Hong Kong's Cardinal Joseph Zen asks Pope Francis not to visit China [‘you would be manipulated']

From the South China Morning Post:
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Hong Kong’s outspoken former bishop, has asked Pope Francis not to visit China, saying the pontiff would be “manipulated”.

Improving ties between the Vatican and Beijing has given rise to speculation the pope could reach out to China.

But Zen told the Corriere della Sera, an Italian newspaper, in an interview: “I would tell him now: ‘Don’t come, you would be manipulated.’”

“The few courageous [Catholics] could not meet [the Pope], and the Communist Party would show him the illegitimate bishops, including the three excommunicated ones,” the 82-year-old said in the interview.

Interesting…so when was the last time you’ve ever heard a bishop ask the Holy Father not to visit?

I don’t think the Chinese, or any government, can manipulate this pope. I also think the Vatican knows the difference between the bishops in the underground Church and those in the state approved church. I hope the Holy Father does go to China; just his presence in that country would do more evangelizing than handing out enough bibles and catechisms for every man, woman and child who live there. :wink:

Who wants a Chinese Pope?

This line in the article;

“The few courageous [Catholics] could not meet [the Pope], and the Communist Party would show him the illegitimate bishops, including the three excommunicated ones,” the 82-year-old said in the interview.

I think it’s true, but also, if the few true Catholics came out to meet the Pope, they would be arrested by the government after he left.

China is still ruled by an atheistic communist government,


Yes, any true Catholic who is in union with the pope by being a member of the underground Church could not risk greeting the pope with enthusiasm, since the Chinese government does NOT recognize the pope as head of the Catholic Church in China. No, the government has formed its own “Catholic Patriotic Association” which does not recognize the pope’s authority.

It’s not a matter of manipulating the pope. The government would use the opportunity for propaganda photo ops and articles favorable to the CPA, not the pope.

I hope Pope Francis will visit my country one day,but Cardinal Zen is right,communists are good at manipulating people.I think leaders of Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association won’t welcome the pope,too.

Seem to remember John Paul II naming a Chinese Cardinal in secret. There was a Latin phrase that went with that that essentially translated to “keeping it close to his chest”. Anyone remember that story? And did that Cardinal’s name ever come to light?

Can’t imagine the Chinese government would allow him to meet with prominent real Catholics, only the Patriotic Catholics would be allowed. Further, the Pope wouldn’t be permitted to mention things like Tiananmen in '89 or to offer criticisms of Chinese family planning. Think Pope Francis would have a better reception in Indonesia than in China, believe it or not… Not saying he’d have a good reception in Indonesia, only that it would better than China.

The phrase for naming a cardinal in secret is “in pectore.” Here’s a 2006 article about some cardinals named “in pectore.”

I have the same fear of manipulation (by the administration, by the media, by the TV talking heads) for any visit of the Pope to the U. S. The Holy Father can’t control any post-meeting comments politicians would make about what he supposedly said or agreed with. We’ve already seen this when the president went to the Vatican.

First, where did the article mention a Chinese pope? Where did you get that?

Second, what would be wrong with a Chinese pope?

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