Luigi's Mansion 2 HD Vieni ad acchiappare i fantasmi con noi su Award & Oscar!


Last Update: 8/23/2021 11:16 AM
Print | Email Notification    
6/6/2009 1:43 AM
Post: 17,635
Post: 327
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Senior User

Benedict XVI's China dilemma:
His own 'Pius XII' moments

On his blog today, Sandro Magister notes how L'Osservatore Romano, which would otherwise be routinely attentive to such matters, contained not a single word about the 20th anniversary of the Tienanmen 'massacre' carried out by Chinese authorities against protesters in 1989 - when the rest of Western media (including Avvenire in Italy) devoted pages of reportage, commentary and editorials to marking the event.

I've not been a fan of OR's spotty and rather tendentious journalism but in this case, one can only conclude the silence was deliberate, and the silence would have to do with the Vatican's concern that the Chinese should not find any pretext to crack down on China's underground Catholics, particularly the bishops, any more than they now are.

I call it Benedict XVI's 'Pius XII moments' - when the concern for the good of Catholics living under a totalitarian regime far outweighs the 'grandstand' value one might gain from articulating noble thoughts (which, after all, are inherent in Catholic doctrine, to begin with).

This prudence is particularly more valid, in a sense, for Benedict XVI and China, than it was for Pius XII and Germany. Because today, the entire free world is together and very vocally so in denouncing China for Tienanmen, whereas in World War II not one state spoke out against the Nazi genocide because few were really aware of the extent of it, and defeating Hitler was the overriding priority.

The Vatican - and Benedict XVI personally - is on record, after all, for promptly denouncing persecutions where they happen, including that of the Tibetans last year.

So to beat the drums about Tienanmen along with the rest of the free world was not essential, if it would give Beijing the pretext to arrest another bishop or some such persecution.

Here's Magister's take:

Tienanmen, Chinese orchestras
and the silences of the Vatican

Translated from

Corriere della Sera's across-the page banner headline on June 4 was: "China imposes silence on Tienanmen".

That imposition was followed even in the Vatican. Not a single line in L'Osservatore Romano about the square that has become a symbol for the Chinese people's thirst for freedom.

And yet, the newspaper of the Holy See is generally very attentive to international affairs, ever prompt with news reports and commentary.

On the same day, other Catholic news outlets - from Avvenire to AsiaNews - dedicated great play to the 20th anniversary of that massacre.

It's easy to guess that the silence of L'Osservatore Romano is a price to pay for Realpolitik. Vatican diplomats do not wish the irritate Chinese authorities in any way, in the hope of getting kinder treatment of Catholics in that country.

But just look at the detailed news reports dedicated to Tienanmen and to the situation in China by AsiaNews - the online news agency headed by Fr. BArnardo Cervellera of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions - to see that no such kinder treatment is happening. Indeed, there appears to be a new outbreak of repression.

China sends its orchestra to play in the Vatican. But it has not allowed any of its bishops to take part in the Synod assemblies! [This is a great and bitter paradox!]

It is a reprise of the dilemmas that tormented Vatican Ostpolitik [carried on by Pius XIII, John XXIII, Paul VI, and to some degree, even by John Paul II, to help protect Catholics in the postwar Communist countries of Eastern Europe) during the Cold War.

Cardinal Joseph Zen Zekiun has been the most authoritative and outspoken critic of the Communist Chinese regime as well as Vatican diplomacy.

In his judgment, Vatican diplomacy is paying too high a price for what it is actually getting back, if any. He believes that the silences have simply encouraged the Chinese to tighten the reins even more.

[While I respect Cardinal Zen's anguish and the fact that he presumably has more facts on the China situation at his fingertips than anyone else in the Church hierarchy, does not the Pope risk making matters worse by giving unnecessary public provocation?

Perhaps the role of the Chinese bishops who are not under arrest [How many are captive at the moment? Less than 10 out of w00, or there abouts?] is to do what they can in place, but quietly and without publicity.

And it is for Cardinal Zen to make the big noisy protests that get media coverage - he has done so for decades, and for some reason, Beijing has allowed him to. Though we may never know if each such protest is then followed by a reprisal on the mainland.

Meanwhile, I am all for Pope Benedict keeping his prudence as Pius XII did. I do believe discretion is the better part of valor. Though we would all feel so much better if we knew that the Vatican has some secret channel or channels capable of being heard in the highest councils of the Chinese government,]

In a related story:

Hongkong bishop welcomes compendium
of Pope's 2007 letter to Chinese Catholics

HONG KONG, JUNE 5, 2009 ( The Vatican's compendium of Benedict XVI's 2007 letter to Chinese Catholics will help the faithful of that Asian nation to find unity, according to the bishop of Hong Kong.

Bishop John Tong Hon affirmed this in a report he sent to Aid to the Church in Need last week, in which he said the Chinese faithful are "impressed by the Holy See’s concern and close attention."

The compendium, in question-and-answer format, was released May 24. The Communist authorities in China made it hard for the faithful to read the original letter, blocking it from the Internet.

Bishop Tong also said there were deliberate attempts to misrepresent the Holy Father's words.

"Almost anywhere else in the world, Catholics can openly organize a meeting to study a papal document but in China this is still hard to do," he noted.

Nevertheless, the prelate affirmed that since 2007, there have been strides toward the reconciliation of the "official" and the "underground" Church.

The government permits religious practice only with recognized personnel and in places registered with the Religious Affairs Office and under the control of the Patriotic Association.

This explains the difference affirmed between the "national" or "official" Church, and the faithful who oppose such control and who wish to obey the Pope directly. The latter constitute the non-official, or underground, Church.

The 69-year-old bishop acknowledged that in the compendium, the Pontiff compares reconciliation to a journey that cannot be accomplished over night.

But, he said, unity is urgent and there is a need for an "exchange of experiences, sharing of pastoral projects, common initiatives, etc."

"There have been cases where the underground Church emerged into the open too suddenly," the bishop suggested. "After the underground leaders received government recognition, this premature structural unity between 'open' and 'underground' Catholics led to more divisions."

Still, this cannot be an excuse to stop efforts for unity, Bishop Tong declared: "Chinese Catholics need to take steps gradually, to contact each other, pray together, dialogue and cooperate step by step, as the Holy Father expects."

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/6/2009 1:15 PM]
New Thread
Cerca nel forum

Feed | Forum | Bacheca | Album | Users | Search | Log In | Register | Admin
Create your free community and forum! Register to FreeForumZone
FreeForumZone [v.6.1] - Leggendo la pagina si accettano regolamento e privacy
Tutti gli orari sono GMT+01:00. Adesso sono le 8:15 PM. : Printable | Mobile
Copyright © 2000-2024 FFZ srl -