Cardinal Zen’s plea to Vatican: accepting China’s ‘fake bishops’ would ‘destroy the Church’

Cardinal Joseph Zen in St Peter's Square (AP)

Cardinal Joseph Zen in St Peter’s Square (AP)

From the Staff Reporter on THE CATHOLIC HERALD

Cardinal Zen said the Vatican’s plan would be a ‘surrender’

Cardinal Joseph Zen, China’s most senior cleric, has made an eleventh-hour appeal to the Vatican to call off its agreement with China.

A deal between Rome and Beijing, in which the Vatican will acknowledge state-appointed bishops, is reported to be near. But in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Cardinal Zen calls the plan “unacceptable” and a “surrender”.

The Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) was established under Mao Zedong as a state-run replacement for the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church was driven underground by persecution and Catholics remain marginalised, hidden and frequently persecuted.

The Vatican has long been hostile to the CCPA and regarded its bishops as illegitimate. But according to recent reports, the Vatican could soon accept four CCPA-appointed bishops as part of a diplomatic deal.

Cardinal Zen has previously warned the Vatican against any such deal, but the Wall Street Journal interview is his most outspoken intervention yet. He describes the possible deal as “totally unacceptable”. Cardinal Zen says that “With fake bishops you are destroying the Church”, because of the influence the state can bring to bear on them.

Cardinal Zen also tells the faithful that, if the underground Church in their area is replaced by the CCPA, they should just pray at home. He warns them against the temptation to schism, saying that even if the Pope signs the deal they should not rebel against him.

The full Wall Street Journal interview is here.

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4 Responses to Cardinal Zen’s plea to Vatican: accepting China’s ‘fake bishops’ would ‘destroy the Church’

  1. marysong says:

    Reblogged this on Haurietis Aquas and commented:
    Poor Cardinal Zen ! He needs our prayers. “For years they (The Communist Party) had their way. The Holy See adopted a policy of appeasement and compromise. So they were happy that they could control more and more the Catholic Church, and they could make slaves of the Bishops.” Cardinal Zen to Catholic Register
    The Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA), which appoints its own Bishops and refuses to acknowledge the authority of Rome, has been a tool of government officials ever since its’ creation by the Communist Party of
    China in 1957 as a division of the Religious Affairs Bureau. The majority of the Vatican’s diplomatic outreaches towared China have consistently served only to undermine the resolve of Catholics to remain clear-sighted and steadfast under this persecution.
    This is outright betrayal on the part of the Vatican infliected upon the sorely suffering Traditional Catholics in China. They are indeed “Fake Bishops” if they were not ordained properly.


  2. kathleen says:

    Yes, very well said, marysong! If these ‘fake bishops’ are ratified by the Vatican, it would indeed be an “outright betrayal” of the millions of loyal, oppressed Chinese Catholics, who, despite continual persecution, have remained faithful to the One True Church all these long years.

    JH gave us a good link from Church Militant the other day about this sinister news coming from the Vatican. The article concludes with these words of foreboding:

    [Card. Zen] has also criticized Pope Francis’ approach, alleging that Francis is ignorant of the real dangers. “Pope Francis has no real knowledge of communism,” he claimed.

    Zen argues that Francis’ history in Argentina, where rightwing dictators ruled the day and communists were seen as heroes helping the poor, is one of the reasons why Francis has encouraged dialogue with communist nations like China and Cuba.

    “So the Holy Father knew the persecuted communists, not the communist persecutors,” Zen commented. “He knew the communists killed by the government, not the communist governments who killed thousands and hundreds of thousands of people.

    The potential agreement between the Chinese government and Rome has yet to be ratified, but both sides are closer to agreement than at any other time in history.”

    Please pray hard that this “agreement” be averted!


  3. johnhenrycn says:

    “Society of St. Pius X chess grandmaster Larcel Mafebvre has turned his pawns into bishops without World Chess Federation approval officials have confirmed…”


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