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    » 05/24/2012, 00.00

    CHINA - VATICAN

    Month long Chinese crackdown on Donglu Marian shrine



    Catholic source tells AsiaNews that security measures have been tightened in the village, used to accommdoate a Marian shrine. Officials enforce round-the-clock control on the village. Lay Catholic leaders are also under surveillance. Banners call for resistance against "foreign infiltration". Faithful pray instead to Our Lady for Church unity.

    Donglu (AsiaNews) - A Catholic source who visited Donglu village in May told AsiaNews that since the start of the month, the government has deployed officials to guard the points of entry into the village round-the-clock.

    At each, they are tents, apparently for day and night shifts. Officials check each vehicle and pedestrian entering the village, he said.

    Red banners calling for "independently self-managed Church" and "resist foreign infiltration, fight crimes" were everywhere in the main streets (pictured).

    "Underground Catholics in Donglu can hardly conduct religious activities. The homes of several Catholic lay leaders of the underground community are guarded by officials day and night. The names of visitors are recorded visitors," the source said.

    At meeting points in the village, officials set up more tents in an apparent attempt to prevent gatherings or unauthorised religious activities. Officials are on guard 24 hours a day.

    Joseph, a Catholic in Donglu, told AsiaNews that the banners are not unusual in Donglu village. But in May, there are more of them, and security is tighter.

    For Catholics in Baoding diocese, especially those in Donglu, it is sad to see that the Marian pilgrimage site has been destroyed, he said.

    "But Catholics will pray in their heart to the Blessed Mother. Local Catholics have to reflect on how disunity has come to such a strong Catholic community and how it has been smashed. Solidarity and unity are important for Church members," he said.

    Between the early 1980s and 1995, the Marian shrine in Donglu village was a popular pilgrimage site in northern China, especially on 23 and 24 May, feast day of Mary Help of Christians.

    Every year in that period, the village saw tens of thousands come from across the country.

    On 23 May 1995, more than 50,000 pilgrims had come to Donglu shrine. A year later, the government began its crackdown, deploying its forces to stop pilgrims from coming to Donglu, especially during May.

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    See also

    21/10/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
    Card. Zen’s visit to Shanghai may be a trap set by Beijing
    According to some commentators, on his visit to Shanghai the, cardinal advised the local bishop to attend the meeting of Catholic representatives, a body that the pope considers "incompatible with Catholic faith." The Cardinal responds.

    03/07/2007 CHINA – VATICAN
    Beijing removes Papal Letter to Chinese Church from web
    Several Chinese Catholic portals uploaded the letter in simplified Chinese after its publication, but government officials “convinced” them to remove it. All the same, the letter reached the community of the faithful through different channels.

    29/07/2010 VATICAN - CHINA
    Card. Zen: not true that “Beijing really wants Bishops appointed by the Pope”
    There is still a long way to go in relations between Beijing and the Holy See on the appointment of bishops, which is not the result of an "agreement" but a "tug of war." The test of communion with the pope lies in the boycott of the Assembly of Representatives of Chinese Catholics. The tenacious cardinal of Hong Kong responds to an article by Gianni Valente of "30 Days".

    25/05/2009 CHINA – VATICAN
    The day of Prayer for the Church in China under control. Pope’s Letter is blocked
    No diocesan pilgrimages to the Sanctuary of Sheshan because of bans. Little publicity even in the diocese of Shanghai. In Hebei the Catholics go without mass because the priests are under arrest. Access to the Vatican website with Benedict XVI’s Letter (in Chinese) is still blocked.

    21/06/2016 17:27:00 CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.





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