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Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Zero Sum Game

It's been awhile since I've written about the People's Republic of China (mainland, communist China). The Holy Father issued his letter back in 2007 and after that, things in the Far East dropped off my radar screen.

Now we have this: China: One Bishop's About-Face Reignites the Dispute between Bertone and Zen by Sandro Magister.

I'll sum up very briefly: The secretary of state Cardinal Bertone believes that now is the time to come out of the shadows, even if it means accepting the directions of the communist regime; this is based on the Pope's phrasing on how the clandestine Church is not a natural state. He makes other points as well on the state of the clergy in China. Cardinal Zen of Hong Kong on the other hand believes that the Pope's words about the clandestine Church not being a normal feature of Church life, the Pope means that the Church should continue until the abnormal circumstances of communist oppression are at an end.

My first instinct in this matter is to go with Cardinal Zen and give nothing to the communist Chinese.

Just as it is easy to connect to the clandestine community Bertone's statement that "a truly Eucharistic community cannot retreat into itself, as though it were self-sufficient, but it must stay in communion with every other Catholic community."

This point of Bertone's quoted by Magister is on the outside convincing, but I am reminded of various instances throughout history when Christians have been persecuted or when a small, orthodox faction of Christians have been at odds with a far larger faction of heterodox Christians that have the backing of the State. Does communion with other Catholic communities trump the freedom of the Church to govern its own affairs? I would say no.

1 comment:

Yoda said...

Jacob, give me your feelings on where this is coming from and why, please.