Why doesn’t Pope Francis want to see the Dalai Lama? Behind the appointments of Chinese bishops
The Dalai Lamathe supreme head of the Tibetan religion and also the official head of the state of Tibet, albeit in exile, wanted to remember Pope Ratzinger a few days ago. You did so by sending an official message to the Vatican nunciature in New Delhi. Among other things it reads: “Ratzinger was a man who did everything possible to contribute to religious harmony and global peace. I pray for our spiritual brother“. And then again: “When I had the opportunity to meet Pope Benedict, I discovered that we were in great agreement on human values, religious harmony and the environment. During his pontificate, he worked hard to promote these issues. He lived a meaningful life. I believe these exchanges have contributed to a better religious understanding between us.”
The Dalai Lama met with both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. Unofficial meetings, i.e. not registered by the Vatican protocol, and this to avoid ‘irritating’ powerful China which –as known- Tibet has invaded and considers it its province, like Taiwan. Instead Pope Francis never wanted to meet him in the Vatican -even unofficially- because of a specific issue and that is the agreement on the appointment of Catholic bishops in China subject to a 2018 treaty.
The Cardinal Zen, former archbishop of Hong Kong (also arrested by the Chinese police), accused the Pope of having sold out the Chinese Church and on this position the conservative wing then found itself referring precisely to Ratzinger, which instead took a very different line.
The German Pope had to say on this thorny issue: “I am following with great trepidation the news which is arriving from Tibet in recent days. My fatherly heart feels sadness and pain in the face of the suffering of so many people. I invite you to join me in prayer. Let us ask almighty God, the source of light, to enlighten everyone’s minds and give everyone the courage to choose the path of dialogue and tolerance”.
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