Retired Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun of Hong Kong said that allowing the Chinese state to appoint bishops instead of the pope would "mean surrender." "To officially let [the Chinese government] manage the church? That would mean surrender," Cardinal Zen told Apple Daily
, reported Hong Kong Free Press
. "Once the relationship has been established, what then? When the pope visits China, and the [central government] selects only the obedient people to meet the pope, what then for those belonging to the underground churches?" said Cardinal Zen. Cardinal Zen added that he would agree on a system of selecting bishops like that done as done in communist Vietnam. "I support the method of letting the Vietnamese bishop and the Catholic Church select [their candidates] and then letting the government approve the decision, because … their bishop is truly one of our people — their conference of bishops is legitimate," said the cardinal.
"China's conference of bishops is practically non-existent — it is completely under the government's control — how can we let them pick?" Cardinal Zen's comments come at a time when China and the Vatican are ready for another round of negotiations over the appointment of bishops in the country.
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