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SHANGHAI NEEDS ITS OWN CHINESE-LANGUAGE MISSALS, SAYS BISHOP JIN

Updated: January 16, 1991 05:00 PM GMT
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China-appointed Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian of Shanghai says the diocese needs its own Chinese-language missals to further promote liturgical renewal.

Bishop Jin said publication of new missals might be considered after the translation of the Jerusalem Bible version of the New Testament was complete.

Bible readings in the missals would be adopted from the new Chinese translation of the Bible, Bishop Jin told UCA News.

The bishop explained that they need to have their own missals as the use of some wordings on the mainland might be different from those outside China.

Post-Second Vatican Council liturgy has been officially introduced in the regional Sheshan Seminary and the Xujiahui Church of Our Lady in Shanghai as testing points.

If there were no missals, it would be difficult for Catholics, especially the elderly, who speak only the Shanghainese dialect, to follow Mass conducted in Putonghua, or Mandarin, the official language in China.

Bishop Jin, who is translating the Jerusalem Bible version of the New Testament, said he still has three books to finish, including the Book of Revelation.

The newly translated Acts of the Apostles would go to press first, because copies are needed for classes in seminaries, he said.

The diocesan printing press in Tushanwan in Qibao, near Shanghai city, eastern China, was set to print 3,000 copies of the Acts in January.

Father Fan Fuqiang, who is in charge of the Catholic printing press, told UCA News that more copies would be printed together with other books of the New Testament after the whole translation work was complete.

It was expected that 300,000 copies would be printed so as to have enough copies to form complete sets of the New Testament with the copies of the Gospels published a few years ago.

Asked if he would translate the Old Testament, the 75-year-old Bishop Jin said he does not have enough energy to complete such a task.

"This has to be left for the young generation," Bishop Jin said.

There was criticism that a new Chinese-language translation of the New Testament was a waste of energy, as the version translated by Hong Kong´s Franciscan-run Studium Biblicum has been considered good overseas.

Bishop Jin, however, said the Studium Biblicum version was completed a long time ago and some wordings might not be suitable for today´s world.

"The Bible is for today´s people and therefore it needs new translations so as to keep up with the current use of the language and be read more smoothly," Bishop Jin said.

He stressed that translations should make no changes to the original meaning of the Bible, otherwise the Bible would no longer be God´s Word.

-- About 4,000 copies of the Studium Biblicum translation of the Old Testament published by the government-sanctioned Chinese Catholic Church Administrative Commission (CCCAC) were still in stock, said CCCAC vice president Anthony Liu Bainian.

The Beijing-based CCCAC printed 10,000 copies of the Old Testament at a secular printing press last September.

Asked if there was a plan to print religious books or materials at the Shanghai diocesan printing press, Liu said the option might be considered, but at present, no discussion of that sort had been conducted.

Liu told UCA News in Beijing that there might be a problem to transport the printed books or materials back to Beijing from Shanghai.

END

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