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By Riccardo Cascioli, Church Militant, February 29, 2020
Explosive letter condemns Zen’s opposition to China-Vatican agreement
The Daily Compass has been shown an explosive letter signed by the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cdl. Giovanni Battista Re, that fiercely attacks Cdl. Joseph Zen, the archbishop emeritus of Hong Kong, who has been critical of the secret agreement between China and the Holy See that has resulted in the increased persecution of Catholics. The letter contains misleading statements, affirming that there is a continuity between the approach of this pontificate with that of previous pontificates, when in fact no such continuity exists. Furthermore, it makes very grave misrepresentations, attributing the authorship of the present secret agreement to Benedict XVI and declaring a change in doctrine regarding the possibility of independent churches.
Cardinal Joseph Zen is an obstacle for the Church in China, and from now on the Catholic Church can be formed by independent churches. This is the essence of an explosive and incredible letter sent on Feb. 26 to all the cardinals by the Dean of the Sacred College, Cdl. Giovanni Battista Re, that The Daily Compass has been shown exclusively. It marks a fierce and unheard-of frontal attack on the 88-year-old archbishop emeritus of Hong Kong, the intrepid opponent of the secret agreement between China and the Holy See signed in Beijing on Sept. 22, 2018.
It is an unprecedented gesture, made even more significant by the fact that it is the first official act (protocol number 1/2020) of the new dean of the Sacred College. Re was appointed as dean on Jan. 18 as a result of the motu proprio by which Pope Francis surprisingly made the deanship a position that now has a five-year term limit, thereby retiring Cdl. Angelo Sodano.
Cdl. Giovanni Battista Re
The letter is intended to be a response to the letter that Cdl. Zen addressed to his brother cardinals last Sept. 27, but Cdl. Re also makes explicit reference to various other interventions by Zen. The cardinal is well-known for speaking out boldly on behalf of so-called “clandestine” Chinese Catholics who are being humiliated and condemned by the 2018 agreement that still remains secret. ….