“Despite religious repression, Sino-Vatican deal is significant”??? 「儘管受到宗教壓制，中梵協議意義重大」???
It is a sad surprise for me to read an article, on La Croix International, by Fr. Gianni Criveller, my long time friend.
It looks like a case of split personality.
In the first half of the article I recognize the serious scholar, well informed both of history and of recent facts.
But in its second part the article raises in me so many questions, that I cannot resist sharing them with the readers of the article.
The whole second part starts with the statement “the present Agreement (the secret Sino-Vatican Agreement dated 22 Sept) might lessen the Chinese Church’s misfortune.”
All what follows in the article is like the demonstration of the statement.
(1) Fr. Gianni Criveller says: the Agreement might avoid future illegitimate Episcopal Ordination, and in the same occasion the Holy See has legitimized all those seven illegitimate bishops, so (?) Fr. Criveller “hopes” that worthy episcopal candidates will be chosen in the future (although always with heavy control of the Government).
(2) Fr. Gianni Criveller says: Pope Francis deserves credit for this gesture of “open handedness”, breaking the historical impasse.
(3) Fr. Gianni Criveller says: the Pope allowed an exceptional concession to avoid greater evils and for the supreme good of the people of God.
To (2): I dare to question: whether any openhandedness can be justified and whether the historical impasse should be broken at any cost?
The authority of the Pope to choose bishops belongs to the Pope, not to the Person N.N, who happens to be the Pope, so not even the Pope can give it to other people, not to say to an atheist and persecutor government.
The historical impasse may be an avoidable one. But, if an Agreement cannot be reached unless we betray our own identity, can we do that just to break the impasse?
To (3): I appreciate the mentioning of “good” and “evil” because His Eminence Cardinal Filoni would advise us to avoid any discussion about good and evil (right & wrong).
Then let us go back to point (1) and examine it precisely according to the “good and evil” distinction
― to have an illegitimate bishop is not a good thing, but does it become good simply because now the Pope recognizes the illegitimate as legitimate regardless of any visible sign of repentance or lack of it?
― a community with many illegitimate bishops is a bad thing, but does it become good, simply because the Pope no more calls them illegitimate, while they hold still to the principle of an independent Church and profess full obedience to the Communist Party?
― With all that happened after the signing of the Agreement (reaffirmation of the schismatic nature of the state recognized Church, the triumphant boldness of those willing slaves of the atheistic regime and their scornful derision of those who suffered for many years because of their faithfulness to the Holy See and now asked to surrender themselves) what is the foundation of hope, I like to ask Fr. Gianni Criveller, that good bishops will be chosen by the Beijing Government?