Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By James Wang

1/3/2009 (5 years ago)

Asia News (www.asianews.it/)

The Cardinal asks the Bishops to follow the example of Saint Stephen the first Martyr and not compromise with the Regime.

Highlights

By James Wang

Asia News (www.asianews.it/)

1/3/2009 (5 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific


Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen, has asked all of the (official) bishops of China to be courageous, and not slip into compromises with the regime.

In an article in the January 4 edition of the diocesan weekly Gong Jiaobao, he urges Chinese bishops and priests to have the virtues of Saint Stephen, the first martyr, and not to submit constantly to directions of the state that are contrary to the faith: "to suffer for the faith will eventually bring victory, even if today everything seems lost."

In the article, entitled "Inspiration from the martyrdom of Saint Stephen," Cardinal Zen provides an analysis of the developments of the Catholic Church in China over the past two years, remembering the illicit episcopal ordinations (without the permission of the Holy See) in 2006, when - "regretfully," he says - a dozen bishops, approved by the Vatican, took part in the ceremony out of fear, and some of them perhaps through deceit.

He then recalls the "ray of light" that appeared in 2007 with a meeting at the Vatican about the Church in China, and especially with the release of Benedict XVI's letter to Chinese Catholics. In the letter, the pope says that the Chinese Patriotic Association has purposes that are contrary to the Catholic faith, wanting to manage the ordination of bishops and constitute a Church independent of the Holy See.

Precisely for this reason, in the article Cardinal Zen rails against the celebrations in Beijing last December 19, celebrating the 50th anniversary of autonomous episcopal ordinations in China. The celebrations were sponsored by the United Front, the Patriotic Association, and the state administration for religious affairs (cf. AsiaNews 20/12/2008 Beijing, Vatican must break with Taiwan and not interfere in domestic affairs).

For the bishop of Hong Kong, there is nothing to celebrate, because the method of "self-election" and "self-ordination" was promoted during the 1950's by radical forces of the extreme left, which looked at the pope as a representative of imperialism. But this view is now outdated, at a time like today when China is celebrating 30 years of economic reforms, aimed at opposing that radical mentality.

"Forcing Catholics to do something against their conscience," the cardinal writes, "is a grave insult to the dignity of every Chinese citizen, [and for this reason] there is nothing to be proud of, nothing to celebrate. Launching this celebration demonstrates that those who hold power do not want to give it up, and are forcing our great nation to bear the shame of backwardness in this regard."

The prelate then asks if the entire emphasis of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Patriotic Association (PA) and "self-election" and "self-ordination" might not be a preparation for meetings to vote for the new president of the Patriotic Association and the president of the council of Chinese bishops [a sort of episcopal conference, which includes only the official bishops and is not recognized by the Holy See]. The elections of these two leaders is supposed to be held at the national congress of Catholic representatives. It should take place at this time, since the two posts have been vacant for some time: patriotic bishop Michael Fu Tieshan, elected president of the PA in 1998, died in 2007; Joseph Liu Yuanren, patriotic bishop of Nanjing, elected president of the council of bishops in 2004, died in 2005.

The cardinal seems to be suggesting to the bishops that they boycott the upcoming meeting. He asks: "Does this meeting really need to be held? . . . Is it not an insult in response to the pope's letter to Chinese Catholics? Is it not a slap in the face to the pope to participate in such a meeting? . . . Does your conscience really permit you to do this? Will the people of God accept such behavior on your part?"



Comments


More Asia Pacific

What they are doing in the Philippines will make you sick! Watch

Image of More than 1/3 of all Filipinos live below the poverty line.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The passage of Typhoon Haiyan through the Philippines has caused devastation and humanitarian disaster on a scale not previously seen, forcing hundreds into doing horrible things to survive their new found poverty. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Probably the ... continue reading


CRISIS HEATS UP: Russia sends troops over border into Ukraine Watch

Image of The latest development has further hindered any attempt to resolve the five-month-old conflict diplomatically.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Armored Russian troops have been sent across the border into eastern Ukraine, in the boldest move yet by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The recent move is seen by analysts as Russia's attempt to preserve the pro-Russian revolt in eastern Ukraine. The latest ... continue reading


AMAZING PHOTOS: Chinese man survives metal bar going through head - and lives! Watch

Image of Luck was with a 50-year-old Chinese man - an inch thick metal spear went straight though his head. The object narrowly missed his brain and left eye socket, and he's expected to recover fully.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Luck was with a 50-year-old Chinese man - an inch thick metal spear went straight though his head. The object narrowly missed his brain and left eye socket, and he's expected to recover fully. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Identified only as Mr. Ho, the ... continue reading


People of Hong Kong prepare to rebel against Beijing if their demands are not met - will it end in massacre, or democracy? Watch

Image of Pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong, demanding the right to elect the leader of the semi-autonomous region.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is set to hold a week-long session starting August 25, to discuss how Hong Kong will be able to pick its leader. If this does not go well however, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents have pledged an ... continue reading


CASTE SYSTEM AT WORST: India's 'night soil gatherers' collect human excrement Watch

Image of An overwhelming majority of manual scavengers are women, according to the U.N. They are still inextricably linked to cleaning human excrement.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Due to a brutal caste system, as well as being a nation tolerant of open defecation and dry, non-flush latrines, women born into a certain community are condemned to live out their lives scooping up human excrement out of toilets. Called "night soil gatherers, ... continue reading


Time to learn Chinese: Forget Microsoft, your next OS could be Chinese! Watch

Image of China is creating its own operating system after blacklisting Windows 8 from government computers over fears that the American operating system could provide avenues for intelligence agencies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency announced that China is developing their own operating system for desktop computers and mobile devices, citing U.S. surveillance as one of the key factors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - China intends the new ... continue reading


WRONG ANALOGY? Cardinal outrages child sexual abuse victims - and truck drivers! Watch

Image of Speaking at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal Pell said it would not be appropriate for legal culpability to be

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Australian survivors of clergy abuse are highly incensed by comments made by Cardinal George Pell. Speaking form the Vatican via video-link, Cardinal Pell gave an analogy which absolved the Catholic Church from culpability in past molestation cases. The ... continue reading


DIFFERENT FASHION SHOOT: Five Indian acid attack victims pose for photos Watch

Image of First published on Facebook page run by Stop Acid Attacks, an organization raising awareness about the plight of acid attack victims, the photos have since been featured extensively across the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Five female Indian acid attack victims gathered for a different sort of fashion shoot recently, in order to raise public awareness. The effect has been positive. "After the acid attack I never took photos," Rupa, one of the models said. "When the photos got ... continue reading


Man bites dog? Try man BITES SNAKE - and lives to tell the tale Watch

Image of Kraits are one of the four poisonous snakes which account for the most attacks in India where 50,000 people are killed by venomous bites annually.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They say when a man bites dog, its news. A man in India did that adage one better by biting a venomous blue krait snake, and managed to live to tell the tale. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A man in central India killed the snake by biting it after he saw ... continue reading


Pope Francis Gives Important Interview On His Return From the Apostolic Visit to Korea Watch

Image of This Prophetic Pope named Francis is known for shaking things up when he does his interviews with the Press upon returning from his beautiful and significant apostolic visits. Well, he just did it again.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis is a refreshingly frank, charismatic and prophetic successor of the Apostle Peter. He stands in the trajectory of Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict. He is a true gift to the Catholic Church, the entire Christian community, and the ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:1-5
1 Now when I came to you, brothers, I did not come ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102
97 How I love your Law! I ponder it all day ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-30
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2014 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter