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The Pope wants Chinese Catholics to be ‘best among citizens,’ Cardinal Parolin says

May 22, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: At a conference marking the 100th anniversary of the First Council of the Catholic Church in China, the Vatican’s Secretary of State said that “obedience to the Pope not only does not harm the love each person should have for their own country, but rather purifies and enlivens it.”

“The Pope wants Chinese Catholics to love their country and be the best among citizens,” he continued. “The Pope loves all nations, like God, whose representative he is; he loves China, your noble and great nation, and does not place it below any other.”

During the conference, Cardinal Parolin also said “we are all interested in renewing and also developing some points” in the 2018 Vatican-China agreement on the appointment of bishops. The agreement was renewed in 2020 and 2022.

Bishop Joseph Shen Bin of Shanghai, who was installed without Vatican approval but with eventual papal acquiescence, also addressed the conference.

Bishop Shen Bin made the claim that when Mao Zedong assumed power in 1949, “the religious freedom policy implemented by the Chinese government had no interest in changing the Catholic faith but hoped that clergy and faithful Catholics would defend the interests of the Chinese people and free themselves from the control of foreign powers.” At the same time, the Church “always remained faithful to its Catholic faith, while striving to constantly adapt to the new political system.”

Today, the Church must follow “a path of sinicization that aligns with today’s Chinese society and culture,” the prelate added.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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