National Catholic Register

Vatican

Vatican Media Watch

Keeping an eye on the news from the Vatican.

BY John Lilly

April 23-29, 2006 Issue | Posted 4/24/06 at 10:00 AM

 

Cardinal Says Vatican’s in Talks With China

CNN, April 10 — New Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong said the Vatican and China are holding “real talks” in Rome about normalizing formal relations, reported CNN.

Interviewed on the television show “Newsline,” Cardinal Zen said the talks were substantial. “My impression is that they’ve entered into real talks.” He added that one sticking point has been who would have the authority to appoint bishops. He said the Vatican would be willing to show China a list of candidates and allow Beijing to share its opinion, but that the Vatican should have the final say.

“The final word should not be exclusively on the side of an atheist government,” said Cardinal Zen. Since Beijing cut formal ties with the Vatican in 1951, the Communist government has allowed the faithful to worship only in churches run by the state-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

When asked whether the Vatican was satisfied with the level of religious freedom now, Cardinal Zen did not directly answer the question. The cardinal said, “I think we can hope that the cage will become bigger and bigger, and we hope at the end they’ll let the birds fly.”

Pope Benedict’s Visit to Poland Set

BBC NEWS, April 8 — Pope Benedict XVI’s second foreign trip will take him to the land of his predecessor, BBC News reported.

The May 25-28 trip will have the Holy Father visiting Wadowice, the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla, and the city of Krakow where Cardinal Wojtyla served as archbishop before becoming Pope John Paul II. He will also travel to the former death camp at Auschwitz.

Pope Benedict will also visit Czestochowa, Poland’s Marian shrine, and the capital Warsaw, the Vatican said.

Papal nuncio Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk said, “[He] wants to pay homage to his predecessor ... and honor the country, church, diocese, and hometown of John Paul II, which were so dear to him.”

Swiss Guards Retrace Predecessors’ Steps

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, April 7 — Seventy-five members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard are marching the same route to Rome their predecessors did in 1506 when answering a distress call by Pope Julius II, UPI reported.

The march is one in a continuing series of events marking the 500th anniversary of the Swiss Guard. After crossing into Italy, the contingent will follow the ancient pilgrim route Via Francigena outside Piacenza before heading through Tuscany to arrive in Rome in time for the annual swearing-in of new recruits on May 6.

Other programs planned include a show in the Vatican spotlighting the noblest moment in their history — when 147 guards laid down their lives for Pope Clement VII against the army of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V during the Sack of Rome in 1527.

The heroic defense of St Peter’s, in which only 42 guards survived, ensured that Pope Clement VII eluded capture.