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Holy War In China?

As if life wasn’t hard enough for a rising superpower, China now faces the prospect of a holy war — at least according to Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun of Hong Kong.

A storm is brewing over the Chinese government’s recent rush to consecrate bishops without Rome’s approval.  Excommunications have been hurled; so far, Hu Jintao has been no more impressed than was Henry VIII in similar circumstances.

In a week which saw even Michele Bachmann softening towards the Papacy, when a Pope has visited Cuba, and when even the British are considering changes to the laws that keep Catholics from inheriting the throne, China looks more and more isolated in its determination to hold Rome at bay. When I’ve asked Chinese officials about the continuing tension with the Vatican, they’ve pointed to the example of John Paul II and his role in ending communism in Poland.  They also point to South Korea, where both Catholic and Protestant churches played a major role in that country’s transition to democracy.

Point taken, but at least those revolutions were non-violent.  The time may come when China needs well respected public figures committed to mercy and peace.

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