Saturday, August 1, 2009

More On The Underground Church In China

There have been a number of folks who took the Pope's letter to Chinese Catholics back in 2007 as some sort of white flag to the Communists. As is the case with most distortions of papal documents, such people either didn't read it or are liars. The Cardinal Kung Foundation has done a good job of combatting the local propaganda on this point.

Now, Cardinal Zen has done likewise. His Eminence has never been one to hold back on what he's thinking, and CNA has him going with both barrels:

"The most serious misunderstanding of the guidelines given by Benedict XVI concerned - again, in Cardinal Zen's view - the question of official recognition on the part of the communist authorities. Many interpreted the Pope's letter as a binding order to the ‘underground’ communities and bishops to come out of hiding and ask for government recognition."

Cardinal Zen maintains that the "fundamental reality is that the government has kept its policy substantially unchanged, a policy that aims at enslaving the whole Church. That is why we have to witness such a painful spectacle: bishops and priests who, thinking they are obeying the Holy Father, make enormous efforts to come to terms with the government; many of these, faced by the unacceptable conditions imposed by the government, draw back."

"The government, on its part, has presented itself as an enthusiastic executor of the will of the Pope, declaring itself the promoter of [Church] unity, evidently a unity under the total control of the government inside the iron-tight structure of an independent Church," Cardinal Zen says.

By now, I think everyone acknowledges that there is no reason to believe anything the Chinese government says about anything. Given that the article also mentions their efforts to suppress circulation of the letter, I wouldn't be surprised if the Commies hadn't released a fake version that has photoshopped pictures of Pope Benedict bowing before a statue of Mao.

You can read Cardinal Zen's whole shpiel here.

However, just saying that we know not to believe them is easy for us. We haven't been living in persecution for the bulk of the last century. Read the letters of Cyprian of Carthage and see what our ancestors in the Faith went through under the Romans. There's not much difference with what's going on in China. Modern persecutions are just a more "private" affair. Pray that God will have mercy on these people, including the lapsed.

Grant Mercy, O Lord,
To Those Brothers And Sisters
Who Chose To Be Separated From You,
May They Return
To The One Fold And One Shepherd.

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