Beyond Sad: Some Underground Priests in China So Distraught They Are Going Home Rather Than Compromise

AsiaNews, Father Peter: I remember what Cardinal Joseph Zen (Chen Ri Jun) said: if the Holy See and the Chinese government really reach an agreement, allowing illegitimate bishops to lead their dioceses, the priests of the unofficial Church could freely follow their consciences. If unable to proclaim the Gospel, they could go home and work in the fields. I did not expect Card Zen’s prophecy to come true.

Not long ago, a priest from my town phoned me, asking me to go with him to visit another priest, because he had gone home from his mission. During the meeting, after the initial joy of seeing each other again after a long time and sharing our stories, we could not fail to mention the many problems faced by the Chinese Church after the signing of the agreement. During the conversation, we discovered that the reason our fellow priest decided to go home was because he could not accept to become the assistant of a parish priest from the Patriotic Association.

The priest went on to explain that “For more than 30 years I have fought against the Patriotic Association, and now they want me to become the assistant priest of a Patriotic Association priest. I can not accept it, I have no choice but to go home.” More here.