Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mainstream Media Reporting On The Church Vs. China

I haven't figured out how media folk decide what Church stories to report on and what stories they will bury. Granted, anything that makes us look bad is guaranteed headlines. It's the other stuff that makes me wonder. Positive stuff is generally ignored, but you would think that the geopolitical standing of Church moves would get covered more than it does.

That's why I'm surprised that this latest from China has gotten some play:

Pope Benedict XVI insisted Saturday on his right to ordain bishops as he consecrated a Chinese prelate in an implicit challenge to attempts by China's official church to ordain bishops without his approval.

Monsignor Savio Hon Tai-Fai, a 60-year-old Hong Kong prelate recently named to the No. 2 spot in the Vatican's missionary office, was one of five bishops ordained by Benedict in St. Peter's Basilica.

His elevation comes amid a new low point in relations between the Holy See and Beijing over the Chinese state-backed church's ordination of bishops without papal consent.

Yeah, I'd say it's pretty low when the Chinese government is kidnapping bishops to force them to participate in sacrilege, while observers compare the current regime to Mao.

In case you thought some sort of compromise was on the horizon, take a look at the comments from the Holy Father and the response from Jintao's murderous thugs:

Benedict didn't refer specifically to China in his homily but insisted in general on the duty and need for the pope to name bishops to ensure apostolic succession. He said one of the key jobs of a bishop is to ensure that there is an "uninterrupted chain of communion" with the apostles.

"You, my dear brothers, have the mission to conserve this Catholic communion," Benedict said. "You know that the Lord entrusted St. Peter and his successors to be the center of this communion, the guarantors of being in the totality of the apostolic communion and the faith."

He added: "Only through communion with the successors of the apostles are we in contact with God incarnate."

On Saturday, Liu Bainian, spokesman for the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, congratulated Hon and said there was no need for him to be a bridge since the Vatican and China already had a dialogue.

But in an interview with The Associated Press in Beijing, he said the church could improve relations between the two by respecting what he said were two conditions put forward by the Chinese government: "First, to sever the so-called diplomatic ties with Taiwan and recognize the People's Republic of China as the sole legitimate government. Second, do not interfere in China's internal affairs, including in the naming of bishops," he said.


Pope Benedict: This Catholic thing doesn't work without me and my bishops.
China: There really isn't a problem. Oh, and by the way, you best not mention Taiwan and you have no bishops here.

The really odd thing is that you can almost imagine prelates from USCCB making a similar statement, sans the bit about Taiwan, of course.

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