Hong Kong Emeritus Cardinal Chen Rijun was arrested by the Hong Kong police in May this year for participating in the management of the "Humanitarian Support Fund for Injured and Arrested Persons in the Anti-Extradition Movement". He was accused of "colluding with foreign forces". On November 26, the court ruled and sentenced him to a fine of HK$4,000 (NT$15,765).

(Photo by European News Agency)

[Central News Agency] The Holy See has rarely publicly stated that China has violated the "Vatican-China Bishop Appointment Agreement." Several Catholic and Italian media have recently written articles calling on the Holy See to break its silence on China's actions and speak out more for freedom and human rights.

The "National Catholic Register" (National Catholic Register) published a commentary on the 1st, arguing that the Holy See must expressly condemn the Chinese government's continued oppression of human rights.

The Italian "Il Messaggero" (Il Messaggero) questioned on November 29 that the Holy See was silent on the trial and conviction of Hong Kong Cardinal Emeritus Chen Yat-kwan and insisted on the "obviously failed" line of dialogue with China.

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On November 24, China illegally ordained Peng Weizhao, bishop of Yujiang, Jiangxi. The Holy See formally expressed regret in a statement on November 26, and for the first time said that China’s move violated the agreement on the appointment of bishops signed by the Vatican and China; the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded on November 28 When the media asked questions, they said, "I don't know, I don't know the specific situation."

The Holy See is paying a huge price for its silence on China's human rights issues in response to many voices in the church questioning it.

Pope Francis responded in an exclusive interview with the Jesuit journal "America" ​​on November 28. He believes that this is not a question of whether to speak out or not. The actual question is whether to have a dialogue with China or not. dialogue".

In an exclusive interview, the Pope said that he chose the path of dialogue with China, which is slow, has rebounds and has some results, but "I cannot find another path".

A scholar familiar with Vatican-China relations told Central News Agency that although the Pope emphasized dialogue, the Holy See issued a statement that condemned China publicly for the first time. In September this year, representatives from the two sides had just met and had a dialogue, and the official renewal of the contract was announced on October 22.

Scholars believe that the Holy See had to take action this time because China violated the three consensuses of the Vatican-China agreement at the same time. First, bishops were appointed without coordination between the two parties; The oppression of Catholics is increasing.

Scholars said that the Vatican’s statement of condemnation was diplomatically worded, and that it “cut to the bottom” of the matter, because the Vatican still attaches great importance to the core results of the Vatican-China agreement, which is to give the Pope the leadership of the Catholic Church in China, so that the Vatican has the right to intervene in China. The legal status of the power to appoint bishops.

As for the fact that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not acknowledge or refute the Vatican’s accusation, and only answered “I don’t understand” the Vatican’s statement, scholars believe that the main reason is that the Vatican-China agreement still has practical effects on China, and the Chinese government wants to continue to use the agreement to subdue the underground church; but Vatican-China The agreement clearly violates Chinese President Xi Jinping's policy of Sinicization of religion and opens a window for foreign forces to intervene in China's internal affairs. This is why Chinese officials have always been afraid to discuss the agreement publicly.