Friday, September 01, 2006

Magister's latest: "Diplomatic relations with China?"


It includes an inteview with Fr. Gianni Criveller of the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions.

Q: But do you think the Chinese authorities want this dialogue?
A: It seems to me that the present leadership of the party and the government has not yet positively confronted the issue of religious freedom in general, and of relations with the Holy See in particular. For some time the most attentive observers have been pointing out not merely a lack of progress in the field of human rights, but even a setback. The political and civil reforms
wished for and heralded in the 1990’s seem never to arrive. Meanwhile, the regime is getting stronger: control and repression are more narrowly aimed and sophisticated, but effective all the same.

Q: You have such a dim view of the situation?
A: The leader of China is Hu Jintao, the director responsible for the bloody repression in Tibet in March of 1989. This leader certainly does not lift hopes for religious freedom, civil liberty, and respect for human rights. Incredibly, with the Olympics two years away, there are still bishops and priests whose status is unknown, or who are in prison, or confined. When will
they be set free?

What would Aristotle make of China and its imperial heritage? Would he agree with those in power that "the spiritual is subordinate to the political," and be wrong on this point?

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