Catholic World News

Father Matteo Ricci: model for dialogue with China

May 18, 2009

Father Matteo Ricci, the 16th-century Jesuit missionary, was "a model of dialogue and respect for the beliefs of others," Pope Benedict XVI observed in a message to Italian Church leaders organizing celebrations for the 400th anniversary of his death. The Pope said that Father Ricci used his knowledge of science and his academic erudition to "seek possible harmony between the noble and millennial Chinese civilization and the novelty of Christianity." The same approach should be used today, the Pontiff suggested. His message may have been designed to ease concerns about Chinese government leaders, who shows signs of worry that the Church would exert foreign influences on Chinese culture.

 


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