Saturday, October 15, 2005


But what about the martyrs?

Rome, Oct. 14 ( - The Vatican no longer needs to appoint bishops to serve the "underground" Catholic Church in China, because the "official" Church is moving toward full union with Rome, according to the Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica.

Articles published in Civilta Cattolica are approved in advance by the Vatican Secretariat of State. Thus an article that will appear in the October 15 issue of the magazine, by Father Hans Waldenfels, presumably reflects the thinking of top Vatican officials.

Father Waldenfels writes that Chinese Catholics are working vigorously to end the longstanding division between the "underground" Church, which maintains loyalty to the Holy See, and the "official" Church, which is theoretically under the supervision of the government-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association. In practice, the Jesuit author reports, today the priests who are chosen as bishops for the "official" Church "normally look to obtain a nomination from the Holy See." In recent weeks several new bishops have been consecrated with the approval of both the Chinese government and the Vatican, and Father Waldenfels maintains that it is possible the next Bishop of Beijing will have the open approval of the Holy See.

Incidentally, the title of this post is an inside joke . . .

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