- Jul 8, 2020
Former Hong Kong bishop Cardinal Joseph Zen is warning that an alleged Vatican request to underground bishops to resign in favor of bishops belonging to the state-run Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association would “be giving the blessing on the new strengthened schismatic Church.”
The new Czech minority government led by populist billionaire Andrej Babis has agreed with a proposal to tax the compensation that the country’s churches receive for property seized by the former Communist regime.
Chinese officials in one province say they are “converting” Christians to party loyalty through poverty alleviation and other schemes to help the disadvantaged. A local priest said that the removal of the Christian images involved officials giving money to poor households in return for hanging President Xi Jinping’s portrait.
In a long interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the Jesuit journal reviewed at the Vatican prior to publication, Jesuit Father Joseph Shih pleaded with outsiders to stop describing Catholicism in China as consisting of two churches, one that accepts government control and the other that doesn’t and so exists clandestinely.
Newly-appointed Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung of Hong Kong says, “You can’t be a good Catholic without truly striving to be a good person and a good citizen. That holds true for bishops as it is for any ordinary lay person.” Talking about the situation of religious freedom in mainland China, he said that “signals are often mixed and the situation varies from religion to religion, from locality to locality and from time to time.”
In a list of guidelines containing more than 100 points, the Chinese government told journalists to use the title ‘former’ bishop of Hong Kong instead of ’emeritus’ when referring to Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun. The cardinal is an outspoken critic of the Communist party and has often advocated for human rights in the country.