Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Card Oswald Gracias, secretary general of the
Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), is pained and anguished by the
unlawful ordination of Fr Fusheng as bishop of Harbin (China), i.e. done without
papal approval. "The Holy Father has never interfered in the internal affairs
of the [Chinese] government. Through the appointment of bishops around the
world, the Holy See only fulfils its pastoral duties," the prelate said in an interview
"The Chinese government should refrain from interfering in the pastoral
and spiritual fields with its unlawful appointments of bishops. It should allow
the Church to function independently and freely. The Church wants to serve the
people of China and work for its spiritual growth."
The FABC and the entire "people of God are praying that the Holy See and
the Chinese government solve the situation and that matters do not get worse," Mgr
Gracias said. Hopefully, Chinese authorities will "return to a spirit of
collaboration, cooperation and dialogue with the Holy See and better understand
the Church's mission."
"The marginalisation of God nowadays is spreading in many countries. We can
see its tragic consequences in every field as society's fundamental principles
and ethical values in politics and economics are in crisis," the prelate said. "The
new evangelisation is the prophetic call made by the Holy Father to bring God
from the periphery to the centre of life."
Freedom of religion is "important in the whole world. It is fundamental
for the full development of a country and its population. Stifling and suppressing
religious freedom harms man's dignity and a nation's development and progress."