Tue, May 09, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: There's only one Church

By Paul Kokoski

There is no such thing as a state-sanctioned Catholic Church ("Vatican excommunicates Beijing's two new bishops," May 5, page 1). The only Catholic Church is the universal Catholic Church headed by the Pope. And only the Pope has the power to ordain Catholic bishops.

China's communist government falsely presents itself as the authentic spokesman for the aspirations of its people, and claims to be able -- by recourse to violent means -- to bring about the radical changes which will put an end to the oppression and misery of its people.

Marxist Communism is characterized by the "class struggle," which implies that society is founded on violence. Within this perspective, any reference to ethical requirements calling for courageous and radical institutional and structural reforms makes no sense. In this system, every affirmation of faith or of theology is subordinated to a political criterion, which in turn depends on the class struggle, the driving force of history.

Participation in the class struggle is presented as a requirement. The desire to love everyone, despite their class, and to meet them with non- violent means of dialogue and persuasion, is denounced as counterproductive and opposed to love.

Communism proposes a novel interpretation of both the content of faith and of Christian existence, which seriously departs from the faith of the Church and, in fact, actually constitutes a practical negation.

In contrast to communist belief, no state may impose religion, yet it must guarantee religious freedom and harmony among the followers of different religions. China's government, therefore, must not interfere in the religious affairs of the Catholic Church.

Those who choose to follow Beijing's newly ordained bishop of Kunming, Ma Yingling (馬英林), are following the atheistic and violent government of China and not the Catholic Church -- which is a beacon of truth and real love.

Paul Kokoski

Ontario, Canada

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