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Cardinal Zen: Vatican officials are naïve about China but Pope Francis is not

March 12, 2015

In an interview with Corriere Della Sera,Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, the retired bishop of Hong Kong, warned that “China wants unconditional surrender” as it negotiates with the Vatican about the appointment of bishops.

Under a recent Chinese proposal, the Vatican would be permitted to choose between episcopal candidates proposed by the Chinese regime, the Italian newspaper reported.

“Italians in the Roman Curia don’t know the Chinese dictatorship because they have never experienced a Communist regime,” Cardinal Zen said.

“I always trusted [Vatican Secretary of State] Parolin, until I found out that he too was in favor of an agreement, which at this stage would only be unconditional surrender,” he added. Chinese negotiators “put a document on the table to sign and our people don’t have the ability or the strength to make different proposals. Do we want to sacrifice the nomination and consecration of bishops for a bogus dialogue?”

Cardinal Zen also said that he met for 45 minutes with Pope Francis, that the Pope compared him to David fighting Goliath and “showed complete confidence with me,” and that “the Pope is not a naive, in these conditions he will not give in.”

Responding to Cardinal Zen’s remarks, Cardinal Parolin said that “there is a willingness to talk, a dialogue that knows its rhythms, its times, and which we hope will lead to some results,” the ANSA news agency reported.

 


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