Saturday, March 18, 2006

I Say: Remember Tien An Men! (and EDSA)

POPE BENEDICT XVI designated twelve new "Cardinal-Electors" recently and one gets a good flavor of his new Shepherds from The National Catholic Reporter including this flattering praise release from GAUDENCIO CARDINAL ROSALES of Manila (who's off to Rome this week for consultations with Headquarters and the honorifics for 12 new Cardinals of the Church --
The successor to legendary Cardinal Jaime Sin, Rosales, 73, has been more cautious about wading into politics, but will speak when he believes justice matters are at stake. In response to the recent landslide in the Philippines, for example, he said, "The real reason for this terrible tragedy is that forests have been badly denuded and no serious replanting has been done. It is time for the powers that be to address strongly these issues." A soft-spoken, modest man, Rosales recently declined election as president of the country's bishop conference four times, saying that he wanted to concentrate instead on the "Pondo ng Pinoy," a project encouraging Filipinos to save one cent daily as a way of changing what he sees as "the predominantly apathetic approach to the poor."
The Successor to Cardinal Sin! certainly leads a very different Roman Catholic Church of the Philippines than the one Cardinal Sin led, though of course that would be strenuously and eloquently denied. Still, I've said it already: Cardinal Sin Really Is Dead, Silly. So of course is the good Pope John Paul II, but perhaps the time for mourning them is well past and the Faithful must follow other Shepherds now, who've really got bigger fish to China.

THE CATHOLIC ONLINE a few weeks ago, published a very interesting article that explains a lot of things to me, Vatican-China RapprochmentMay Significantly Affect The Universal Church, by John A. Worthey. An evolving QUID-PRO-QUO is described --
China, for its part, seems intent on resolving both its “underground” Catholic Church problem and the Tibet/Dalai Lama issue before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which will be the occasion for a worldwide view of the new China. Entry into the World Trade Organization and commercial ambitions in general have driven this development. Both Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state, have strongly stated the church’s desire to normalize relations with the largest country on earth. Tangible gestures by both sides indicate the increased pace of reconciliation. Cardinal Godfried Daneels of Belgium and Cardinals Theodore McCarrick and Roger Mahony of the United States visited China in recent months and were received by China’s Foreign Ministry and by Ye Xiaowen, head of the State Bureau for Administration of Religious Affairs, which manages church activities. In a breakthrough meeting last October, Cardinal McCarrick spoke with Jia Quingling, the fourth highest official in the Chinese hierarchy. New bishops have been installed in Shanghai and Xian with the public approval of both the Chinese government and Rome, as have at least three auxiliary bishops.
Mr. Worthey enumerates four important consequences for the Universal Church:
[1] "One is the notion of collaboration, espoused by the Second Vatican Council. In recent decades a trend toward centralization of decision-making in Rome has been apparent. Because of the constitutional role of the government in church affairs in China, the Vatican will necessarily be in a position of sharing decision-making power with local bishops through secular authorities. The actual extent of this might be minimal. Nonetheless, collaboration in some form will be required through the Bureau for Administration of Religious Affairs. That could have implications throughout the universal church, depending on the model of power sharing that develops."

[2] "
A second area involves the ordination of bishops. For years the Chinese government has insisted on appointing the bishops without interference from Rome."

[3] "
A third intriguing aspect of developments in China concerns evangelization and the missionary call of the church. In part because of its historical experience with foreign missionaries, China’s religious affairs regulations prohibit evangelization by foreigners while allowing it from within. This is not likely to change in a diplomatic relations agreement. The effect is that the old model of church — sending external missionaries from outside — could develop into a new model in which the church encourages and supports the internal missionary call of the local faithful. During a recent conference in Chengdu I visited the local cathedral. With me was a young university graduate student, a nonbeliever. Among the many people praying in the cathedral was an elderly Chinese woman who was intoning novena prayers. After I asked her questions about the local diocese, she began speaking to my Chinese colleague, and I witnessed proselytizing taking place according to this new model. The woman gave my colleague prayer cards and invited her to Sunday Mass. Under Chinese regulations, that elderly woman is permitted to be the missionary. The foreigner may be present but may not be the missionary. "

[4] Finally, the church in China may well provide the universal church with a refreshing role model of orthodoxy and devotion. In my 23 years’ experience with Catholic communities in China, I have seen a fervor of faith and devotion that perdures and is truly edifying. The malaise of faith and devotion that we now often experience in the Western church could well be tempered by our faithful brothers and sisters in China."
I can't blame the Catholic Bishops for their recent reticence to call a spade a spade in the Philippines. They've got their EYES set on a BIGGER PRIZE now. (Over a billion pagans, at last count!) They have to demonstrate to their new Comrades at the Bureau of Religious Affairs that the Roman Catholic CHURCH in China (incuding its Filipino missionaries) can COLLABORATE with the Chinese Communist STATE and its apparchiks (Oy Vey! Bishops...Commissars...what's the difference? ) Why! the Catholic Church can even serve as a "refreshing model of orthodoxy and devotion"!

I SAY: Remember Tien An Men and EDSA in your prayers, Fathers. Oh, and please don't forget Cory Aquino and Dinky Soliman and Enteng Romano, and all those Flash Mobsters at the Black & White Movement. They are supposed to be the Leftist Civilian Component of the Leftist Rightist Coup Plot Conspiracy that brought on Proclamation 1017. The Catholic Bishops Conference of Chi...I mean the Philippines should pray for such sinners too...

China's New East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
America's Interests and Fate of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Russia and China Big In ASEAN

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