Madame Chiang Kai-shek has praised the cardinal prefect of the Vatican´s Congregation of the Faith for criticizing "liberal-radical" theologians and the post-Vatican Council II Church.
Her remarks, citing Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, were contained in a message read during graduation ceremonies June 15 at Fu Jen Catholic University here.
The widow of former President Chiang Kai-shek, long-time Nationalist leader, is chairperson of the university´s board of directors.
Living in New York since her husband´s death in 1975, Chiang prepares an annual message for the university but seldom addresses Catholic issues.
"I wish to call your attention to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who recently spoke out forcefully the truth enunciated by the Catholic Faith," she wrote.
"He spoke of the Catholic Church´s failings since Vatican Council II. On his assumption of office he found the Catholic Church in crisis.
"He imprecated, therefore, the liberal-radical theologians for twisting Catholic Church teachings and thus betraying the true faith.
"He (criticized) the laity for picking and choosing doctrines to believe in, with certain North Americans who are the greatest culprits succumbing to rampant ´hedonism.´"
"Catholic bishops were not spared his wrath," the message continued.
"He found too many of them accepting passive bureaucratic statements prepared by the national bishops conferences, thus abnegating or abdicating their personal responsibilities as shepherds of their flocks.
"In matters of faith, the cardinal asserted there is only one precise way to interpret faith and that (is) by the Church authority," her message said.
Asserting that one way agree or disagree with Cardinal Ratzinger or with "the liberal-radical theologians," Chiang praised him "because the cardinal has dared to bring to the open the unheard muffled alarms that the aggressive polemical forces are gnawing at the very vitals of the Catholic truth which has brought the Catholicity of the Mother Church into crises."
She declared she admires his "moral courage to court unpopularity and say the unsayable in this day and age when decomposition, deterioriation, putrefaction and unpleasant truths are oftentimes cloaked in euphemisms of silence."
In her view, "Vatican II, initiated in a spirit of optimism, quickly passed from ´healthy criticism´ into ´self-destruction.´ This is a cogent instance of how well-meaning forebearance has turned into disastrous toleration."
Chiang´s statement, widely covered by Taiwan´s secular press, paraphrases a recent book by the cardinal reviewing developments since Vatican Council II.
According to observers here, she may be attracted to the cardinal´s remarks because she regards criticism of liberation theologians as anti-Marxist.
Since the Communists forced her husband from mainland China in 1949, Taiwan´s government has remained officially at war with the People´s Republic of China.
Archbishop Stanislaus Lokuang, Fu Jen´s president, led ceremonies here for the university´s 2,987 graduates, including 87 from graduate schools.
In 1984, about 500 of the 13,438 students enrolled at Fu Jen were Christians.