Hong Kong Cardinal: Meaningless Even If Vatican and CCP Establish Diplomatic Relations

November 14, 2006 Updated: November 14, 2006

His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun indicates that he has not heard of the Vatican's plan to establish so-called “Chinese relations team”.

According to a Catholic publication in Italy, Pope Benedict XVI is considering letting Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun resign from his position as Cardinal of the Hong Kong diocese, while establishing a “Chinese relations team” independent of the Vatican ministry of foreign affairs, and holding Cardinal Zen responsible for handling the relationship between the Vatican and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Cardinal Zen said that he did not receive any such news. However, the Hong Kong Mingpao reported that because the Vatican once formed a team for “handling Soviet relations,” if the Vatican wants to establish a “Chinese relations team,” it is not altogether impossible.

The media is also curious as to whether the Vatican establishes a “Chinese relations team,” would it truly help the Vatican in establishing a diplomatic relationship with the CCP? Cardinal Zen indicates that the key to the relationship between the two is that the CCP must normalize religions in mainland China.

If the CCP authority cannot allow people in mainland China to have freedom of religion, even if the two sides establish a diplomatic relation, it is still meaningless.