Skip to main content

A Study in Contrasts

That didn’t take long. Close down the Olympics and it is back to business as usual:

Roman Catholic Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhengding, Hebei province, China, was arrested again by local authorities. Bishop Jia Zhiguo belongs to the “underground” church not recognized by China’s communist government. He was arrested on the morning of August 24, the twelfth such arrest since January 2004. Zhengding is a small village situated approximately 100 miles south of Beijing. Its Roman Catholic community numbers approximately 110,000. Bishop Jia Zhiguo was consecrated bishop in 1980.

Government officials arrived in vehicles at Christ the King Cathedral at WuQiu while his current whereabouts are unknown at this time. Bishop Jia Zhiguo was last arrested in August 2007 and released four months later. The reasons for his current unrest are as yet unclear. After his release in December 2007, the bishop was consigned to house arrest and not allowed to receive visitors unaccompanied by government watchers. Police patrols prevented visitors to the bishop during his house arrest.

Bishop Jia Zhiguo is nearly 74 years old and in delicate health, according to the Cardinal Kung Foundation. During his confinement at home, his requests for medical treatment were denied by Chinese authorities. The bishop has now spent at least 18 years in prison.

In the comments to my post below, Jim asks some good questions about Bishops in the United States:

Why do you suppose Catholic bishops in the United States have been so hesitant to discipline pro-abortion Catholic politicians? If Church teaching on the issue is so clear, why have so few bishops here in the US been reluctant to tell the likes of Joe Biden that, "No, Senator, you may not receive Holy Communion until you publicly repent"?

I am going to start out being charitable here. As a whole, the bishops try to abide by the principle that each shepherd knows his own flock best. I know with my own four children that while one may respond very well to direct confrontation, another may need a more gradual approach. When it comes to these pro-abortion politicians I personally would like to see a few lightning bolts fly. Let the zapping begin. However, I am not the shepherd. I am just one of the sheep. So if in the pastoral judgment of a bishop he thinks he will get better results if he takes a more measured approach, that is his call.

That said, if a bishop is avoiding making a firm statement because he is afraid of ruffling feathers, shame on him! If an American bishop will not confront a pro-abortion politician because he is worried about losing a big donation or an exclusive dinner party invitation or the prestige of rubbing elbows with the rich and famous he should look at Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo. Bishop Jia Zhiguo is risking his life and freedom to speak the truth of Catholicism. He has spent nearly a quarter of his life in Chinese prisons. He is not seeking the comfort of cooperating with the government. He is protecting the souls of his flock. I will leave it to God to judge the motivation of our bishops. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mt.8:36)


Popular posts from this blog

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …

United Breaks Guitars

This guy is really talented and what a creative way to get your message across. I think he captured the "indifferent employee" perfectly. They don't just work for airlines. I think I ran into them at Walmart on Friday!