THURSDAY
January 13, 2000
volume 11, no. 9
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY PROPOSES GREATER CONTROL OF RELIGIONS

Response to Failure to Repress Catholics and Tibetan Buddhists

    BEIJING, JAN 11 (ZENIT) - Following the rebellion of many Catholics, who refused to attend the ordination of bishops of the Catholic Patriotic Association, and the escape of the young Karmapa Lama from Tibet, the Chinese Communist Party has called for greater control of religions in order to "guarantee political stability."

    "It is necessary that all who have responsibilities, especially directors, attentively study the Marxist concept of religion and, based on the law, reinforce the administration of religious affairs," Chinese Minister Zhu Rongji said today, during a meeting held in Beijing with directors of all local religious offices.

    The control of religions this year will be "even harsher," the State's Muslim adviser, Ismail Amat, said, who mentioned "hostile Western and local forces that use religion to infiltrate the country."

    Zhu Bangzao, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed that China will not allow any country to interfere in its internal affairs in the name of religion. The spokesman did not refer directly to the Vatican, but the Beijing government's position is well-known, that the Pope's spiritual authority over the Church constitutes a threat to Communist control.

    On January 6, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, controlled by the regime, consecrated 5 bishops without John Paul II's approval. According to the international agency "Fides," an additional 9 priests rejected episcopal ordination as a sign of respect for the Pope, even though they knew perfectly well that their opposition would trigger anger in the communist authorities.

    In recent days, news arrived that the third highest Tibetan Buddhist religious authority, the seventh Karmapa Lama, has fled to India, crossing the Himalayas on foot, accompanied by two lamas. The 15-year-old boy, was the only important personage in the Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy recognized both by Beijing as well as the Dalai Lama. The Chinese government had placed its bets on the youth in order to guarantee the support of the Tibetan people, given that the Panchen Lama imposed by Beijing against the Dalai Lama's will is not accepted by Tibetan monks, who prefer the Panchen Lama named by the Dalai Lama. ZE000011108

          

January 13, 2000
volume 11, no. 9
NEWS & VIEWS

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