Thursday, April 14, 2011

Message to Chinese Catholics from the Vatican (April 13 ,2011)

Vatican Commission sent a message to Catholics in China. Please read the whole message HERE.

  • We encourage the Bishops, together with their priests, to conform themselves ever more closely to Christ the Good Shepherd, to ensure that their faithful do not lack education in the faith, to stimulate a just industriousness and to strive to build, wherever they are lacking and are necessary, new places of worship and education in the faith and, especially, to form mature Christian communities.
  • As far as the sad episode of the episcopal ordination in Chengde is concerned, the Holy See, on the basis of the information and testimonies it has so far received, while having no reason to consider it invalid, does regard it as gravely illegitimate, since it was conferred without the Papal mandate, and this also renders illegitimate the exercise of the ministry. We are also saddened because this took place after a series of consensual episcopal ordinations and because the consecrating Bishops were subjected to various constrictions.
  • The external pressures and constrictions could mean that excommunication is not automatically incurred. However, there remains a grave wound, perpetrated on the ecclesial body. Every Bishop involved is therefore obliged to refer to the Holy See and find the means of explaining his position to the priests and faithful, renewing his profession of fidelity to the Supreme Pontiff, to help them to overcome their interior suffering and repair the external scandal caused.
  • With regard to the 8th National Assembly of Catholic Representatives, the words of the Holy Father, once again, are inspiring: “Considering ‘Jesus’ original plan,’ it is clear that the claim of some entities, desired by the State and extraneous to the structure of the Church, to place themselves above the Bishops and to guide the life of the ecclesial community, does not correspond to Catholic doctrine, according to which the Church is ‘apostolic’, as the Second Vatican Council underlined. […] Likewise, the declared purpose of the afore-mentioned entities to implement ‘the principles of independence and autonomy, self-management and democratic administration of the Church’ is incompatible with Catholic doctrine” (No. 7).
  • The choice of Pastors for the governance of the numerous vacant dioceses is an urgent necessity, and, at the same time, a source of deep concern. The Commission strongly hopes that there will not be new wounds to ecclesial communion, and asks the Lord for strength and courage for all of the persons involved. … we know that it is not entirely in our hands and we launch an appeal so that the problems do not grow and that the divisions are not deepened, at the expense of harmony and peace.
  • We have learnt with joy the news that the diocese of Shanghai can start the beatification cause of Paul Xu Guangqi, which will be added to that of Father Matteo Ricci, S.J.