While the rumor mill is churning over an imminent agreement between Beijing and the Holy See, doubts about the effective freedom that the Party could guarantee to Chinese Catholics remain strong. We must pray for them, for the unity of the Church and for the discernment of local pastors. China "continues to consider itself the absolute center of the world". The opinion of a missionary, a great expert in the Middle Empire.
The country continues to suffer dramatic surge in food and fuel prices. The cost of foodstuffs has increased by 68% compared to the pre-war period. The local currency has lost 180% of its value and has reached the historical minimum. A situation that could create "an unprecedented hunger". Hundreds of thousands of minors in "immediate danger" situation.
Imran Khan breaks with his predecessors. About 1.4 million Afghan refugees and 200,000 Bangladeshis live in the country. Pakistan law grants citizenship to anyone born in the country, except the children of diplomats, “enemy aliens” and people who left territories that became part of Pakistan in 1947.
Chaldean priests and bishops are currently attending the Patriarchal Synod in Ankawa. In his message, the Chaldean primate invites them to find new ways of working ahead of Youth Synod in Rome. Families must be at the centre of pastoral outreach. The liturgy must be accompanied by testimony through works.
Francis’ apostolic constitution "Episcopalis Communio" published today appears inspired by a desire to underline greater participation of the laity in the work of the Synod of Bishops and the role of this organism in a perspective of evangelization and of progress in the ecumenical journey.
The United Wa State Army (UWSA) orders its members to “find out what the [Christian] missionaries are doing and what are their intensions.” It bans new church construction and allows only local priests to minister. Beijing’s shadow affects the local peace process.
The pastor "must have the power and authority that Jesus had, that of humility, that of meekness, of closeness, of the capacity for compassion, of tenderness". "When the people insulted him, that Good Friday, and shouted 'crucify him', he remained silent because he had compassion on those people deceived by the powerful who had money, who had power ... He was silent. He prayed ".
A priest in charge of a Henan parish complains about the ban on displaying sacred images and attempts by the faithful to accommodate government authorities. The faith cannot be abandoned or betrayed, nor can it be negotiated. What cannot be asserted or defended in public is not faith.
In Shanghai the "basic values of socialism" are exalted on the pediment of the church. A painting of the Last Supper removed in Henan. Communities forced to sing patriotic hymns. Shaolin Monastery in Shaoshan must hold a flag-raising ceremony every morning. "The churches seem more and more like government offices".
Those with "strong religious beliefs" must be re-educated or expelled. Spreading "political rumours" and distorting the country’s history are banned.
At the end of the trip to Ireland, Francis renews his appeal for forgiveness for the abuses committed by people in the Church. But a dossier by the former nuncio in the US accuses him of covering the misdeeds of former Cardinal McCarrick and calls for him to resign.