Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Backsliding in Mainland China

We haven't hit on ChiComs lately, but Sandro Magister quotes at length a piece by the founder of Asia News.

The main points:
The bishop of Beijing, who was approved by the Vatican, has been giving speeches that appear to place him under the thumb of the Communists. As summarized by Magister:

In fact, the new bishop, Joseph Li Shan (in the photo) whom cardinal secretary of state Tarcisio Bertone had hailed as "a very good and suitable person," is increasingly stringing together actions submissive toward the regime. To such an extent that many among the faithful already consider him a "traitor."

The quoted article by Father Bernardo Cervellera points out that a second letter sent by Cardinal Bertone to the Chinese bishops was seen as weak and that many younger bishops of the official church have no role models and do not remember a time without Communist control. Cardinal Zen of Hong Kong has spoken out to sound the alarm on this backsliding.

The cardinal continues: "So, martyrdom has become a stupid thing? That’s absurd; a short-sighted view! Reaching compromises might make sense as a short-term strategy but it cannot last forever. Being secretly united with the Holy Father and at the same time affiliated with a Church that declares itself autonomous from Rome is a contradiction."

Finally, Cardinal Zen ends with a fraternal appeal: "Dear brother bishops and priests, look at the example of Saint Stephen and all the martyrs of our history! Remember that suffering for the sake of the faith is the basis of victory even if right now it might appear as defeat."

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