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WYD heartens China pilgrim

The Catholic News Agency finds a pilgrim from China among the million-strong crowd in Madrid for the final Mass of the World Youth Day.

  • Spain
  • August 22, 2011
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The final Mass of World Youth Day was a sea of national flags, and the Catholic News Agency reports that it found one China flag in the million-strong crowd.

“This week has been absolutely fascinating,” said Thomas Zeng, the university student who’s traveled all the way from Shanghai to be at World Youth Day in Madrid. Thomas says he doesn’t know of any other pilgrims from China.

“It is wonderful that I can meet so many Catholics, more than one million. That could never happen in my country, but I believe with the grace of God that it will one day.”

Thomas is actually one of 8 to 12 million Chinese Catholics. About half of them, though, have ties to the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, a state agency founded in 1957.

Thomas says it's “not difficult to be a Catholic in China.” But to be “a good Catholic,” he notes, might be a different matter: “If you want to proclaim (Catholicism), you will maybe be in trouble.”

FULL STORY

A rare breed: the World Youth Day pilgrim from communist China (Catholic News Agency)

PHOTO CREDIT

Philip Jägenstedt on Flickr

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