21 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 12/01/2009 12:49
CHINA – VATICAN
National Assembly of Catholic Representatives postponed again
by Annie Lam
The assembly is of one the bodies the Pope views as “irreconcilable with Catholic doctrine”. The meeting was planned for the second half of 2009. In the past Cardinal Zen asked Chinese bishops to avoid the event.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The postponement of the state-sponsored National Assembly of Catholic Representatives to 2010 was “a wise decision,” Church-in-China experts and some mainland bishops told AsiaNews. On several occasions, Card Joseph Zen of Hong Kong said that Chinese bishops should try to avoid joining in the event.

About 100 Chinese Catholics, including 40 bishops, gathered in Beijing on 25 and 26 November. During the meeting, they decided to postpone the assembly, without fixing a date, Bishop Fang Xingyao of Linyi said. Wang Zuo’an, director of State Administration for Religious Affairs, attended the meeting.

The two-day meeting was organised by the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) and Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC), a body that includes bishops from the official Church that is not recognised by the Holy See. Some bishops told AsiaNews that the proposal to postpone the assembly was adopted unanimously.

The National Assembly is the highest governing body of the Catholic Church, above both the CCPA and the BCCCC. It is a “democratic” in structure but in which bishops are a minority. It is responsible for nationwide pastoral actions, Church activities, Episcopal appointments and even theological issues. The fact that it has jurisdiction over bishops makes in incompatible with the Catholic Church.

The CCPA had been trying for some time to organise an assembly to elected new CCPA and BCCCC presidents. Both posts have been vacant for years. CPCA President Michael Fu Tieshan (elected in 1998) died in 2007, whilst BCCCC President, Mgr Joseph Liu Yuanren, official bishop of Nanjing, died in 2005, a year after his election.

Recently, Card Joseph Ze-kiun, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, wrote a number of articles and letters. In them he commented the papal Letter to Chinese Catholics, making suggestions to the bishops of China to avoid the assembly because it is “incompatible with Catholic doctrine,” according to the Pope.

Bishops contacted by AsiaNews said that the assembly was postponed several times because of a number of events like the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic on 1 October 2009 and the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010, as well as helping the victims of Sichuan earthquake in May 2009.

For Anthony Lam Sui-ki, a senior researcher with the Holy Spirit Study Centre of the Catholic Diocese in Hong Kong, the decision to postpone the assembly was a wise decision. It appears the Chinese government is starting to take into account reactions from outside of China. The delay will give Chinese leaders an opportunity to find solutions to the problems they with face with changes to the leadership. Mr Lam also stressed that it is abnormal for the assembly to be above the bishops’ conference.

Kwun Ping-hung, a Hong Kong-based China-Vatican relations observer, said that a number of reasons were given for the postponement of the assembly, and that the decision was not unrelated to the China-Vatican situation. Delaying the assembly will in fact give Beijing and the Holy See more time to solve problems and find some common ground.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/09/2010 CHINA – VATICAN
Assembly elects new leadership, causing major harm to the Church
by Zhen Yuan
03/30/2009 CHINA – VATICAN
Persecution in China as Vatican meeting on China opens
by Bernardo Cervellera
07/08/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
Mgr Jia Zhiguo, underground bishop, released after 15 months
by Wang Zhicheng
10/29/2009 CHINA – VATICAN
In Hebei, underground bishop joins Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association
by Bernardo Cervellera
07/02/2007 CHINA – VATICAN
Subdued but predictable reactions in China to Pope’s letter

Editor's choices
ITALY - ASIA
Easter, victory over death and impotence
by Bernardo Cervellera
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.