Savio Hon:The World Day of Prayer for China together with Po
Pope Francis celebrated a Mass this morning in the chapel of Santa Marta with a group of about 20 priests, seminarians and lay Chinese to emphasize the World Day of Prayer for China. The Mass was also attended by Msgr. Savio Hon. The Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the only Chinese prelate in the Roman Curia who spoke to us marking the occasion. He points out how the attitude of Pope Francis continues in the wake of Benedict XVI, inspired by the Letter that the latter dedicated to the Catholics of China in 2007. Archbishop Hon notes that Francis wants to emphasize the religious significance of this day, without any political or diplomatic significance, entrusting Our Lady of Sheshan will help faithful in China mature and grow in freedom. Below our interview with Msgr. Hon:The World Day of Prayer for the Church in China has been celebrated since 2008. How important is this moment for Christians worldwide as well as Chinese Catholics?
The universal Church is the Body of Christ. This day helps nurture communion inside and outside of China and supports mission.
On May 22, Pope Francis in his general audience, mentioned this day. There are three very important elements in what he said:1)Pope Francis cited the Letter of Pope Benedict XVI, published in 2007, a sign of continuity of the two pontificates;2)He made a very brief summary and beautiful the words of Benedict, encouraging Chinese Catholics to remain faithful to renew their fidelity to the Church and to the Pope, the Successor of Peter. This World Day serves to strengthen these links, and with the universal Church and the Holy Father.3)Francis cited some of the words of a prayer - written by Benedict XVI - dedicated to Our Lady of Sheshan. This Marian touch reminds us that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, under the maternal care of Our Lady of Sheshan. This reinforces our prayer in desiring to be more united and ready for mission and witness.Il papa non ha elencato problemi precisi, o di tipo diplomatico o politico.Questo è lo stile di Francesco ed era lo stile di Benedetto. La Giornata è un tempo dedicato alla preghiera "con" i fedeli della Cina e "per" i fedeli della Cina. Non è il luogo per dire tutte le difficoltà che essi provano. Del resto, sappiamo che in Cina ci sono varie comunità e ognuna ha i suoi problemi. La diocesi di Shanghai, ad esempio, ha i suoi problemi. Altre diocesi hanno i loro problemi.Questa Giornata è una esperienza religiosa e il papa chiede solo la libertà religiosa per la fede dei cattolici.In his speech, there are therefore three things: unity, communion and mission.
The pope did not list specific problems, either diplomatic or political.
This is the style of Francis and it was the style of Benedict. The Day is a time dedicated to prayer "with" the faithful of China and "for" the faithful of China. It is neither the time nor the place to speak of all the difficulties that they experience. Moreover, we know that there are various communities in China and that each has its own problems. The diocese of Shanghai, for example, has its problems. Other dioceses also have their own problems.This Day is a religious experience and the Pope is only asking for religious freedom for the faith of Catholics.In recent years, on 24 May - and for the entire month - the police have presided over the sanctuary, installing metal detectors, chasing away anyone who was not from Shanghai
Until now I have not received news about how they are celebrating this Day in China. But I do know that several bishops are paying close attention to what is done today in Rome. It is the first time that Francis has celebrated the Day as Pope. For this reason I have asked to be allowed to spend this Day together with him and he has invited us to attend Mass this morning at 7 in Santa Marta, along with Chinese seminarians, priests and lay people.May 25 and 26, we spend in recollection, prayer and reflection with Chinese from all over Italy. At the end, after the Mass, we will participate at the Angelus with Pope Francis in St Peter's Square.
That of May 22 was the first explicit reference to China in the speeches of Pope Francis, since the beginning of his pontificate (Ed).From 7 July 2012, the auxiliary bishop Msgr. Thaddeus Ma Daqin has been under house arrest for having resigned and quit the Patriotic Association. He was also stripped of the title of Bishop of Shanghai (Ed).
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