Politburo members receive Catholic representatives of Ninth Assembly
by Elizabeth Li

Bishops and laity met Yu Zhengsheng, a permanent member of the Politburo, Liu Yandong, the State Council, Sun Chunlan, director of the United Front. Video of the meeting. The Assembly ended today with Eucharistic adoration. Masses during these days presided by legitimate and illegitimate bishops; some bishops did not celebrate.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Catholic representatives of the Ninth Assembly were received today by Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the Chinese Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee. Yu is also chairman of the national Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference , which includes some Catholic bishops. The meeting took place in the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square.

As reported by Xinhua, the new leadership of the Patriotic Association (PA) and the Council of Bishops (CB), as well as several participants, were well received by Liu Yandong, vice-premier of the State Council and member of the Politburo and Sun Chunlan, also a Politburo member and director of United Front Work Department of Communist Party, and heads of relevant departments also attended the meeting.

Yu said over the past six years since the Eighth Assembly, the Patriotic Association and Bishops Council assisted the authorities to implement their religious policy and to contribute the national economic social development.

Yu cited the Xi Jinping speech on religions, held last April, in which the president stressed the urgent need to join and develop religious theories on socialism with Chinese characteristics and raise the level of religious commitment, supporting the formation of religious groups and personnel. Yu expressed the hope that the new leadership of the Catholic community will hasten a new situation for the Church in China.

The event was filmed and broadcast by Central State television (see here).

Immediately after the Catholic representatives headed to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Nan Tang) for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and at the conclusion of prayer. The adoration and the blessing was presided by Msgr. Ma Yinglin, an illegitamte bishop of Kunming and president of the Council of Bishops.

AsiaNews sources have indicated that in each of the three days of the Assembly Masses were celebrated. The presiders of the three celebrations were respectively Msgr. Fang Xinyao, Msgr. Ma Yinglin, Msgr. Shen Bin of Haimen. Some bishops did not concelebrate.

Yesterday the statutes of the PA and Council of Bishops were also amended, but the amendments have not been made public.