Vatican Press Office Fr Federico Lombardi dispels all doubts and suspicions among Chinese Catholics with respect to Mgr Daqin’s “volte face” vis-à-vis the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Vatican Press Office Fr Federico Lombardi today released a statement concerning Bishop Ma Daqin.
Pope Francis follows with "particular care and concern" the "personal and ecclesial life of Msgr. Ma Daqin, like that of all Chinese Catholics" and prays for them every day, the statement said.
With respect to the Bishop of Shanghai’s recent retraction, “Any speculation with regard to a presumed role of the Holy See is inappropriate."
After four years under house arrest for resigning from the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), Mgr Thaddeus Ma Daqin wrote a post on his blog on 12 June in which he recanted his views, praising the association that controls the Church for its " irreplaceable role” in the latter’s development in China.
In view of the dismay this volte face provoked, many Chinese Catholics responded with some sympathy towards the bishop and the pain he must be enduring. For them, either he did not write the article or if he did, it was under duress.
Several priests and some bishops wonder whether the Vatican prompted this change as a way to facilitate a dialogue with the Chinese government. They especially wanted to know whether Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics was still valid since it said that the CPCA was "incompatible with Catholic doctrine".
In order to clarify the Vatican's position, Fr Lombardi issued a statement. Here it is:
“In response to requests for information from various journalists, I am able to say the following:
1) With regard to the recent declarations attributed to Msgr. Taddeo Ma Daqin, auxiliary bishop of Shanghai, these have come to the attention of the Holy See through his blog and via press agencies. No direct information is currently available.
2) Any speculation with regard to a presumed role of the Holy See is inappropriate.
3) The personal and ecclesial life of Msgr. Ma Daqin, like that of all Chinese Catholics, is followed with particular care and concern by the Holy Father, who remembers them daily in prayer.”