As China’s Bishops Die Off, Clash Looms With Vatican – Andrew Batson and Stacy Meichtry
From The Wall Street Journal:
As Beijing and the Vatican escalate their battle for control of the Roman Catholic Church in China, people like Bishop Liu Jingshan are caught painfully in the middle.
The head of a diocese in the dusty plains of western China (Yinchuan), the 93-year-old bishop is one of the church’s last living links with a pre-Communist China, when Catholics could freely profess their allegiance to the pope. Bishop Liu also serves in the compromised present-day world of Catholicism in this country, in a government-approved church which the Vatican and many Catholics view as illegitimate.
For more than two decades, Bishop Liu and many other Chinese Catholics have discreetly divided their loyalties between two masters, gently nudging both toward a hoped-for rapprochement. But as Bishop Liu’s generation ages, the bridge between Beijing and Rome is wearing thin, worsening tensions on both sides.[Full Text]