After Pope Benedict’s funeral, Card. Zen met with (pope) Francis. To what purpose? Card. Zen seemed happy with the meeting. Was it just another PR stunt? I can’t help but be distrustful of this meeting. I guess we will see eventually.
The following article was 3 January 2023
Please read the whole article at: (excerpt below)
“Card. Zen on the death of Pope Benedict XVI”
AT THIS MOMENT WHEN POPE BENEDICT LEFT US FOR HEAVEN
Pope Benedict XVI has finally finished his humble service as a “worker in the Lord’s vineyard”. It was a multifaceted service: who will underline that he was a great theologian, who will continue to call him God’s rottweiler, for me he was the great defender of the truth. … He defended the truth against the dictatorship of relativism. … He said that love without a foundation in truth becomes a shell that can contain anything.
Someone said that Pope Benedict, after his resignation, should have kept quiet and not created confusion in the Church. It seems to me quite the opposite: precisely because there is confusion in the Church, a Pope Emeritus, like every bishop and cardinal as long as they have breath and are clear of mind, must fulfill his duty as Successor of the Apostles to defend the sound tradition of Church. Since when does the word “conservative” mean a sin? Unfortunately fidelity to Tradition can be taken as “rigidity” or “backwardness”. …
As a member of the Chinese Church, I am immensely grateful to Pope Benedict for things he has not done for other Churches. First of all, a Letter (June 29, 2007) which was a masterpiece of balance between the lucidity of Catholic ecclesiological doctrine and humble understanding of civil authority. Catholic ecclesiology which is not personal to him, but expounded by him with unsurpassed clarity and concreteness. …
Another extraordinary thing he has done for the Church in China is the establishment of a powerful Commission to take care of the affairs of the Church in China; unfortunately under the new President of this Commission it was secretly made to disappear without even a word of respectful farewell.
Pope Benedict was often misunderstood and sometimes not followed; but it is precisely in these cases, which seem to be failures, that I was able to admire the person’s great fortitude and magnanimity in the face of setbacks (I saw Cardinal Meissner cry during those days when the German episcopate severely criticized the German Pope). In the Angelus of December 26, 2006, Pope Benedict exhorted the faithful in China to persevere in the faith, even if in the present moment everything seems to be a failure.
Despite his great effort, Pope Benedict had failed to improve the situation of the Church in China. He could not accept any compromise. …
As we remember the great Pontiff, let us remember that we now have him as a powerful intercessor in Heaven. With his intercession, let us pray that everyone, the Church in Rome, the Church in China and the Chinese authorities will be moved by God’s grace to bring about true peace for the Church and for our country.
Letter by Pope Benedict to Cardinal Zen published in Asia News on 07/01/2007
“The long awaited letter from the Holy Father has finally seen the light of the day. His Holiness Pope Benedict has addressed a letter to the Bishops, priests, religious and faithful in China as he had promised to do last January.
Indeed, it is a historical “First” that the Pope has written a letter to the catholic community in a particular region. The motive is, as is obvious, that that community has experienced so much tribulation in the last decades, that the Holy Father wants to show special concern for those his children and give them some guidelines in this seemingly crucial moment, so that they might free themselves from their unfortunate predicament. …
After a cursory vision of the rather long letter, I would like to share with the media my one impression and two hopes.
The impression. I admire the precious balance achieved by the Holy Father between his passion for the truth and his love for his children. Only an outstanding theologian and a tender father could satisfy at the same time the demands of the truth and the kindness towards people. Blessed be God for having given us such a leader!
On hope. The doctrine painstakingly explained by Benedict XVI, is nothing but the most traditional and universally accepted Catholic principles, belonging to the religious field, with no secret political agenda, even less with an intention of attacking anybody. My hope is that the leaders of our Country would read the Pope’s letter from this perspective and understand the true unchangeable nature of the Catholic Church.
A second hope. The voice of our Bishops and priests in China is often prevented from reaching our leaders; now that the letter of the Pope is in the hands of our leaders, our Bishops and priests can thus refer to it directly as a common starting point for dialogue.
The Pope insists that Bishops are the leaders of the Church and they are not to be separated from the Roman Pontiff. My hope is that our Bishops and priests stand united with the Holy Father. Let our Church in China be truly the Catholic Church recognized and respected by the rest of the World, and let it bring honour and glory to our Country on the stage of the Universal Church.”
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