Friday, June 30, 2006

The delegation

A few days ago, the big thing was the delegation of two who were visiting Beijing. The PRC was trumpeting the fact that the ordinations earlier were pushed forward by mid-level officials at the Catholic Patriotic Association and that the PRC wanted to better relations with the Catholic Church.

Since the story came out, there hasn't been much else in the press about what's going on. It will no doubt have to wait until the two find their way back to Rome and the result of their mission is made public.

In the meantime, there's no reason why we can't speculate on what they're doing there. Just what do I think they're doing there?

1. Face-to-face negotiations:
If they're there for some kind of face-to-face negotiations as far as moving the nunciature and working out a compromise on the appointment of bishops, I just can't accept that. It is just too beyond the realm of possibility that Zen would be made a cardinal and the de facto point on relations with the PRC and then he would be suddenly bypassed. I think we can discount this.

2. Showing the flag:
I could see this happening. This visit to the PRC is nothing more than a trip to show the flag so to speak and to reiterate to the ChiComs in no uncertain terms that approving bishops without even the tacit consent of the Holy See is not going to help matters at all, nevermind all the religious persecution that continues unabated. Fly the flag, lay down the law, etc. I could see this happening, but again, why is Zen out of the loop?

3. Secret mission:
This is like number one, except... The mission is far different than mere appearances. Perhaps they're there to secure the release of a major bishop and have gold in their suitcases? Something totally outlandish that no one would ever consider? I highly doubt it, but it would be cool.

Those are three possible reasons behind the mission. We'll just have to wait and see how things go and maybe they'll have a press conference when they return to the free world.

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