Cardinal Joseph Zen has pleaded to the College of Cardinals to help stop the “murder of the Church in China” in a letter made public and supported by a petition.

In the letter to the 223 cardinals, the 87-year-old began by stressing that he felt the issue was not one solely about the Church in China.

“It is just that, in conscience, I believe that the problem I present here concerns not only the Church in China, but the whole Church, and we cardinals have the grave responsibility to help the Holy Father in guiding the Church,” wrote Cardinal Zen, a longtime critic of the Vatican’s rapprochement with communist-ruled China.

In his letter dated Sept. 27, 2019, the cardinal focused on a June 2019 church document, “Pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of clergy in China” which he said risks creating a schismatic Church in China.

“From my analysis of the [guidelines] it is quite clear that it encourages the faithful in China to enter a schismatic Church, (independent of the pope and under the orders of the Communist Party),” he wrote.

“On July 10, I presented my ‘dubia’ to the pope. His Holiness, on July 3, had promised to take an interest in them, but to this day I have still not heard anything,” he wrote.

The former bishop of Hong Kong went on to criticize Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, the main architect of the Vatican-Beijing deal signed September 2019. The agreement is reportedly on the appointment of bishops, but its details are not public.

“Cardinal Parolin says that today when we talk about the independent Church, this independence should no longer be understood as absolute, because the agreement recognizes the role of the pope in the Catholic Church,” wrote Cardinal Zen.

“First of all, I cannot believe that there is such a statement in the agreement, and I do not see it there. (By the way, why must such an agreement be secret, and why is it not granted even to me, a Chinese cardinal, to see it?),” he wrote.

“Cardinal Parolin quotes a sentence from Pope Benedict’s letter completely out of context — indeed, diametrically opposed to the whole paragraph. This manipulation of the pope emeritus’s thought is gravely disrespectful; indeed, it is a deplorable insult to the person of such a meek pope, who is still alive,” he wrote….

“Begging on my knees, your brother,” Cardinal Zen signed off his letter.

Cardinal Zen, known for being outspoken on issues regarding human rights, political freedom, and religious liberty, tweeted out the letter supported by a petition on Jan. 10….

The petition gave examples of persecutions occurring over the last year in China such as Christian churches being destroyed by authorities and new draconian rules, set to be in place in February, that require religious groups to “spread Communist Party principles.”

Read the entire  Jan. 11 story in Catholic San Francisco.

Digital Maoism: Xi JinPing’s cult of personality

In January, the CCP launched a new  app , available on both the Apple and Android platforms, called the “Xi Study ( Xue Xi ) Strong Nation” (学习 强国), which can be found on the website…

…The  app  collects President Xi’s speeches and writings in text, audio and video form. But there is also something else. Users accumulate points by using it. This system is called “Xi’s study points” (学习 积分 系统) and is ingenious, but not generous. As reported by the  China Media Project  specialist  website , reading an article gives you a score of only 0.1. The same is true if you post an appropriate comment. The same score is attributed for watching a video. Thirty minutes of continuous activity are rewarded with 1 point.

It’s not all. There is a surveillance system, which according to China Media Project is quite effective, which would observe you and which can tell if you move from the screen after opening a text or video. It can also tell if your eyes read only a few paragraphs or the full text. And there is a daily limit on the accumulation of points, so be sure that you don’t use the  app  only on the  weekend . Not that weekend use is discouraged, indeed. There are ” happy hours“During which you can earn double points: every evening, from Monday to Friday, from 20.30 to 22.30 (not later: the CCP wants you to go to sleep early, to be efficient at work the next day). Again, from 9.30 to 10.30 in the morning and from 15.30 to 16.30 on Saturday and Sunday. With this system, the CCP has taken up most of the app users’  free time…

Read the entire Jan. 14 posting on Bitter Winter (Italy).