Over the past year, informed Catholics and Christians in the West have watched helplessly as the Communist government in China has cracked down harder and harder on our Chinese brothers and sisters in Christ.
Incidents of persecutions, occurring over the last year, include the fact that:
- Christian churches have been destroyed by authorities.
- Two million Christians and Buddhist are being kept in detention.
- Christian teachings have been reinterpreted according to socialist doctrine.
- Churches in Hunan province were forced to remove displays of the Ten Commandments and replace them with quotes of President Xi Jinping.
- Churches in Jiangxi province were ordered to remove biblical paintings and crosses and replace them with portraits of the president.
- In some areas, all public displays of Christmas decorations have been banned.
- In December, Christians belonging to “house churches” not recognized by the government were ordered to refrain from publicly celebrating Christmas.
In the latest assault on the practice of one's faith in China, and, indeed, on freedom of conscience, new draconian rules, set to go into place in February, absurdly require that religious groups “spread Communist Party principles.”
Of course, the Church has been persecuted in China for decades. But, these latest attempts to squelch the independence of the Church are coming in spite of the recent agreement the Vatican signed with China’s communist government.
Or, could it be, as some suggest, that the latest persecution against Chinese Christians is coming at least, in part, because of the recent agreement the Vatican signed with the communist government?
Perhaps, appeasement is seen by the Chinese government as a weakness to be exploited.
Some senior Catholic prelates have been increasingly vocal in speaking out both against the communist government's treatment of religion, as well as aspects of the recent Agreement.
Now, a letter from Cardinal Zen to the rest of the Cardinals in the world (please read, below), more clearly delineates his grievances with the new Sino-Vatican Agreement. It also brings new light to the questions ('Dubia') he posed to Pope Francis about the Agreement in July (but, which have, to-date, gone unanswered).
One of the most striking insights the Cardinal makes about the new Sino-Vatican Agreement can be found in the second paragraph of his letter (reproduced in its entirety, below): "From my analysis of the document of the Holy See (June 28, 2019), “Pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of clergy in China,” it is quite clear that it encourages the faithful in China to enter a schismatic church (independent of the pope and under the orders of the Communist Party)."
This is a devastating insight, and the good Cardinal, and faithful Catholics and Christians in China, now needs our support, both moral and prayerful.
This petition, therefore, both supports Cardinal Zen and his quest to stop the "murder of the Church in China," as well as Chinese Catholics and Christians as they face an intensifying crackdown.
Please SIGN this urgent petition, today! It will be CC'ed to Vatican authorities.
LETTER FROM CDL. ZEN TO THE COLLEGE OF CARDINALS:
Pardon the inconvenience my letter will cause you. It is just that, in conscience, I believe that the problem I present here concerns not only the Church in China, but the whole Church, and we cardinals have the grave responsibility to help the Holy Father in guiding the Church.
From my analysis of the document of the Holy See (June 28, 2019), “Pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of clergy in China,” it is quite clear that it encourages the faithful in China to enter a schismatic church (independent of the pope and under the orders of the Communist Party).
On July 10, I presented my “dubia” to the Pope. His Holiness, on July 3, had promised to take an interest in them, but to this day I have still not heard anything.
Cardinal Parolin says that today when we talk about the independent Church, this independence should no longer be understood as absolute, because the agreement recognizes the role of the pope in the Catholic Church.
First of all, I cannot believe that there is such a statement in the agreement, and I do not see it there. (By the way, why must such an agreement be secret, and why is it not granted even to me, a Chinese cardinal, to see it?) But, even more clearly, the whole reality after the signing of the agreement shows that nothing has changed. Cardinal Parolin quotes a sentence from Pope Benedict’s letter completely out of context — indeed, diametrically opposed to the whole paragraph. This manipulation of the pope emeritus’s thought is gravely disrespectful; indeed, it is a deplorable insult to the person of such a meek pope, who is still alive.
But it also disgusts me that they often declare that what they are doing is in continuity with the thought of the previous pope, while the opposite is true. I have reason to believe (and I hope one day to be able to prove with archival documents) that the agreement signed is the same one that Pope Benedict had, at the time, refused to sign.
Your Eminence, can we passively witness the murder of the Church in China by those who should protect and defend her from her enemies?
Begging on my knees, your brother,
Card. Joseph ZEN, SDB
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
List of Cardinal Zen's Questions (Dubia) to Pope Francis (Scroll down): https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cdl-zen-tells-pope-francis-that-vaticans-new-pastoral-doc-to-china-justifies-apostasy
'Cdl Zen urges cardinals to stop the ‘murder of the Church in China’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cdl-zen-decries-vatican-china-deal-in-letter-to-cardinals-it-disgusts-me
'Chinese bishop sleeping on street after refusing to join communist schismatic group' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/chinese-bishop-sleeping-on-street-after-refusing-to-join-communist-schismatic-group
Vatican’s June release of new guidelines concerning the civil registration of clergy in China - https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2019/06/28/0554/01160.html#en
'Chinese govt demands Christians use religion to ‘spread Communist Party principles’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/chinese-govt-demands-christians-use-religion-to-spread-communist-party-principles
'Vatican doesn’t understand that communist China will never compromise' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/vatican-doesnt-understand-that-communist-china-will-never-compromise