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Report: China waging undeclared war against Catholics

February 10, 2007

From BBC News:

Cardinal Joseph Zen told the BBC the ordinations last year of three bishops without Vatican approval were “illegitimate” and “acts of war”.

Beijing’s refusal to recognise the Vatican’s authority has overturned two decades of compromise efforts, he said as he returned from a trip to Rome.

Pope Benedict XVI is due to make his position clear in the coming months.

China refuses to recognise the Vatican’s authority over Chinese Catholics.

But until the three ordinations in 2006 bishops were chosen after unofficial consultations with Rome.

There are about four million Catholics in state churches with millions more in organisations loyal to Rome.

Returning from his latest trip to the Vatican, the cardinal said China was waging an undeclared war against Catholics.

“These three illegitimate ordinations… are acts of war against the church,” he said.

“So how can you say that we opt for confrontation? They are waging a war, they want to destroy the church.”

The cardinal has been a long-time defender of human rights and religious freedom.

But he did not say if his own strong views would be reflected in the letter expected from the Pope by early April.

The letter was promised after a Vatican meeting held in late January which Cardinal Zen attended.

He has previously said he has offered to resign from his position to help the Vatican establish ties with China.

See also:
BBC News: Pope offers olive branch to China
Zenit: Cardnial Zen: Papal letter due at Easter
Washngton Post: Poll Finds Surge of Religion Among Chinese

Related Posts:
Article: Christians under Attack in China

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