Bishop Guo Xijin
by Vincenzo Guo Xijin
Oct 7 2020
The speech given by the bishop of Mindong announcing his resignation from all public office, retiring to a life of prayer. Now the diocese is entrusted to Msgr. Zhan Silu, known to be very ambitious.
MINDONG, China – “I am incompetent”, “I have no talent”, “I am not in step with the times”, “I do not want to be an obstacle to progress”: these are some of the reasons that Msgr. Vincenzo Guo Xijin listed in his speech delivered yesterday at his last public mass, in which he announced his decision to resign from all his public offices and to retire to a life of prayer.
In perfect Confucian style, Msgr. Guo humiliates himself by mocking his few qualities. The fact remains that he, a great confessor of the faith, who has suffered imprisonment many times, out of love for the unity of the Church leaves room for a formerly excommunicated bishop, known by all as ambitious and thirsty for power. Bishop Zhan Silu, reconciled with Pope Francis, does not seem to have made any gesture of public request for forgiveness in front of his community.
Under the Sino-Vatican Agreement, the Mindong (Fujian) experiment was seen in some ways as a “pilot project” for a program of normalization of relations with the government and for a reconciliation of the official and underground community: it was obtained normalization; a fracture in the community; the resignation and mass on the side-lines of a truly holy bishop, who signs himself “Your incompetent pastor Guo Xijin”, precisely in the humility and service that Pope Francis likes so much. We report below the text of the speech of Msgr. Guo, which is also filmed as a letter among the faithful. (B.C.)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
may your heart be filled with the grace of God.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
at this moment, first of all, I beg your pardon: tonight I would like to take some of your time to share with you what has happened recently and my personal situation. However, these events may also concern you, as they concern the Church in China or in other words [are] directly related to the situation in our diocese. All this is perhaps the sign of a new era, a new page for the Church. In such an extraordinary historical moment, we need people with great talent, wisdom, virtue and knowledge, to be able to keep up with this era, or even precede the steps of the era by guiding it. I am a person who has no talent, my head is now a void unable to change with a changing society, a shepherd born in a poor village who has no talent, no virtue, no wisdom, no skills, no knowledge; in the face of this age that changes so rapidly, I feel almost incapable. I thank God for enlightening me by making me understand that I am no longer able to keep up with this era. Nonetheless, I do not want to become an obstacle to progress. This is why I have decided to resign by submitting my resignation to the Holy See already last month.
I have therefore decided:
1.not to attend any public events starting tomorrow. Tonight will be the last public mass that I preside: from tomorrow I will only do private masses (ie without the participation of the faithful), the faithful can receive the sacraments and attend mass at the nearby church. During the solemnity of the Assumption of Mary I have already specified that the sacraments given by priests (whether they have signed or not) are all legitimate.
2.Leave all administrative organization of the diocese concentrating on prayer, in addition to the need for confession for problems of personal conscience, for all other affairs refer to one’s pastor or go directly to Ningde to present them to Bishop Zhan Silu.
3.As for the use of the offerings received, already last year there were many people who were interested. I can tell you clearly that every cent of the offerings received must be delivered to the diocese (this is the custom and norm established by our diocese 30, 40 years ago); moreover, it is Bishop Zhan who administers this together with his priests. I have already decided to renounce all control of this institution, as I am not capable nor am I worthy to hold this supervisory position: you do not have to deliver the offering to me, so starting from tomorrow I will refuse to receive all offerings. You can deliver your offerings to your pastor or someone you trust.
4.My faithful, you must remember that your faith is in God and not in man
Man is subject to change, but God is not
My final counsel: in any circumstance or change, you must never forget God, do not ignore the Lord’s commandments, do not harm the integrity of the faith, do not slow down the salvation of the soul which is the most important thing.
As I prepare to leave my office, I ask you to forgive me for my weakness and helplessness, especially for the offenses I made against you during my office! May the merciful God always be with you, until the last day of your life!
Your incompetent pastor Guo Xijin
Sunday evening of 4 October 2020