Why do they see problem where there is none and close their eyes to the problem, for which they are also responsible?

Concerns about a ventilated document “against” the Tridentine Mass (see my blog June 12, 2021) have come true, and the blow has been no less severe because it was foreseen, many tendentious generalizations in the documents hurt more than expected the hearts of many good people, who never gave the slightest cause to be suspected of not accepting the liturgical reform of the Council, much less not accepting the Council “Tout court”. Moreover they remain active members in their parishes.

It came as a bitter surprise to me personally that the “widespread” consultation did not reach me, a cardinal and once a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. During the years 2007-2009, moreover, I was bishop of Hong Kong and therefore responsible for the implementation of “Summorum Pontificum”, and until now, a well-known supporter of the group.

Not having known either the questionnaire or the responses to the questionnaire, I cannot judge, but only suspect that there was much misunderstanding (or perhaps even manipulation) in the process.

As I read the two documents I note (1) an incredible ease (or tendentiousness) in linking the desire to use the vetus ritus to the non-acceptance of the ritus novus and (2) in associating the non-acceptance of the liturgical reform (which often concerns mainly the way in which it was carried out with its many serious abuses) with a total and profound rejection of the Council itself (as matter of fact for those who reject the Council the diversity of the rite of the Mass is only a small corollary, so much so that the concession regarding the rite did not reverse the schism).

The Vatican authorities should ask themselves (and perhaps even make a thorough investigation) why the second phenomenon has persisted and perhaps (recently) even worsened.

The problem is not “which rite do people prefer?” but is “why don’t they go to Mass anymore?” Certain surveys show that half of the Christian population in Europe no longer believes in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, no longer believes in eternal life! Certainly we do not blame all this on the liturgical reform, but we just want to say that the problem is much deeper, we cannot evade the question: “Has not the formation of faith been lacking?” “Has not the great work of the Council been wasted?” Isn’t the root of evil that attitude of believing that everything can now be changed? Is it not that attitude of believing that this Council erases all previous ones and that the Tridentine Council is like the dirt accumulated on the “last judgement” of the Sistine Chapel (as a “liturgist” in our diocese put it)?

The Document obviously sees not only irregularities in the execution of Summorum Pontificum, but considers the very existence of a parallel rite to be an evil. Don’t paragraphs § 5 and § 6 of Art 3, Art 4 and 5 clearly wish for the death of the groups? But, even in that case, can’t the anti-Ratzinger gentlemen of the Vatican be patient to allow the Tridentine Mass to die only after the death of Benedict XVI instead of inflicting such humiliation on the venerable Pope Emeritus?

The disciples of Agostino Casaroli are not at all up to the standard of their master

Monsignor (and later Cardinal) A. Casaroli wrote “The Martyrdom of Patience,” I finally read it.

I always knew that he was an exemplary clergyman, a zealous priest (especially on weekends with his boys in the reformatory), but the misdeeds of his disciples aroused in me a negative image of their master. Reading the booklet corrected this image.

Casaroli knew that Vatican Ostpolitik was an impossible business. There is the essential incompatibility between the Catholic faith and communist ideology. The dialogue is only an almost desperate attempt to make some small breach in that almost impregnable wall.

Casaroli accepted an impossible mission, especially because he was swimming in the dark, at that time totalitarian regimes were able to close themselves completely (the iron curtain) and nothing leaked out of that reality of an absolute oppression.

He admired and had great respect for the heroes of the faith such as Card. Mindszenty and Card. Beran, even though he could not completely renounce all dialogue with atheist governments.

The dialogue with Czechoslovakia reached no conclusion, but this was not his fault. On the contrary, it is to his credit that he did not want a conclusion at any cost, when this would mean betraying the principles of faith.

The agreement with Hungary for the nomination of bishops, even if judged by some as too advantageous for the government, but at least formally had not renounced the principles of Catholic Ecclesiology: in fact, the right of initiative in choosing candidates for the episcopate remains in the hands of the Church.

The present Vatican diplomats have instead left the initiative in the hands of the atheist government and the pope has “only” the last word, with the predictable embarrassment of having to veto indefinitely.

There is another important fact: while Casaroli went to dialogue, Paul VI did not give up his right to raise his voice when the other side, while dialoguing, persists in oppressing the Church. Exemplary was the speech at the Catacombs of Domitila, where the Pope said: “The analogies between the Churches that today struggle and barely survive in the countries of the atheist-totalitarian regime with the Church of the ancient Catacombs are all too real.

Obviously this irritated the other side of the dialogue, but the pope did not renounce his right and duty to proclaim the truth, given also that from the dialogue nothing good was forthcoming, and of what ever eventually may be agreed upon there was not much to be trusted, for those who have no other principle of truth than their own gain, the agreements are worth the paper on which they are written.

After a brief interruption they return to dialogue, because it is to their advantage to show the world that even the Vatican trusts them as credible interlocutors.

Today, however, in order to obtain and maintain an agreement, the value of which is not even known (see recent interview with Bishop Gallagher), the Secretariat of State forces the Holy Father to say nothing about the tragic situation in China (especially Xinjiang and Hong Kong).

I discepoli di Agostino Casaroli non sono affatto all’altezza del loro maestro

Monsignor (e poi Cardinale) A. Casaroli ha scritto “Il martirio della pazienza”, l’ho letto finalmente.

Ho sempre saputo che era un ecclesiastico esemplare, un prete zelante (specialmente a fine settimana con i suoi ragazzi del riformatorio), ma i malefatti dei suoi disecpoli hanno suscitato in me un’imagine negativa del loro maestro. La lettura del libretto ha ridimensionato questa imagine.

Casaroli sapeva che l’Ostpolitik Vaticana era un’affare impossible. C’è l’essenziale incompatibilità tra la fede cattolica e l’ideologia comunista. Il dialogo è solo un quasi disperato tentativo di fare qualche piccola breccia in quel muro quasi inespugnabile.

Casaroli ha accettato una missione impossibile, specialmente perchè nuotava nel buio, allora i regimi totalitari erano capaci di chiudersi del tutto (la cortina di ferro) e niente trapelava della realtà di assoluta oppressione.

Egli ammirava ed aveva grande rispetto per gli eroi della fede come Card. Mindszenty e Card. Beran, anche se non poteva rinunciare ad ogni dialogo con i governi atei.

Il dialgo con la Cecoslovachia non riuscì a concludersi, ma ciò non è stato sua colpa, anzi è a suo onore il fatto che non ha voluto avere una conclusione ad ogni costo, quando ciò vorebbe dire tradire i principi di fede.

L’intesa con l’Ungheria per la nomina dei Vescovi, anche se giudicato da qualcuno come troppo vantagioso per il governo, ma almeno formalmente non aveva rinunciato ai principi dell’Ecclesiologia Cattolica: rimane infatti nelle mani della Chiesa il diritto di iniziativa nello scegliere candidati per episcopato.

I presenti diplomatici vaticani hanno invece lasciata l’iniziativa nelle mani del governo ateo ed al papa rimane “solo” l’ultima parola, con il prevedibile imbarazzo di dover dare il veto indefinitamente.

C’è un altro fatto importante: mentre Casaroli va a dialogare, Paolo VI non rinuncia al suo diritto di alzare la voce quando l’altra parte, mentre dialoga, persiste nell’opprimere la Chiesa. Esemplare è stato il discorso alle catacombe di Domitilla, da dove il Papa dice: “Sono fin troppo reali le anologie tra le Chiese che oggi lottano ed a mala pena sopravivono nei paesi di regime ateo-totalitario con la Chiesa delle antiche Catacombe”.

Ovviamente ciò iritò la controparte del dialogo, ma il papa non rinuncia al suo diritto e dovere di proclamare la verità, dato anche che dal dialogo si otteneva niente, e di quel che eventualmente si otteneva non c’era molto da fidarsi, per chi non ha altro principio di verità che la sua utilità, le intese valgono la carta su cui vengono scritte.

Dopo breve interruzione tornano al dialogo, perchè torna a loro vantaggio far vedere al mondo che perfino il Vaticano ha fiducia in loro come interlocutori credibili.

Oggi, invece, per ottenere e mantenere un accordo, di cui non si sa neanche che valore abbia (v. recente intervista di Mons. Gallagher), la Segreteria di Stato obbliga il santo Padre a non dire niente della tragica situazione in Cina (specialmente Xinjiang e Hong Kong).

Perchè vedono problema dove non c’è e si chiudono gli occhi davanti al problema, di cui sono anche essi responsabili?

Le preoccupazioni riguardo un ventilato documento “contro” la Messa Tridentina (v. mio blog 12 giugno 2021) sono avverate, ed il colpo non è stato meno duro perché previsto, molte generalizzazioni tendenziose nei documenti feriscono più del previsto il cuore di tanta gente buona, che mai ha dato la minima causa per essre sospettata di non accettare la riforma liturgica del Concilio e tanto meno di non accettare il Concilio “Tout court”. Inoltre essi rimangono membri attivi nelle loro parrocchie.

A me personalmente è stata una amara sorpresa il fatto che la “capillare” consultazione non sia arrivata a me, un cardinale e gìà membro della Congregazione del culto divino e della disciplina dei Sacramenti. Durante gli anni 2007-2009, poi, ero vescovo di Hong Kong e perciò responsabile dell’esecuzione del “Summorum Pontificum”, e finora, notoriamente sostenitore del gruppo.

Non avendo conosciuto nè il questionario nè le risposte al questionario, non posso giudicare, ma solo sospettare che ci sia stato molto malinteso (o forse anche manipolazione) nel processo.

Da come leggo i due documenti noto (1) una incredibile facilità (o tendenziosità) nel legare il desiderio dell’uso del vetus ritus alla non accettazione del ritus novus e (2) nell’associare la non accettazione della riforma liturgica (che sovente riguarda il modo in cui essa è stata eseguita con i suoi molti gravi abusi) con un totale e profondo rifiuto del Concilio stesso (per i fautori di tale rifiuto la diversità del rito della messa non è che un piccolo corollario, tanto è vero che la concessione riguardo il rito non ha invertito lo scisma).

Le autorità Vaticane dovrebbero domandarsi (e forse anche fare un capillare inchiesta) sul perchè del permanere e forse (recente) aggravarsi del secondo fenomeno.

Il problema non è “quale rito la gente preferisce?”, ma è “perchè non vanno più a Messa?”. Da certe inchieste risulta che la metà del popolo cristiano in Europa non crede più nella reale presenza di Gesù nella Eucaristia, non crede più nella vita eterna! Certamente non diamo la colpa alla riforma liturgica, ma si vuol solo dire che il problema è molto più profondo, non si può evadere la questione: “Non è forse mancata la formazione della fede?” “Non è forse stato sprecato il grande lavoro del Concilio?” La radice del male non è forse quell’attitudine di credere che ormai tutto si può cambiare? Non è forse quell’attitudine di credere che questo Concilio cancella tutti i precedenti e che il Concilio Tridentino sia come la sporcizia accumalata sull’affresco della Cappella Sistina (come ha affermato un “liturgista” nella nostra diocesi)?

Il Documento ovviamente non vede solo dei disordini nell’esecuzione del Summorun Pontificum, ma considera un male la stessa esistenza di un rito parallelo. I paragrafi § 5 e § 6 dell’art 3, l’art. 4 e 5 non auspicano chiaramente la morte dei gruppi? Ma, anche con questo, i signori anti-Ratzinger del Vaticano non possono pazientare che la Messa Tridentina muoia insieme con la morte di Benedetto XVI invece di umiliare in questo modo il venerando Papa Emerito?

What is the harm in making the extraordinary form of the Roman rite accessible to all?

I have read in the newspapers quite worrying news about possible restrictions to the celebration of the Tridentine Mass (what we now call the extraordinary form of the Roman rite).

I want to make it clear that I cannot be considered an extremist of this liturgical form and that I have worked actively, as a priest and as a bishop, for the liturgical reform after Vatican II, also trying to curb excesses and abuses, which unfortunately have not been lacking in my diocese. So I will not be accused of factiousness. But I cannot deny, in my experience in Hong Kong, the much good that has come from the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum and from the celebration of the Tridentine Mass. There is a faithful group here that for decades has participated in this form that comes to us from the liturgical riches of our Tradition, a group that has never created problems for the diocese and whose participants have never questioned the legitimacy of the renewed Mass. In the community that participates in the extraordinary form in Hong Kong, many young people have passed through, who through this Mass have rediscovered the sense of adoration and reverence that we owe to God, our Creator.

I have worked for liturgical reform, as I have said, but I cannot forget the Mass of my childhood, I cannot forget when as a child in Shanghai my father, a devout Catholic, took me to Mass every day and on Sundays he made me attend five Masses! I felt such reverence, I was so fascinated (and still am!) by the beauty of Gregorian chant, that I think that experience nourished my vocation to the priesthood, as it did for so many others. I remember the many Chinese faithful (and I don’t think all of them knew Latin…) participating in these liturgical ceremonies with great enthusiasm, just as I can now witness in the community that participates in the Tridentine Mass in Hong Kong.

The Tridentine Mass is not divisive; on the contrary, it unites us to our brothers and sisters of all ages, to the saints and martyrs of every time, to those who have fought for their faith and who have found in it inexhaustible spiritual nourishment.

(Translation by Bree A. Dail)

Open letter to Rev. Fr. Matthew Josekutty, CMF

Deputy Editor-in-chief of the Sunday Examiner

I gave you the dead-line 16 May, some kind person asked me to move it to 23 May, but what I find now is no apology at all.

Please, you can ignore me, but don’t take me for a fool.

You say: the two articles were neither the official stand of the Church nor of the Sunday Examiner, and you apologize for the confusion created.

What confusion? Have you made them to appear as the official stand of the Church? Have you made them to appear as the official stand of Sunday Examiner? No, you did not.

What you did and for which you have to apologize is the fact that you have willfully chosen to publish those two articles, one of which is an arrogant and preposterous insult to the two popes we so deeply venerate and love, and the other is a biased and untruthful criticism of a CDF statement, which is faithful to Catholic moral teaching that homosexual partnership can not be blessed as marriage, but in the same time (as you were forced to admit in your following piece of news) it calls the Christian community to welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations, because no one can be excluded from the care and love of the Church.

I am justified to say that you did it willfully and not as a casual overlook, because you had thousand possibilities of choice, but you chose those two poisonous pieces.

It betrays a seriously wrong mindset, for which you (or the one who has to take the responsibility for you) are to be considered as a dangerous person and unfit for the job, which is to give healthy food to the faithful who read this our paper.

Either you resign or I should warn the faithful to avoid reading the paper.

An enraged old man

Cardinal Joseph Zen

致薩拉樞機的公開信

親愛的薩拉樞機閣下:

聽到這個令人難以置信的新聞,我不禁感到痛心和憤怒:他們禁止了在聖伯多祿大殿舉行私人彌撒!?

若不是新冠病毒限制了出行,我會第一時間飛去羅馬,跪在聖瑪爾大之家(現在教宗的住所)門前,直至聖父把這法令撤回。

每當我來到羅馬,正正是在聖伯多祿大殿開的私人彌撒最能堅定我的信念:準時七點,我進入祭衣房〔我幾乎總會碰到原為總主教的保祿.薩爾迪樞機(Paolo Sardi),這位充滿聖德的人〕,有年輕神父會趨前,助我穿上祭披,然後他們會領我到一個祭台(在大殿內或在墓室中,但這對我毫無分別,我們就在聖伯多祿大殿!)我認為這些彌撒,是我生命中最充滿情感和情緒的祭獻,有時還在淚中為我們在中國活著的殉道者祈禱(他們如今已被羅馬教廷拋棄,並推入分裂教會的懷抱〔2020年6月那份文件也來自羅馬教廷,沒有署名和沒有經信理部審視〕。)

現在是時候處理國務院過大的權力了。不能再讓這些褻瀆的手插入全球信徒共享的家!就讓他們與謊言之父玩世俗的外交吧,就讓他們把國務院「做成了賊窩」吧,但千萬不要再來騷擾虔誠的天主子民!

「那時,正是黑夜!」(若13:30)

你的兄弟

陳日君

 

(由Lucia Cheung翻譯)

Open Letter to Cardinal Sarah

To His Eminence

Card. Robert Sarah

Dear Eminence,

Pain and indignation invade my heart to hear certain incredible news: They have forbidden private masses in St. Peter’s!?

If it were not for the restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus, I would take the first flight to come to Rome and get on my knees in front of the door of Santa Marta (now the Papal residence) until the Holy Father has this edict withdrawn.

It was the thing that strengthened my faith most every time I came to Rome: at exactly seven o’clock I would enter the sacristy (where I almost always would meet that holy man, the Archbishop, then Cardinal Paolo Sardi); a young priest would come forward and would help me to dress in the vestments, and then they take me to an altar (in the Basilica proper or in the grottoes, that would make no difference to me, we were in St. Peter’s Basilica!). I think these were the masses that, in my life, I celebrated with more fervor and emotion, sometimes with tears praying for our living martyrs in China (now abandoned and pushed into the bosom of the schismatic church by the “Holy See” [as that document of June 2020 was presented without signatures and without the revisions of the Congregation for Doctrine]).

It is time to reduce the excessive power of the Secretariat of State. Remove these sacrilegious hands from the communal home for all the Faithful in the world! Let them content themselves with playing worldly diplomacy with the father of lies. Let them make the Secretariat of State “a den of thieves”, But leave the devoted people of God alone!

“It was night!” (John 13:30)

Your Brother

Joseph Zen, SDB

Translation by Bree A. Dail

Lettera aperta al Cardinale Sarah

A Sua Eminenza

Card. Robert Sarah

Care Eminenza,

Dolore ed indignazione invadono il mio cuore a sentire certe incredibili notizie: hanno proibito le messe private in S. Pietro!?

Se non fosse per le restrizioni imposte dalla Coronavirus io prenderei il primo volo per venire a Roma e mettermi in ginocchio davanti alla porta di Santa Marta finchè il Santo Padre faccia ritirare quell’editto.

Era la cosa che più fortificava la mia fede ogni volta che venivo a Roma: alle sette precise si entra in sagrestia (incontravo quasi sempre il sant’uomo, l’Arcivescovo e poi Cardinale Paolo Sardi), un giovane prete si fa avanti e mi aiuta a vestire i paramenti, poi mi portano ad un altare (in Basilica o nelle grotte non fa differenza per me, siamo nella Basilica di San Pietro!). Penso che sono state le messe che, in vita mia, ho celebrato con più fervore e commozione, qualche volta con le lacrime pregando per i nostri martiri viventi in Cina (ora abbandonati e spinti nel seno della chiesa scismatica dalla “Santa Sede” [cosi si presentava quel documento del giugno 2020 senza firme e senza la revisione della Congregazione per la Dottrina]).

È momento di ridimensionare lo strapotere della Segreteria di Stato. Via le mani sacrileghe dalla casa commune di tutti i fedeli del mondo! Si accontentino di giuocare la diplomazia mondana con il padre della menzogna. Facciano pure della Segreteria di Stato “un covo di ladri”, Ma lascino in pace il devoto popolo di Dio!

“Era notte!” (Giovanni 13:30)

suo fratello

Giuseppe Zen, SDB

人似浪花

兩個月前(一月三日)我紀念了畢少懷神父。農曆除夕我也紀念了他和我生命中另外三位大恩人。已又是三個星期了。

這幾天不是去法庭就是去監獄,還有什麼好做?其實要做的事一大堆,不過最有意義的還是和那些什麼也做不了的兄弟姊妹站在一起。

雖忙得不亦樂乎,每日基本的精神糧食還是不能缺的(讀經、祈禱)。但「一日一蘋果」卻幾乎失守了。

今天,三月三日,對住《名采》頁的那堆美味的文章祇能隨便揀一篇點下心了,似偷食般的快快看了馮先生的「人似浪花」竟感慨無窮。什麼事呀?大概是因為幾分鐘前得知房志榮神父逝世了的消息吧!應該是那句「要記住的人,始終無法忘掉」。

歌詞說:「人似浪花,片刻失去,昨天的你會否相聚?明天路向不知道望哪方去。」

我有幸認識過房神父,也不祇「像流水般經過」。港、台兩地相隔一海,但我們算有過來往,他曾讚過香港教區的三位一體:胡、陳、湯;他曾慷慨費心修飾我的一些譯文;他不祇博學,更是一位有情有理的啟蒙者,他是我的良師好友。「明天路向?會否相聚?」當然啦,在天父家中。

這幾天,我曾想還是回天父家更好,從那裡大概更能幫到這麼多在這涕泣之谷的兄弟姊妹。但我不是曾答應他們要和惡勢力鬥長命嗎?等着能早日帶龔、鄧兩位前輩的靈柩榮歸祖國嗎?

主啊!您為我選擇吧!