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    » 02/02/2007, 00.00

    CHINA – VATICAN

    Pope’s letter to the Chinese Church ready “around Easter”, says Cardinal Zen



    The bishop of Hong Kong explains that the letter will contain “prudent” wording about relations between Beijing and the Holy See. It will put forward the “Vietnam model” as a good compromise for Episcopal ordination.

    Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Pope Benedict's letter to Chinese Catholics will be completed around Easter. Its wording about relations between Beijing and the Holy See will be “prudent,” said Card Zen Ze-kiun, bishop of Hong Kong, in an interview with the diocesan weekly Kung Kao Po.

    According to Mgr Zen, a prudent dialogue is possible with the Chinese government but “on religious freedom, the Vatican should have a clear stance. This is not an irrational request.”

    He noted that the "Vietnam model", which allows the Vatican and the government to select bishops, was "quite good". Specifically, the model allows the Vatican to present several appropriate candidates to the government and after considering opinions expressed by the government, the Pope would make a final decision.

    This is an “acceptable compromise” also because Vietnam also does not have a patriotic association like China, which is seen as "illicit and unacceptable" by the Roman Catholic Church.

    The decision to write a letter to Chinese faithful was taken during a Vatican's meeting on ‘The Situation of the Catholic Church in Mainland China’ held on January 19-20.

    Chinese bishops from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan took part in the deliberations as did officials from the Secretariat of State and the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. The meeting was chaired by the Secretary of State, Card Tarcisio Bertone.

    According to some sources, the Vatican is working on a 20-page letter.

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    See also

    18/02/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
    Underground Priest: we work for the unity of the Church, with Mgr. An and Card. Zen
    After the controversy raised by an Italian magazine, on the division between official and underground communities, AsiaNews gladly received and publishes the testimony of a priest in the underground community in China. Appreciation - even if not shared - for Mgr. An Shuxin, who decided to become vice-chairman of the Patriotic Association, esteem for card. Zen, a champion of freedom of the Church. The most important commitment is the recovery of the reconciliation of the Church, promoting "forgiveness" and "martyrdom”.

    21/10/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
    Card. Zen’s visit to Shanghai may be a trap set by Beijing
    According to some commentators, on his visit to Shanghai the, cardinal advised the local bishop to attend the meeting of Catholic representatives, a body that the pope considers "incompatible with Catholic faith." The Cardinal responds.

    14/07/2009 CHINA - VATICAN
    Cardinal Zen: The Church in China two years after the Pope's Letter
    Misinterpretations of the Letter have led to confusion and distress in the underground community. The official bishops must have more courage in their faithfulness to the pope, refusing structures that are contrary to the Catholic faith. The Chinese government continues its usual policy: total control of the Church.

    03/02/2009 CHINA – VATICAN
    The bishop of Beijing, the Vatican and compromising with the Patriotic Association
    Mgr Li Shan, who was ordained the capital’s bishop with the approval of the Holy See, now apparently backs an independent Church. This is dividing the faithful and causing embarrassment to the Vatican. For more than a year now the Communist Party has been on the offensive to get official bishops to tow its line. But for Cardinal Zen the time of compromise is past.

    25/01/2007 VATICAN – VIETNAM
    Vatican is satisfied for growing relations with Hanoi
    On the occasion of the first visit by a prime minister of Vietnam to the Pope, the Holy See reports widening spaces of religious freedom and talks about a “new and important step towards the normalisation of bilateral relations”.



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