scrutiny with the catechumens March 19, which precedes the baptism,
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun (who was elevated to the College of
Cardinals less than one week later) likened the Church to a big family,
are baptized, they will share in the joys and sorrows of the faithful,
the bishop of Hong Kong reportedly said before the packed church of St.
Francis of Assisi.
catechumen is somewhat like going through a period of courtship. With
baptism at Easter, it is like getting married to the Church after
which, through their parishes, those who have been baptized become
members of the Hong Kong diocese and members of the universal Church;
the Body of Christ,” he reportedly said.
growth of Catholicism in China, relations between the Vatican and the
communist country remain tenuous. The Vatican wants to improve
relations with China but China has insisted the Holy See must first
break ties with Taiwan.
The Vatican is
currently exploring ways to better serve Catholics in China, where a
government-sponsored Church discourages the faithful -- sometimes
violently -- from adhering to the Pope.
underground Church, faithful to the Pope, exists as well, but experts
say its religious liberties are being trampled by government.
XVI’s prayer intention for April is that the Church in China “may carry
out its evangelizing mission serenely and in full freedom." He has
expressed interest in visiting China, but said the timing is up to God.
Cardinal Zen has been on record for having encouraged Catholics in China to “be patient” as they wait for religious freedom.
Diocese of Hong Kong will baptize an astounding 2,400 catechumens
during this year’s Easter vigil, leaving some wondering if this isn’t a
record of sorts.