The Chinese authorities want the legitimacy of their absolute control recognized. Trust in Pope Francis, "defender of the communion and unity of the Church". The third and final part of a series of comments on the recently published articles by Cardinal Tong and Cardinal Zen on dialogue between China and the Holy See.
Rome (AsiaNews) - China, which has become a major player in international politics has chosen an increasingly hard line (compared to the era of Deng Xiaoping). In its dialogue with the Vatican it wants its absolute control over religion legitimized. Nonetheless this dialogue should be continued, with the Holy See giving a “greater defense of Christians”. This is the opinion of one of the Chinese Catholics published below as a response to the recently published article by Card John Tong Hon on the Vatican's work in the dialogue with the Chinese government. Another comment expresses confidence in Pope Francis and his love for the Church in China, rejecting "those who speculate and criticize the Pope haphazardly". Perhaps this expression refers to the article penned by Card Joseph Zen Ze-kiun , who recently expressed his strong concerns regarding the Vatican Secretariat of State's style of dialogue, defined as a "new version of Ostpolitik". What remains is the urgent need for Christian witness in a society where religious activities suffer a suffocating control. But "Peter was saved by Jesus in the Sea of Galilee, and even his boat was saved: this is a symbol for the Church." The third and final part in the series (BC)
John (Southern China)
Card. Tong's artcile is very balanced. But on the issue of dialogue and negotiations [between China and the Vatican], the base is trust and respect. I think that these bases are brittle. Both sides are talking, but every man for himself. The Holy See has often expressed appreciation for Chinese culture and civilization. But that is not what the Chinese government wants. The Chinese authorities their absolute control of religion legitimized and recognized.
The official media in China continue to enhance the power of the government in dealing with religious groups and there is no sign that the authorities have made concessions and or loosened their ideological control. From this point of view, [re episcopal ordination], the Chinese authorities will not make any concessions, at least in the short term.
From the foreign policy point of view, in recent years the Chinese authorities have taken a harder line. Now China intervenes in world affairs and does not remain silent as during the era of Deng Xiaoping. China now has a strong influence in the international community. The Vatican is a tiny state, although it has a great influence in the spiritual field.
China does not care about the criticism of its religious policy and violations against human rights. But at the same time it is eager to improve its image and show some humanity. But if this does not happen, it's no great loss. My opinion is that diplomatic relations are a gift (a bonus) for the Chinese government.
Given that the dialogue has already begun, I hope the Holy See will speak out more in defense of Chinese Christians. But it is impossible to go back and the price of failure would be enormous: the Chinese authorities would feel justified and certain in targeting the faithful and the Holy See would lose the respect of the regime.
The atheist state is always realistic. They are only concerned with tehir own interests and from a spiritual point of view, not losing face (mianzi).
Rose and Anthony (Central China)
I very much agree [with the article by Card. Tong]. And I understand the Pope, who has at heart the whole Church and a heavy responsibility to bear. We can only pray for him and for our Church. We listen to the Pope and trust in the Holy Spirit, who will lead him and the Church, even if we must have patience and wait.
This is why I do not like to hear those who randomly speculate and criticize the Pope. Let us not forget that the center of our faith is love. Jesus was accused by the so-called "pious." We should remain humble and full of love of God. The most important rule is not to forget the original intention, as the Pharisees did .
I believe that Pope Francis is the defender of the communion and unity of the Church. He will never accept an agreement that would undermine the faith or damage the integrity of the Chinese Catholic Church. He will sign an agreement only if it promotes unity and communion between the Church in China and the universal Church.
We believe that Pope Francis has a great love for the Chinese Church and the Church of China loves Francis. He will never abandon the Church in China. Peter was saved by Jesus in the Sea of Galilee, and even his boat was saved: this is a symbol for the Church.