"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cardinal Zen: Vatican and China ‘at war’

THE Holy See Friday excommunicated Father Joseph Huang Bingzhang, who was ordained as Bishop of Shantou without apostolic mandate on July 14.

This is the second latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication publicly declared on an illicit bishop in the Church of China since the first such ordination on July 4. As in the first one, today’s statement said the Holy See does not recognize the illicitly ordained prelate and that he has no authority to govern the Catholic community of the diocese.

The statement said the Holy See has asked Father Huang not to accept ordination on “numerous occasions” and had informed him that he could not be approved, inasmuch as the diocese already has a legitimate bishop. In light of this, the statement said the priest has incurred the sanctions laid down by canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law.

As for the eight consecrating bishops, the statement said the Holy See knows some bishops expressed their unwillingness to take part in the ordination and showed some signs of resistance, which the document says is “meritorious before God.”

The statement also said the Vatican appreciates the Chinese Catholics who have defended their pastors and shared their suffering.

Pope Benedict XVI “deplores the manner in which the Church in China is being treated and hopes that the present difficulties can be overcome as soon as possible,” the document concluded.

Meanwhile, in a press conference on July 14 during his visit to New York, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun said “it’s a war,” when characterizing the current standoff between the Vatican and Beijing.

The retired bishop of Hong Kong said he hopes Beijing is made aware of the problem in this new confrontation over the Shantou incident and comes to dialogue with the Vatican so that both sides can find a resolution to the situation.

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