2016年為國內教會將帶來什麼?(寫在2015年12月31日)

關於國內的教會我已很久沒有在我的博客上發表意見了,當然不是因為太忙(多麼忙也不能不關心「我們的」教會),也不是因為害怕我的意見不受歡迎(按我的年紀,我應該不擔心任何得失了),倒是覺得:「如果能報喜,不是更好嗎?」可惜,我的命運比較像耶肋米亞先知的;等了這麼久,還是沒有喜訊可報,聖誕期及新年來臨,普天同慶的時刻,我的歎息不免有些不合時宜,但我不能做一隻不吠的狗呀!

(A) 記得去年年初文匯報曾興高采烈地報告說「中梵關係不久就會有進展」,跟著教廷國務卿也說「前途充滿希望,兩邊都有意對話」。那時我對這股突如其來的樂觀熱風不免有所懷疑。我真見不到有什麼根據讓我們可以樂觀。千多間聖堂的十字架被拆(有的地方連聖堂也被拆了),這事發展到今日,我們已不能一廂情願地以為這是個別地方官員的過份熱心。幾間修院已不運作,北京全國修院的修生被逼書面許諾接納獨立自辦教會的原則,接納和非法的主教共祭(否則讀完課程也得不到文憑)。政府不斷鞏固一個客觀上已和普世教會分裂的教會,利誘威逼神職人員作出種種違反教義與教規的事,也就是負賣自己的良心,自己的尊嚴。

(B) 這半年來,有些事情發生了,看來是好事,但也有令人不太興奮的一面。周至教區吳欽敬主教祝聖後十年終於就職了,但看來他也付出了一些代價:被逼妥協。(見我7月14日的博客)

不久後,安陽張銀林助理主教被祝聖了,連慣常很謹慎的天主教媒體也非常鼓舞,說這祝聖事項很「順利」,更強調這是三年來中梵接觸後的第一次,又是方濟各任職教宗以來的第一次。說這是一個「好的開始」,這才使我害怕。這次祝聖的模式包括「民主」選舉,禮儀中公讀所謂主教團的任命狀,有襄禮主教的身份不清不楚,如果這就是即將達成的協議,那末一切都還停留在三年前的「不正狀態」,值得我們高興嗎?(見我9月7日的博客)

(C) 十月底有大新聞說:梵方代表團到北京和中方又見過面了。教廷什麼細節都不透露。倒是韓德力神父大寫文章(他什麼都知道)。他說:「他們沒有討論一些敏感的問題,如在監獄裡的保定蘇主教,被他們免職的上海馬主教。(這些問題不是該優先解決的嗎?這些問題也不解決,怎能證實中方的誠意?)。他們集中討論了任命主教的問題(是什麼方案?是安陽模式嗎?)梵方代表會面後還去拜訪了李山主教及在全國修院的馬英林「主教」(韓神父還以這是中方的善意表示,我怕是中方施了壓力逼梵方「叩頭」)。」

稍後教廷國務卿終於也承認十月中有過「見面」,並說「談得很好,希望最後會達成協議」。在記者們追問「是否真有進展」下,他卻回答說:「有對話也就是好事了」。看來還未達成協議。

(D) 究竟目下談論的是怎麼樣的方案,我這個處在邊緣的老樞機無從知道,看來我沒有資格過目,沒有資格過問。

亞洲新聞社主編最近寫的一篇文章「北京,宗教迎來嚴冬」(12月11日)說「據從中國獲悉的消息:中方在會談中似乎要求教廷讓中國政府所承認的主教團(全權)負責任命按照民主方式選出的(也就是按照愛國會建議的)主教候選人。聖座要批准此任命,祇有在「嚴重」案例的情況下可以提出否定意見,還要說明理由,一旦聖座的理由「不充份」,中國主教團可以無視聖座的否決,繼續執行自己的任命。如果這項消息準確的話,中方這樣的要求能被梵方接受嗎?這樣的方案還尊重教宗對主教們的任命權嗎?教宗能簽這樣的協議嗎?(教宗本篤曾說:「教宗任命主教的權是教會創辦人耶穌交給教會的,不是教宗私人的權利,他也不能讓這個權給任何人!」)

教廷的高官們知道在中國選舉是怎樣的事嗎?他們知道地上主教團不祇不合法,而且根本不存在嗎?愛國會和主教團(一會一團)根本是一體,而主持會議的是政府官員(有相為證,政府已不覺得需要掩飾,他們赤裸裸地在「辦教」)!簽署這樣的協議就是把真實的委任權完全交給一個無神政府了。

比較起來這模式比那所謂「越南模式」還不如,因為越南模式假設是由越南教會,真正的越南教會,採取第一步行動,不是像在中國由政府以愛國會名義領導教會。在共產權下的東歐,至少在波蘭和捷克斯拉夫,也是由教會採取第一步,而讓政府可以提出否決。保證了教會採取第一步,那末就算政府否決一百次,提名者和最後任命者還是教會。政府堅持否決也祇能拖延僵局,教會還能堅持提出合適的候選人。一個無神的政府怎麼知道誰真適合做教會的牧者?

當然,如果教會不堅持自己的立場,而配合政府堅持的要求,也可能負賣教宗的任命權。這可能發生嗎?András Fejerdy 在一篇文章裡說:『因為教廷認為「有被祝聖了的主教才能保證信友們領聖事的機會」。在1964的匈梵協議中接納了一個解決辦法,這辦法雖然不正式違反教宗任命主教的權,但實際上讓政府在選主教的事上有決定性的影響。』天亞社由四川成都最近傳出的消息是:教廷在梵方代表團在北京和中方對話後不久批准了中方在2014年五月選出的主教候選人。這不是「雖然不正式違反教宗任命主教的權,但實際上讓政府在選主教的事上有了決定性的影響嗎?

(E) 對話集中討論任命主教的問題,但待解決的問題多得不得了,教廷幾時才處理這些問題,怎樣解決?

亞洲新聞社主編的那篇文章裡說「據從中國獲悉的消息,似乎北京仍然堅持聖座承認全體官方教會主教(包括非法的和被絕罰的)」。我不免要問:由政府出面要求,不必有關人士表示懺悔?被絕罰的不祇被赦免,也被追認為合法主教?也不必懺悔?天主的慈悲到這個地步嗎?信友們從此要服從這樣的主教嗎?

其實要清理的東西多得很。非法的甚至絕罰的主教擅自使用聖事權(包括祝聖執事和司鐸)和行政權(調動神父),教廷似乎沒有出聲指責。合法的主教一次、兩次,甚至三次、四次參與非法祝聖主教(沒有公開申明他們已向聖座認罪或得教宗寬赦)又參與全國天主教代表大會。梵方代表團離北京後不久,中方就組織了一個全國大規模的所謂教會領導的朝聖行動,實際上逼合法、非法和絕罰的主教一起共祭。這些客觀上都是裂教的行為。政府已成功牽著地上多數的主教鼻子行,使他們已失了尊嚴,難以翻身。教廷如果和政府簽協議而不清理這些事,為信徒們的良知將是一個嚴重的打擊。

(F) 為政府,我們教會的地下團體當然形同不存在。梵方也遷就對方,在談判中不提不問嗎?為「顧全大體」割棄了那些我們的兄弟姊妹嗎?他們是教會健康的肢體呀!當然地下也有他們的問題,而且在許多教區教廷不給他們主教,沒有主教,遲早會亂。教廷怕觸怒北京壓制地下的聲音,這不是自殺嗎?

在最近談判中不提十多年來坐牢的蘇主教,不提三年多被軟禁的馬主教,因為屬於敏感的問題?!有曾長期坐監的教友及家屬來羅馬朝聖,紀念六十年前大教難的爆發,教廷要他們低調,「過去的過去了,向前看吧!」?!

在外交上,地下的教會是教廷手中的牌,自我閹割了還有什麼東西可以使對方讓步?地上的,他們全面控制了,地下的,由教廷為他們控制,他們還需要什麼?他們祇需要教宗簽個字,祝福這個「中國教會」(他們根本不是想談判的!)簽協議後是不是要地下的都到地上來,服從那些曾長期是非法 - 曾被絕罰的 - 現在一下子不必他們認罪 - 靠政府的壓力 - 被認為合法的主教們?

(G) 使我不能放心的是教廷國務卿還沉醉在「東方政策」的「奇蹟」中。他在去年一次演講中讚美當時的Casaroli樞機成功為東歐共產國家任命了主教。他說在物色主教人選時教會是找一些人做牧者,不是找那些「逢政府必反」「像鬥獸場的鬥士好鬥」「喜歡在政治舞台出風頭的」,我怕他在影射當時捍衛教會權利的教會英雄如波蘭的維辛斯基樞機,匈牙利的閔真蒂樞機,捷克斯拉夫的Beran樞機。那是多麼可怕的想法!希望我懂錯了他。

如果那協議簽成了,天下可以太平了吧!但我不會參加慶祝這新的教會的成立,我會消失,我會去隱修、祈禱、做補贖。願教宗本篤原諒我沒有成功做他希望我成功做的事。願教宗方濟原諒我這個在邊緣的中國樞機給他寫了這麼多的信,給他添了這麼多麻煩。

諸聖嬰孩被殺害了。天使叫若瑟帶瑪利亞及嬰孩逃走避難。今天我們的外交家恐怕會勸若瑟去和黑落德談判吧!

補充(譯自意文稿)

請不要以為我把地上地下分成黑白。地上大多數神職和教友們都是忠於教宗的。有些為了地上教會不正常的狀態感到痛苦;很多神父、教友對某些牧者的懦弱或不義感到心痛,有時是他們努力阻止了那些牧者跌得更深,有時一個團結的司鐸團和忠信的教友也能保護他們的牧者免受更甚的欺侮。

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What will 2016 bring the Church in China 

by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiun

I have not spoken about the Church in China on my blog for some time now. Certainly not because I am too busy to do so (busy as I may be, I will never lose interest of our Church in China), not because I fear criticism of my ideas (at my age I have nothing to gain or lose).

No, the problem is that I’d like to give some good news, but, as you will note, my fate is that of the prophet Jeremiah. I have searched at length for some good news, but have found none. I realise that during this season of Christmas and the New Year, my complaints are somewhat “extra chorum”, but I cannot be a dog without a bark.

A.

I remember that at the beginning of last year the newspaper Wen Wei Po announced jubilantly that “relations between China and the Vatican will soon have a good development.” Soon after, the Vatican Secretary of State said that “the prospects are promising, there is a desire for dialogue on both sides.” I had my doubts about this unexpected wave of optimism, I saw no basis for this optimism. More than a thousand crosses were removed from the top of the churches (in some cases the churches themselves have been destroyed). After so long, we can no longer delude ourselves that this was anything beyond an episode of some local official’s exaggerated zeal. Several seminaries have been closed. Students of the National Seminary in Beijing were forced to sign a declaration of loyalty to the Independent Church, promising also to concelebrate with illegitimate bishops (otherwise they would not receive a diploma at the end of their studies). The Government is continuously strengthening a church that now objectively is already separated from the universal Catholic Church; with enticements and threats they induce the clergy to perform acts contrary to the doctrine and discipline of the Church, denying their conscience and their dignity.

B.

In the latter half of 2015, there were some promising events which however failed to live up to expectations. Bishop Wu Qin-jing of Zhouzhi, ten years after his episcopal ordination, was finally installed as bishop, but has yet to pay the price of a compromise (see my blog of 14 July 2015).

Shortly after, Bishop Zhang Yinlin of Anyang was ordained. Even some usually cautious Catholic media rejoiced saying that everything had gone well. They pointed out that this ordination is the first after the last three years of contacts between Rome and Beijing, and also the first in Pope Francis’ pontificate, presenting the event as a good start.

It is this last statement that scares me, because the process included a “democratic election”, the reading of a “decree of appointment by the (so-called) Episcopal Conference of China” and the canonically un-clear position of a co-consecrating bishop. A similarly abnormal process took place three years ago, does it deserve our rejoicing? (See my blog of 7 September 2015).

C.

In October comes the big news: A Vatican delegation was in Beijing, there was a meeting. The Holy See gave no news of it. Father Heyndrickx Jeroom broke the news (of course he knows everything). He says: “They did not discuss sensitive issues like Bishop Su Zhimin of Baoding still in detention, or such as Bishop Ma Daqin of Shanghai to house arrest for more than three years (but these problems should not be resolved before any negotiations? Otherwise obviously there is no goodwill on the part of Beijing). They focused on the issue of appointing bishops (of which model? Like with Anyang?). After the meeting, the delegation paid a visit to Bishop Li Shan of Beijing and the National Seminary where they met with Ma Ying Lin (Father Heyndrickx said that these are signs of goodwill on the part of Beijing, I think instead that they were acts of homage imposed by Beijing)“.

Later the Vatican Secretary of State also confirmed that there was a meeting and that it was “very positive” and this “would be part of a process that will hopefully end with an agreement.” Pressed by some journalists as to whether there was real progress, Cardinal Parolin responded: “The fact that we speak is already positive.” It seems that there is no agreement in sight as of yet.

D.

So what is the formula now under discussion for the appointment of bishops? As an old Cardinal out on the peripheries, I have no way of knowing, let alone guessing.

A recent article “A winter of darkness for religions in China” by Bernardo Cervellera on AsiaNews, says: “From information that has arrived from China it would seem that Beijing’s proposal is : Vatican approval of the government recognized Council of Bishops and approval of the competency of this Council (and not the Pope) in the appointment of new candidates to the episcopacy who will be “democratically” elected (in short according to the suggestions of the Patriotic Association). The Holy See must approve the Council’s appointment and has a weak veto only in “severe” cases, which must be justified if used. If the Holy See’s justifications are considered “insufficient”, the Council of Bishops may decide to proceed anyway”.

If this information is accurate, can the Holy See accept the claims of the Chinese counterpart? Does this approach still respect the true authority of the Pope to appoint bishops? Can the Pope sign such an agreement? (Pope Benedict said: “The authority of the Pope to appoint bishops is given to the church by its founder Jesus Christ, it is not the property of the Pope, neither can the Pope give it to others”).

Do our officials in Rome know what an election is in China? Do they know that the so-called Episcopal Conference is not only illegitimate, but simply does not exist? What exists is an organism that is called “One Association and One Conference”, namely the Patriotic Association and the Bishops’ Conference always work together as one body, which is always chaired by government officials (there are pictures to prove it, the Government does not even try more to keep up appearances, it starkly flaunts the fact that they now manage religion!). Signing such an agreement means delivering the authority to appoint bishops into the hands of an atheist government.

This scheme is often compared to a (poorly defined) Vietnamese Model, but it is much worse. The Vietnamese model is based on an initiative that began with the Church in Vietnam, the true Catholic Church in Vietnam. In China on the other hand, the so-called Association and Conference hide the reality that it is the Government calling the shots.

Even in Eastern Europe of the past, such as in Poland and Czechoslovakia, it was the Church that took the initiative and then gave the Government veto power. In doing so, even if the government vetos a proposal for the hundredth time, it is still the Church that presents a candidate and makes the appointment. If the Government insists on a veto, it will only prolong the impasse, and it will still allow the Church time to look for a suitable candidate. But it is unthinkable to leave the initial proposal in the hands of an atheist Government who cannot possibly judge the suitability of a candidate to be a bishop. Obviously, if the Church gives in to pressure from the government, the only result – despite proclamations to the contrary – is that it will have sold out the pontifical right to appoint bishops. Can this happen? According to an article written by a certain András Fejerdy: “For pastoral reasons – that is, because the full administration of the sacraments requires completely consecrated bishops – the Holy See believed that the completion of the Hungarian Bishops’ Conference was so urgent that it accepted a solution that formally did not upset the canonical principle of free appointment, but that in practice gave the regime a decisive influence in choosing the candidates”.

UCAN News reports recent news from Chengdu (Sichuan): “Shortly after the visit of the Vatican delegation to Beijing, the Holy See approved the episcopal candidate elected in May 2014”. Is this not exactly a case of “not upsetting the canonical principle of free appointment, but …in practice giving the regime a decisive influence in choosing the candidates “?

E.

It is said that dialogue focused on the issue of the appointment of bishops, but there are many other pending problems, when and how will they be resolved?

The aforementioned AsiaNews article stated, again based on information received from China: “Beijing (demands) the Holy See’s recognition of all the official bishops, even the illegitimate and excommunicated ones.” I wonder: is it only the government that makes these demands, without repentance of those concerned? Will the excommunicated only be released from excommunication or even recognized as bishops? Even without any act of repentance? Has the mercy of God come to this? Will the faithful be forced to obey these bishops?

So much remains to be resolved.

Illegitimate, even excommunicated bishops have abused the sacramental power (including ordination of deacons and priests) and judicial (assigning offices) and the Holy See seems to be without rebuke for them.

Legitimate bishops who participated in illegitimate episcopal ordinations, one, two, even three, four times, without ever having asked for forgiveness, or having received forgiveness from the Holy Father. Also those who took part in the so-called Assembly of Representatives of Chinese Catholics (the clearest symbol of a schismatic church).

Shortly after the Vatican delegation left Beijing, the government organized a large gathering of Church leaders, forcing on that occasion a celebration of all the bishops, legitimate, illegitimate and excommunicated. These are all objectively schismatic acts. The government now can string along a large number of bishops, resulting in an irrecoverable loss of dignity. If the Holy See signed some agreement with the Government without clarifying all these things, it will cause a severe wound to the conscience of the faithful.

F.

Obviously our underground communities are non-existent for the Government. But now is even the Vatican ignoring them in negotiations, to appease their Chinese counterparts? To “save the day” will we abandon our brothers and sisters? But they are the healthy limbs of the Church! (Of course, they too have their problems, especially when dioceses remain without bishops, which can only lead to disorder). Is silencing the underground community to please the government not a form of suicide?

In the recent negotiations there has been no mention of the case of Msgr. James Su Zhimin in prison for 20 years, Nor of Msgr. Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai under house arrest for more than three years, because these issues have been deemed “too sensitive” !?

In early September, some of the Shanghai faithful who were in prison for a long time, along with their relatives, went on a pilgrimage to Rome to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the outbreak of the great persecution on September 8, 1955. They were told: “Do not make any noise, the past is past, we have to look forward”!?

On a diplomatic level, the underground communities are the ace in the Holy See’s deck; if we amputate these limbs, what have we left in diplomatic standings to induce the other party to agree to our terms? By now, the government controls nearly all the official communities, while the underground communities are kept at bay by the Holy See. What do they still need to come to terms? They only need the signature of the Holy Father, a blessing, for this “Chinese Church.” Beijing has no intention of negotiating, only making demands. After such a signature they will force the faithful of the underground community to come out and surrender to those who were illegitimate bishops for a long time, maybe even excommunicated, but now, with a clean slate, without even showing any repentance, leaning only on the Government for their legitimacy, have become bishops in their own right.

G.

What makes me restless is the sight of our Eminent Secretary of State still intoxicated by the miracles of Ostpolitik. In a speech last year, at a Memorial for Card. Casaroli, he praised the success of its predecessor in having secured the existence of the Church hierarchy in the communist countries of Eastern Europe. He says: “In choosing candidates for the episcopate, we choose shepherds and not people who systematically oppose the regime, people who behave like gladiators, people who love to grandstand on the political stage.” I wonder: Who had he in mind while making this description? I fear that he was thinking of a Cardinal Wyszynski, a Cardinal Mindszenty, a Cardinal Beran. But these are the heroes who bravely defended the faith of their people! It terrifies me to realize such mindset, and I sincerely hope that I am wrong.

On the day that an agreement is signed with China there will be peace and joy, but do not expect me to participate in the celebrations of the beginning of this new Church. I disappear, I will start a monastic life to pray and do penance. I will ask the forgiveness of Pope Benedict for not being able to do what he was hoping that I could do. I will ask Pope Francis to forgive this old Cardinal from the peripheries for disturbing him with so many inappropriate letters.

The innocent children were killed, the angel told Joseph to take Mary and the Child and flee to safety. But today would our diplomats advise Joseph to go and humbly beg for dialogue with Herod !?

P.S.

Please let it not be said that I believe the only line of distinction is that of “official and underground”. The vast majority of the clergy and lay people who belong to the official community are faithful to the authority of the Holy Father. Many are suffering enormously because of the abnormal situation of their Church, they are saddened by the weakness or lack of rectitude of their pastors, sometimes they even try to prevent them from falling further. In many cases a united clergy and a faithful people can defend their pastor from further bullying from the Authorities.

關於 oldyosef

天主教香港教區榮休主教

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