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    » 10/18/2005, 00.00

    VATICAN – SYNOD ON THE EUCHARIST

    Pope to write letter to Chinese bishops invited to Synod



    Pope will personally answer the letter send by Mgr Luke Li Jingfeng to express his regrets for not being able to come to the Synod. Mgr Kondrusiewicz, Bishop of Moscow, speaks about the situation of Russian Catholics, expressing hope Pope Benedict XVI and Patriarch Aleksij II can meet each other.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Benedict XVI will personally write to Mgr Luke Li Jingfeng, Bishop of Fengxiang (Shaanxi), who sent a letter a few days ago to thank the Pontiff for inviting four Chinese bishops to the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist.

    The letter, which arrived at the Vatican on October 6, was read today by Secretary of State Card Angelo Sodano during the Synod's morning session.

    "In addition to expressing regrets for not being able to take part in the activities," said Mgr Giorgio Costantino, Italian spokesman of the Synod of Bishops, "the letter expressed hope that the Holy See and China might re-establish diplomatic relations".

    Both the Chinese prelate's letter and Benedict XVI's reply should be made public in the next few days.

    Russia's Catholics and relations with the Moscow Patriarchate were the main issues raised at a meeting between Moscow Bishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz and the press.

    "We are always hoping that the Pope might meet Patriarch Aleksij, whether in Rome, Moscow or in neutral place. Ours are the largest Churches in the Christian world and it will be easier to cope with the challenges of today's world if we are united," he said.

    Speaking about the situation of Catholics in Russia, Bishop Kondrusiewicz denied they are involved in proselytising among the Orthodox. He explained though that "we must first make it clear what we mean by proselytising. If it means trying dishonestly to get believers from another Church, then this is neither our policy nor our ambition".

    Quoting Vatican II on freedom of conscience, he noted however "that if someone comes to me and says—I want to become Catholic—I cannot turn him or her away. I must respect his or her will. This is not proselytising".

    He informed the journalists that it takes a year of preparation for an adult to be baptised into the Catholic faith. This gives the would-be convert time to evaluate and freely decide his actions.

    He explained that he had already proposed a meeting between Orthodox and Catholics to "define what constitutes proselytising and then act consequently".

    He also reported that the situation for Catholics has improved after new visa rules were introduced allowing foreign clergymen to engage in pastoral activities in Russia.

    Finally, Bishop Kondrusiewicz described the current pastoral situation in the country. Depending on which source is cited, Catholics are anywhere between 600,000 and 1.5 million or 1 per cent of the population.

    They can attend some 220 registered parishes and about 300 unregistered pastoral sites. None the less, about one parish in four does not have any place to celebrate religious functions.

    "Celebrations are held in private homes, in Moscow in foreign embassies such as that of the US and Germany, and in Mother Teresa's homes," he said.

    In St Petersburg all 6 churches (out of the 18 that existed before the revolution) that survived the Communist era have been returned, but in Moscow only 1 in 3 has. 

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    See also

    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".

    30/06/2007 VATICAN – CHINA
    Vatican to the conquest of a changing China
    For decades the diplomatic dialogue was non-existent; now there are signs of openness. As China experiences a religious renaissance, the regime’s various patriotic associations try to maintain their ideological and economic power over the Churches. Here is an analysis of the history of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Beijing.

    18/07/2006 RUSSIA – VATICAN
    Synod of Orthodox Church in favour of continued dialogue with the Vatican
    Participants single out human rights, life, family and bioethics as key issues to discuss; they also express satisfaction for talks between Kirill and Benedict XVI.

    12/09/2005 vatican - china
    Chinese Bishops invited to Rome: government has the last word

    The invitation has displeased a spokesperson of the Patriotic Association.  But Catholics are happy and honoured. 



    22/10/2005 vatican - china
    Synod writes to Chinese bishops




    Editor's choices

    CHINA – VATICAN
    Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church



    After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.


    INDIA – PHILIPPINES
    Archbishop of Guwahati: In Asia religion is not dying, the faithful take strength from the Eucharist



    Mgr Menamparampil is among the speakers at the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, Philippines. He was also a conflict mediator between various ethnic groups. He told AsiaNews about the value of the Congress for the Catholic Church in Asia and how people can bear witness the Gospel today, even amid tensions and violence of those who "hate us." "with the same pain in our hearts that we descend to our depths during a Eucharistic adoration."


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