Catholic World News

Cardinal Zen rips Vatican Secretary of State on talks with China

February 13, 2018

“The Communists want to enslave the Church” in China, Cardinal Joseph Zen has warned in a new statement warning against a proposed Vatican deal with Beijing.

Escalating his criticism of Vatican negotiators, Cardinal Zen took aim at a statement in which Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State, explained the Vatican’s approach to the negotiations. Cardinal Zen charged that Cardinal Parolin ignores the dangers of Communist domination. He said that the Secretary of State “venerates the Ostpolitik diplomacy of his mater Casaroli [a reference to Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, the Secretary of State from 1979 to 1990, who was noted for his efforts to promote dialogue with the Soviet bloc] and despises the genuine faith of those who firmly defend the Church founded by Jesus on the apostles from any interference by secular power.”

Cardinal Zen went on to accuse Cardinal Parolin of distorting the message that Pope Benedict XVI had sent in his letter to the Chinese Church. While Pope Benedict had called for unity among Chinese Catholics, Cardinal Zen said, Cardinal Parolin has promoted a false idea of unity, through a “dishonest exploitation of expressions of the letter of Pope Benedict.” He said that true unity cannot be achieved as long as the Church in China is divided into “two communities with two structures based on two different, opposing principles.”

Charging that the Vatican’s proposed solution would mean suppressing the freedom of the independent Church, Cardinal Zen said:

Rewarding traitors? Castigating the faithful? Forcing a legitimate bishop to give way to an excommunicated one? It this not more like rubbing salt on these still open wounds?

The Chinese cardinal concluded that loyal Chinese Catholics would not accept the Vatican’s approach. “Our suffering at the creation of a schismatic Church by others may be inevitable,” he said, “but we cannot assist in its creation.

 
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  • Posted by: feedback - Feb. 14, 2018 7:16 PM ET USA

    Only the Catholics in China: laity, priests and Bishops will suffer directly all the consequences of Vatican's "deal" with Beijing. That's why their voice should not be so autocratically dismissed.

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Feb. 14, 2018 3:00 PM ET USA

    This all seems utterly incomprehensible. The bishops of the Government's so-called church must be assumed to be in favor of the Communist Government's policies regarding family limitation, contraception and abortion to say nothing of the questionable nature of the other Sacraments they control or dispense. How about the secrecy of the confessional, the nature and rights of the family in regard to their children, etc.? This is a horror! St. Francis X, pray for us! John Paul II pray for us!

  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Feb. 14, 2018 2:43 PM ET USA

    Babolin: When has "dialogue" ever produced actual dialogue? When has any capitulation to tyranny produced anything but evil? When has it produced anything but aiding and abetting mass murder?

  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Feb. 14, 2018 8:53 AM ET USA

    The only comment I can make about this debacle is: "Words fail me!" Has Pope Francis taken leave of his senses?

  • Posted by: Babolin - Feb. 14, 2018 4:01 AM ET USA

    I knew well Father Meszaros, personal secretary of Cardinal Mindszenty, a survivor of the Siberian Gulag and also opposed to a dialogue with communism. In hindsight, however, considering the present time context, I presume Pope Francis and Cardinal Parolin are right to take the risk of a constructive dialogue with the Chinese regime. Citing Carl-Gustav Jung in his famous “Answer to Job”, Ex Perfecto Nihil fit – Nothing comes out of the absolute. The Chinese are men like us and God alone decides his presence in the history of the Church. In Switzerland, we are familiar with the so-called "Christian Catholic" church, issued from Vatican I and refusal to recognize papal infallibility: a very small minority, constitutionally and administratively recognized by the State of Geneva along with the Protestant National Church and the Roman Catholic Church, but without real influence, on the media in particular.