Some Chinese Catholics in China’s underground church are resisting Rome’s plan to reconcile with Beijing, and give the Chinese government rights to name bishops:
The underground Catholics at Mindong are in the firing line and more than 1,000 turned up in act of strength and defiance at last Wednesday’s service.
Their Vatican-appointed Bishop, Guo Xijin, was detained at the start of holy week by Chinese authorities. He will not be celebrating Easter mass and has been taken on an “enforced holiday”.
So far the Chinese Government has appointed seven Bishops but up to 40 Rome-backed underground Bishops operate without Government approval.
Privately the Mindong parishioners told the ABC “they can’t survive without Bishop Guo and they want him back”. They have prayed for his safe and speedy return.
For the moment Father Zhu Ruci, Bishop Guo’s deputy, has taken on the church leadership.
“We follow the Pope and the Vatican so the Government doesn’t recognise us and regards us as illegal. But now we’re concerned about compromises the Vatican may make,” he said.
“We hope they don’t sacrifice us and betray us for this deal.”
It has been reported that the Vatican asked Bishop Guo to stand aside for China-appointed Bishop Zhan Silu.
Father Zhu Ruci said he was adamant they would not accept any deal that takes away their rightful leaders and religious freedoms.
He has already been jailed twice for a total of three years and is prepared to go to prison again for his beliefs.
“I’d rather go to prison. When I was in prison, I told them, ‘If you want me to change my belief, or to abandon my principle, I have to say sorry I can’t’,” he said.
You expect persecution from a communist government. You don’t expect that the Church would aid and abet it.
More news from China: the Vatican’s new best friend, the Chinese government, has just banned the sale of Bibles . China is going to get a communist-friendly Bible:
According to an official document released by China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs, one of the biggest tasks in the coming years is to enhance “Chinese-style Christianity and theology” by reinterpreting and retranslating the Bible.
The document, titled Principle for Promoting the Chinese Christianity in China for the Next Five Years (2018-2022), was formally launched in Nanjing in eastern China on March 28. Some social media users said Bibles started coming down from the websites on March 30.
The date coincides with a massive spike in the keyword search “Bible” on Chinese social media platform Weibo the day before, followed by a sharp nose dive to zero on April 1, when the word may have been censored.
And so, it will be the communist Bible that will be read at services of the communist-run (with Rome’s approval) Catholic Church.
Russian Orthodoxy survived all its bishops being KGB agents, so Chinese Catholicism can get through this too. But it’s hard to understand Rome bending its knee to Caesar Xi like this.