Vatican City (AsiaNews) - A message of condolence for the death of Msgr. Aloysius Jin Luxian and condolences to all the faithful of the diocese of Shanghai was sent by Msgr. Savio Hon, secretary of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The message, which is published below, is of a very personal character, full of memories from the period that Msgr. Hon spent in Shanghai and Sheshan as a teacher in the seminary, invited by Msgr. Jin. But the origin of the text, from a Vatican official, and his appreciation for the figure of the deceased bishop, is a subtle suggestion for reconciliation and unity of the Church of Shanghai, where there are still tensions between official and underground communities, with criticism and praise of Msgr. Jin. Also of great importance is his mention of Msgr. Ma Daqin, current auxiliary bishop of the city, under house arrest for having decided to quit the Patriotic Association. For the Vatican - as Msgr. Hon stated days ago - Msgr. Ma Daqin remains the legitimate bishop of Shanghai. Here is the text of the message sent (the original is in Chinese). In the picture: a moment of the religious funeral celebrated in the Cathedral of Shanghai on 29 April.
Vatican City, May 01, 2013
To the Diocese of Shanghai (传真 021-64276221, email@example.com)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My deepest condolences to you all!
When the news of the death of our beloved Bishop JIN reached me, I felt very sad. I still have fond memories of the Seminary in Sheshan, when Bishop JIN was still the Rector. In those days, we not only had lectures, but also basketball games and outdoor hiking. I particularly like the Marian Month and your chanting. My good brother Daqin was the Choir Master. Bishop JIN willingly spent time with us, and especially enjoyed coffee time after lunch. In one way or another, we will all miss him.
Thanks to his invitation, I was able to come to Sheshan - the place of Our Lady, and to meet a number of you: priests, seminarians, sisters, and friends. By now, most of you have great responsibilities for different pastoral and social activities. The loss of Bishop JIN made me suddenly feel very much united to you, my dear Brothers and Sisters. I indeed dreamt to be with you and to share our thoughts and sentiments with each other.
This time I also truly desired to come to Shanghai and to be with you at prayer: as one of your brothers, without any rank or pretense. However, this is one of those times in which the decision is not my own, and this is a part of life. Even if in this commemoration I cannot be present with you physically, I certainly will stay close to you spiritually. Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity (Ps 133).
When Bishop JIN was under the intensive care, I reported it to the superiors here. Even Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, showed his concern. Now Bishop JIN passed on to the Lord. We certainly offer prayers for the deceased and deepest condolences to Shanghai Diocese.
I was deeply moved by the pictures of the funeral Mass of Bishop JIN. There are so many familiar faces and my thoughts go out to all of you, my dear Brothers and Sisters, and, in a special way, to my dear brother Bishop Daqin, who was also with you in spirit. The Church, like a choir, is in need of a good conductor, so as to turn the Gospel into a beautiful song.
During this time of sadness, we recall the promises of Jesus, our Savior, Who is Risen from the dead, and commend our dear Bishop JIN to His loving care through the intercession of Mary, Our Lady of Sheshan.
Yours Fraternally in the Lord,
Savio HON Tai Fai