Marco Tosatti reports : Dear friends and enemies of Stilum Curiae, yesterday I met with Cardinal Joseph Zen, who came to Rome on purpose from Hong Kong – for a visit limited to only 120 hours, just four days – in order to see the reigning Pontiff and speak to him about the Church in Hong Kong.
The cardinal, who is 88, left Rome this morning without having an audience with the reigning Pontiff. If the human quality of a person is seen in small details, I don’t know how someone should be judged – who is a boss – who cannot find half an hour in four days to meet with an elderly priest, who despite various health problems decided because of his love for the Church to undertake a journey from the other side of the world. I understand that there may be people who are judged to be embarrassing, annoying, and so forth. But I seem to vaguely recall that among the works of mercy there is the one that calls us to put up with annoying people. Or even with those who are only subjectively considered to be so. But apparently during these days the reigning Pontiff was too preoccupied with beheading his collaborators to receive one of his most faithful and elderly advisers.
We have gathered here some of the things the Cardinal said during a meeting he had with some friends and colleagues in Rome. On the situation in China and Hong Kong, he is not very optimistic: “We are now at the bottom,” he said, and he fears there will be some dramatic development in the near future.
“I came for the sake of one thing for Hong Kong. To plead the case for [the appointment of] our future bishop.
– For more than a year and a half we have been without a bishop in Hong Kong. At the beginning, there was the good idea of making an auxiliary bishop who would remain when the bishop died; a nice Franciscan who is also courageous: Msgr. Joseph Ha Chi-shing… He has criticized the government courteously, without shouting.
– This auxiliary bishop was spoken of as a successor. But now it is said that someone is needed who has the blessing of Beijing, and so a priest is being put forward, Peter Choi. Many of us do not see him as a good choice. The community has been divided.
– At a certain point they understood that he [Choi] was not a convenient choice and they said: let’s look for a third person. In these days I see, I suspect, that the other group is trying to again put the second name back into play, that is, Peter Choi.
– I came with a letter for the Holy Father, to tell him that if this happens it will be a disaster for the Church of Hong Kong, a disaster for decades. I told him that I am here for 3-4 days, if he wants to call me…but I was not called. I delivered the letter that I had written to the Pope to his personal secretary, Gonzalo Aemilius.
I understand that he must be very busy…
I waited four days to be called, but I have not been called. And so today I am going back to Hong Kong.
It will be horrible if they make Peter Choi the Bishop.
It is ridiculous that he would be preferred only because he would be agreeable to Beijing. Beijing is a tyrant.