Legitimate and illegitimate bishops: Rice mixed with sand is hard to swallow
by P. Peter (Bo Duo Shen Fu)

The "profaning" of episcopal ordinations with the presence of excommunicated bishops risks becoming an established accepted fact. The need to counter a servility created by 5 thousand years of imperial cultural. The intervention of a priest-blogger from China's northeast.


Beijing (AsiaNews) – The participation of illegitimate and excommunicated bishops in lawful episcopal ordinations cannot be accepted as an established tradition that no longer gives rise to scandal; it is unacceptable to eat "rice mixed with sand" and say it is good to swallow. With delicious irony, a priest of China's northeast, a well-known blogger, condemns the "servile psychology" of those who among the Christians in China, accept imperial rule over the Church. The reference is to the episcopal ordinations of Chengdu and Xichang (see photo) where an illegitimate bishop - imposed by the police - participated in compliance with other Bishops present. Fr. Peter warns against the idea that the difficult history of the Church in China allows us to compromise the faith: as if a raped girl could thank her abuser for "mercy and for" love ". Translation from Chinese by AsiaNews.

The first time I heard the expression "rice mixed with sand" was from my spiritual father, Fr. Yan Wenda. Because of social circumstances we were in at that time, the authority guideline was to deny the primacy of the pope. Thus, the "New Testament" that we used was published with a "note" edited by "expert" Chinese theologians. On the other hand we were powerless, religious books were so deficient, the priests had to promote them among the faithful. Fr. Yan said: "We are beggars. We know that this is rice mixed with sand. But we have to swallow it all the same, otherwise, we will die of hunger. "

After the explanation from Fr. Yan, I accepted the "New Testament". Later, clerics loyal to the faith issued a "errata corrige" of that "New Testament", putting us on our guard on how to read it correctly, without falling into confusion [created] by the heretical note.

In recent years, some have called the participation of illegitimate bishops in legitimate episcopal ordinations as " rice mixed with sand". In fact, as part of the holy Catholic faith, the participation of illegitimate bishops in a legitimate episcopal ordination is a grave profanity. Perhaps  because people are used to this "profanity", they think it is no longer the case, nor are they scandalized. But what is most worrisome is that that those who are accustomed to eating "rice mixed with sand", are now even saying it is good, indeed delicious. We do not understand their particular passion for the "sand", but maybe they do it to lick up to their master who gave them "the rice mixed with sand", even betraying their own conscience.

The are deeply influenced by Confucian thought, [saying] "the true gentlemen full of dignity do not drink water from a stolen source; non-corrupt people do not eat food [coming] from those who despise us. " This motto continues to remain deeply ingrained in my head. Does water from a stolen source not quench our thirst? Or, the food received from those who despise us nourish? And, even more unacceptable if a raped girl, even comes to appreciate her rapist because he is handsome, strong, robust, can it be said that this gesture is "mercy" and "love"? If a robber has stripped me leaving me naked with only my underwear to cover the shame, must I also thank him like a "big brother robber"?

Despite its bitter history and an overwhelming past, the Church in China (us) cannot consider that everything is due and it is normal, “becoming accustomed” to the fact that we have always been "desecrated" and "mixed with sand".

China’s imperial culture is the cause of this servile psychology, which we must all applaud and shout "Hurrah!". If someone says something according to his conscience, he is caned publicly slandered as a "religious Taliban ".

But, as everyone knows, China's imperial culture that has influenced the Chinese for over 5000 years it is difficult to reconcile with the idea of Christian fellowship. In Confucian culture, the emperor is Emperor; the courtiers are courtiers; the father is father; the son is son. The emperor dominates the courtiers; the father dominates the child: This is the basis of the theory of the class system, which has played a decisive role in maintaining the rule of the feudal dynasty. The incarnation of the Son of God revealed to us that we are all children of the Father, that we must love one another. No matter who is emperor, or officer, or an ordinary citizen, we are all equal before God. This is a Christian value and also universal. And faced with the "rice mixed with sand", I can at least whisper that "I cannot swallow it." Must you also condemn this sentence?


Fr. Peter (Duo Bo Shen Fu)