21 January 2018
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Pope's letterto the Church in China


02/07/2007
Subdued but predictable reactions in China to Pope’s letter
The government again reiterates its two pre-conditions for diplomatic dialogue (non interference in Chinese affairs and break with Taiwan), but unlike the 2000 martyr canonisation affair, this time it has taken soft approach. The underground Church rejoices, whilst the official Church, which is under an even tighter control, is moving cautiously.

01/07/2007
Cardinal Zen: “Pope’s letter to the Chinese Church represents love for truth and his children”
The bishop of Hong Kong, Card Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, hopes that Benedict XVI’s letter to China’s clergy and faithful may be the starting point for a direct dialogue between the local Church and the Beijing government. He stresses the letter’s religious rather than its political tone.

01/07/2007
Pope’s letter is key to China’s development, says Mgr Li Jingfeng
In an interview with AsiaNews, the bishop of Fengxiang—who is recognised by the government without being a member of the Patriotic Association—says that the papal letter makes the right call for unity and is hopeful that Beijing might try a sincere dialogue with the Holy See, a key element to China’s development.

01/07/2007
Too much atheism and interference from the state, says Mgr Jia Zhiguo
The underground bishop of Zhengding, freed eight days ago after 17 in a jail, is both hopeful and pessimistic about what the Pope’s letter to Chinese Catholics might do. The prelate, who has spent more than 20 years in a labour camp, believes that the Chinese government has not changed. “It uses the same strategy as during Mao’s times” and relies on the Patriotic Association to split the Church. But for the Church itself the Pope’s letter is an important sign of what direction to follow.

30/06/2007
Vatican to the conquest of a changing China
For decades the diplomatic dialogue was non-existent; now there are signs of openness. As China experiences a religious renaissance, the regime’s various patriotic associations try to maintain their ideological and economic power over the Churches. Here is an analysis of the history of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Beijing.

30/06/2007
Church of China, a by-product of persecution and the crisis of materialism
Past difficulties like the division between ‘official’ and ‘underground’ Churches and old and new persecutions have not stopped the Church’s growth. After years of ungodly and inhumanly ruthless materialism and despite many obstacles the Church is today open to the young, the intellectuals, poor migrants, people living with AIDS.

30/06/2007
Pope: there is just one Church in China; may it be united and free
The "Letter of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to the bishops, priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful of the Catholic Church in the People's Republic of China" published today. The Pope addresses, from the perspective of Church unity, the questions of bishop appointments, the relationship with the government, and the life of the community of the faithful. Condemnation of the Patriotic Association. The complete text of the Letter.

28/06/2007
The United Front gathers official bishops to instruct them on the Pope’s Letter
There are fears of a fresh campaign against the Pope similar to the one in 2000, following the canonization of the Chinese martyrs. According to some priests this is the latest attempt to divide rediscovered unity of the bishops with the Pope.



Editor's choices

EGYPT – LEBANON
Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

Fady Noun

A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.


CHINA
Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison



The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


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