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Cardinal Zen rips Beijing's bid to control Catholic Church

July 26, 2011

Cardinal Joseph Zen has denounced the “preposterous and ridiculous” efforts by the Chinese government to exert control over the Catholic Church.

The retired Bishop of Hong Kong said: “It is absurd to hear the statements of politically correct state puppets defending Beijing's policies.” He issued his statement just after the Chinese religion ministry complained about the Vatican’s “rude” excommunication of bishops illicitly ordained by the Catholic Patriotic Association.

Cardinal Zen argued that it is nonsensical to have officials of an officially atheistic state judging the policies of a religious body. The institution that Beijing seeks to build, he said, “can no more be recognizable as Catholic,” and the officials who are pursuing that policy are “making themselves the laughing stock of the world!”

Cardinal Zen exhorted the loyal Catholics of China to maintain their strong ties to the Holy See. Saluting their steadfast determination to preserve the unity of the Church, the cardinal underlined his feeling of solidarity by describing himself as “an old brother who is almost ashamed of living in freedom.”


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  • Posted by: Cornelius - Jul. 26, 2011 3:36 PM ET USA

    Very true. When the Holy See once had to battle the prerogative of Emperors, Kings, and Princes to appoint Bishops within their territories, the rulers were at least lay Catholics. Bishops being appointed by atheist Commies is farcical, though not a laughing matter.