    Labels: Cardinal Zen, Lepanto Conference, St Vincent Ferrer NYC

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  24. MI1 says:

    The letter was personally addressed to Cardinal Zen’s fellow Cardinals. I have not heard of any of his fellow Cardinals responding publicly with support. Where is Burke, Brandmuller, Muller? Any others? If any of them could get beyond their own private calculations of advantage, the Church might be able to weather this storm. It will take a hagiographer of Boswellian talents to write the lives of any member of the current College of Cardinals.

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