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02/08/2012 China (CC) – Cardinal Joseph Zen is urging the Holy See to take a stronger line against encroachment by the Chinese government in the life of the Church in that country.
The retired Bishop of Hong Kong, an outspoken critic of Beijing, expressed disappointment that some Catholic activists—notably the St. Egidio community—have been anxious to maintain friendly ties with the Beijing regime despite repeated infringements on religious freedom in China. He called for a tougher Vatican diplomatic stance as well.
“After much (I would say excessive) acquiescence by the Holy See, the Chinese government has shown no willingness to respect the essential nature of the Catholic Church, as it is peacefully accepted all over the civilized world,” the cardinal said. He argued that the Holy See, in its diplomatic efforts, should hew closely to the line set forth by Pope Benedict XVI in his letter to the Church in China, refusing to cooperate with the government-appointed representatives of the Catholic Patriotic Association and demanding full independence for the Church in China.
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