19 February 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia
  •    - China
  •    - Hong Kong
  •    - Japan
  •    - Macau
  •    - North Korea
  •    - South Korea
  •    - Taiwan

  • » 09/27/2010, 00.00


    Chinese Academy of Social Sciences calls for a rethink of religious policy towards Catholics

    The Academy’s annual report says the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association interferes too much in the life of the Bishops’ Council. Some voice concerns about possible criticism at the next meeting of the National Assembly of Catholic Representatives, the top body of China’s Catholic Church, which the Pope deems irreconcilable with Catholic doctrine.

    Beijing (AsiaNews/Églises d’Asie) – A researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said that the Chinese government should review its religious policy towards Catholics. In the study, she criticises the current role played by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA) and the Bishops’ Council. She also raises doubts about the National Assembly of Catholic Representatives, the governing body if the official Catholic Church in China.

    In the CASS annual report on religions in China that was released in mid-September, Wang Meixiu, a member of the Institute of World Religions, a research unit at CASS, noted that Chinese Catholics have increased their ties with the universal Church. A keen observer of Catholic affairs in China, she said that China constitutes a unique case because of the existence of the National Assembly of Catholic Representatives, whose “democratic” choices are imposed on official bishops, and the CPCA, which supervises the Bishops’ Council, roughly the equivalent of a national bishops’ conference elsewhere in the world, but without Holy See recognition.

    In the report, Wang Meixiu suggests that the two organisations ought to specialise according to tasks. The Bishops’ Council should be left to run the Church, whilst the CPCA should act as a “bridge” between Church and state.

    Currently the CPCA, whose secretaries are often atheist, runs every aspect of Church life, from vocations and Episcopal appointments to financial matters. For Ms Wang, clearing defining the responsibilities of each organisation should improve the government’s religious policy.

    As for the National Assembly of Catholic Representatives, she notes that it has failed to meet since 2004 even though it is viewed as the governing body of the official Catholic Church.

    The next meeting should elect the new presidents of the CPCA and the Bishops’ Council, both of which are vacant. Patriotic Bishop Michael Fu Tieshan, elected CPCA president tin 1998, died in 2007. Mgr Joseph Liu Yuanren, patriotic bishop of Nanking and president of the Bishops’ Council, passed away in 2005.

    For one reason or another, the meeting to elect their replacements has been postponed, because of an earthquake and the Olympic Games in 2008, the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic in 2009 and the Shanghai Expo this year. Still, as Wang Meixiu points out, the government is bound to convene the assembly after Expo, in late October, to avoid “criticism”, which is coming from various directions.

    With the CPCA pushing for the election of unlawful Bishop Ma Yinglin (pictured), official bishops recognised by the Vatican would face a major dilemma over whether to participate or not. In March, the Vatican Commission for the Church in China issued a statement in which it called on bishops accepted by the Pope to avoid “actions (like sacramental ceremonies, Episcopal ordinations and meetings) that contradict the communion with the Holy Father.”

    Above all stands Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics, which said that the National Assembly of Catholic Representatives and the charter of the CPCA are irreconcilable with Catholic doctrine.

    The annual report on religions, issued by CASS, provides only suggestions to the government, which is free to heed them or not.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    17/12/2008 CHINA
    Every month millions of farmers, workers and graduates join ranks of the unemployed
    Rural areas cannot re-employ the millions of migrants forced to go home after losing their factory jobs. More than a million graduates join the army of unemployed. Beijing is concerned about social unrest; urges local authorities to create jobs.

    11/07/2014 CHINA
    Chinese Academy of Social Sciences . . . and journalists to toe the Party line
    Several academics support political reform. The Party feels its monopoly of power is threatened, fears it might end up like the USSR. Journalists are forbidden to pass information to foreign media, and could be charged with leaking "state secrets."

    10/01/2007 CHINA
    Rural-urban gap widening
    Top 10 per cent owns almost half of all private assets. Urban incomes growing fast; rural areas get poorer as a result of land expropriation and soaring medical costs.

    08/02/2007 ITALY – CHINA
    Capitalia looking at new opportunities for Italy in China
    Conference organised by Capitalia, an Italian banking group, and Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, indicates that food, agriculture and the environment are key areas for Sino-Italian cooperation. Sea transportation and services are also seen as additional areas.

    26/11/2010 CHINA
    Fan Yafeng, a Christian, is arrested, he signed Charter 08
    A researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Fan was fired in 2009 for his work on behalf of the population. Police detained his wife and three-year-old child. The authorities continue to persecute supporters of Nobel Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo.

    Editor's choices

    The tears of Chinese bishops. A portrait of Msgr. Zhuang, bishop of Shantou

    Padre Pietro

    A priest of the official Church, recalls the 88 year old bishop that the Vatican wants to replace with an illegitimate bishop, to please the regime. Mons. Zhuang Jianjian became an underground bishop at the behest of the Vatican in 2006. Card. Zen and Msgr. Zhuang, image of the faithful Church, "which provokes an immense sadness and a sense of impotence". The hopes of card. Parolin to console "the past and present sufferings of Chinese Catholics".

    Card. Zen on the bishops of Shantou and Mindong

    Card. Joseph Zen

    The bishop emeritus of Hong Kong confirms the information published in recent days by AsiaNews and reveals details of his conversation with Pope Francis on these topics: "Do not create another Mindszenty case", the primate of Hungary whom the Vatican forced to leave the country, appointing a successor in Budapest, at the will of the communist government of the time. 


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®