Cardinal’s letter to China calls entire Church to holiness and unity, says Fr. Lombardi

Reflecting on Cardinal Ivan Dias' July letter to Chinese Catholic clergy, Vatican Radio director Fr. Federico Lombardi on Saturday said that the invitation to them to lead lives of "holiness, unity and communion" must be that of the entire Church.

The letter to China’s Catholic clergy from Cardinal Dias, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, was released by Fides news agency on Thursday having already been sent to them earlier in the month.

Fr. Lombardi, speaking on his weekly editorial program "Octava Dies," said the cardinal’s "beautiful and important" message reminded priests and bishops to be men for God and for others.

Additionally, Fr. Lombardi pointed out, the prefect speaks of the importance of communion with the Pope and union between members of the Church to overcome divisions.

He observed, "These divisions are, in fact, consequences of sin. That sin that - as the Pope has recalled many times recently - is the most serious danger for the Church. The danger that comes from the inside and is worse than those that come from the outside."

Cardinal Dias included a message from Pope Benedict XVI in the note, urging clergy "to continue without fear on the path of holiness, unity and communion."

"For Chinese Catholic priests and bishops as for all priests and bishops of the universal Church to which they belong," said Fr. Lombardi, "these are the fundamental points on which to build the future."

He concluded, "We feel in solidarity with them on this path, which must also be ours."

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