Pope prays for Chinese Catholics to fully and freely practice their faith
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has prayed for Catholics in China to be free to share the Gospel and fully live their faith.
At a time when Vatican-China relations are strained over apparent differences over a deal to appoint bishops, the pope publicly marked the annual World Day of Prayer for the Catholic Church in China on May 24, the feast of Mary. , Help of Christians, “venerated and invoked at the Shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan in Shanghai.
“I invite everyone to raise a prayer to God so that the Good News of Christ crucified and risen may be proclaimed in its fullness, beauty and freedom, bearing fruit for the good of the Catholic Church and of all Chinese society. “, said the pope at the end of his weekly general audience.
Pope Francis said he wanted “our brothers and sisters in China” to know that Catholics around the world are close to them, “sharing their joys and hopes”, and that “all who suffer, pastors and faithful”, find consolation and encouragement. “in the communion and solidarity of the universal Church.
In 2018, the Vatican and the Chinese government signed an agreement outlining procedures to ensure that Catholic bishops are elected by the Catholic community in China and approved by the pope before their ordinations and installations. The deal was renewed in 2020 and again in 2022.
But in April, Chinese authorities transferred Bishop Joseph Shen Bin from Haimen to the Shanghai diocese, apparently without Vatican approval. And in November, just a month after the last renewal, the Vatican issued a public statement of regret, essentially accusing the Chinese government of violating the agreement when Bishop John Peng Weizhao of Yujiang was installed as auxiliary bishop of Jiangxi, “an unrecognized diocese”. by the Holy See.
Read more about Vatican News
Copyright © 2023 Catholic News Service/United States Conference of Catholic Bishops