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Cardinal Zen vents ire over firing of Bishop Ma


HONG KONG (SE) : The former bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, said in an entry on his blog that the recent move to strip the newly ordained auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin in Shanghai  of his mitre and crosier by the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China is probably just a cover for the real culprits.

“They may only be the puppets,” he wrote in his blog, “those who manoeuvre them are more guilty.”

Cardinal Zen added that the decision has no moral legitimacy or validity from the point of view of Catholic doctrine or law.

“They have deposed Bishop Ma! Who they are? Are they soon to depose also the pope? They have decided that the Church in China is no pope’s business. Can this be anything other than a schismatic Church?” the cardinal asked in his Chinese-language blog on December 13.

The Shanghai-born cardinal then states, “Illegitimate, fake bishops are solemnly pontificating. Even excommunications did not deter those people from challenging the discipline and the faith of the Church.”

He listed the real culprits as being the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the United Front of the Communist Party and some people in the Public Security, as well as the honorary president of the Patriotic Association, Anthony Liu Bainian, whom he notes is known to be very busy since his retirement.

Noting that the decision about Bishop Ma has come immediately after the conclusion of the Chinese Communist Party Congress in Beijing, which elected the country’s new leadership, Cardinal Zen said that this makes everybody think that the decision comes from the new leaders, but it is impossible to be sure.

“How could they have time so soon for such a negligible matter?” he asked, but added that if indeed this is not the case, the people responsible have done a good job of making it appear that way and are damaging the good name of their leaders.

Cardinal Zen also wonders how long the Holy See is prepared to wait for explanations from bishops who have been ordained illegally. “Those people have long learned that words may remain words and nothing would happen,” he concluded.


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