Vatican Fires Back at Beijing Acts

In an unusually strongly worded statement, the Vatican said the recent election of new church leaders by government-controlled Catholic groups in China and the illicit ordination of a Chinese bishop have "unilaterally damaged" hopes of improved relations with China. While expressing its wish to engage in honest dialogue with Chinese authorities, the Vatican said the events were "unacceptable and hostile" and had caused "a grave loss of the trust that is necessary for overcoming the difficulties and building a correct relationship with the church for the sake of the common good." A written communique issued by the Vatican press office Dec. 17 criticized the Chinese-government-controlled National Congress of Catholic Representatives that was held in Beijing Dec. 7-9. The assembly, in which many bishops, priests, religious and laypeople were forced to take part against their will, came less than three weeks after the ordination of Father Joseph Guo Jincai as bishop of Chengde; his was the first ordination of a bishop without papal approval in four years. The Vatican condemned the methods of convoking the assembly, saying it reflected "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." Forcing people to attend the congress represented a "grave violation" of people's human rights, particularly their freedom of conscience and religion, said the Vatican. It said China's "persistent desire" to control their citizens' innermost lives, specifically matters of conscience, and to interfere with the inner workings of the church "does no credit to China."

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies at a House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Secretary of Education stirred up controversy when she said it was up to schools to decide if an undocumented student should be reported to authorities.
J.D. Long-GarcíaMay 25, 2018
Thousands gathered in Dublin May 12 to say "Love Both" and "Vote No" to abortion on demand. They were protesting abortion on demand in the forthcoming referendum May 25. (CNS photo/John McElroy)
“Priests and bishops get verbal abuse by being told, ‘How can you speak for women? You don’t know what it’s like!’”
America StaffMay 25, 2018
The coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII is seen during a ceremony in Vittorio Veneto Square after its arrival in Bergamo, Italy, May 24. The body of the late pope left the Vatican on May 24 to be displayed in his home region until June 10. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

BERGAMO, Italy (CNS) — Accompanied by Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo and escorted by both Italian and Vatican police officers, the glass coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII left the Vatican early on May 24 for a 370-mile drive to Bergamo.

On this week's episode, we talk with Lieutenant Governor of Washington State, Cyrus Habib.
Olga SeguraMay 25, 2018