Thursday, October 18, 2012

"I am very saddened that you cannot hear any voice from the Chinese Church."

(Vatican Radio, 10/16/2012) - There was a remainder of the price that men and women have paid in order to witness to their faith in the first intervention at the XIIIth General Congregation of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelisation Tuesday morning. In was a short intervention, scripted entirely in Latin and read to the 250 participants by the Secretary General of the Synod, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic and it came all the way from China.

The intervention was penned by Bishop Luke Li Jing Feng, of Fengxiang [Shaanxi]. The ninety-year-old bishop was released in 1979 after twenty years in prison during the Cultural Revolution in China. He was born in 1922, ordained in 1947, consecrated bishop in 1980, and recognized by the Government on 30 August 2004. The Diocese of Fengxiang, Shaanxi, is located in the center of Shaanxi Province. Currently, the District has twenty thousand Catholics.

The Bishop wrote : “I congratulate you who can participate in the Synod and pay homage to Saint Peter's Tomb. I am very saddened that you cannot hear any voice from the Chinese Church. I want to say that our Church in China, in particular the laity, has always maintained the piety, faithfulness, sincerity and devotion of the first Christians, even whilst undergoing fifty years of persecution. I wish to add that I pray intensely and constantly Almighty God that our piety, faithfulness, sincerity and devotion may overcome the tepidness, unfaithfulness and secularism that have developed abroad as a result of unrestrained openness and freedom.
In the Year of Faith, in your synod discussions, you can examine why our faith in China was able to remain indefectible until now. As the great Chinese philosopher Lǎozi put it, 'As calamity generates prosperity, so in weakness calamity hides.' In the Churches outside of China, tepidness, unfaithfulness and secularism of the faithful have infected clergymen. In the Chinese Church, lay people are more pious than the clergy. And I believe that our faith as Chinese Christians can console the pope. I shall not talk about politics because it is transient."

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