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  • » 08/17/2014, 00.00

    KOREA - CHINA - VATICAN - AYD

    Some 300 young Chinese Catholics attend gathering with Francis



    A large number of participants from mainland China attend final Asian Youth Day Mass despite threats and attempts by Chinese authorities to stop them. Through social networks, they agreed to come to South Korea to show Francis their love.

    Daejeon (AsiaNews) - Some 300 young Catholics from mainland China attended the Mass that Pope Francis celebrated at the Haemi Castle shrine in South Korea, the final event scheduled for the 6th Asian Youth Day. They were able to come together despite bureaucratic hurdles by Chinese authorities, finding ways through social networks to meet in South Korea.

    Sources in South Korea told AsiaNews that they had agreed to travel in groups of no more than three people, all with a tourist visa. Once they got to South Korea, they were careful in how they participated in Asian Youth Day events to avoid drawing too much attention to themselves.

    In a related incident, the Chinese government had first blocked and even arrested members of a group of almost 80 young people who had tried to leave together from Beijing.

    The group included some seminarians from the capital, who refused at the end of the school year to celebrate Mass with unlawful bishops who are not recognised by the Holy See. AsiaNews interviewed one of latter, a young Chinese who arrived in Korea with two seminarian friends.

    Another, who attended the final Mass, said, "We are delighted and we are not afraid. We were smart and, up to now, everything went smooth. I am certain that Francis' blessing at the end of the Mass will protect us on our return trip". (VFP)

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    See also

    17/08/2014 KOREA - VATICAN - AYD
    Pope ready to talk to countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Vatican
    "I earnestly hope that those countries of your continent with whom the Holy See does not yet enjoy a full relationship, may not hesitate to further a dialogue for the benefit of all," the pope said during a meeting with Asian bishops. The pontiff also mentioned the many nameless martyrs of the faith, who died for the Gospel in Asia and "deserve our love." For Gwangju archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joon, the meeting was "brotherly and friendly". As he "walked about us [. . .] he spoke instead of staying on the stage," spending "a few minutes with each of us." He is a "trailblazer even in the Church."

    17/08/2014 KOREA - VATICAN - AYD
    Card Tagle: pope urges us to be more and more missionary, engage non-believers in dialogue
    Speaking to AsiaNews, the archbishop of Manila talks about this morning's meeting with Francis in Haemi shrine. "The Church in Asia, which includes many distinct communities and groups, should focus too much on numbers and statistics. We must be ever more open to others, even and especially to non-believers. This is the invitation the pope engraved in our hearts."

    17/08/2014 KOREA - VATICAN - AYD
    Card Gracias: the Church's "small engine" in Asia can generate huge changes
    The Archbishop of Mumbai told AsiaNews that "Francis encouraged us, boosting our hope and confidence. Whilst it is true that in this continent we are few, a minority, it is equally true that from a small engine huge changes can come."

    17/08/2014 KOREA - VATICAN - AYD
    Pope tells Asia's young people to wake up and not to be afraid to bring faith to society
    At the final Mass of the sixth Asian Youth Day Francis took the opportunity to spur young Asians. "Wake up!" he told them. The martyrs who defeated death speak "to you of a duty, a responsibility" to bring Christ to every reach of Asia. You "are not only a part of the future of the Church; you are also a necessary and beloved part of the Church's present." The next Asian Youth Day is set for 2017 in Indonesia.

    18/06/2007 VATICAN
    Pope to youth: be, like Francis, in love with Christ and history’s protagonists
    The full version of Benedict XVI’s address to over 25 thousand young people gathered at St. Mary of the Angels.



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