Friday, April 08, 2005

Hope for Christians in China

Startlingly, Italy allowed President Chen of Taiwan a visa to attend the Pope's funeral. China, outraged as usual, stormed off in a pique. The Chinese, forever looking for the chance to appear petty even at the funeral of a renown man of peace, refused to send a representative.

Meanwhile Cardinal Zen, the "independent" Catholic prelate of Hong Kong says that the Vatican is ready to recognize China and shun Taiwan. I am sure that is true, but the Vatican has put some pretty onerous conditions on this switch. China must allow truly independent clergy and must allow Catholics to worship freely, two conditions that this generation of Communists will never allow. The Communists may be a lot of things, but stupid is not one of them. They have well learned the lessons of the Solidarity Movement in Poland and the break up of the Soviet Union. If China were to allow freedom of worship by the Catholics, there would be so many Chinese flocking to Mass that the Communists would be powerless to stop or even turn the movement. So, the Communists will never agree to the stated conditions for the Vatican recognizing China and will instead continue to attempt to bully the Papacy much as China has bullied other small countries into switching recognition. Sadly for the Communists but joyously for the people of China, the Vatican is not Vanuatu. The Vatican will recognize China when the Chinese are free. Inviting Chen to the Vatican is yet another step towards that goal.

Another good move on the part of John Paul the Great was appointing a bishop in China. The name of this bishop is held in the heart of John Paul but is well known to believers in China. The communists would desperately like to know who it is so that they could turn him but he is a man of character and courage, who is entirely worthy of the office. The Catholics in China are blessed to have this man, and a Pope who had the courage to make such a selection.

God bless and have mercy on the Christian in China.