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Church is active part of Chinese history cardinal says

Vatican (UCAN): “The Catholic Church in China is not a ‘foreigner’ but an integral and active part of Chinese history and can contribute to the edification of a society that is more harmonious and respectful of all,” Pietro Cardinal Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, wrote in the preface of a soon to be launched book, The Church in China: A New Departure.
Edited by Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, the editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, the book comes at a particular moment in the history of relations between the Holy See and China, following the signing of the provisional agreement on the nomination of bishops that took place in Beijing last September.
The volume emerges from the China Forum for Civilisational Dialogue, a collaboration between the journal and Georgetown University and gathers various studies that have appeared over the last two years in La Civilità Cattolica.
Readers will be presented with a unique intellectual and ecclesial insight through the culture, society and spirituality of China today.
“I underlined that the desired new relations with China are being conceived and carried out not without fear and trembling, because they concern the Church, something of God, only insofar as they are ‘functional’ for the good of Chinese Catholics, for the good of the entire Chinese people, and for the harmony of the whole society,” Cardinal Parolin wrote.
The press release for the March 25 book launch mentions how Pope Francis has ushered in a new era of dialogue between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China and how despite complex relations since the arrival of Christianity in the seventh century, the recent provisional agreement presents an opportunity for a new departure.
Father Spadaro will moderate a discussion of these themes explored in the new book on March 25 at the Villa Malta in Rome.
Participants will include Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, former president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and Father Arturo Sosa, superior-general of the Society of Jesus. Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, will provide the closing remarks.
This event, co-sponsored by the China Forum for Civilisational Dialogue, is to coincide with the visit of China’s president, Xi Jinping, to Rome.

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