Beijing (AsiaNews) - Some Catholics have expressed strong opposition to the Chinese government's plan to push forward bishop ordinations without papal approval in 2015, as indicated by comments respondents made in response to recent news reports in Catholic Online in China (Tianzhujiao Zaixian) on the working plans of the Patriotic Association and of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) disclosed on Jan. 15, 2015.
A Catholic commented that the government is treating the Catholic Church in China as if it were made up "slaves," and that it was foully managing Catholic affairs.
"When will the pastors of the Church in China refuse to grovel and stand up to defend the authentic faith of the Catholic Church? All the clergy and faithful with a conscience should boycott unlawful ordinations and abandon the Patriotic Association and the bishops' council."
Since unlawful ordinations are against Catholic doctrine, another commentator predicted that there would be more and more underground ordinations, and that the situation would get out of control.
Another Catholic wrote an open letter to SARA director Wang Zuo'an, accusing "the government of mixing politics with internal Catholic Church matters. As the Church is a community of love, why should the authorities cause chaos in the Church and push the Catholic community to the opposite side?"
The same Catholic asked why does SARA's 2015 work plan state that the department would act according to law, when it lists Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai as an outlaw and deprived him of his freedom.
Another Catholic urged the "priests selected to be bishop-candidates to boycott unlawful ordinations".
A Chinese priest told AsiaNews that Chinese government officials probably do not want to continue a dialogue with the Holy See and so will continue implementing measures such as these their own way.
A layperson strongly urged bishops, priests and fellow Catholics in both the official and the underground Churches to stand up and boycott unlawful ordinations.
"Do not let evil forces suppress our Church. Do not compromise. We must fight for religious freedom in China."
(Veritas Vincit is the pseudonym of a major Chinese Catholic figure)