Catholic World News

Cardinal welcomes apparent slowdown in China negotiations, criticizes Vatican officials

May 19, 2017

The retired bishop of Hong Kong said in an interview that “it seems the Vatican-China deal” on the selection of bishops “is not proceeding. That’s good.”

Cardinal Joseph Zen told the Catholic Herald, “I guess that the agreement about the selection of bishops is ready but not signed. I think the government wants the Holy See to grant everything. Not just about the selection of bishops but many other things to control the Church.”

“But these other things aren’t possible,” he continued. “So then the government refuses to sign. So for me that’s good.”

Cardinal Zen strongly criticized Vatican officials for seeking an agreement “at any cost” and failing to listen to Chinese prelates:

How can they believe they know the situation better than me? Better than Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, who is the number two in the Congregation of Evangelization? We are Chinese! We have been in China so many years, teaching in the seminaries, spending six months a year there and seeing what’s going on with our own eyes. They don’t believe us. They don’t listen to us. So terrible.

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - May. 19, 2017 4:50 PM ET USA

    From yesterday: "What matters is that the bishops know what the Pope wants from them, and the Pope knows what the bishops need from him. This is essential if they are to work together for the same ends. If that is lacking, we have a serious problem." From today: "How can they believe they know the situation better than me? Better than Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, who is the number two in the Congregation of Evangelization? We are Chinese! ...They don’t believe us. They don’t listen to us."