Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Synod Fathers gathered at the Vatican for the meeting on the New Evangelization, have sent a message of solidarity with Msgr. Lucas Li Jingfeng, Bishop of Fengxiang (Shaanxi). Bishop Li had sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI at the beginning of the Synod, in which he expressed his grief because no bishop from mainland China has been able to take part, but ensuring that the Church in China is faithful to the See of Peter and committed to the New Evangelization .
Bishop Li had already been invited to participate in previous Synods, but the Beijing government has always blocked his participation. The Bishop of Fengxiang is one - perhaps the only - Chinese prelate who, although not belonging to the Patriotic Association, is recognized by the government. Here is the text of the Synod of Bishop's response to the message of Bishop Lucas Li:
Vatican City, October 23
Most Reverend Excellency,
With great pleasure, the Synodal Fathers celebrating the XIII Ordinary Synod of Bishops on New Evangelization and the Transmission of Faith received your Letter, with which you wished to make your voice heard from within the Democratic Republic of China. Your intention was greatly appreciated, notwithstanding the fact that there are some Bishops coming from Hong Kong and Taiwan among the Synodal Fathers.
The Synod has come to learn with satisfaction, giving thanks to God, that the Catholic faithful of China keep their faith, piety and sincerity firm towards the Holy Mother Church. We know that the suffering, the prayers and joy of being a Christian in China are appreciated by God and encourage all the Christians in the world.
Sunday, October 7th, the Holy Father, during a solemn Eucharistic Liturgy, opened the XIII Synodal Assembly, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Vatican Council II, and began the Year of the Faith, which will end on the Feast of Christ the King in 2013. Even if you and other Catholic bishops in China could not intervene, we considered you as spiritually present. We ask all the Bishops, Priests and faithful of this great Nation to live the Year of the Faith with generosity and commitment. We thus recommend that the evangelization of the Chinese People and the reevangelization of all those who have become lukewarm towards or lost their faith, be taken to heart in a special way.
The Synod of Bishops renews to you and to the entire Church in China the wish for all good in the hope that in the future the Bishops coming from your noble Nation may participate at the synodal works.
The Holy Father Benedict XVI sends a special blessing to you, to your priests and faithful, as well as to the entire, wellloved Church in China.