» 05/25/2009, 00.00
CHINA – VATICAN
The day of Prayer for the Church in China under control. Pope’s Letter is blocked
No diocesan pilgrimages to the Sanctuary of Sheshan because of bans. Little publicity even in the diocese of Shanghai. In Hebei the Catholics go without mass because the priests are under arrest. Access to the Vatican website with Benedict XVI’s Letter (in Chinese) is still blocked.
Rome (AsiaNews) – The Day of Prayer for the Church in China passed almost unnoticed in many diocese of the Peoples Republic. In Hebei, where there are strict controls, the faithful of the underground community couldn’t even hold masses because of the lack of priests.
In his 2007 Letter to Chinese Catholics Benedict XVI had launched the idea of a World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, to be held each May 24th the feast of Mary Help of Christians, who is particularly venerated in the Marian Sanctuary of Sheshan, a few kilometres distance from Shanghai. The Pope’s intention is that through prayer unity may grow within the Church in China, as well as its bond with St Peter’s Successor. The Sheshan Sanctuary, a site of pilgrimage for over a century, is the ideal place given that draws Catholics from the Official and Underground Church. But since the Pope instituted the day of prayer it has become increasingly difficult for Catholics to access Sheshan. This year, like the previous year, police enforced strict traffic rules for the entire Month of May and diocese advised the faithful against making the pilgrimage to Sheshan. This year even the diocese of Shanghai – the only diocese with unlimited access – promoted the pilgrimage for May 23rd, but in a very subdued manner, without even advertising it. In the years beforehand, up to 20 thousand pilgrims visited the sanctuary. To date only a few thousand have arrived.
Other diocese chose to organise pilgrimages to local Marian sanctuaries. AsiaNews sources report that in Hebei, the region with the highest number of Catholics, underground communities had to go without mass because of a lack of priests. This is due to a strict control across the region that forbids public gatherings and to the fact that at least 10 underground priests are already in prison for having celebrated masses outside locations approved by the Office for Religious Affairs.
Yesterday the Holy See issued the Compendium of the Pope’s Letter to Chinese Catholics, which readdresses the themes of the Letter in a question and answer format, to aid better understanding. The Compendium is published in simplified and traditional Chinese and English. Still today however access to the Vatican’s website in Chinese is blocked and it is impossible to decipher or download the website’s contents, including the Pope’s Letter in Chinese.
20/05/2010 HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
You should be at the Marian shrine of Sheshan, Pope tells Card Zen
Hong Kong’s bishop emeritus leads a prayer vigil for religious freedom and the Church in China. He reveals bits of conversation he had with Benedict XVI during the pilgrimage to Fatima.
22/05/2008 CHINA – VATICAN
In China the Church is getting ready for the World Day of Prayer in union with the Pope
The government stops pilgrimages and gatherings, but in Beijing, Shanghai, Xian and Guangzhou official and underground priests, religious and faithful prepare to pray the Pope’s words about Our Lady of Sheshan. In addition to the Pope’s intent they will pray for Sichuan quake victims, grateful to the Universal Church.
24/05/2012 CHINA - VATICAN
Month long Chinese crackdown on Donglu Marian shrine
Catholic source tells AsiaNews that security measures have been tightened in the village, used to accommdoate a Marian shrine. Officials enforce round-the-clock control on the village. Lay Catholic leaders are also under surveillance. Banners call for resistance against "foreign infiltration". Faithful pray instead to Our Lady for Church unity.
26/05/2016 13:41:00 CHINA - VATICAN
Evangelize China for the good of society, demanding an end to persecution
Official and underground Christians have celebrated the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, wanted by Benedict XVI. In a China marked by individualism and corruption, academics and scholars advise greater freedom for the economy and religious freedom for communities. Religions, viewed with suspicion by the leadership, are actually one of the few glues for a supportive and creative society. The strange silence of some commentators on persecution. The priority is formation of the clergy, the religious, the faithful. Now is the opportune time for the evangelization of China.
24/05/2008 CHINA – VATICAN
Even in persecution we pray to Our Lady of Sheshan
A Chinese Catholic from the underground Church sends AsiaNews a message for World Day of Prayer for the Church in China in which he highlights how the faithful pray in communion with the Pope despite hardships and repression, hopeful that he might soon bear witness to a true unity of the Church with the Pontiff.
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
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