Loading
Vatican deplores China's 'hostile acts' as signs of fear and weakness
Vatican deplores China's 'hostile acts' as signs of fear and weakness

.- The Vatican issued a sharp rebuke to China for forcing bishops and others loyal to Rome to take part in elections for Catholic organizations controlled by the ruling communist party.

The incidents “manifest a repressive attitude with regard to the exercise of religious liberty, which it was hoped had been consigned to the past in present-day China,” the Vatican said in a statement issued Dec. 17.

“The persistent desire to control the most intimate area of citizens’ lives, namely their conscience, and to interfere in the internal life of the Catholic Church does no credit to China. On the contrary, it seems to be a sign of fear and weakness rather than of strength; of intransigent intolerance rather than of openness to freedom and to effective respect both of human dignity and of a correct distinction between the civil and religious spheres.”

The strong language reflects growing tensions in Rome’s relations with Beijing.

The statement suggested that Chinese officials have sought to knowingly provoke a confrontation — first by ordaining a bishop without Rome’s approval in November and then, earlier this month, forcing participation in elections for the state-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association and bishops' conference.

The Vatican again emphasized that neither state-sponsored institution is legitimate. It called the election of an unlawfully ordained bishop to head the bishops’ conference “deeply deplorable.” It also criticized as “lamentable,” the election of a bishop recognized by Rome to head the patriotic association.

The Vatican termed these moves, and the earlier ordination, “unacceptable and hostile acts” that have “unilaterally damaged the dialogue and the climate of trust.” 

The statement acknowledged that these recent incidents have forced Chinese Catholics to make tough decisions of conscience.

“Each one of those who were present knows to what extent he or she is responsible before God and the Church,” the Holy See said. “The bishops in particular and the priests will also have to face the expectations of their respective communities, who look to their own pastor and have a right to receive from him sure guidance in the faith and in the moral life.”

It urged ordinary Catholics to adopt an attitude of forgiveness and understanding towards those bishops and priests who took part in the illicit ceremonies.  “Continue courageously supporting them in the face of the unjust impositions that they encounter in the exercise of their ministry,” the Vatican urged.

As for those forced to participate against their will, the Holy See condemned China’s "grave violation of their human rights, particularly their freedom of religion and of conscience."

The statement praised those who refused to go along with communist authorities and all who “have borne witness to their faith with courage.”

The Vatican statement concluded by emphasizing Pope Benedict XVI's Dec. 1 call for prayers for the struggling Church in China.

“In the light of what has happened, the Holy Father’s invitation … remains pressing,” it said.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Sep
2

Liturgical Calendar

September 2, 2014

Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 4:31-37

Gospel
Date
09/02/14
09/01/14
08/31/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 1 Cor 2:10B-16
Gospel:: Lk 4:31-37

Saint of the Day

Martyrs of September »

Saint
Date
08/31/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 4:31-37

Homily
Date
09/02/14
09/01/14
08/31/14
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: