instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Not Invested Here Syndrome

Last week, the Times's religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill tweeted:
China's govt-backed RC Church to ordain another bishop without Pope's approval
I was struck by the way that was phrased, and not just the "China's govt-backed RC Church" bit, though if it's the RC Church, it's the RC Church.

What really struck me was the "to ordain another bishop without Pope's approval" bit. It struck me that this is something of a dream in certain Catholic circles in the United States. And I wondered whether those circles would be caught up short by the thought that their dream is being realized right now in China, that just maybe its association with a political dictatorship might reflect poorly on the idea of trying to have your own RC Church without the Pope's approval.

Coincidentally, perhaps, just yesterday Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP, quoted a commenter at NCRonline:
Hats off to the Chinese who are standing up to Rome in much the same way as the English did in the sixteenth century!
That takes "but at least it's not the Vatican" to a whole new level.

Also yesterday, Bishop Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph published an article on U.S. silence in the face of Chinese persecution of Catholics:
According to a July 17 CNN story, leaders in China have, in turn, accused the Vatican of interfering in its religious affairs. Last November the U.S. State Department listed China as one of eight countries of "particular concern" on religious freedom. Specifically the U.S. accused China of persecuting followers of the Dalai Lama in Tibet and Uyghur Muslims in western China. While President Barak Obama met last week with the Dalai Lama, apparently no public mention has yet been made by the administration about actions against Catholics.
I can't much blame President Obama, though, given the relative silence from Catholics in the U.S. But then, what should we do, when we don't even know whether Chinese Catholics would vote Republican or Democratic?

Bishop Finn has a suggestion:
For our Catholic brothers and sisters on the Mainland who have endured so much to hold on to an authentic Catholic faith, this is hardly an intellectual exercise. They need our support in prayer and political clout. Mary, Mother of the Church, intercede for your children. St. Joseph, defender of justice, pray for us.