22 November 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 06/22/2012, 00.00

    CHINA - RUSSIA - VATICAN

    Hilarion's act: Russian Orthodox metropolitan meets Chinese excommunicated bishop

    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

    05/02/2016 18:30:00 RUSSIA – VATICAN
    For Russian Patriarchate, the “genocide of the Christian population” made the Kirill-Francis meeting urgent

    Metropolitan Hilarion told a press conference that despite unresolved issues such like the expansion of the Greek Catholic Patriarchate in Ukraine, the Moscow Patriarchate hopes that the meeting "will open a new page in the relations between the two Churches”.



    03/09/2011 RUSSIA – VATICAN
    Moscow Patriarchate’s “non-interference” to a possible Serbian Orthodox invitation for the pope
    Metropolitan Hilarion reiterates Moscow’s position but, for months, rumours say the Russian Orthodox Church is opposed to Benedict XVI’s presence in Niš in 2013 to mark the anniversary of Constantine’s edict because it could provide an opportunity for a meeting between the Russian patriarch and the pontiff.

    02/03/2007 RUSSIA – VATICAN
    Kirill might accompany Putin to see Pope, says Orthodox bishop
    In an interview with AsiaNews the Orthodox Bishop of Vienna and Austria, Hilarion, discusses the positive evolution of relations between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Vatican. He adds that having Benedict XVI and Bartholomew I in Ravenna together would be at odds with Orthodoxy’s hierarchy.

    22/08/2017 15:15:00 RUSSIA - VATICAN
    Hopes for a Papal trip to Moscow in Russia and the Vatican’s future

    A very friendly meeting between Serghei Lavrov and Card. Parolin this morning. Great convergence on many international issues: terrorism, Syria, persecuted Christians. Some "differences" on the Ukrainian question. From the meeting in Havana, a new meeting between Francis and the Patriarch of Moscow Kirill anticipated.



    24/08/2017 09:25:00 RUSSIA-VATICAN
    The 'constructive dialogue' between Putin and Cardinal Parolin in Sochi

    The Russian President met the Vatican Secretary of State in his dacha. Collaboration on international issues, especially Syria, Ukraine, North Africa and Venezuela, underlined. The Russian cultural heritage exhibition in Moscow and in the Vatican. The pilgrimage of St. Nicholas's relics is appreciated. Parolin: Vatican diplomacy moves on many levels. There is some doubt about the pre-electoral use of the visit.





    Editor's choices

    HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
    Mass for a deceased underground priest. Card. Zen asks for God ‘s grace to save the Church in China and the Holy See from the 'precipice'

    Li Yuan

    Fr. Wei Heping, 41, died in mysterious circumstances, his body dumped in a river in Taiyuan (Shanxi). For the police claim he committed suicide. Family members are not allowed to even see the autopsy report. For Card. Zen the Holy See (which "is not necessarily the Pope") seeks a compromise at all costs with the Chinese government, risking "to sell out the faithful Church". Justice and Peace publish a booklet about Fr. Wei, not to forget.


    VATICAN - ITALY
    Pope: No more war, its only fruit is death, 'our self-destruction'



    Marking the Feast of All Souls, Francis celebrated Mass at the American Cemetery in Nettuno. "When so many times in history men think of a war, they are convinced of bringing a new world, they are convinced of making a 'spring'. It ends in a winter, ugly, cruel, with the reign of terror and death."


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®