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  • » 12/14/2015, 00.00


    Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Wenzhou: China’s Holy Doors are opened, even among underground Christians, who do not have "doors"

    John Ai - Bodi Jiao

    In major dioceses ceremonies for the opening of the Holy Doors were held and the text of the Bull of the Jubilee of Mercy distributed. In some dioceses with illegitimate bishops, the doors were decorated with Patriotic Association slogans. In Shanghai, the bishop is still under house arrest. Great use of social media to disseminate songs, prayers, quotes. The invitation to receive mercy and to communicate it to non-Christians. The Party newspapers mention Jubilee, but more about the light show on the facade of St. Peter.

    Beijing (AsiaNews) - In response to Pope Francis, many dioceses throughout China have opened their cathedrals Holy Door. The ceremonies were held yesterday and during last week. Each diocese also printed the Chinese edition of Misericordiae Vultus, the Bull of Indiction of the Holy Year and distributed it to the faithful present at the ceremony, inviting all to read it and spread it even among non-Christians.

    The Jubilee of Mercy has also trended on the internet. Many Christians evangelize by sharing messages on wechat, posting lyrics and songs linked to the Holy Year, news about events in the Vatican and at local level, inviting everyone to participate, especially those who often do not go to church. Many underground communities, not having a church building in which to conduct the ceremonies and the opening of the Holy Door, simply gathered in prayer and reflected on the Bull. Some underground dioceses are thinking about building a "door" in a home or in a yard, to help the faithful to understand the transition and conversion to Christ.

    Often, where there are official bishops in communion with the Pope, the faithful of the underground community benefit from registered churches and the Holy Door of the official cathedral. In some dioceses, however, where there are illegitimate bishops, the Holy Door - though blessed - is adorned with phrases glorifying socialism and the Patriotic Association, the Party body that wants to build a Church independent from the Holy See.

    In the Diocese of Beijing, the Holy Door was opened on December 12, at 9 am at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Nan Tang) by Msgr. Joseph Lishan. Surrounded by priests, nuns, seminarians and laity, the bishop urged the faithful to be "grateful to God for the opening of the Holy Door on 8 December with which Pope Francis inaugurated the Jubilee of mercy."

    "The Holy Father - he continued - has opened the doors of Mercy of the Lord for all of us because the Pope constantly gazes at Jesus and His merciful image. We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of Mercy of the Lord which is the spring of joy, calm, and peace for us".

    In Shanghai, there was no ceremony in the cathedral. First, because the facade is being restored. Some priests have said the Holy Door will be opened until work has concluded. In the interim, they added "every door of the church is a Holy Door". Another reason for the lack of the official opening ceremony is the fact that the bishop of the diocese, Thaddeus Ma Daqin, has been held under house arrest in the seminary of Sheshan for almost three years. Msgr. Ma is allowed to have a blog on Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter). So far, however, the blog has not been updated and there is still no mention of the Holy Year by the bishop.

    In the diocese of Xian (Shaanxi), there was a mass start of the Holy Year on December 6. The bishop, Msgr. Anthony Dang Mingyan, spoke of the Papal Bull and explained how faithful can obtain the indulgence. The full text of the Bull was printed in the diocesan weekly and distributed free of charge. The Holy Door will be open in the near future, as the cathedral of St. Francis is being restored. The community of the cathedral, however, have already begun planning works of mercy, suggested by the Pope as an expression of this Holy Year. Every Sunday in front of the cathedral they prepare and distributes food to the homeless. In addition, there is the distribution of basic necessities for poor people.

    Again in Shaanxi Province, as well as in Sanyuan, the Holy Door was opened in Zhouzhi, where Bishop Martin Wu Qinjing, ordained 10 years ago, was recently accepted by the Patriotic Association, which had segregated him under house arrest. The ceremony brought together about 5 thousand faithful.

    In Nanchang, Msgr. John Li Suguang opened the Holy Door and celebrated Mass Dec. 8, feast of the cathedral, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. The bishop explained the meaning of the logo of the Jubilee and how faithful can recieve the indulgence. He also encouraged the faithful to go in search of their "brothers and sisters who are lost” .The diocese has printed the Misericordiae Vultus and distributed it free of charge to all. The diocese is also planning to organize volunteer services to help people in need. The results of this commitment will be presented in the closing ceremony of the Holy Year.

    In Zhejiang, the Wenzhou diocese celebrated Mass for the start of the Jubilee on December 9. After reading some passages of Misericordiae Vultus, Msgr. Zhu Weifang opened the Holy Door. In recent months, Msgr. Zhu and his priests had protested strongly against the campaign for the demolition of crosses and churches.

    Even the mainstream media of the government has mentioned the Holy Year in Rome, giving ample space to issues of security and threats of terrorism. Discrete space was also given to the spectacular light show that took place in the evening when images inspired by Creation were projected onto the facade of St Peter's Basilica, "Fiat lux: Enlighten our common home", inspired by the encyclical "Laudato sì '."

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    See also

    14/12/2015 HONG KONG - VATICAN
    Seven Holy Doors in Hong Kong, mercy for the outcasts of society
    Hundreds of faithful gather in the cathedral for the solemn ritual, which lasted more than two and a half hours. Presided over by Card. Tong, the celebration kicked off a Holy Year "really special for this special diocese". 7 Holy Doors will be open across the territory. PIME missionary: "We hope that there are some real gestures for those who live in difficulty. The risk is that it becomes the year of the confession and not conversion".

    13/03/2015 VATICAN
    Pope: A Jubilee Year of Mercy, starting December 8
    The special Jubilee will end November 20, 2016. " I am convinced that the whole Church will find in this Jubilee the joy needed to rediscover and make fruitful the mercy of God, with which all of us are called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time". The announcement made by Francis during a penitential liturgy celebrated in St Peter's Basilica as part of the 24 hours of prayer for the Lord.

    21/08/2016 12:27:00 VATICAN
    Pope: The door of God's mercy is always wide open. For everyone!

    The goal, says Pope Francis before the Angelus prayer, "is Jesus himself. He leads us into fellowship with the Father, where we find love, understanding and protection. But why is this door is narrow? It is a narrow door not because it is oppressive, but because it asks us to restrict and limit our pride and our fear, to open ourselves with a humble and trusting heart to Him, recognizing ourselves as sinners, in need of his forgiveness. " An appeal for peace "in dear Turkey ".


    15/12/2015 THAILAND
    Holy Door opened in Bangkok: encounter with others, showing "God’s mercy"
    Cardinal Kovithavanij expresses "joy and happiness" at special celebration for the beginning of the Jubilee Year. In the coming weeks he will open another two Holy Doors, in Sampran and Ayutthaya. Nuncio in Thailand: The Church, a place to meet God's mercy "heart of the Gospel."

    03/09/2016 13:29:00 VATICAN
    Pope: Turning our backs on the suffering is a modern sin we cannot permitt

    Francis met tens of thousands of "mercy operators": "With your outstretched hand you touch the flesh of Christ, do not forget it." An invitation "to talk to the Lord, ask him the reason of things, and also ask them to remain humble and strong in service". A massive applause for Mother Teresa, a Saint as of tomorrow.

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