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» 05/18/2011
CHINA - VATICAN
Day of Prayer for the Church in China forbidden to Shanghai Catholics
Like every year, Chinese Catholics are hindered in their pilgrimage to Sheshan. The World Day was decided by Pope Benedict XVI to strengthen unity between underground and official Catholics and unity with the Successor of Peter. In Italy, the Day will be celebrated in Rimini on 21 and 22 May.

Rome (AsiaNews) - Public security officers have banned the underground Catholic community in Shanghai from visiting the shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan, on the occasion of World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, on 24 May. Some communities, however, have decided to challenge the police order and will go on pilgrimage to Sheshan the previous weekend, May 21.

"The atmosphere is very tense - a priest told AsiaNews - and we should remain calm. At the same time we want to obey the instructions of the pope. "

In fact Benedict XVI himself established May 24, the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, as the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. In his Letter to Chinese Catholics in 2007, he expressed the intention that through prayer we may strengthen the unity between underground and official Christians and their communion with the Successor of Peter, also asking the Lord for the strength to persevere Christian witness, even in the midst of suffering of persecution.

Catholics in China are still suffering from shock after the regimes’ ordination of bishops without papal permission and its violence in deporting bishops and priests to force them to participate in an Assembly in Beijing against the wishes of the pope, to elect the leaders of the Bishops Council and Patriotic Association. These gestures are trying to divide even more the already beleaguered community of official and underground Catholics. Perhaps to stop this unity in prayer, since 2008, the first year of the day, authorities have consistently tried to prevent pilgrims from the diocese and further afield from going on pilgrimage to Sheshan, inviting priests from various dioceses to go on "government paid holidays”, and allowing only a few thousand faithful from Shanghai to advance up the slopes of the sanctuary.

From the end of the 800, the shrine of Sheshan, about 40 km southwest of Shanghai, is a place of pilgrimage from all over the country. In May, admittance reaches 20 thousand people.

In Italy, for the occasion of World Day of Prayer, the Chinese Catholic communities are organizing a rally of two days on 21 and 22 May in Rimini. The meetings, which are open not only to the faithful from China, include the presence of Mgr. Savio Hon Taifai, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Mgr. Francesco Lambiasi, Bishop of Rimini, Mgr. Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. and hundreds of priests. For information and registration, see www.centroitaliacina.it ).

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See also
05/28/2008 CHINA - VATICAN
In Sheshan, World Day of Prayer for the Church in China
by Zhang Yiming
05/25/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
Our Lady of Sheshan, persecution and division
by Bernardo Cervellera
05/24/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
At Sheshan and throughout China we pray for unity and priestly vocations
by Zhen Yuan
10/25/2004 CHINA
For China's government stability comes before religious freedom
04/19/2012 CHINA - VATICAN
Excommunicated Bishop at Nanchong ordination. Abp. Savio Hon: Disobedience leads to self-destruction
by Bernardo Cervellera

Editor's choices
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".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
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pp. 176
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