2 August, 2014 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


» 06/21/2007
CHINA
Henan government: destroy the sanctuary of Our Lady of Carmel in Tianjiajing
A decree defines the sanctuary and the pilgrimages which stretch back over a hundred years involving over 40 thousand faithful each year as “illegal religious activity”. Catholics promise to resist this violation of their right. Perhaps the sanctuary grounds are wanted for the construction of hotels and villas.

Rome (AsiaNews) – Next July 16th pilgrims and faithful from Henan will not be allowed to go on pilgrimage to the sanctuary in Tianjiajing. The government from the province of Henan has in fact decreed that the historic sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel will be blown up with dynamite; a complete ban on Catholics organizing their annual pilgrimage; a complete ban on any religious gathering or function being celebrated in the area.  A statue of the Virgin, over one hundred years old, is destined to be destroyed along with 14 stations of The Way of the Cross which punctuate the entrance to the shrine.

The sanctuary of Our Lady of Mount Carmel lies in Tianjiajing (Linxian district), in the diocese of Anyang, in the reaches of a mountain which dominates majestic scenery.  It was ordered built by PIME missionary Msgr. Stefano Scarsella, then apostolic vicar to northern Henan, to thank the Virgin for preserving them from the dangers of the Boxers persecution in 1900.  The shrine was built in1903-1905.

The elegantly styled neo-roman Church was almost completely destroyed first by the Japanese in the Second World War, then by the Red Guard in the 60’s. Since 1979, the faithful returned to celebrating their faith with solemn liturgies and pilgrimages, travelling many kilometres on foot to the sanctuary ruins and representation of the Lourdes Grotto, where still today the original Marian statue can be seen.

According to AsiaNews sources, May 12th last, on the feast of Our Lady of China, the diocese of  Anyang distributed leaflets on the upcoming annual pilgrimage to Tianjiajing on July 16th feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.  Usually the pilgrimage gathers 45-50 thousand people.  Since then the Department for Religious Affairs has kept strict surveillance of all priests, forcing them to hold “discussions” to convince them not to go ahead with the pilgrimage.

May 11th last the secretary general of Henan province gave a personal order to cancel the pilgrimage and spread the order to the neighbouring provinces of Hebei and Shanxi.

To occupy the site and prevent any form of sit-in, the provincial government began holding military exercises in the area of the shrine on May 12, mobilizing over 700 soldiers. Still today all roads leading to the sanctuary are closed.  All cars and pedestrians who pass by are stopped and searched.

The provincial governor’s decision has shocked the faithful of the diocese because just this year they began rebuilding the sanctuary, offering money and hours of work, repairing the road and the stations of the Way of the Cross which lie along it.  

In answer on May 14th the government of Anyang city revoked the sanctuary’s permit and the permit for the pilgrimage, defining them as “illegal religious activity” and May 16th he issued a resolution which denies access to the land to Anyang Church, requisitioning the sanctuary site.

 “It’s unbelievable that they have done this “, one faithful tells AsiaNews. “These local communist leaders don’t even know the central governments laws governing religious polices, they only create useless and dangerous tension”. “We will never give in “says another faithful.  “We are not afraid and we will defend our legitimate rights to the very end”.

In the meantime, since the end of May a “working group” from the local government has installed itself in Tianjiajing. According to some suppositions, the local government move requisitioning the lands and abolishing the pilgrimage is due to the geographical position of the Church, on the summit, above a valley ideal for the building of a hotel or perhaps country villa of some Party member.

Faithful from the diocese of Anyang have launched an appeal through AsiaNews: “We ask all our brothers and sisters in the Lord – they say – to pray for us and spread our message to all the faithful of the world”.

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
11/12/2007 CHINA
Our Lady of Carmel shrine in Tianjiajing safe for now
12/15/2008 CHINA
Celebrations concluded for 400th anniversary of Church in Shanghai
09/15/2006 PHILIPPINES
Following Mary's example, think about the common good, Card Vidal tells political leaders
by Santosh Digal
03/22/2010 VIETNAM
First steps to rebuild the shrine of La Vang
by J.B. VU
10/29/2009 PHILIPPINES
Jolo: fear of attacks, masses cancelled for the All Saints and All Souls

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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.