Chinese Church officials to attend third straight plenary meeting in Vatican
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.- A third plenary meeting in as many years will take place in the Vatican next week between representatives of the Catholic Church in China and superiors from the Roman Curia. Like last year, formation will again be the topic of discussions.

The Holy See has announced the March 22-24 plenary meeting between Chinese and Vatican representatives.

Representatives first visited in March of 2008 to speak about the May 2007 Letter from the Holy Father to Chinese Catholics.

During three days of meetings, the commission discussed the reception of the Pope's Letter. It examined the theological principles proposed therein and their function within the Chinese Catholic community.

In spring of 2009, the second plenary meeting studied permanent formation for the priesthood and the human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral formation of seminarians and consecrated religious.

The third meeting will further examine formation "so that in China, as in the rest of the world, the work of priests and consecrated people helps the Church to incarnate the Gospel and give witness to it," reads the Vatican statement.

This topic will also be examined in light of the challenges that the "evolution of social and cultural conditions" present.

The communiqué announcing the event relates that the commission was instituted by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 to study “questions of greatest importance regarding the life of the Catholic Church in China." Commission members include superiors of Vatican dicasteries and representatives of the Chinese episcopate and religious congregations.

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