Thursday, February 23, 2006

THE CONSISTORY: The Telegraph Approves

In its Leader, the Daily Telegraph in London showers glowing praise upon Benedict XVI's elevation of Hong Kong Bishop Joseph Zen to the College of Cardinals, and the Pope himself:
Joseph Ratzinger surprised us by the receptive, pastoral face he presented to the world once he had moved from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the papal throne. He disarmed his liberal critics by the publication in January of Deus Caritas Est, his first encyclical as Benedict XVI. And yesterday he fired a shot across China's bows by naming Bishop Joseph Zen of Hong Kong, a Salesian, among the first batch of cardinals he will create next month.

This Pope started slowly. But he is rapidly gaining momentum and emerging from the immense shadow thrown by his predecessor....

In the four years since he succeeded Cardinal John Baptist Wu, who was appointed before the transfer of sovereignty, [Zen] has become Hong Kong's conscience.

The new pontiff has put at risk the thaw in relations with Beijing by announcing the forthcoming elevation of this outstanding priest to the cardinalate....

The choice will hardly please Beijing but the Pope has rightly decided that the Church's mission should not be sacrificed to a dialogue whose successful conclusion is far from sure, particularly as far as a Vatican say in the appointment of Chinese bishops is concerned. Hong Kong can take renewed pride in its courageous pastor. And Benedict's stature has been enhanced.