Language Sites
  • UCAN China
  • UCAN India
  • UCAN Indonesia
  • UCAN Vietnam

Vatican offers olive branch to China

Vatican head seeks fruitful new dialogue

Vatican offers olive branch to China
Dialogue is the catchword in Cardinal Filoni's firm but cordial letter reporter, Hong Kong

October 26, 2012

Mail This Article
(For more than one recipient, type addresses separated by commas)

The head of the Vatican department for missionary work today issued a message to millions of Catholics and the Communist government in China, expressing hope for a fruitful dialogue. Published in Italian, English and Chinese and titled Five years after the publication of Benedict XVI’s Letter to the Church in China, the 2,500-word message by Prefect Cardinal Fernando Filoni of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples carries a firm but cordial tone. Its publication comes as the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party prepares to convene on November 8 and give birth to the fifth generation of its leadership. Though “dialogue” seems to be the catchword, appearing 21 times in the Chinese version of the text, the cardinal’s message remains firm on the basis of the Pope’s letter, which he says is predominantly religious in nature, and does not avoid mentioning the persecution faced by Chinese Catholics. Cardinal Filoni, who headed the Holy See Study Mission in Hong Kong to research the life of the China Church from 1992-2001, highlighted “three recent stumbling blocks” that have hindered Sino-Vatican relations: the control of the state over the Church; the appointment of Chinese bishop candidates and the interference of illegitimate bishops in episcopal consecrations. He also raised concern over the lack of religious freedom. “Concretely, the situation remains serious. Some bishops and priests have been segregated and deprived of their liberties, as the case of Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai has clearly demonstrated,” he wrote. The Italian prelate concluded his message by calling for a better understanding of the papal letter, a text in which Catholic doctrine, political vision and the common good are wedded, while adding that the Holy See “is waiting for a response.” Related reports New Shanghai bishop ‘barred from ministry’ Papal letter to China Church bears fruit 
UCAN needs your support to continue our independent journalism
Access to UCAN stories is completely free of charge - however it costs a significant amount of money to provide our unique content. UCAN relies almost entirely on donations from our readers and donor organizations that support our mission. If you are a regular reader and are able to support us financially, please consider making a donation. Click here to donate now.