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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 04/04/2005, 00.00


    Condolences for the Pope and new arrests of bishops and priests in Peking

    Rome (AsiaNews) – While wishing the pope a speedy recovery and getting ready to express condolences for the death of John Paul II, the Chinese government launched a new wave of arrests of underground Catholics. Only yesterday, the spokesman of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Lui Jianchao, expressed condolences for the death of the pope in a statement to the Xinhua news agency. He also reiterated political pre-conditions for a resumption of relations with the Vatican: severing diplomatic links with Taiwan and not interfering in China's internal religious affairs.

    The government allows freedom of worship only in places and with individuals registered with the State Office for Religious Affairs, in the so-called "official Church". The unofficial or underground church is considered illegal.

    Almost as if to reinforce the notion of internal management of the life of the church, on 1 April, Fr Wang Jinling of Zhangjiakou (Hebei) was taken away by the police; on 31 March, Mgr Yao Liang, auxiliary bishop of Xiwanzi (Hebei) was arrested. The Chinese government has also stepped up surveillance of other underground bishops, including Mgr Hao Kingli, bishop of Xiwanzi and Mgr Julius Jiazhiguo, bishop of Zhengding. On 2 April, the Vatican again denounced unwarranted arrests and detentions.

    The latest arrests, recorded by the Kung Foundation, are totally injustified. Those arrested are all elderly, over 80 years, and all belong to the underground Church, which refutes state control of the Christian community and which refuses to adhere to the Patriotic Association, the Communist Party's control body, which has been trying to set up a Church independent from Rome for nearly 50 years now.

    The increase in arrests and control checks seem to be caused by government fears that the pope's death – held to be imminent already days ago – could lead to gestures of defiance against Peking related to freedom of worship.

    Meanwhile, the Patriotic Association yesterday sent a message to all China's secretaries with instructions to organize masses for the deceased pope in churches.

    Today in Peking, requiem masses were celebrated in all four churches of the city. In all churches, there are photos of the pope and flowers near the altar. For some time now, the government has allowed prayers for the pope, but it does not concede that the Vatican may appoint Chinese bishops.

    The news of the pope's death has spread through the underground Church too. In many homes, prayer and fasting are taking place for the eternal rest of John Paul II. One priest said "the pope knew communism and always helped us and encouraged us to live our faith and to be courageous in the face of persecution."
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    See also

    05/04/2005 Vatican – China
    Afraid of the pope, China closes its doors

    11/04/2005 NORTH KOREA – VATICAN
    N Koreans hold Mass for late Pope

    05/04/2005 vietnam - vatican
    Vietnamese honour the holy man who never visited them

    07/04/2005 VATICAN – CHINA
    Singing the praises of a Pope who loves China
    While the Chinese government blocks out news of John Paul II from internet sites, a Shanghai Catholic tells of the pope's miracles beyond the Great Wall.

    08/04/2005 VATICAN
    A million people attend John Paul II's funeral

    Editor's choices

    On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"

    John Mok Chit Wai

    A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.

    The "enemies" of Pope Francis

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."


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