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Hong Kong cardinal criticizes Vatican congregation, warns of Communist persecution

Catholic World News - September 08, 2010

Communist China continues to persecute bishops who are faithful to the Pope, even when they have received government recognition, the retired bishop of Hong Kong said in an article published by AsiaNews on September 8.

Responding to a recent article by a Belgian priest, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun writes:

Do our bishops in China have any chance to dialogue? Among themselves? No! The Government keeps a tight watch to prevent them from doing so. With the Government? Surely not! They have only to listen and obey. They are ordered to leave for destinations they do not know. They are summoned to meetings without knowing the agenda. They are given speeches to read which they have not written and to which they did not even give a look beforehand …

It is true that the methods of persecution have improved. Now the victims are invited to dinners, to sight-seeing tours, gifts are showered on people and honours (like promotions to be member of the People’s Congress at different levels). They are even given promises that their conscience will be respected. But we know that in orthodox Marxism promises mean nothing. Lies are legitimate means to achieve success.

In these recent days we come to know that they have released Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo from prison and that they would soon to the same with Bishop James Su Zhimin. But the plan would be that the Government would even recognize them as bishops, while the Holy See would ask them to retire, so as to leave the seat free for a successor chosen with “mutual agreement (?!)” In any case, the final outcome would be that what is done is what the Party wants.

Cardinal Zen also criticized the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples for being too willing to compromise with the Chinese government:

We say: “What the [Communist] Party wants is not what the Pope wants”. By saying so, we are held guilty of confrontation. But, by a “happy chance,” nowadays what the Party wants seems to coincide easily with what the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples wants. So, Alleluia! Everybody should be happy!

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