Catholics of the unofficial Church complain that the "imminent" agreement between Rome and Beijing on the appointment of bishops forgets all the persecutions that the Christian communities are subject to. A criticism also to Msgr. Giuseppe Wei Jingyi, who - according to the author - is "underground” in name but not in nature. The repentant bishops show "repentance" only in private, but continue government policy in public.
Beijing (AsiaNews) - The news of an "imminent" agreement between China and the Holy See on how to appoint bishops is arousing tensions, debates and the taking of positions among the official and unofficial Chinese Catholics (underground). Above all, the campaign in favor of signing the agreement that some media have undertaken to convince the world the benefits of a deal and perhaps even to convince China, which so far has not expressed itself, is being targeted. Several speeches criticize the fact that this campaign has silenced the voice of the unofficial Church. The following article, received from AsiaNews, is from an underground Catholic of China, known to us, who signs with the pseudonym "John".
"Beware of false prohpets, who come to you in sheeps clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them, Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7, 15-19).
Before starting, I wanted to mention this biblical passage to remember what is happening or is about to happen. We know nothing, but it seems in a single evening, the mass media are transforming or are making "a package" of the underground Church [that is they are packaging an image to be used - ed.].
Reading the article “China, the “underground” bishop: we will follow the Pope, because we trust the Lord", I would like to thank the author because he put quotation marks on "underground" to describe this Chinese bishop of Qiqihar [this is Msgr. Giuseppe Wei Jingyi, interviewed by Vatican Insider, on February 16th last]. All this is really ridiculous: this so-called underground bishop is actually an official bishop who wants to represent the underground Church and claims to be an authoritative voice. The bishop asks his friends in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan to “set aside the pretense” to speak in his place. If this is true, I would like to ask: who should represent the voice of the underground Church? Whose voice should that be? Based on what? What is the core of our Catholic faith? Who can represent the interest of the Chinese faithful?
This " underground" bishop, " on my own behalf and on behalf of the community entrusted by God to my pastoral care, I want to solemnly declare: “regardless how the relations between China and the Vatican will go, we will wholly obey to the decision of the Pope and the Holy See, whatever it may be. And we will not question it either". In addition, he cites the passage of the prodigal son, "when the son repents, and asks to return to his father, may there be any reason for the father to refuse forgiveness? On the contrary, the father had been waiting a long time for his return".
It seems that all the bishops of the Patriotic Church are already repentant, but is such "repentance" public or private? If they continue to make non-transparent and non-public choices, but only private and hidden, then how can we believe that this repentance is truly faithful? The bishop of Qiqihar uses the passage of the adulterous woman, but the Lord also tells us that the condition of forgiveness is not to sin anymore. Instead, the bishops of the Patriotic Church still work in the Patriotic Association and how can they be justified?
Regarding the agreement between China and the Holy See, the bishop goes on to say that " You must always trust each other a little bit to reach an agreement. If there were not some mutual trust, there would not even be a chance to speak, and there would never be any agreement". I would like to know where this trust comes from?
The new regulations on religions in China are well known (entered into force on February 1, 2018): it turns out from different sources that so many clandestine churches are banned and sanctioned.
There are diverse examples of the lack of religious freedom in China: the case of Father Peter Wei Heping, a good and faithful priest, who died in mysterious circumstances that were officially decreed as suicide; the campaign against crosses in Zhejiang in 2015 and the demolition of churches in many other regions; the disappearance [in the hands of the police] of the bishop James Su Zhimin, whose whereabouts is still unknown.
We would like to know what happens in the Vatican. Do Card. Parolin and the other "optimists" want to put all the Chinese faithful in a large cage? Perhaps they need a bigger cage, because the current one is too small to contain 12 million faithful.
This agreement between China and the Vatican was born in secrecy and no priest or faithful has been directly or indirectly involved. So, how can we believe that this agreement is favorable to the Chinese Catholic Church?