Friday, July 8, 2011

Nobody tells China what to do

When was the last time an entire country broke from the Catholic Church? Maybe this is on my mind lately because the book for book club last night was "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" by Alison Weir. But this story in the New York Times today amused me. Apparently the Catholic Church in China is not getting along with Rome so well these days. They're ordaining bishops without approval from the Vatican. That's a big no-no, so the Vatican has now started excommunicating those bishops. One so far, but presumably there would be more.

It's the kind of church intrigue I didn't really think happened anymore. At least not on the scale of an entire country. It's interesting to note that China's Catholic Church is run by the state. That really shouldn't surprise anyone, I guess, as the state has its hand in pretty much everything in China. So in a way, this feels like the Chinese government refusing to allow any other entity, even the leadership of the Catholic Church, tell it what to do. Kinda like when Henry VIII decided maybe he wasn't going to let some corrupt guy in Rome tell him who he could and could not unmarry. Wouldn't it be fun to watch the Chinese Catholic Church go through its own Great Matter and break from Rome? Or have I just read a little too much Tudor history lately and am therefore reading way too much into this?

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