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The Sinicisation of priestly formation

Following is a translation from the Chinese original of the report on concerning
formation courses held in Beijing for the priests of the Diocese of Mindong (Fujian)
who joined the Patriotic Association.
It was drafted by Deng Wenlong, a member of the Patriotic Association of Fujian
ROME (AsiaNews): Thirty-three priests from various parishes in the diocese of Mindong and over 20 religious affairs officials from Ningde took part a formation course on the work of the Catholic Church of Fujian (Ningde), held at the Central Institute of Socialism in Beijing, between July 21 and 27. It was organised by the Central Institute of Socialism in collaboration with the United Front of Fujian province. 
Lessons and the activities of the course revolved around the theme Guiding the Catholic Church to follow a path conforming to socialist society and professors from Beijing University, the People’s Liberation Army National Defense University and the Socialist Central Institute gave presentations on socialism with Chinese characteristics in Xi Jinping’s new era, Chinese traditions and culture, the Sinicisation of religion, current situations in China and abroad, the work of the Catholic Church, policies and religious doctrine, history and culture of religion. 
During their free time, participants visited the Academy of Theology and Philosophy of the Catholic Church in China, as well as the Patriotic Association and the Episcopal Conference and received a hospitable welcome from Bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin, president of the Chinese Episcopal Conference and from Bishop Joseph Guo Jincai, vice-president and general secretary of the Chinese Episcopal Conference. 
At the end of the course, Bishop Vincent Zhan Silu of Mindong, vice-president of the Chinese Episcopal Conference, director of the Patriotic Association of the Fujian province spoke of the three results obtainede: first, a clear understanding of the future direction of development for the mission and values ​​that a Christian must have: that is, pursue the path of Sinicisation with determination; second, an understanding of the responsibilities to which they are called, as priests and protagonists of social progress who, during the process of Sinicisation of Catholicism, must fulfill their functions by contributing to the unity and harmony of the Catholic Church in China; and third, a clear understanding of the historical mission conferred on them by the present age, namely to maintain unity, love the homeland and religion: this is therefore the divine mission that the present time confers to every Christian.
“I sincerely hope that you will return to your parishes bearing the fruit of these studies, sharing it with the faithful and sowing it so that your parish can develop in a healthy and perpetual way,” Bishop Zhan said. 
“In accordance with the teachings of the gospel, we will fulfill our duties, build our trust, study and put into practice the spirit transmitted by national and provincial conferences on religious work, we will deepen the content of Catholic doctrine in order to foster social harmony, progress and a positive culture, to carry out the Sinicisation of religion with determination, we will continue to follow a path that conforms to socialist society. We must contribute to the creation of a new reality in the diocese of Mindong and in the Catholic Church of Fujian, and in the name of the diocese of Mindong, we must also make our contribution to the development of the Holy Church in China,” he said.
A party member of the Central Institute of Socialism and vice-chancellor, Yuan Sha; deputy director of the United Front of Fujian province Wen Xiongyu; the standing committee of the Ningde Municipal Committee and director of the United Front, Lin Hong, took part in the opening and closing ceremonies. 
They encouraged participants to learn about their place, role and mission, give importance to this valuable formation opportunity, actively study and participate in improving their general qualities, and, under the guidance of the fundamental values ​​of socialism, foster love for the homeland and religion by continuing to follow the path of the Sinicisation of religion, a path that is in conformity with socialist society and finally, to actively participate in the development of an independent, autonomous and democratic Church.

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