Beijing Headquarters of Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China
A spokesperson for government-sanctioned Church organizations in Beijing said yesterday that a commentary posted on their official website rebutting the Vatican’s latest communiqué is representative of the thoughts of Chinese Catholics.
“We think the laity has the right to express views on Church affairs and believe that the article also represents thoughts of numerous Chinese faithful,” said Father Joseph Yang Yu yesterday.
A layperson’s commentary written under the pen name Xiaoyang (meaning “lamb”) appeared on the website of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association in China (CCPA) and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC) on Wednesday.
The commentary said the April 26 communiqué from Rome hurt the solidarity of Catholics in China and the church’s pastoral and evangelical work.
It further pointed out that some members of the Vatican commission that produced the document do not understand the situation of the Church in China and the genuine need of its numerous clergy and faithful.
The Vatican communiqué said both the CCPA and the BCCCC “place themselves above the bishops” and that the number of religious vocations in China has declined in recent years.
The Vatican’s complaints “only increase the burden on the souls of our clergy and faithful. It does not comply with Jesus Christ’s teachings that ask us to ‘all be one,’” wrote Xiaoyang in the article, which was titled “Fulfill your mission, work hard in evangelization.”
Xiaoyang cited the tens of thousands of new baptisms across the country as evidence of the China Church’s success and listed statistics intended to prove how the CCPA and BCCCC have assisted the Church’s flourishing development.
The commentary also said the Vatican commission "arrogantly places itself above the Chinese clergy, finds fault with our bishops, and destroys the unity and communion within the China Church." It called on Catholics to "keep their eyes open and to not get confused by the hypocritical acts of some persons who seem to be concerned about the China Church."
As the communiqué urged all Catholics to pray for the Church in China ahead of the May 24 Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, Xiaoyang’s article also ended with a prayer to call for the intercession of Mary so that "those people who do not understand the China Church do no more things that hurt charity and communion."
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