ROME’S CHINESE PUZZLE From The Tablet
This is an excellent article, with a slightly different take from mine. One observation is from Jerome Heyndrickx who notes that it is inconceivable that a legitimate bishop would be asked to resign in favour of an illegitimate one. I agree.
Bishops are not normally given the right not to resign if they don’t like their potential successor. Rome, I imagine, has asked for Bishop Peter Zhuang Jianjian, 88, of Shantou to step down without giving him any role in the naming of his replacement. A second, parallel move would have involved accepting the reconciliation of the illegitimate Bishop Huang Bingzhang BEFORE allowing him to take up the vacant See. It may well have been galling for Zhuang in so polarized a situation to be informed that his successor would not be “one of his own”, but I suspect that it is mischievous to characterize the change as one where a legitimate bishop was asked by a Roman representative to step down so that he could be replaced by a still illegitimate bishop.