02/18/2017, 12.38
Send to a friend

Chinese Catholic: the power to appoint bishops belongs only to the Church

by Baoluo Jiaoyou (保罗教友)

Criticism of Card. Tong’s proposal to allow the Chinese government the function to appoint bishops in some way. In the proposed agreement between China and the Holy See, the latter would only have a veto power - not conclusive - on the proposed candidates. 

Beijing (AsiaNews) - "The right to appoint bishops ... may never come from outside of the Church" is the fundamental position of a Catholic in China commenting on the article by Card. John Tong of Hong Kong on "The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from the ecclesiological point of view". "The faithful who signs with the name Paul, criticizes Card. Tong who in his article leaves much room to the authority of the state with regard to episcopal appointments. At the moment it is still unclear what Beijing’s power in appointments would be. In his article Card. Tong deduces that the State (the Patriotic Association, the Councils of Bishops) propose the names and the Holy See appoints one of the proposed candidates. Chinese voices close to the group involved in dialogue, state that the pope would only have a veto power on candidates, and it would not be decisive.

A Catholic online website has published Cardinal Tong’s an article which focuses on a discussion of ideas and understanding of Sino-Vatican relations. Some parts of the contents appear reasonable at first glance, and you may agree with him. But a careful reading reveals many weaknesses and mistakes. First of all, Cardinal Tong does not adhere to the bottom line of principles which are about “the right of appointment of bishops” and he  does not basically recognize serious errors on the “right of appointment of bishops.” (Basically, he states there is no serious legal problem in this … This is one of the most important flaws and errors).

From the fundamental principle, the right to appoint bishops never comes from outside the Church. The right must be entirely left to the proper authority within the Church. Jesus Christ grants apostles the authority to administrate the Church, which means that the apostles must follow the teachings of Jesus Christ in the exercise of this right. For example, it is illegitimacy in violation of God's will if the authorities of the Church devolve a part of this divine right to no believers. The crucial point of the right to appoint bishops is that this power itself is derived from Christ's revelation.

Jesus Christ established the Church with divine will of God, the Church is not a secular religion made by man's will.  The divine right that Christ granted the apostles is originally a complete Power. Furthermore, God does not need and does not allow man to add something to His divine right. Not even His people cannot words of their own to the Bible.

It is blasphemy and a violation of God’s will to apply legal principles to the divine power of God.

Therefore, the divine authority of the Church cannot allow anyone to take the place of His will and challenge God's authority to offend God.  If someone were to apply legal principles to the divine power of God, would this not be a grave error?

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Chinese priest: The life of the faithful is the same with or without China-Holy See agreements
16/02/2017 13:44
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
09/02/2017 12:34
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
09/02/2017 08:30
Richard Madsen: In China-Holy See dialogue, Beijing wants to destroy, or at least weaken the Church
13/02/2017 20:13
Rethinking China-Vatican accords (with a touch of irony)
29/08/2016 13:04


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”