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Papal commission to discuss Chinese pressure on Church

April 11, 2011

The special commission set up by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 to study the situation facing the Church in China is meeting in Rome this week to assess the fallout from two aggressive moves by the Beijing regime.

Last November, Beijing arranged for the illicit ordination of a new bishop without the approval of the Holy See, and pressured other Catholic bishops to participate in the ceremony. December brought the election of new officers for the government-backed Catholic Patriotic Association, again with Catholic bishops pressed to attend. These policies widened the division between the "official" and "underground" Catholic communities, and severely damaged prospects for diplomatic relations between the Vatican and China.

At this week's meeting, the papal commission is scheduled to discuss "the challenges the Church encounters in incarnating the Gospel under current social and economic conditions." While it is diplomatically phrased, the assigned topic indicates the growing desire in Rome for a clear policy regarding the Patriotic Association, the "official" Church, and the continued pressure from Beijing to exert control over the Catholic Church.


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  • Posted by: Defender - Apr. 11, 2011 11:58 PM ET USA

    Perhaps these "experts" should read Pius XII's "Ad Sinarum Gentem" as a starting point. In fact if you read it, the stark similarities of today to 1954 are self-evident. Don't forget, China is communist-controlled, albeit with capitalistic tendencies (to a relatively select few). The Vatican needs to lead on this one and call it like it is, especially to the underground Church which has always remained loyal to Rome.