Beijing ( AsiaNews) - The appeal of Pope Francis for peace in Syria "is wise and true, and we Chinese are with him . We do not want to see conflicts in the Middle East any longer, we are opposed to any attack by the United States against the government Damascus. As the pontiff said War begets war, violence begets violence.' Pope Francis, thank you for these words". These are the thoughts of two senior Chinese government officials, who want to remain anonymous who have spoken to AsiaNews about Francis' appeal at yesterday's Angelus and more generally the figure of the new Pope.
The two officials deal with relations between cultures and religions in China: " The Chinese government - they explain - is not familiar with the new pope but appreciates many things about him, from his simplicity to the speeches he has made to the Christian world . You could even make compare Francis and the new Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has brought some good changes to the country. Even Xi is simple and friendly, he wants the common good of his people, just like the Pope".
The Chinese people "have seen Francis on television and internet. Its clear to everyone that he is a really great pontiff, a ' good father ', although we are still trying to get to know him better. It is our heartfelt hope that with him there might be an improvement in relations between China and the universal Church that Beijing and the Vatican can draw closer in the future. We love this Pope, even if until now has not spoken openly of the Chinese situation".
On the other
hand, they continue, "after the great economic and social development our
country needs to improve relations with other religions, especially the
Catholic Church. With the Muslims of Xinjiang and with the Buddhists of Tibet our
relationships have been complicated by politics, we are afraid that they want
to divide the country. Instead we know that the Church does not seek does not
bring division and war but peace and serenity. "
Regarding the new Vatican Secretary of State , Msgr. Pietro Parolin , they say: "We do not know him well yet, but we know that he spent a lot of time promoting ties between the Vatican and Vietnam. And not long after his involvement the two countries established diplomatic relations. We do not believe that Beijing will follow in the footsteps of Hanoi on this issue, but of course there is the will to move ahead".