Thursday, October 27, 2005

Just when I thought...

...that I wasn't going to find anything really interesting to blog this week, Magister rides to the rescue. I don't have any great-great-...-great-uncles who were cardinals like Rocco and I don't have any kids about whom I can tell stories like Amy, so when I'm browsing around through the news and nothing is jumping out at me, sparking a thought on how I can discuss it meaningfully... You've all seen how active I've been this week.

On to Magister

Signs of growing closeness between China and the Vatican alternate with sudden breakdowns. The four empty seats at the synod. The new bishop recognized by both the government and the pope. The invitation to the sisters of Mother Teresa. "La Civiltà Cattolica" adds up the figures

by Sandro Magister

Read the complete article Rome Is Calling Beijing – But the Connection Keeps Getting Interrupted from www.chiesa.

In the opening section, Magister sums up his reporting lately on China. He starts with the four missing bishops at the Synod and the correspondence between them and the Holy Father. The bishops enjoying approval from both the CPA and the Holy See is noted. Nothing much new. But it's all basically background for the piece from La Civiltà Cattolica.

Produced in Rome by a group of Jesuits, each edition of "La Civiltà Cattolica" is examined by the Vatican secretariat of state before it is printed. It therefore authoritatively reflects the point of view of the Holy See on the topics it discusses, in this case on China.

With everything that has gone on since April and the reporting that Magister has done on it, I can't help but smile that he still mentions that La Civiltà Cattolica is reviewed by the Secretariat of State and that somehow translates into reflecting the view of the Holy See as a whole...

Hans Waldenfels, S.J's article, excerpted by Magister, 'China Is Opening Up. Impressions from a Voyage', tells of his trips to China and his impressions. I skimmed it in places and came at last to the good father's points on the questions holding up greater PRC-Holy See relations: the approval/appointment of bishops and the recognition of the Republic of China (i.e. Taiwan). Waldenfels (and the Holy See via the Secretariat of State if you buy that talk about authoritative approval) gives the Taiwan issue all of eighteen words.

As for Taiwan, there have long been signs that discussions should begin and that the problem seems resolvable.

So what we have here is the Holy See (apparently) is willing to write off relations with a democracy in the interests of making nice with the Chicoms. So with that messy little item cleaned up neatly, Waldenfels launches into a long discussion on the appointment of bishops...

My position is well-known to long-time readers (appeasement bad, standing strong good). I just feel like we're on a broken record here. Rome keeps putting out this material in the news that relations are improving, things are getting better with China. And I just keep saying, "Yeah, right."

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