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    » 05/26/2011, 00.00

    CHINA - VATICAN

    Thousands of faithful at Sheshan, in spite of prohibitions

    Wang Zhicheng

    In addition to the faithful from Shanghai, Catholics from the diocese of Wenzhou and Yongnian. Shanghai’s underground Catholics absent. Silence surrounding the Vatican's beatification cause for Paul Xu Guangqi, converted at the time of Matteo Ricci. Bishop Xing: We wait patiently with Mary for full communion of the Church.

    Shanghai (AsiaNews) - Despite the ban imposed by authorities, thousands of Catholics took part in the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Sheshan to mark the Day of Prayer for the Church in China, established by Benedict XVI and hampered by the government.

    The majority of those present from the early hours of the morning belonged to the diocese of Shanghai, who accompanied the auxiliary bishop, Mgr. Xing Wenzhi on the pilgrimage and celebration in the church at the top of the hill in Sheshan.

    May 24, the feast of Mary Help of Christians, is also the feast of Our Lady of Sheshan. To mark the occasion on that day, in the past, tens of thousands of official and underground faithful came from all over China, taking part in acts of prayer and reconciliation. In 2007, with his Letter to Chinese Catholics, the pope proclaimed May 24 a World Day of Prayer for China. Since then, authorities have banned pilgrims from all the dioceses for the month of May, and placed access to the sanctuary under police and camera control. Only the Diocese of Shanghai was able to make the pilgrimage on May 24.

    The diocese, well aware of the difficulties they could encounter, brought forward their pilgrimage to 11 May in which Bishop Jin Luxian also took part. On that occasion, the bishop had wanted to announce to the faithful that the Holy See accepted the cause of beatification of the first convert of Shanghai, Paul Xu Guangqi (at the time of Matteo Ricci), but was forbidden by the Patriotic Association.

    Despite all the obstacles, many thousands of faithful flocked to Sheshan this year. According to AsiaNews sources, among them were also members of other dioceses, such as Wenzhou and Yongnian. The Shanghai underground Catholics "were unable to attend for security reasons." Other priests were sent "on vacation at government expense" in the days leading up to the feast, to prevent them from visiting Sheshan.

    At the Mass, Mgr. Xing pointed out that on the Day of prayer, the universal Church prays for whole Church in China, constituting "an incalculable power." The bishop also urged the faithful to learn from Mary, and wait in prayer for the realization of unity and communion of the Church.
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    See also

    24/05/2012 CHINA - VATICAN
    Thousands of pilgrims reach Sheshan on pope's Day of Prayer
    Fr Thaddeus Ma Daqin, vicar general of the Diocese of Shanghai, and 40 priests celebrated Mass. A large number of plainclothes police monitored worshippers from other dioceses during the pilgrimage month. In Hebei, an underground priest and seminarian are arrested. Mgr Paul Li Yi, bishop of Luan (Changzhi, Shanxi) dies.

    24/05/2013 VATICAN-CHINA
    Archbishop Savio Hon: The World Day of Prayer for China together with Pope Francis
    The Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples comments on the words of Pope Francis, his first in explicit reference to China for the Day of Prayer launched by Benedict XVI in 2008. The intercession of Our Lady of Sheshan to strengthen the unity of the Chinese Church with the universal Church and the Pope, the successor of Peter.

    25/05/2009 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.

    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.

    31/05/2008 CHINA - VATICAN
    Pope's prayer for Church in China banned in some dioceses
    Priests forced to "take a trip", to prevent them from going to the shrine of the Virgin of Sheshan; priests prohibited from praying "with the pope"; a shrine in Taiyuan closed and monitored by thousands of police. The war of the Patriotic Association a few months ahead of the Olympics.



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