They are adding insult to injury.
I don’t mind the ridiculous innuendo obviously referred to me of ‘political reading of the facts’ but it is cruel to inflict all these ridiculous so-called ceremonies on the old man unjustly forced to renounce to his office in favor of a formerly excommunicated ‘bishop’ and long-time defiant of church discipline.
Gianni Valente of Vatican Insider repeatedly makes the point that Bishop Zhuang Jianjian of Shantou Is not even underground, but then why you need to stage a solemn ceremony to declare that now he is recognized as ‘bishop’ though ‘emeritus’ (that is a kind of posthumous rehabilitation)?
Nowhere in the world there is such a ceremony. There may be a thanksgiving mass where the priests and faithful of the diocese have an opportunity to show their gratitude towards the retiring bishop. But in the case of Shantou the priests of Bishop Zhuang were banned from attending?! And I guess the faithful present were coming from other dioceses.
What normally would happen in such instance is to hold a ceremony of Installation of the “New” Bishop, where the Bulla (appointment by the Holy Father) is read and shown to people. I don’t hear any news in this sense. My suspicion is that the Vatican doesn’t dare to do such things which may irritate Beijing Government. Have they not given slaps into the face of our Holy Father immediately after the solemn declaration of the Historical breakthrough ‘the Chinese communists have recognized the Pope as the leader of the Catholic Church’? The day after the signing of the agreement the spokesman of the Patriotic Association and of the Bishops Conference came out to reaffirm the principle of an Independent Church and the promise to follow the leadership of the Party.
They forced the Pope to accept the two guys they sent to represent the Chinese bishops at the Synod.
They celebrated solemnly the 60th anniversary of the first illegitimate episcopal ordination.
May be the ‘historical breakthrough’ was a misunderstanding. The communists want to see our people in the Vatican on their knees.