A Vatican committee that meets once a year to discuss the problems of the Catholic Church in China is set to gather this week. The session will focus on how to promote faith formation among lay people, in the context of the “Year of the Faith” proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI from October 11, 2012 to November 24, 2013. The meeting comes a few days after the Vatican-approved ordination of Joseph Chen Gong’ao as Bishop of Nanchong. The committee, created by Pope Benedict in 2007, is made up of several cardinals who head Vatican departments, as well as by Chinese bishops and representatives of religious orders. According to a statement released by the Vatican press office, the meeting “will look at progress made in formation programs for priests, Religious and seminarians” and what is still to be done so that they can “fulfill their service in the Church and for the good of society.” The Vatican has also announced that Cardinal John Tong Hon of Hong Kong will be a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. He will thus be a key figure in setting Vatican policy in those two areas. Cardinal George Alencherry, head of the Syro-Malabar Church in India, has been appointed to the Vatican Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith and for Oriental Churches
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