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» 07/01/2007
HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
Cardinal Zen: “Pope’s letter to the Chinese Church represents love for truth and his children”
The bishop of Hong Kong, Card Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, hopes that Benedict XVI’s letter to China’s clergy and faithful may be the starting point for a direct dialogue between the local Church and the Beijing government. He stresses the letter’s religious rather than its political tone.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Benedict XVI’s letter to the bishops, priests, religious and faithful of China represents “precious balance achieved by the Holy Father between his passion for the truth and his love for his children” and should be “a common starting point for dialogue” between the Chinese clergy and political leaders.  These are the “impression  and . . .  hopes” expressed by the bishop of Hong Kong, Card Joseph Zen, after reading the letter published yesterday by the Holy See and addressed to the Chinese Church.

In commenting the letter, the prelate underscores how the letter had more of a religious than a political tone and expressed hope that they “would read the Pope’s letter from this perspective.”

Here is the full text:

The long awaited letter from the Holy Father has finally seen the light of the day. His Holiness Pope Benedict has addressed a letter to the Bishops, priests, religious and faithful in China as he had promised to do last January.

Indeed, it is a historical “First” that the Pope has written a letter to the catholic community in a particular region. The motive is, as is obvious, that that community has experienced so much tribulation in the last decades, that the Holy Father wants to show special concern for those his children and give them some guidelines in this seemingly crucial moment, so that they might free themselves from their unfortunate predicament.

At the beginning of June the Vatican Secretary of State announced that “the Pope’s letter has been definitively approved”, a rather strange way of saying things: “the Pope’s letter approved by the Pope?” The fact, probably, is that even the finished text of the Pope’s letter, according to the Vatican way of doing things, would still pass through further checks or even corrections. Obviously, the finally approved letter is the Pope’s letter, with his signature.

After a cursory vision of the rather long letter, I would like to share with the media my one impression and two hopes.

The impression. I admire the precious balance achieved by the Holy Father between his passion for the truth and his love for his children. Only an outstanding theologian and a tender father could satisfy at the same time the demands of the truth and the kindness towards people. Blessed be God for having given us such a leader!

On hope. The doctrine painstakingly explained by Benedict XVI, is nothing but the most traditional and universally accepted Catholic principles, belonging to the religious field, with no secret political agenda, even less with an intention of attacking anybody. My hope is that the leaders of our Country would read the Pope’s letter from this perspective and understand the true unchangeable nature of the Catholic Church.

A second hope. The voice of our Bishops and priests in China is often prevented from reaching our leaders; now that the letter of the Pope is in the hands of our leaders, our Bishops and priests can thus refer to it directly as a common starting point for dialogue.

The Pope insists that Bishops are the leaders of the Church and they are not to be separated from the Roman Pontiff. My hope is that our Bishops and priests stand united with the Holy Father. Let our Church in China be truly the Catholic Church recognized and respected by the rest of the World, and let it bring honour and glory to our Country on the stage of the Universal Church.


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See also
07/24/2007 CHINA – VATICAN
Cardinal Zen warns against confusion surrounding the Pope’s letter to Chinese Catholics
07/03/2007 CHINA – VATICAN
Beijing removes Papal Letter to Chinese Church from web
01/08/2007 VATICAN - CHINA
Card. Zen: “No openings for religious freedom in China”
01/03/2009 VATICAN - CHINA - HONG KONG
Cardinal Zen asks Chinese bishops for more courage
by James Wang
07/29/2010 VATICAN - CHINA
Card. Zen: not true that “Beijing really wants Bishops appointed by the Pope”
by Card. Joseph Zen Zekiun, sdb
VATICAN – CHINA
Pope’s letter: for truth and love of the Church and China
VATICAN - CHINA
Pope: there is just one Church in China; may it be united and free
CHINA – VATICAN
Pope’s letter is key to China’s development, says Mgr Li Jingfeng
CHINA – VATICAN
Too much atheism and interference from the state, says Mgr Jia Zhiguo
CHINA – VATICAN
Subdued but predictable reactions in China to Pope’s letter
VATICAN – CINA
Church of China, a by-product of persecution and the crisis of materialism
VATICAN – CHINA
Vatican to the conquest of a changing China
CHINA - VATICAN
The United Front gathers official bishops to instruct them on the Pope’s Letter

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