22 November, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/22/2012
CHINA - RUSSIA - VATICAN
Hilarion's act: Russian Orthodox metropolitan meets Chinese excommunicated bishop
by Bernardo Cervellera
Unlawful bishop of Kunming, Ma Yinglin is the president of the Chinese Catholic Bishops' Conference (which is not recognised by the Catholic Church), and vice president of the CPCA (which is incompatible with the Catholic Church). For some time, Hilarion has been trying to convince Chinese authorities to recognise the country's small Orthodox communities and boost the influence of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Far East. Two plates with watermelon are placed in front of the picture of the pope.

Rome (AsiaNews) - Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, visited Beijing's National Catholic Seminary on Wednesday. After a brief meeting with faculty and students, he was entertained at length by excommunicated Bishop Ma Yinglin, who was unlawfully ordained bishop of Kunming in 2006. A long-time protégé of the powerful Liu Bainian, honorary president of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), he has also risen to the top of official Church of China. Currently, he is serving as president of the Chinese Catholic Bishops' Conference (which is not recognised by the Catholic Church), and vice president-chairman of the CPCA (which is incompatible with Catholic doctrine). Thanks to certain backers, he had himself appointed rector of Beijing's Catholic Seminary.

With all these high-sounding titles, Ma Yinglin welcomed the illustrious guest at the entrance of the seminary, taking him personally on a tour of the school. He explained to him the situation of the Catholic Church in China, and asked Metropolitan Hilarion to "convey his greetings" to Patriarch Kirill, as if from one patriarch to another.

Liu Bainian had hoped to see Ma become the bishop of Beijing (and give him the title of Eastern Patriarch), but the Church in the capital snubbed him, and chose someone else.

With all these titles, Ma Yinglin is spending more time in Beijing than in his diocese, where most of the faithful turn away when they see him or leave the church whenever he shows up.

Despite his excommunication, Ma Yinglin has not stopped trying to participate in Episcopal ordinations, even when he is not invited. His aim is to assert, excommunicated or not, that he is entitled to a place among the bishops.

Hilarion is not without his own frustrations. For years, Russian Orthodox have tried to have their small community recognised. They have tried to get the support of Russia. It is not pure coincidence that Hilarion's visit comes a few weeks after Vladimir Putin was in the Chinese capital for the signing of trading and partnership agreements between Russia and China. Although a Russian-Chinese advisory group was set up a year ago to vet the issue, there has been no movement in the issue so far.

The photos taken during the visit, posted on the Moscow patriarchate website, betray Hilarion's frustration and embarrassment.

In one, the metropolitan is seen sitting on one side and Ma Yinglin on the other, with some drinks (mineral water and tea), a flower display and a plate with a smiling Benedict XVI on a coffee table, in between. No message could be clearer: We are thinking about you. We have not forgotten you. You are one of us; we are with you.

The photo conveys a degree of contempt for the pope's authority. Indeed, Ma Yinglin appears to prefer a silent image of Benedict XVI to the words of the Holy See. When the Vatican wrote to him, urging him not to accept his ordination, he turned a deaf ear.

Hilarion, who played music for Benedict XVI during a visit to the Vatican in 2009, has forgotten that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches are 'sister Churches'. Dealing with an excommunicated bishop is not a sign of communion.

What Hilarion and the Moscow Patriarchate are trying to do is to obtain China's recognition before the Patriarchate of Constantinople does. Based in Hong Kong, the latter is trying to establish relations with all Orthodox communities in the People's Republic and the Far East.

This explains why Hilarion and Ma Yinglin have to put Benedict XVI out of their mind, even a silent one, and why the close-up of their photo does not show the pope but two plates with red watermelon.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/03/2011 RUSSIA – VATICAN
Moscow Patriarchate’s “non-interference” to a possible Serbian Orthodox invitation for the pope
by Nina Achmatova
03/02/2007 RUSSIA – VATICAN
Kirill might accompany Putin to see Pope, says Orthodox bishop
by Marta Allevato
04/08/2010 CHINA – VATICAN
Bishop placed under house arrest for refusing to co-celebrate Mass with excommunicated bishop
by Wang Zhicheng
05/24/2008 RUSSIA
First priestly ordination for the new archbishop of Moscow
08/07/2010 CHINA-VATICAN
Bishop An Shuxin, former underground bishop installed as ordinary of Baoding
by Wang Zhicheng

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.