Loading
Day of prayer for Church in China met with restrictions
By David Kerr
Worshipers in the Basilica of Our Lady of Sheshan in February 2011. Credit: Santo Chino.
Worshipers in the Basilica of Our Lady of Sheshan in February 2011. Credit: Santo Chino.

.- Prayers are being said around the globe today for the Church in China, but the Chinese government is reacting by restricting access to the Shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan and canceling the celebration of Mass.

May 24 marks the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, a day specially set aside by Pope Benedict XVI for remembering the plight of Chinese Catholics.

"For us, for our community, I can say the Pope is like a father who loves his children,” said Father Pietro Cui, the priest in charge of the Pastoral Care of Chinese Catholics in Italy.

“The Holy Father made a special appeal for the people of China and we must thank him for that because it’s very important, also that the world may know that this day is important for all Catholics,” he told CNA May 24.

The day has particular significance for Chinese Catholics as it occasion when many traditionally make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan in Shanghai. Various media reports, though, suggest that the Chinese government set up security checkpoints around the shrine to prevent pilgrims from visiting - a fact confirmed by Fr. Cui.

“The sanctuary of Our Lady of Sheshan is very important to us. She is our Madonna, the Madonna of China. I've heard that pilgrims are not very free to go to Sheshan. I've heard of problems today, though.” Those problems also seem to exist in other parts of China too.

Fr. Cui said that in the north of China Catholics are “not very free to celebrate Mass.” Although he described the restrictions on the Church as “normal” for locals, Fr. Cui said that he spoke with some families on the phone who said that today “there is no Holy Mass because the government says they can’t.”


At present, the Chinese government only allows the state-controlled “Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association” to operate freely within the country. The Association does not acknowledge the authority of the Pope. It’s estimated there are some 6 million such Catholics in China although millions more are worshiping outside the official church.

Hence the call of the Pope for prayer as explained today by his spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, S.J.

“The Pope’s latest appeal to all the faithful for the Day of Prayer for the Church in China, on May 24th, should be understood for what it is meant to be: that is, above all, an appeal for prayer. The Pope believes in the power of prayer and invites us to be ‘confident that, through prayer we can do something very real’ for the Church in China.” 


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: