CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 15 June 2019

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Concerns over political scanning in China Church

HONG KONG (UCAN): Catholics in China’s Henan province are concerned that a new appraisal system for religious personnel is a front for political screening.
 
On priest said that the provincial Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and Catholic Church Committee approached him during Holy Week seeking to appraise him. A few days later, he found the newly launched annual appraisal scheme with an assessment form on WeChat. 
 
“The appraisal is ridiculous,” he said.
 
Rules state that the appraisal should be started each December and finished before the end of the year. All clergy with the Chinese Catholic Religious Personnel Certificate issued by the two organisations are to be appraised.
 
The evaluation focuses on loving the China Church, patriotism, morality, law obedience, upholding canon law, performance, and knowledge of theology and social services. Each item is worth 10 to 15 points in the appraisal.
 
If the one being assessed scores less than 55 points or violates religious regulations, they will fail and will be warned or prohibited from carrying out their duties.
 
“Only those who can pass the appraisal are suitable to be religious personnel, otherwise their Church affairs will be prohibited,” a Catholic commentator, who identified himself as Ma Du, said.
 
He explained this exercise aims to kick out religious people who do not listen to the government.
 
“It equals political scanning. To verify religious personnel should be the right and power of a bishop. The measure is like the government management model but not the Church system,” Ma Du said. 

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