For Lent and Easter, Chinese bishops study the history of the Chinese Communist Party
The bishops must assimilate the "blood, toil, tears, courage, wisdom and strength" that led to the "success" of the Party and its leadership.
Rome (AsiaNews) - On March 29, AsiaNews received an article from a certain Liu Ning, taken from the official publication "Zhongguo Tianzhujiao (Catholic Church in China)". With great passion, the article describes the way in which the official Chinese bishops (recognized by the government), aided by the Patriotic Association, are assimilating the directives imposed on the Church and religions, regarding the 100 years since the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, so they may understand its "success", after so much "blood, fatigue, tears, courage, wisdom and strength".
The text highlights and publishes the notes of a meeting of 25 March, the first in a year-long series of study sessions. We propose reading the article, which suffices as an example of how the official Church is - forced? - to live as a "State Church".
The article raises at least two questions. The first brings a smile to our lips: How is it possible that in the time of Lent and Easter and after, the history of the Party is the most important thing for a Christian community?
The second brings bitter tears to our eyes: will a revision of the Party history also be permitted? One that reveals the cruelty and evil that, in the name of an ideology, was wrought on the Catholic Church of the time? Or will an Orwellian story emerge, in which the painful facts and injustices are "white-washed" to enhance the "successes" alone?
To celebrate the centenary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party and welcome this great moment of glory, the Patriotic Association and the Council of Chinese Bishops[i] have organized a series of events. On March 25, the training seminar for the study of the history of the Party began, organized by the Patriotic Association and the Council of Chinese Bishops. Bishop Shen Bin, vice-president of the Patriotic Association and the Council of Chinese Bishops, chaired the seminar, while Tian Yueyang, the director of the Patriotic Association Research Center and party branch secretary, was the moderator.
Tian Yueyang articulated his speech under the title "Glories over 100 years of vicissitudes: Celebrating the birth of the Party, study its history, be grateful for it, remain faithful to the mission - The Centenary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party", and presented the great historical process through texts, images and videos, marking the following main stages, namely: the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, the difficulties faced, research and development, the flourishing and prosperity of the Party.
Through explanation and synthesis, Tian helped us understand that these 100 years faced by the Chinese Communist Party were shaped by blood, fatigue, tears, courage, wisdom and strength; that these 100 years brought many difficulties and trials, endured with perseverance and enriched with so many miracles; that these 100 years have been a process that created glories in suffering, rising with determination after the fall, achieving success in research, repairing past errors, opening new avenues in transition phases, and finally earning the future after the struggle.
This seminar respectively answered the questions of why the Chinese Communist Party can and does succeed.
At the end of the conference, Tian Yueyang briefly reviewed and summarized the work carried out by the Patriotic Association Party branch in 2020. Thanks to this conference, the members of the Patriotic Association and the Council of Chinese Bishops were able to deepen their knowledge about the history of the Party, further consolidating the theoretical foundations to learn, strengthen confidence and morals and draw strength through the study of history.
Bishop Shen Bin commented on the conference. He said that this year marks the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, and this formation conference is part of a series of events organized by the Patriotic Association and the Council of Chinese Bishops to celebrate the centenary of the foundation. This meeting is linked to current political affairs and boasts a great preparation, richness of content and a massive amount of information; it was truly a meeting that benefited everyone.
The bishop expressed the hope that this conference will foster passion and initiative of the members in the study of the history of the Party, in the study of the history of the nation. Moreover, he would like the various offices the members of the Patriotic Association and the Council of Chinese Bishops to continue to study and discover ways and means to carry forward the line of sinicization of Catholicism in China, making their own contribution to the sinicization process.
He would like the members of the Patriotic Association and the Council of Chinese Bishops to strengthen awareness of the need to maintain political integrity, think broadly, follow the core of the leadership and keep in line with the central leadership of the Party, carry on all commitments within the field of Catholicism, struggling to realize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the nation. Association leaders Liu Yuanlong, Guo Jincai[ii] and all members attended the conference.
[i] We prefer to use the term "Council" and not "Conference" because the group of bishops referred to is exclusively composed of official bishops, recognized by the government; there are no "underground" bishops, that is, those recognized by the Holy See and not by the Party. In this sense, the official group of bishops, which does not include all the bishops of the country, is not an "episcopal conference" and is not recognized by the Holy See (ed).
[ii] The bishop of Chengde, Msgr. Giuseppe Guo Jincai, is one of the bishops whose excommunication Pope Francis lifted in 2018, in conjunction with the provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops. Msgr.Guo was also at the Synod on Youth in Rome in 2018 for a short time, together with Msgr. Giovanni Battista Yang Xiaoting (see photo). Mgr. Guo is vice-president of the National Patriotic Association (ed).