Catholic World News in an article entitled?Chinese bishop arrested: to silence Pope’s message? reports that on?Thursday August 23, 2007, after days of surveillance,?Jia Zhiguo, the prominent underground Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Zheng Ding in Hebei Province, was arrested and many of the faithful were interrogated by police.? The apparent reason was the bishop’s attempts at trying to promulgate the Pope’s letter to the Chinese Catholics.
… Bishop Jia was preparing his own pastoral letter to accompany the release of the Pope’s message to the Chinese Church. The bishop had been repeatedly warned by Chinese officials that he should not distribute the Pope’s message. That papal message rejected the authority of the government-backed Catholic Patriotic Association.
That the Chinese government?does not want the letter promulgated is corroborated by the Cardinal Kung Foundation?
Since the release of the China letter by His Holiness Pope Benedict XIV, Bishop Jia was told several times by the religious bureau that he was not allowed to publicly support and promulgate the Pope’s China letter. We do not know for sure whether this order has anything to do with the bishop’s arrest this time.
That?this was the reason, or only reason, for his arrest?is not known for certain. Nor is his current location.
What is most interesting is that?the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association or CPCA?is apparently more vigorously opposing the promulgation of the letter than the Chinese government. Asia News?writes:
Unlike the CPCA the Chinese government’s response has been quite muted. The CPCA has instead blocked sites that contain the letter and prohibited its dissemination. It also had some priests arrested and made their detention even harsher than usual. AsiaNews sources are aware of at least 11 priests arrested in various regions of China.
What about all this talk that the letter is somehow an endorsement of the CPCA?? Seems the CPCA has a?different opinion. And it does not say much for the good intentions of the CPCA.? It seems they are far more patriotic than Catholic. The same article says:
The CPCA seal was placed on the entrance to Mgr Jia’s residence and to the building he and members of his congregation use for meetings, a clear sign that his arrest was “anti-papal?? in intent.
It seems the Patriotic Church is not only in cahoots with the Chinese Secret Service but is doing their dirty work for them!!!? Or maybe there just is not much difference between the CPCA and the Government in the first place.
Joseph Kung president of the Cardinal Kung foundation finishes with:
“It is apparent that the aforementioned actions by the Chinese government is not only contrary to the spirit of the China letter issued by the Pope almost two months ago, but also contrary to the generally accepted principles of human rights and to the spirits of the Olympic games. The freedom-loving and powerful countries of the world should take into greater consideration – consistently, and persistently, and not haphazardly – all human rights violations in China when forming and implementing their political and commercial decisions in relation to China. Does a country [which] consistently violate the most basic human rights deserve to be the host of 2008 Olympic Games?”
A US boycott of the Games would certainly send a message.