The Pope Bows to "Scientific Atheism"

This is being portrayed as an attempt by the Church to gain legitimacy within China; but the regime is officially hostile to the idea of a transcendent God whose morals might override the dictates of Party and State. Bowing to that sort of thing does little to secure the legitimacy of the Church. Rather, such a move threatens to cast away any such legitimacy.

Nor is this in response to Chinese overtures of friendship. "The pope’s conciliatory approach stands out at a moment when China is tightening its grip on religious practice under the more assertive leadership of President Xi Jinping."


james said...

Such things have happened before, IIRC. Even before Elizabeth, kings and emperors sometimes got to pick bishops, or at least veto them.

Grim said...

Originally Germanic kings always appointed bishops, to be clear. The Popes are the ones who were the aggressors in trying to lay claim to that power. The Holy Roman Empire and the English kings both fought over the issue, and both lost.

But that was a different Church.

E Hines said...

Used to be, when a question was asked whose answer was obvious, it would get the response, "Is the Pope a Catholic?"

That seems not so apt a response any more.

Eric Hines