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Cardinal Joseph Zen Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
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Cardinal Zen pans new Vatican statement on China: ‘saying nothing with many words’

Patrick B. Craine Patrick B. Craine Follow Patrick

September 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – After the announcement this morning of the Vatican's new "provisional agreement" with China, Hong Kong's Cardinal Joseph Zen has issued a statement criticizing it for "saying nothing with many words."

In the agreement, the Church will now officially recognize the bishops of the “Patriotic Church” set up by the government. Few other details were given.

The cardinal has previously warned the planned deal would be a “complete surrender” that “giv[es] the flock into the mouths of wolves.” He called this week for Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's Secretary of State, to resign over it.

Read Cardinal Zen's full statement:

A masterpiece of inventiveness in saying nothing with many words

The communiqué of the Holy See could be reduced to these words: “The Holy See has signed an Agreement with the People’s Republic of China on the appointment of Bishops.”

To say that the agreement is provisional without specifying the duration of its validity is saying nothing.

All agreements may be said to be provisional, because one of the two parties may, for any reason, demand a revision or even annulment of the Agreement. But until that happens, the agreement, though provisional, remains the valid agreement.

The agreement is about the appointment of Bishops. That has been repeated many times by the Holy See. So after so long hard work (and so long our anxious expectation) what are the conclusions? No word! (It is a secret!?)

Then what is the message this communiqué conveys to the faithful in China? “Trust us!” Accept the agreement!” (?)

With the agreement the Government can tell the Catholics: “obey to us! We are in agreement with your Pope!” (?)

Trust, accept and obey without knowing what to accept, what to obey? To obey “Tamquam cadaver” in the spirit of St. Ignatius?

In the “appointment of bishops is also included the legitimization of the seven? The bishops in the underground are going to be reappointed with the presentation by the Government, or otherwise they should be satisfied with the recognition by the Government as bishops “emeriti”?

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