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    » 05/29/2010, 00.00

    VATICAN - CHINA

    Pope: Matteo Ricci brought the Gospel to China and therefore dialogue between cultures



    Benedict XVI gives a greeting in Chinese, before the pilgrims from Macerata and Marche, Italy, on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the death of Matteo Ricci. The importance of Matteo Ricci's Chinese friends, "pillars of the nascent Chinese Church." Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan for a greater relationship between China and Christianity.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Fr Ricci was primarily a missionary, who went to China to bring the Gospel".  And in doing so he formed an important "dialogue between cultures, between China and the West”. This is what Benedict XVI said today to a Paul VI Hall packed with thousands of pilgrims from Macerata, birthplace of Matteo Ricci, and Marche, on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the death of the great Jesuit missionary.

    Welcoming the bishops and the faithful, the pope also greeted the Chinese with a resounding "Nimen hao" (how are you?).

    After noting that Ricci is still held in high esteem in China today, the pontiff said that missionary’s work "must not be separated" from his commitment to "Chinese inculturation of the Gospel Message and his introduction of Western culture and science to China”.

    Indeed, many events celebrating the fourth centenary of the death, risked presenting Matteo Ricci, as a mere cultural mediator. "Fr. Ricci - said the pope - went to China not to bring science and Western culture, but to bring the Gospel to make God known”. He added: "And as he proclaimed the Gospel, Fr. Ricci found in his interlocutors the desire for a wider confrontation, so that a encounter motivated by faith, became a dialogue between cultures, a disinterested dialogue free from the ambitions of economic or political power, lived in friendship, which makes the work of Fr. Ricci and his disciples one of the highest and happiest points in the relationship between China and the West".

    Benedict XVI also recalled "the role and influence" that his Chinese friends had in the work of Ricci (Xu Guangqi; Zhizao Li, Yang Tingyun, Li Yingshi): "His choices he did not depend on an abstract strategy of inculturation of the faith, but from all the events, encounters and experiences that he made, so all that he achieved was also thanks to his encounter with the Chinese, an encounter he lived in many ways, but which was deepened through his relationship with some friends and disciples, especially the four famous converts, 'pillars of the nascent Chinese Church'. "

    The memory of Ricci and his friends, continued Benedict XVI should be an occasion for prayer for "the Church in China and the entire Chinese people, as we do every year, on May 24, turning to Mary, venerated in famous Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai, and may they also be an incentive and encouragement to live the Christian faith intensely, in dialogue with different cultures, but in the certainty that in Christ the true humanism is realised, open to God, full of moral and spiritual values and able to respond to the deepest longings of the human soul".

    The Pope concluded expressing his appreciation and greeting to China and the desire for a deeper relationship between it and Christianity: "Like Father Matteo Ricci, today I express my profound respect to the noble Chinese people and its ancient culture, convinced that their renewed encounter with Christianity will bring abundant fruits of good, and like then, that it will favour peaceful coexistence among peoples".

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    See also

    18/05/2009 VATICAN-CHINA
    Pope: Matteo Ricci, a model of evangelisation for China
    In a message to the bishop of Macerata for the IV centenary of the religious priests death, Benedict XVI underlines how his actions remain a model for beneficial relations between the European and Chinese civilisations. The friendship that he offered was returned by the local population thanks to the climate of respect and esteem that he sought to cultivate.

    12/10/2010 VATICAN
    Benedict XVI: preach the Gospel” always and everywhere"
    Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI on the new evangelization, the Pope calls for a new missionary zeal in the Church, especially but not exclusively, in countries of Christian tradition.

    21/05/2010 VATICAN
    Pope: Evangelization, an immense task in a time that excludes God
    Speaking to members of the Superior Council of the Pontifical Missions Society at the end of their general meeting, Benedict XVI indicates the fundamental characteristics of the work of bringing the Gospel to the world. The Church present and active on the anthropological and geographical frontiers, brings a message that goes down in history, which proclaims the inalienable values of the person, with the announcement and witness of God’s salvific plan made visible and active in Christ .

    28/12/2009 CHINA
    Shanghai Catholics should walk on the footsteps of Matteo Ricci, Msgr Jin Luxian says
    To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Jesuit missionary’s death, Catholics should be inspired by his way of life: faith in God; love for Chinese culture; respect for teachers and friends. Education cannot just be a market-oriented business; faithful should work and study hard, instead of spending time on TV or computer. “Arrogance and prejudice” of Church leaders and Chinese authorities have slowed evangelization in China.

    20/04/2010 TAIWAN
    Symposium on Matteo Ricci: 90 scholars from around the world, even from China
    Among experts two PIME missionaries. Taiwan's ambassador to the Holy See emphasizes the cultural and religious encounter between the two sides of the Strait. A message from Card. Sodano.



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