10/02/2018, 12.38
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Hong Kong, young people pray for the China-Vatican agreement

by Chao Mien

Over 300 Catholic youth met to study the Letter sent by Pope Francis to the Church of China and for Eucharistic adoration. Confusion over the secrecy of the agreement, which leaves no room for much reasoning. Bishop of Macao: "Agreement that aims to weld the unity of the Church". Bishop of Hong Kong: "Understanding the discontented voices in China".

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - A group of over 300 young Catholics from Hong Kong met to pray after the recent signing of the China-Vatican agreement on episcopal appointments. The prayer service took place yesterday, October 1st, and was organized by Fr. Thomas Law Kwok-do in the parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This is the first such event on the territory of Hong Kong.

During the meeting, the participants analyzed the Pastoral Letter addressed to the Chinese people by Pope Francis, published last September 26; soon after, the congregation stopped in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Adela Choi says he has "some ideas" on how the Church in China lives after meeting with some priests of the motherland during the meeting held in Hong Kong by the Taizé community, which took place from August 8 to 12. However, he admits, "I know almost nothing about the agreement. I came on purpose to understand better. I pray for the Church of China, and I hope the government will stop hindering the growth of the Catholic community ".

Josephine Tsang fears the current situation, which could lead to a division among Catholics: "We know well that there are two ecclesial communities in China, an official and an unofficial one. The latter has resisted control by the Chinese government for a long time: it may not accept the Vatican decision. "

The debate also continues on the internet. A group of young people has opened a page on Facebook called "Catholic Youth", where news and updates on the agreement are inserted. The Federation of Catholic Students in Hong Kong wonders whether the Vatican has a "double standard" about illegitimate bishops: "When they were ordained, the universal Church made it clear that they were unacceptable for 'proven and severe failings'. But now they accept their status: have they lived the way the clergy should live? ".

The bishops of the area have accepted the agreement with diplomacy. The bishop of Macao, Msgr. Stefano Lee Bun-sang, has published a statement in which he "notes" that both sides have worked "looking for dialogue and making efforts. This is a positive agreement, which works for the communion of the Chinese and universal Church ".

The bishop of Hong Kong, Msgr. Michele Yeung Ming-cheung, however, spoke through the Catholic weekly Sunday Examiner describing the voices contrary to the agreement in China "understandable": "Chinese Catholics are not radicals or revolutionaries, they are poor people. It is very unjust that the communist government has struck the Church harder than the other religious groups in the country ".

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