Cardinal Zen lambasts 'evil' Vatican-Beijing deal on bishops

Local | 9 Feb 2018 6:14 pm

Retired Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen has hit out at a proposed deal between the Vatican and Beijing, describing it as "evil" agreement.

Reports had said that Vatican was moving towards a pact with Beijing, ending years of stand-off, which would give the Chinese government a say in the appointment of future bishops on the mainland.

Speaking at a press conference, Cardinal Zen said proposed deal essentially strips the pope of his powers, and allows the Communist government to manipulate the church, RTHK reports. 

Cardinal Zen also hit back at a Vatican source, who argued that the proposed deal would give Catholics more freedom on the mainland, saying that all it means is that the faithfuls will be in a "bigger cage.''

He said though the underground church is not recognised by the government and faces prosecution, they still enjoy some freedom. "Why should the Vatican force them into a cage?" he asked. 

"So why you should accept a bad agreement which destroys little freedom that we have to get nothing from them? That's is silly," the retired archbishop said.

He said he breached confidentiality and quoted Pope Francis as saying he was "surprised” about the details of the deal because he wanted the public to know that it is the Holy See which is selling out mainland Catholics, and not the pope himself. 

He said he hopes Pope Francis will give the deal very careful consideration, and decide against "surrendering" to the Chinese government".

Zen earlier this month published a Facebook post that revealed details of the proposed deal. The Vatican had criticized Zen over it, saying he fostered "confusion and controversy.'' -Photo: RTHK

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