Rome Newsroom, Nov 20, 2023 / 17:40 pm
Archbishop Joseph Li Shan of Beijing stressed the importance of building unity between Chinese Catholics across the mainland and Hong Kong by promoting Catholic spirituality and evangelization efforts in line with the process of sinicization following his three-day visit to Hong Kong.
Sinicization is a process by which religious practice is enculturated into the context of Chinese society so that it is assimilated within the local customs, styles, and language. However, for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) it has come to take on a new, political dimension whereby religious belief and practice are modified in order to fit into the framework of the party’s ideology.
“We pray that under the guidance of the revelation of the Holy Spirit of God, under the direction of the spirit of the Church’s communion, and under the diligent exploration of all of us, the Chinese Church will be able to promote the work of evangelization and spirituality along the direction of sinicization,” Li said after his Nov. 13-15 visit.
Li’s much-anticipated visit was important as it marked the first time China’s top mainland bishop visited Hong Kong. Cardinal Stephen Chow extended the invitation after his own visit to Beijing from April 17-21, which was the first time since the handover of Hong Kong from the British to the Chinese in 1997 that the bishop of Hong Kong visited the mainland.