Vatican officials block Pope's China plans: Zen

On a visit to Washington, D.C., retired Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun told reporters that mistakes and misunderstandings on the part of key Vatican officials, and a desire for “compromise at any cost,” have undermined Pope Benedict's intentions for the Catholic Church in China.
Vatican officials block Pope's China plans: Zen

China
April 13, 2011
On a visit to Washington, D.C., retired Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun told reporters that mistakes and misunderstandings on the part of key Vatican officials, and a desire for “compromise at any cost,” have undermined Pope Benedict's intentions for the Catholic Church in China. “In the year 2007, the Holy Father issued a letter in which he gave a very clear direction. But those directions were not followed,” said Cardinal Zen, in an April 7 press conference at Washington, D.C.'s Hudson Institute, CNA reports. “There was even a wrong interpretation by some experts, like a certain Fr. (Jeroom) Heyndrickx, which misled many people.” These experts, according to Cardinal Zen, encouraged all Chinese Catholics to seek government recognition as members of the “official” or “open” church, a step that would require them to join the government-run Catholic Patriotic Association. “That wrong interpretation said that the Holy Father 'wants everybody to come into the open,'” the cardinal explained. “This is not true at all.” Although the Patriotic Association contains many bishops in communion with Rome, Pope Benedict warned “underground” bishops to be careful in approaching it. “The Holy Father cautioned people in the underground,” Cardinal Zen pointed out. “Because when you want to come out, the letter says: in no few instances, indeed almost always, the government will impose conditions which are not acceptable to the Catholic conscience.” The Pope's letter ultimately left the matter of government recognition up to individual bishops, while warning that the Catholic Patriotic Association's founding principles – especially its claim of independence from the Vatican – were “incompatible with Catholic doctrine.” “Recently, unfortunately the people in the Congregation for Evangelization even followed a wrong policy, the wrong strategy – which is the old 'Ostpolitik,'” he observed. The term refers to Pope Paul VI's controversial policy of accommodating Communist governments in an attempt to obtain better conditions for Catholics behind the Iron Curtain during the 1960s and 70s. “This policy of Ostpolitik – which is compromise at any cost, to please the government always, to always avoid confrontation – led to the present situation, the events at the end of November and the beginning of December,” Cardinal Zen said. SOURCE Cardinal Zen: Vatican officials have blocked Pope's plan for Chinese Church (Catholic News Agency) PHOTO Rock Li (Wikipedia/CC 2.5)
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