Sunday, July 17, 2011


ROME (AP) - A top Vatican adviser urged the Holy See on Thursday to take a harder line against China’s illicit ordinations of bishops, saying Rome’s current policy of compromise isn’t working.  Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen denounced the third such ordination in eight months, which occurred earlier Thursday. The Rev. Joseph Huang Bingzhang was consecrated as bishop of Shantou, according to Liu Bainian, honorary president of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which runs China’s Catholic churches.  The ordination deepened a standoff in which the Vatican insists the pope has sole right to appoint bishops and Beijing’s Communist leaders see that position as foreign interference in their internal affairs.  Zen held a news conference in New York to condemn the illicit ordinations. He questioned whether top Chinese officials were really behind them, suggesting they were more likely the work of Patriotic Association officials.

The Vatican was furious over the ordinations of the Rev. Guo Jincai in Chengde city in November and the Rev. Paul Lei Shiyin in Sichuan province just two weeks ago.  It does not recognize them as bishops, and said the ordination was illegitimate.   On Wednesday, Zen took out a half-page advertisement in Hong Kong’s mass-market Apple Daily newspaper to issue an “urgent appeal” to Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.  Zen urged the two Chinese leaders to restrain “rogue public servants” who are “using violence to assist scum inside the church to force bishops, priests, and followers to do things against their consciences.”

The Vatican excommunicated a Chinese bishop as relations between the Catholic Church and the government in Beijing plunged to their lowest level in recent memory.  Beijing severed ties with the Holy See in 1951 after the Communist Party took power and set up its own church outside the pope's authority.  Faithful are allowed to worship only with the state-sanctioned church, which recognizes the pope as a spiritual leader but rejects his authority to appoint priests and bishops.  All this situation generates fear of being excommunicated and be considered outcaste from your religion, or even be sent to hell.  

With or without a church or institution, Hinduism shows and establishes that everyone has a personal and independent relationship with God, which only needs to be reawakened.  This is an important point. There are other religions that teach that your only connection with God is through the church, or the institution, without which you are excommunicated or eternally damned. Unlike this, the Vedic system teaches that everyone is a spiritual being, and, thus, automatically a part of a loving God with an eternal relationship with Him. This relationship only has to be reawakened, which is the purpose of the many instructions given by God in the Vedic texts. It is also the purpose of the spiritual teachers who try to help everyone revive this eternal but dormant relationship.

Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
Why Be A Hindu: “The Advantages of the Vedic Path”
“Followers of Vedic Philosophy Do Not Target Others for Conversion.”  -

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