HONG KONG: Worshippers at masses in Hong Kong and Taiwan were largely upbeat Sunday about a new deal between China and the Vatican, despite fears Beijing is trying to increase control over the Church, reports AFP.
Cardinal Joseph Zen, the outspoken former Bishop of Hong Kong, accused Vatican officials of “selling out” ahead of Saturday’s agreement and in a blog post shortly after the announcement he raised concern over its impact.“What will the government say to Catholics in China? ‘Obey us, the Holy See is already in agreement with us?’” Zen wrote.
Comments on social media accused the Vatican of turning a blind eye to a “silent cultural revolution” in China, where churches have been destroyed in recent months and there has been a clampdown on Bible sales.
But churchgoers in Hong Kong gave the deal a cautious welcome.
A parishioner who gave her name as Teresa at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Hong Kong said: “More contact is positive,” adding she was not worried warming ties between Beijing and the Vatican would lead to interference in the semi-autonomous city’s Catholic churches.
Another who gave her name as Nikki said: “Any cooperation between the two sides has to be a good thing, as long as it’s equal cooperation.”
In Taiwan, some worshippers worried the new deal meant the island would lose its only official ally in Europe.