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and get on my knees in front of the door of Santa Marta (now the Papal residence) until the Holy Father has this edict withdrawn.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

我真的該戒除看《名采》的「惡習」了 (三月十三日)

前幾天(好像還是昨天)我看了蘋果《名采》的一篇文章,心血來潮寫了四百多字。昨天早上我把《名采》頁放在背囊裡,卻整天未有機會看它。

今天我看中了在週六《名采》上郭梓祺的願一切行人平安早得歸還。我估中了,那「行人」說的果然是我渴望能探望的手足。但想不到在文章下半篇還有別的收獲。

那短故事〈復活節星期日〉:獄中犯人沒有餅、沒有酒舉行的彌撒默劇,使我想起在上海獄中1955年聖誕夜,那些彼此見不到面的囚友卻同聲唱了聖誕歌。

還有,那「恐懼的歷史」:一隻粗心的動物誤傳了訊息,說「月亮重生,你們不會」;原來的訊息是「真如月亮會重生,你們一樣會」。

我太愛月亮了,每夜睡前會去天台看看它露面嗎,問候它,託它把我的祝福帶給鐵窗後的兄弟姊妹。去年月餅送不成,希望今年中秋月亮更圓,更希望那時手足們都能和親人在家中嘗月餅了。

郭文旁邊是杜杜的《布萊頓硬糖》。見到說的是格林格雷(Graham Greene),我又忍不住,一直讀下去了。

我不會鼓勵所有教友去閱讀格林格雷(他的傑作是The Power and the Glory)。但在今天這正邪惡鬥的世界裡,倒希望成年的教友能有機會閱讀他的作品(他堅信:有時正邪難辨,但主的仁慈在一切之上)。

杜杜文的最後一句話(小說中一位老神父的話):「教會並沒有要我們相信有任何靈魂被擯棄在慈悲之外」請教友看看天主教教理第1037,尤其是伯多祿後書3:9「天主並不願意任何人喪亡,只願眾人回心轉意」。千萬勿求天主罰某人下地獄,祂期望的是全勝:人人升天堂!

我教了幾年末世論,也順便給大家介紹Hans Urs von Balthasar 的 “Dare we hope that all men be saved?”


又心血來潮,寫了五百多字。怎麼辦?這樣下去我一天廿四小時肯定不夠用了。豈不是應該決心戒絕閱讀《蘋果》的《名采》嗎?但又怎麼捨得?

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!

在晉鐸60週年這日子,我要感謝他們

60年,真的已經60年。

有些事,當時間相距越遠,對它們的回憶卻會變得越近、越清晰。每年總數算自己升神父已經幾多年,到今年,已60年。60年確實不簡單,你想想,一年365天,有時一天會主持三、四台彌撒,計下來,60年開了多少台?

翻開自己升神父的相片,當中我看到畢少懷會長,但卻沒有我的父母親。升神父,當然父母會最開心,但我覺得,與畢會長有深厚關係的爸爸媽媽早已能感受到這份喜悅,縱然他們不能親到現場。

我做神父的聖召主要來自父親,我常開玩笑說,其實應該是他有聖召。於別人眼中,好像是他硬要我去當神父,但事實並非如此,爸爸是一個很開放、樂觀的人,絕不會勉強任何人,而且他為人也很和善,所以我的聖召雖然是由他培養,但從來沒有任何壓力。

爸爸自己本想當神父,但傳教士認為他的聖召也許是走婚姻之路,建議他應栽培兒子。他結婚後生了五個女兒才有我這個男孩子,他想我當神父,並用上絕妙的方法,就是帶我去望彌撒;而我也覺得望彌撒很開心,完全不覺沉悶。星期日爸爸會帶我到不同的聖堂參與五台彌撒,每一台也多姿多采,其間我更會與他去吃特別的早餐,這些回憶讓我難忘。

父親栽培了我這個聖召,但更重要的影響,是他的犧牲。他本來是一個很活躍、樂觀的人,喜歡做很多事,有很多朋友,但後來因中風致半身不遂,被逼困在家中,很淒涼。爸爸突然半身癱瘓是緣於中日戰爭——因為打仗,他失業,而失業令到他血壓飆高,繼而中風。

那時候,家中經濟困難,窮得很,幸好舅父讓出地方收留我們。當時爸爸只能每天坐在沙發上,不能出家門半步。身處如此境況,許多人會覺得很失望;但他沒有,還時常讀聖書、祈禱。我讀初中一時整天出去玩,不在家,不讀書,爸爸一直擔心我會變壞。當父親知道我進了備修院後,他很高興,一方面是因為母親送我進備修院後,把看到的情況告訴他,讓他安心;另外由於父親不能到備修院探望,長上特別批准我每個月回家(因為當時備修院很嚴格,不可以隨時回家),令他很欣慰,很放心。

爸爸更曾有機會到我的備修院參觀,那裡是個大本營,包括備修院、初學院和神學院,當天他見到畢會長在大瞻禮上唱彌撒,吃飯時他也被安排坐在會長旁邊;其間又觀看我們「鬥波」。那間大屋曾是他老闆的,父親以前好像是他們公司球隊的經理人,我四歲那年,便曾在那裡拍那球隊的全體照片。依稀記得,那天重回舊地,相信是他人生裡其中一段最開心的時光。當天以後一、兩年,他去世了,但我知道爸爸是帶著安慰離開,因為他親眼看到兒子走上一條正確的道路,加入了一個非常好的團體。

對於我的聖召,母親也起著重要的影響,就是她親自送我到畢會長那裡。她後來更看到會長對我父親的好(當天爸爸到了備修院門口,畢會長就著幾位修士扛起爸爸坐著的椅子送他到小堂、餐廳、操場),又看到我變得生性 —— 尤其是在爸爸過世之後我從備修院寫給媽媽的那封信,讓她很感動、很安慰。

其實在人的角度看,母親的晚年也很淒涼,她患上肺病,不斷嘔血,幸好姐姐、姐夫非常照顧她,否則我也不忍心離開他們去修道。她雖是病人,卻也常懷着樂觀心情幻想自己康復的一天,後來她來到澳門,也未有與我見面,因為我還有一年便畢業,媽媽認為自己可以等到兒子畢業那天,但其實她當時已經「皮包骨」(瘦骨嶙峋)。我的長上曾經問她:「安排與日君見面好嗎?」但為了不妨礙我的學習,她堅持不要:「不要叫他回來,我會等他。」但最後,母親於我畢業前離世。

那時的神貧精神與今天的有很大分別,我在意大利讀書的九年裡,未曾回過香港。但我相信,鮑思高神父已經報答了爸爸媽媽,儘管我升神父的時候他們不能到現場,但爸爸必定在天堂上看到一切,而媽媽也能看到我寄給她升神父的相片。回想起來,母親實在大膽,居然要我寄相片給她,我當時想:若給中共政府看到,也太危險了吧。但媽媽堅持要我寄相片。

   

再談我與畢會長的關係,我同班的同學並沒有我的福份,為什麼?以前很多禮儀也是由會長負責,譬如我們進初學時穿會衣,是由會長替我們穿的,但當年因為有新主教,所以會長將此任務讓給主教。到發聖願之時,本應也由會長主持,但當時畢會長因去意大利開大會,未能參與,後來他更去了菲律賓,我以為再沒有機會讓他參加自己晉鐸的禮儀,很遺憾。

豈料在我升神父之日,畢會長剛巧在意大利度假,很感恩他能到來見證我升神父,陪著我主持第一台彌撒。於這台彌撒,其他人會親吻新鐸的手,他身為會長,也跪下親吻我的手,讓我感動。我真有福,因為自己主持的第一台彌撒,畢會長正在那裡,其他同班同學卻沒有如此福份,故他們看到當天的相片也很羡慕。

我時常想,為什麼我不多記得在天上的人?爸爸媽媽、以前的長上,他們都在那裡,天天在那裡;我們開彌撒的時候,他們也在周圍,所以,其實每一天也是大瞻禮。

晉鐸60周年這日子讓我記得,天主在我一生中給予很多恩寵:爸爸媽媽、畢會長及初學師這些最偉大的人,他們都是大聖人;當然,還有很多很多,但這四個是最基本的,因為他們幫我打好基礎。初學師及畢會長說的道理很結實,充滿人情的味道但同時很堅強,令我有能力在那基礎上學得更多,甚至可能比他們更多;但那牢不可破的基礎才是最重要,因為於快速的時代變化之下,很容易令思想混亂;而當時到外國讀書,其實也有危險,因為很多人就是學習了那些混亂的思想,所以我要多謝這兩位老師,為我打好基礎,當再吸收其他思想學問時自己也會判斷什麼是對,什麼是錯,懂得去選擇。

到今天,這些基礎仍讓我有信心走以後的每一步,儘管自己未成聖人,但我知道,我學的道理是正確的,所以在這60年,我就是靠着這四位聖人的幫助,沒有行錯路。

陳日君樞機   

至少今天我們應該紀念一下畢少懷神父 一月三日是他逝世50周年

我們成功得到教會承認畢神父為天主的忠僕,踏上了宣聖的第一步,但我們還要努力認識他、效法他,請他轉求,因他的轉求天主行奇蹟,那末我們才有機會見他列入聖品。

今天讓我們談談他生命中我們不多關注的一個階段:服兵役的差不多四年時間。

畢少懷一九一四年四月中晉鐸,一九一五年五月中戰爭爆發。畢神父被徵召在一個隨軍醫院服務。幾位高級隨軍主教都鼓勵他任隨軍司鐸,他卻選擇做一個平常的兵士,不想做官,喜歡和其他兵士打成一片。

雖不做官,但也有重要任務。那隨軍醫院有150位兵士,畢少懷有責任編排工作時間表。戰爭爆發後,有力的人都去打仗了,農村裡工作忙碌時不夠人手,他成功派些兵士去幫忙附近的農村。

畢神父有音樂天才,在兵士中組織了一個歌詠團,在醫院裡、在附近聖堂裡都受歡迎。

他把鮑思高神父教育團體中的家庭精神帶入了他軍隊團體中。

他在分配工作和休息時盡量能使大家滿意,按軍規應受懲罰的他都從寬處理。

有一個兵士和隊長發生口角,兵士怒火遮眼竟拔出短刀試圖攻擊隊長,被制服後依軍法被判死刑。

軍長平日見畢少懷收很多信件曾問是誰寄來的,畢神父說「是我的一班青年學生」。軍長很欣賞畢神父和他的學生之間建設了這麼強的友情。畢神父也就乘機向軍長介紹鮑思高的「預防教育法」(理性、信仰、愛心),請他用這方法來挽救那犯法待死的兵士。

那可憐的罪犯在絕望中不肯認錯,反而罵上司,又說軍法無理。

軍長等他怒火稍息,理性地引他想想,他如果固執不認錯而受槍決,他無罪的太太會多麼傷心,要他的兒女一生背荷那恥辱:「爸爸是個叛軍」,是多麼不公道。那兵士被感動了,跪地求軍長寬恕他,可憐他的家人說:「我實在該死,但他們是無罪的,請你給我一次機會,我一定不會讓你後悔」。事實上他後來在Grappa山上激戰中,常甘願被派去前線最危險的崗位。

因為畢神父和其他兵士有很好的關係,上司有時就把一些不太討好的任務給他,比如要他說服兵士們對他們的伙食不要太多批評,其實比其他盟軍的已更豐富了。畢神父絞盡腦汁,又找書本研究不同食物的卡路里,演講的結論是:「兄弟們,我們每餐準時享受,咖啡、烈酒也不缺,零用錢一分也不少。我們抬頭看看Grappa山,在那裡我們的手足為保衛祖國,在冰凍的戰壕裡,風雪中,不能離開一步,也很難收到家裡來的信,甚至為了我們準備犧牲自己的生命。我們不要再抱怨什麼了。」那些頑皮的兵士,每次食物差些或乏味,或不夠熱,就會看着畢神父說:「兄弟們,我們望望Grappa山吧!」

畢神父不任隨軍司鐸,但他當然關心同伴們的靈魂,有一位軍官重病了,軍官的朋友,憲兵團長對畢神父說:千萬不要給病人談臨終聖事(講「死」字)。畢神父卻請了一位老神父給那病人聽告解,送臨終聖體,傅聖油。

病人死後翌日亡者的哥哥從意大利南部趕上來,畢神父迎接他,他第一句說話就是「媽媽最想知道弟弟是否像一位好教友善終?」畢神父回答說「你放心給你媽媽說,你弟弟善終像一位聖人」。那位憲兵團長當然明白了畢神父沒有聽他的話,但還是佩服他。畢神父在喪禮中還講了辭別詞,事後大家都更尊重他。

還有一日,附近剛竣工的幼稚園及老人院有火警,畢神父和兩位同伴趕快去救火,有人還以為他們三人趁村莊的人都解散了,乘機去搶劫。他們三人及時撲息了火。那兩建築物後來為收留傷兵及其他因戰爭而受傷的平民很好用。

1918年畢神父也重病了,他答應天主如果給他痊癒,他願去傳教。正好慈幼會總部需要派傳教士,畢神父痊癒了,馬上答應了。

回到都林他在1919年初還在傷殘軍官醫院裡服務,直至八月才上了一艘法國輪船出發來中國。

關於畢神父的軍人生涯還有一件趣事值得一提。有一天在營中遇到一位慈幼會士,畢神父熱情地上前問候,哪知那位小軍官擺出架子,喝他說:「立正!怎麼無規無矩?向軍官不致敬?」畢神父被潑冷水無奈地照做了。正在那刻聽到身邊有軍靴操步聲來近,他想還是不要動吧,又作出軍人致敬禮,但忽然被人擁抱了:「小嘉祿,您在做什麼呀?」原來是另一位慈幼會神父,後來做了第五任總會長的Ziggiotti(徐載德)神父。

嘉祿畢少懷在軍裝下還是那愛心爆棚的他。

第二天 我還是不明白

我昨天說「聽來也有道理」「控方有理由要求上訴」,也就是說控方可以以為高院法官『沒有充分理解「保釋門檻應更高」』「或實際上他接受的保釋條件不符合那更高的標準」,但這都是該在上訴案中澄清的。

我又說:「要肯定高院法官錯了……不是應有理據的嗎?而我好像沒有聽到控方提出。」


昨夜那些疑問並沒有使我失眠,我照常睡得很好。今早細閱《蘋果》列出控方提出的理據,結果還是不明白。

42條列明「除非有充足理由相信被告不會繼續實施危害國安行為,否則不得批准保釋」。

但控方又說「嚴格保釋條件也未必能消減(滅?)被告繼續危害國家的風險」又「考慮因素不能(祇?)包括保釋條件」。

那末我還不明白哪是這些神秘的「其他因素」才能是充足理由使人相信被告不會繼續實施危害國家行為(或潛逃)?

法律裡的相信當然不能是純粹主觀的猜測,你不相信一個人也該有一個客觀的基礎。

黎智英是一個極度緊張自己名譽的人,認識他的人一致肯定他不會不忠於自己對法庭許諾的事,他為了不牽累自己創下的事業,忍痛忍辱作出了那些犧牲自由的許諾,他緊張自己的信譽比自己的生命更甚,一定不會食言。當然,有些人對這些精神價值是不會明白的。那麼要使這些人放心祇有請黎智英消失於人間了?!


還有,把這麼籠統的「勾結外國勢力」罪行和謀殺講成同級,我不知可用什麼詞來形容!

為阻止潛逃不是可用電子鐐銬嗎?聽說控方說不中用,那末加拿大又在孟晚舟女士身上用了?

最後,如果黎智英是這麼一位危險人物,那末不能更迅速上法庭解決這保釋案件嗎?真的還須拖一個月嗎?

我不明白,我為他抱不平!

Dear Esther,

我記得我開始寫這blog的時候您和另一位年輕朋友是我的談話對象。收到您寄來的「獅子山下的馬槽」,我想給您說:「這是我今年最喜歡的聖誕禮物」,這也給我機會再以您為這次談話的對象。我向您訴苦。

今天已是2020年的最後一天,但卻是我最傷心的一天。

有朋友常給我說:「不要說香港法治已完結」,但今天我真的不能不徹底失望。

我本希望我曾給他付洗的Jimmy能和他的家裡親人一起送走2020,歡迎2021。我去了法庭,但(我半聾的耳)聽到了……

起初我以為法官說得很對:

『有這樣、這樣條件可以准保釋』(平常法例)

『除非有這樣、這樣條件不可以保釋』(國安法)

基本上不是一樣意思嗎?

控方說『不!』語氣很不同,國安法屬嚴重罪行,保釋門檻應更高

也就是說「控方有理由要求上訴」聽來也有道理。

那末法官批准上訴,安排日期。


但控方同時要求Jimmy立即還押,那當然是另一件事了。

在上訴前高院法官的判決不是該「還在」stat嗎?Jimmy不是還該possidet「擁有」保釋回家的權利嗎?


難道在上訴前應先假設高院法官錯了嗎?他真的沒有充份保證被告不會做那些控方告他曾做過的罪行嗎?

究竟在保釋條件上還有什麼措施疏漏了,應該加上的?還有什麼危險被告會逃走或做那些控方告他曾做過的罪行?警方也沒有辦法阻止而必須還押?如果他做了,你們不能馬上知道了,告他新的罪名而收押他嗎?

要求絕對違反常例,假設前法官錯了而取消被告合法取得的權利,不是應有理據嗎?我好像沒有聽到。

難道控方以為什麼措施也不能避免被告會做那些事,所以絕對不該有保釋?那末國安法那半句話「除非……」不是白費的嗎?我不懂!

Esther,我祇能帶着這些疑問去睡這跨年的一覺。請為我祈禱。

預祝2021……

多想的老年爺爺

Let me finish my business with DW News

We are entering the last two weeks of the Liturgical Year, the reading of the book of Revelation brings us to the last days of human history, in which we are living. “Blessed is the one who reads aloud and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near.” (RV. 1:3)

Today (on Nov 16th morning) we read the message St. John transmitted to the angel of the Church in Ephesus: “I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate the wicked, you have tested those who call themselves Apostles but are not, and discovered that they are impostors.” (RV. 2:2)

Forgive my lack of humility, I am too promptly identifying myself with this angel of the Church of Ephesus. But don’t worry, I am going to meditate also, even more seriously, on the second part of the message “yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first…Repent, and do the works you did at first.” (RV 2:4-5) (I surely prayed more and better when I was a novice and later as a young priest)


The first part of the message brings me back to the unfinished business with DW News.

They interviewed me and had my views ‘corrected’, then the ‘corrected’ version went viral. Actually, commonplaces are being repeated the hundredth time by so many ‘expert parrots’, those are lies from the ‘not so holy’ Holy See, to be more precise, from Cardinal Parolin.

Lies repeated one hundred times, especially from so solemn rostrum, can pose a risk to become truths. So bear with me if now I come to tell you for the hundredth time that those are lies.

The discussion began with a question: “should the ‘Agreement of 2018 between Beijing and the Vatican regarding nomination of Bishops in China’ be renewed?”

But how can we know the content of the agreement which remains secret? Not to mention we can form an opinion on the subject. Parolin says it is a good agreement, but we have reason to fear that it is a bad one, by judging from all the facts before, during and after the signing of the Agreement.

(1) Before the signing of the Agreement. The signing of the Agreement was a conclusion of a long process, the Ostpolitik, which is the policy of compromise, (and its final goal a diplomatic success – the reestablishment of Sino-Vatican relation). In the past twenty years or so a group of power in the Holy See supported the Government-controlled Church in China and neglected the “underground” Church, which was against the direction of Pope JPII and Pope Benedict.

The two popes who had the experience of living under totalitarian regime had no faith in Ostpolitik.

Now Pope Francis, with very different experience, has sympathy for the communists. In South America they are often persecuted by the Government. But the communists in China are persecutors of the Church, just like Nazis and Communists in Europe, where the Ostpolitik was a failure.

Given these many years of appeasement policy, we could only expect an agreement which is not good. They say it could not be perfect, but imperfect doesn’t mean ‘bad’. (Parolin even said that a bad agreement would be better than no agreement! This is beyond my understanding).

We don’t know the content of the Agreement, but we can reasonably have a conjecture of  it from the compromise strategy of Vatican for almost 20 years.

The Holy See approves ‘secretly’ one or two names of ‘acceptable’ candidates for Episcopacy, the communist Government ‘secretly’ finds them also ‘acceptable’, a fake election of the named is staged, the Holy See approves the elected, then the Ordination is performed (the ‘Pontifical Bulla’ of nomination is not read during the Ordination, but before it, in the sacristy). In this way illegitimate Ordinations can be avoided.

But these ‘secret’ deals are no guarantee. How many times, under pressure, the Vatican may have accepted the names chosen by the Chinese Communist Party? There are cases when it would have been too much for the Holy See to surrender, and you still have the illegitimate bishops.

So, a written agreement would be better? But what kind of agreement is it?

In the present situation, as we have just reviewed, the best you could expect was an agreement similar to that the Holy See made with the Hungarian Government, described by a Hungarian theologian Andràs Fejérdy in this way: “…the Holy See accepted a solution that did not formally violate the canonical principle of free appointment, but in practice gave the Regime a decisive influence in selecting candidates”.

Besides, have our Vatican first-class diplomats forgotten the lesson of history: the concordat signed with Napoleon and the one with Hitler? You cannot trust the words of totalitarian powers, they believe that their power dispenses them from honoring their words.

While carrying on a dialogue with the Vatican, the Chinese Communists never relented from their persecution of the Church. What little signs the Vatican got to justify their optimism? The Chinese Government even refused to talk about bishops and priests under their detention (some elderly bishop ‘disappeared’ for more than twenty years! Some priest is reasonably believed to have been ‘suicided’!)

With such reality before the signing of the Agreement there was no justification to hope that the agreement would make any progress for the freedom of the Church. It’s not the beginning of a journey in the right direction, as Parolin keeps saying, but the final fall into the pit from a slippery slope!

(2) Something terrible happened in the occasion of the signing of the Agreement, something seemingly not connected with the Agreement, was made to happen in the occasion: they legitimized seven ‘bishops’ ordained without the consent of the Pope, illegitimate and excommunicated.

Many legitimizations were granted by JPII when Card. Tomko was the Prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization, starting from the end of the seventies. Given the new open door policy of the Chinese Government and the easier communication with the Vatican, several bishops in China ordained illegitimately before Cultural Revolution made petition to the Holy Father for legitimization. After due investigation, they were certified to be good priests who accepted to be ordained bishops illegitimately only under heavy pressure (resistance to the Party could lead to imprisonment or Labor camp detention where many died). They were finally pardoned by the Pope and promised to be good shepherds of their flock, and the faithful were happy to see their bishops legitimized.

But the seven in question are much different. They were not under heavy pressure and for many years they acted defiantly, used the sacred power they have usurped to ordain deacons and priests, and to take part in Ordinations of other illegitimate bishops. Two of them notoriously do not live in celibacy.

Now the Holy See did not only lift their excommunication, but recognized them as bishops of seven dioceses, of which two originally had their legitimate underground bishops but were asked to step down and give way. Unbelievable! How could the Holy See assign such wolves to be shepherds of the flock.

They show no public sign of repentance, no gratitude for Holy Father’s forgiveness but go around chanting victory because they were clever to side all these years with the government, to which they eagerly and loudly profess their loyalty.

Apparently their legitimization must have been the condition the communists imposed on the Vatican in order to accept the Agreement, but connecting the two things together conveys an impression that the seven are patterns of bishops to be nominated according to the Agreement. If so, God’s house is going to become the ‘robbers’ den’! Where is the new possibility for evangelization?

(3) Facts after the signing of the Agreement

The Agreement is secret, but from leaked pieces of information, we learn that the process would start from China and not from the Vatican: ‘democratic’ election and presentation of the elected by the so-called ‘Bishops Conference’ to the Holy See (all this within a freedom ‘Chinese style’). The initiative now is in the hands of a atheist totalitarian regime.

– ‘Parolin & Co.’ says, “the last word belongs to the Pope, the Chinese Government has finally recognized the Pope as the Supreme Authority in the Catholic Church!”

I don’t believe such words would be found in the Agreement, unless they show me the chinese text of it (we chinese are masters in playing with words!).

Even if the Pope is granted the power of veto, how many times he can use it without embarrassment? And, after a veto the choice of another name is still in the hands of the Government. It is obvious that the written Agreement is worse than the unwritten compromise practiced before.

– Parolin says “the Agreement is only about the nomination of bishops, we should not confuse it with other things”.

How can you make such abstraction? Do you think an Agreement can exempt the Catholic Church from being a target of the war waged against all religions?

I don’t mean that all the facts happened in these two years are caused by the Agreement, but they happened in spite of the signing of the Agreement.

By the way, as a matter of fact, the Agreement itself caused nothing, no appointment of a single bishop took place. The two Ordinations have been approved long before the Agreement (It is ridiculous to say that the Agreement has been working smoothly).

With an agreement you might expect a more friendly relation and a more kind treatment, but just the opposite. At the time the Agreement was signed, a new wave of persecution started: regulations restricting religious freedom, once ‘dormant’, were revived and harshly enforced: minors under 18 years are no more allowed to take part in any religious activity, underground places of worship were shut down, Masses in private homes were no more tolerated, those caught on the spot were punished with heavy fine and imprisonment.

The worst thing comes from the secret nature of the Agreement: being secret it became the convenient tool in the hands of the Government to demand everything from the catholic faithful, e.g. telling the underground to come up and join the Patriotic Association, the independent (schismatic) Church, telling them that it is in the Agreement, it is the will of the Holy Father.

Card. Filoni came out and told the people “not to be cheated, it is not in the agreement” (Probably this was the reason he got fired just two years before he would reach the retirement age).

Parolin could not contradict Filoni but did something much more ‘radical’, he did what was not in the Agreement, inviting everybody to register with the Government by signing a form declaring one’s participation in the ‘national’ Church (Pastoral guidelines, concerning the civil registration of clergy in China, 28 June 2019).

Obviously Parolin drafted the document. It was issued in the name of ‘the Holy See’ without specification of the competent department and without signature (neither his nor that of Card. Filoni, who was at that time still the Prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization). A document with such heavy theological implication was not even submitted to the examination by the Congregation for Doctrine!

I took a flight to Rome immediately and put my “dubia” into the hands of Pope Francis, I sent copies of the dubia to all the Cardinals. As response came the ridiculous letter of the Dean of Cardinals, G.B. Re.

All this, they say, is my personal view! However I believe I am stating facts!

What is their view?

– Parolin says the Agreement is a great achievement, “it is only possible to sign now, but the draft has been already approved by Benedict XVI.”

This is a blatant lie and an insult to our Pope Emeritus. I am sure Benedict XVI refused to sign it in 2010.

– “The Agreement is a breakthrough. All the bishops in China are now legitimate, the Church is one.”

Many bishops are legitimate only because you put on them the label ‘legitimate’, but they openly profess their loyalty to the State authority according to the principle of Sinicization i.e. absolute obedience to the Chinese Communist Party. Unity is now achieved in a ‘bird cage’!

– “There will be illegitimate bishops no more!”

There is no guarantee, an atheist totalitarian regime doesn’t keep promises. Even worse, the virus of Ostpolitik may still cause the Vatican to allow unworthy persons to be ordained as bishops (better unworthy bishop than no bishop?).

– “Bishops, priests and sacraments are essential for a normal life of faith!”

Yes when we are in the normal situation, but we are under persecution now. In time of persecution you may be forcibly deprived of the sacraments, but you cannot renounce your faith!

“Back to the catacombs!” This is what I tell my desperate brothers in China, “God is in your heart, in your family, when you (taking some risk) pray together. Let’s wait for better times, they may not be very far”.

Mr. Martin Gak, the religion expert at DW News avoids the word ‘Ostpolitik’, but puts it as ‘engagement’. Does he not realize that the whole world is in a state of awakening before the danger of “engagement” with an evil system?

– He says that with engagement you can have your man on the spot to help your people.

Obviously, he doesn’t know that the Papal Nuncio in Budapest needed the permission from the Government to meet any member of the local Church.

– He says again “no agreement would leave the faithful in an unfavorable situation, at the mercy of the Government”.

How can he ignore that everybody in China is at the ‘mercy’ of the Party?

– Finally he describes the firmness in Faith as ‘a comfortable posture of spiritual pride”.

He simply doesn’t know what is faith.

– “Dialogue, not confrontation”!

True dialogue is possible only when the two are on equal ‘sitting”’. If you are on your knees, you are in no position for a dialogue. The defeated (in a war) can never get a fair peace accord! Your long-time astounding silence on many human rights violations has put you on the seat of the defeated.

Then, can you hold the rabbit guilty of confronting the lion? We believe firmly: The Lamb of God will take care of both the lion and the rabbit!

Card. Zen

finished writing on the

vigil of the Feast of Christ the King.

His Kingdom is Kingdom of truth and life,

                             Kingdom of holiness and grace,

                             Kingdom of justice, love and peace.