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Church to beatify early China convert in Shanghai

One of the earliest Christian converts in China, Paolo Xu Guangqi, a disciple of the Jesuit Matteo Ricci is to be beatified in Shanghai, the Vatican has announced.

Updated: April 19, 2011 11:08 AM GMT
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Church to beatify early China convert in Shanghai

One of the earliest Christian converts in China, Paolo Xu Guangqi, a disciple of the Jesuit Matteo Ricci is to be beatified in Shanghai, the Vatican has announced. "It's a pleasing light of hope for China today and tomorrow," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters Friday, AFP reports. The news that scientist Paolo Xu Guangqi was on the path to beatification brought "hope" and "joy" in what was otherwise a period of tension between the Vatican and China's official state Catholic church, the Holy See said. Guangqi (1562-1633) converted to Christianity under the Ming Dynasty. His story should give Catholics in China confidence in confirming loyalty to the Vatican, Lombardi said. "Chinese people, whether they are Catholics or not, will be better able to understand that there is no contradiction or risk in being both Chinese and catholic," he added. "This layman, a highly cultured imperial official of some rank" was known as "a great and faithful servant of his country and his people," he said. Shanghai's bishop, Aloysus Jin Luxian, who set the beatification process in motion, plays an important reconciliatory role in the Catholic community. SOURCE Vatican says China's move to beatify Christian sign of hope (AFP) PHOTO World Imaging (Wikipedia/CC 3.0)

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