Cardinal Joseph Zen, the first Cardinal from China and a key adviser to Pope Benedict XVI regarding China-Vatican relations, has denounced a new Vatican agreement with the Chinese atheistic Communist government in an interview with the Polish outlet Polonia Christiana. The former Archbishop of Hong Kong compared the current situation of the Church in China with the times of brutal physical repression during the 1950s and 1960s, saying the situation is “worse” today.
“Why? Because the church has been weakened,” he said. “I’m very sorry to say the government has not changed, but the Holy See is adopting a wrong strategy. They are too eager to dialogue, dialogue so they tell everybody not to make noise, to accommodate, to compromise, to obey the government. Now things are going down, down.”
Explaining how the intolerable situation has come to pass, he suggests that Pope Francis is naïve having only experienced communism in Latin America, not a totalitarian form as in China or Poland. Thus, he says, both Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI understood the situation while Pope Francis is confused.