Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Vatican - China Politics

China-Vatican talks 'should end'

Cardinal Joseph Zen
Cardinal Zen is an outspoken advocate of democracy
The head of Hong Kong's Roman Catholic Church says the Vatican must halt talks with China because of its appointment of bishops without Vatican consent.

Cardinal Joseph Zen, who has been at the forefront of the move to improve ties, said Beijing had imposed a "fait accompli" and had been "very disloyal".

His comments come just days after state-sanctioned clerics in the Chinese city of Kunming ordained a new bishop.

The Vatican had asked for the ceremony to be delayed, to assess the candidate.

But Beijing said the Vatican should not interfere in its internal affairs.

Another bishop is set to be appointed in central Anhui province without Vatican approval on Wednesday.

'Strong reaction'

"By appointing their own bishops hastily and illegally, they (the Patriotic Catholic Association) tried to impose their own selection on the Vatican. This shows disregard for the spirit of the negotiation and disrupts mutual trust," Cardinal Zen told the BBC Chinese service.

The Chinese Church does not recognise the Vatican's power to appoint bishops, causing disagreement between the two sides.

But until recently, most appointments had been approved by both parties, easing tensions.

A Roman Catholic congregation in Beijing
China's Roman Catholic Church has about 10 million members

China is home to both the state-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and a bigger, unofficial Church that is loyal to the Pope.

Joseph Zen, elevated to cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in March, issued a strong statement condemning the ordination of Ma Yinglin as bishop of Kunming, in south-western Yunnan province, on Sunday.

He accused the Patriotic Association of "pressure, threats and, it seems, also deceit" in the consecration.

The move "destroyed the atmosphere of mutual trust so necessary for a successful dialogue", he said.

Cardinal Zen said the Vatican would be giving a "very strong reaction to underline the seriousness of the matter", but gave no further details of what that might be.

On Wednesday, Liu Xinhong is scheduled to be consecrated as bishop in Anhui.

China expelled the Vatican ambassador in 1951 and cut official ties shortly afterwards.

Beijing has said it would like better relations with the Vatican, but insists that first the Holy See must cut its diplomatic links with Taiwan.

According to China's authorities, the state-sanctioned Church has about four million members, while the Vatican says the Roman Catholic Church there has some 10 million worshippers.


Blogger Spencer said...

I'm trying to catch up on your blog takin me some time but I will get through it all. I least wrote down where I left off. Hope your doing good!

2:38 PM  

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