30 March, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 05/19/2009
VATICAN – CHINA
Prayer in Naples for the Church in China as Chinese Catholics face difficulties in Sheshan
The day of prayer dedicated by Benedict XVI is in its second year. At least 400 Chinese Catholics in Italy are expected to take part in a Mass presided by Naples archbishop, Cardinal Sepe. Again this year Chinese authorities are trying to contain participation by Catholics, official or underground, to the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Sheshan.

Rome (AsiaNews) – A prayer for the Church of China will be held on 24 May in Naples Cathedral; all Chinese Catholics in Italy are invited. Organisers expect some 400 of them to make the journey to attend the bilingual (Italian-Chinese) ceremony that will presided by Naples’ archbishop, Card Crescenzio Sepe.

Pope Benedict XVI launched the idea of dedicating a day of prayer to the Church in China each year on 24 May in his Letter to Chinese Catholics, published in June 2007. On that day Chinese Catholics celebrate the liturgical memory of Mary, Help of Christians, who is venerated at the Sheshan shrine, a site to visit especially on that day and throughout the month of May.

By instituting this prayer the Pontiff aimed at strengthening the unity between underground and official Catholics and their communion with the successor of Peter.  By calling on the Lord for strength, he sought help for Chinese Catholics so that they can persevere in bearing Christian witness and this despite all the suffering and persecution they have to endure.

In the meantime news have reached AsiaNews  that the Chinese authorities are imposing limits once more on access to the shrine, that no pilgrimage from any diocese other than Shanghai and Sheshan will be allowed.

Last year, various provincial authorities issued restrictions for would-be pilgrims who planned to visit the Sheshan shrine. Instead they required Catholics who lived in other jurisdictions to limit their pilgrimage to local shrines. This had the effect that Catholics from outside of China were stopped from reaching the Marian shrine which is located near Shanghai.

Again this year, indications are that Catholics will have to pray only in their own diocese of residence. The Shanghai city government even announced special traffic controls between 30 April and 31 May.

Despite all the restrictions (which did not apply to Shanghai Catholics) at least 2,500 people took part in the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Sheshan last year.

According to local Catholics, restrictions by local authorities have been imposed because Sheshan has become the symbol of loyalty to the Pope and a place where official and underground Catholics can meet.

For this reason the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association has fought against this state of affairs in order to better divide and control Catholics in its bid to set up a Catholic Church that is independent of the Holy See.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/11/2006 CHINA – ITALY
Chinese Catholics ask Prodi to raise issue of jailed bishops and religious freedom
05/08/2008 CHINA
Government attack against Sheshan shrine bears fruit, number of pilgrims cut by half
03/24/2010 CHINA – VATICAN
Another underground priest arrested in Fujian
09/01/2005 CHINA
More than 10,000 faithful attend the funeral of Mgr Xie, underground Bishop of Mingdong
04/29/2005 CHINA
Underground Church prays Benedict XVI may visit China

Editor's choices
CHINA - VATICAN
BREAKING NEWS: Chinese police seize two priests in Mutanjiang
by Bernardo Cervellera
CHINA-VATICAN
Nothing to toast between China and the Vatican: Beijing wants complete control
by Bernardo CervelleraFor the Global Times (the People's Daily) China does not like the "Vietnamese model" of agreed episcopal ordinations. The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s embarrassment in front of the Holy See’s countless efforts. China wants the Vatican to accept all excommunicated bishops and to keep silent on those who are underground and imprisoned. The case of Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang. Without religious freedom, diplomatic relations are pointless. The work of mission and the unity of Catholics in China. A task for Xi Jinping: implement the anti-corruption campaign in the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Patriotic Association, which have grown rich over the decades on the backs of Christians.
VATICAN
Pope: Christians are persecuted and the world tries to hide itDuring the Angelus, Francis prayed for the victims of today's church massacres in Pakistan. Before the Marian prayer, he said that God "loves us, really love us, and loves us very much! This is simplest expression that sums up the whole Gospel, faith, and theology. God loves us freely and boundlessly." The pontiff also spoke about typhoon victims in Vanuatu. "I pray for the dead, the wounded and the homeless. I thank all those who reacted immediately to bring relief and aid." The pope also made a plea on behalf of persecuted Christians. "May the persecution against Christians, which the world is trying to hide, come to an end, and may there be peace."

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.