Reaction and non-reaction to Letter to Chinese Catholics

Interesting and informative commentary and analysis as ever from Sandro Magister, this time on reactions to the Holy Father's letter to Chinese Catholics. (The Pope Writes, but the Beijing Authorities Don't Respond)

The Vatican has seen the lack of reaction from the Chinese authorities in a positive light. I can see the point here - at least the Chinese authorities haven't come out immediately and trashed it. Magister suggests that there is a divide within between the highest authorities and the lower level communist apparatus, the latter being more hostile to the Church.

Magister also looks at a dispute between Cardinal Zen and the Flemish Sinologist Fr. Jeroom Heyndrickx, director of the Ferdinand Verbiest Institute at Louvain. Fr Heyndrickx is of the opinion that,
[...] the papal letter encourages the members of the clandestine Church to come out into the open, to ask for and obtain the recognition of the civil authorities and to share the sacraments with the bishops and priests of the official Church.
Cardinal Zen disagrees, saying that this is an astonishing misreading of the letter:
[...] the clandestine bishops have no motive to ask for official recognition if this involves – as “almost always” happens – taking on obligations “contrary to the dictates of their conscience as Catholics.”
Cardinal Zen had lunch with the Holy Father on Sunday, so I presume he was able to update him personally.

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