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Beijing rewards submissive bishops, punishes others

February 20, 2012

The Chinese government has adopted a system of rewarding Catholic bishops who accept the leadership of the Catholic Patriotic Association, and punishing those who do not, notes Sandro Magister of L’Espresso.

Among the bishops who have found favor with the Beijing regime, Magister mentions Bishop John Baptist Li Suguang, who was ordained in October 2010 without the approval of the Holy See, and is thus subject to automatic excommunication. He now claims to be acting as a force for reconciliation among Chinese Catholics.

Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong, an outspoken critic of Beijing, recently scolded the Sant’Egidio community for inviting Bishop Suguang to participate in an international conference. Cardinal Zen argued that all Catholics should accept the directive of Pope Benedict XVI to refrain from giving any recognition to the Catholic Patriotic Association and its appointed leaders.

The fact that Bishop Suguang was allowed to travel to the meeting in Germany is itself evidence of the government's favor. Bishops loyal to the Holy See have been routinely denied permission to travel to Rome on Church business.


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  • Posted by: Defender - Feb. 20, 2012 8:11 PM ET USA

    Those in th Vatican who think that the China problem will resolve itself do a great disservice to the underground Church. Of course the Jesuits and Maryknollers have ignored Vatican instructions for years in China (because they know best). The parallel between the laity in the West and their religious illiteracy and the Vatican and China is plain to see. The Sant’Egidio community needs to be reminded that they undercut any attempt to correct this situation when they act in a contrary manner.