S+L logo

Cardinal Zen: Vatican now united in approach to China

August 11, 2011
Five minutes is a short time to explain the current diplomatic impasse between Beijing and the Vatican. When I interviewed the Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong on the August 1st edition of Perspectives Daily, he concisely summarized the state of the relationship: it’s at a new beginning, but it may get worse before it gets better.
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, SDB believes the new beginning results from new leadership—and a newly unified mentality—in Rome. He described the previous approach as a strategy of “compromise”. Under its former prefect, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (also known as Propaganda Fide, the Vatican body in charge of missionary efforts in non-Christian countries) attempted to work with the state-controlled Church to appoint mutually-acceptable bishops. Critics say the Holy See conceded too much, whereas China refused to reciprocate by improving religious freedom.
The failure of soft diplomacy has become evident to many, in Cardinal Zen’s estimation, including the new prefect of the Propaganda Fide, Archbishop Fernando Filoni. The Cardinal is confident that, in terms of Sino-Vatican relations, the Church is now speaking with one voice. That unified position, however, has already begun to elicit a defiant reaction. Since November, the government has ordained three bishops without the Pope’s approval, with as many as forty more illicit appointments expected.
The outspoken Cardinal has many more insights regarding the situation in China. Fortunately, he has also granted an in-depth half-hour interview to Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB for S+L’s Witness series.
Cardinal Zen offered candid answers to Fr. Rosica’s questions, including:
-Does he believe he will live to see a democratic China that respects religious freedom?
-Does he have any lines of communication with the government in mainland China, or the state-sponsored Church?
-Should visiting clergy accept invitations from the state-sponsored Church (known as the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association)?
-Has he ever feared for his life?
Watch this new Witness episode tonight to meet one of the Church’s boldest defenders of religious freedom. Witness airs at 8:00pm & midnight ET (9:00 pm PT). The episode is also streaming on demand (above).

Related posts

Know That He Is Near, at the Gates
FacebookTwitter
Read this reflection from Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, on the Gospel reading about the end times, for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. ...read more
Inmates from La Joya Penitentiary in Panama City are part of a special project in preparation for World Youth Day 2019 - and other stories. ...read more
Deacon-structing: Free Asia Bibi
FacebookTwitter
Deacon Pedro discusses the high-profile case of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Catholic woman who had been condemned to death for blasphemy. ...read more
SLHour: What Really Went on in the Synod
FacebookTwitter
This week on the SLHour, Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, tells us what really went on in the Synod of Bishops; Emilie brings us the weekly news; Billy has another question about All Souls Day on Church for Du ...read more
Vocation Myths | Part 5
FacebookTwitter
God’s idea of fulfilling one’s vocation is that which will lead to greatest holiness and eternity with Him in heaven. Our idea is often more earthbound. ...read more