The Catholic Church in China is showing its gratitude for the concern extended to them by Pope Benedict following his Apostolic letter in 2007 and the recent day of prayer for the Church in China.
Fides relates that “Chinese Catholics were moved by the words of the one who has become an excellent ‘interpreter’ of their sentiments, the Holy Father Benedict XVI, and they reaffirmed their immense gratitude and fidelity to the Successor of Peter, committing themselves to the mission of evangelization in China, in order to make themselves worthy of the Pope’s words.”
On October 26 during the Mass at which he presided to close the Synod of Bishops, the Pope recalled the bishops of China, who could not travel to Rome, and asked God “to grant them joy, strength and apostolic zeal to guide the Catholic community in China, that is so beloved by us all, with wisdom and clarity.”
The Fides story included the testimonies of the Chinese Catholic Community. “We are happy and enthused. For the hundredth time it has been shown that we are in communion with the Holy Father and the Universal Church. Despite the objective limits caused by non-religious motives and the physical and geographical distance, we are ever more united to Rome, after the Letter the Pope sent to us last year, as well as after the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China after the Synod. This is a reality that no one can deny,” Chinese Catholics said.
One Chinese priest told Fides, “I admire the prudence and wisdom of the Holy Father. With these words the Pope has said it all. Even though we can’t forget that this is a critical and delicate situation, what remains above all else is hope. The Pope encourages us, he gives us the strength to continue one with our mission of proclaiming Christ to the Chinese society.”