Catholic World News

Hong Kong cardinal rues Communist persecution, ‘policy of compromise’

April 14, 2011

Speaking in the United States, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun of Hong Kong said that “I bring bad news about the Church in China.”

“All these years the policy of the Communist Party has not changed,” he said. Increased economic prosperity has not brought religious freedom, but “more money to buy priests and bishops.”

Cardinal Zen renewed his criticism of Father Jeroom Heyndrickx, claiming that the influential Belgian priest and Sinologist had misinterpreted Pope Benedict’s 2007 letter to the Church in China. “That wrong interpretation said that the Holy Father ‘wants everybody to come into the open’” and join the government-sponsored Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. “This is not true at all.”

“Recently, unfortunately the people in the Congregation for [the] Evangelization [of Peoples],” led by Cardinal Ivan Dias, “even followed a wrong policy, the wrong strategy-- which is the old Ostpolitik,” Catholic Zen added, referring to the Vatican policy of the 1970s of muting criticism of Communism in exchange for better treatment of believers in Eastern Europe.

“Unfortunately, these people in the Congregation for Evangelization, and this expert, still believe that they must carry on the policy of compromise.”

“Fortunately, the Holy Father, who has been so patient all this time, has taken some action, especially the appointment of the new secretary for the Congregation for Evangelization,” Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fa. “He is Chinese, he knows the reality, and he is also a good theologian,” said Cardinal Zen.

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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Apr. 15, 2011 8:52 PM ET USA

    I'm with Cardinal Zen. Get someone in there who knows what goes on in the trenches. One would be pretty naive to think the China is about anything but destroying Christ's Church by any means.

  • Posted by: Contrary1995 - Apr. 14, 2011 1:11 PM ET USA

    Cardinal Zen's now frequent critical outbursts are proof of Cardinal Bertone's deficiencies as Secretary of State. Say what you will about Cardinal Sodano, but he knew how to run a tight ship and as Don Vito Corleone said to his son Sonny: "Never tell anyone outside the family what your are thinking."