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A reflection on Cardinal Tong’s view of Vatican-Beijing negotiations

SAN DIEGO (SE): Although there are converging interests between China and the Vatican on the appointments of bishops, the two hold quite different agendas in the current, much-discussed negotiations between the two parties.

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Lent in China

BEIJING (SE): Wednesday, March 1, marked the beginning of Lent, but because so few people are able to attend Mass on a weekday in China, many parishes also held the rite of placing ashes on the forehead on the following Sunday as well.

Fides reported that there were a wide variety of initiatives taken up in different parishes to mark the beginning of the penitential season.

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Pope makes it on Beijing television

ROME (SE): In prime viewing time on February 26, a programme on the authority of the pope over his Catholic flock was aired on state television in Beijing.

The 7.30pm programme dealt with the question of the authority of the pope and how it relates to the people of the Church, relations between China and the Vatican, as well as the importance of religion in China and around the world.

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Localising Church music in China

HONG KONG (UCAN): China has experienced an increase in locally composed liturgical songs, which is evidenced by a new website listing various hymns that are sung across China today.

Last year, one priest released his own album of songs that he composed himself.

Sanyuan, in northwestern Shaanxi province, and Xianxian in northern Hebei, both held sacred music festivals in late 2016 attracting many choirs from the areas.

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High casualty rate among overseas baptisms

HONG KONG (UCAN): It seems that baptism received during relatively short stays overseas does not travel well when returning across the borders back into China.

A study of Chinese students baptised while studying in English-speaking countries reveals that among the tens of thousands involved, the homecoming tragedy rate is quite high.

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Two cardinals two opinions

HONG KONG (SE): The two cardinals in Hong Kong hold divergent opinions on the current discussions taking place between the Vatican and Beijing, with the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, showing great optimism in his outline of a possible scenario for Church-state relations and his predecessor, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, far more wary.

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Family denies late Bishop Wang was a secret cardinal

HONG KONG (UCAN): The rumour mill, which can run rampant around the Church in China, became so strong and complex around the time of the death of Bishop Casimir Wang Milu on February 14 that his younger brother, Bishop John Wang Ruowang, did not feel free to preside at the funeral ceremony of his older brother.

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Control of religious bodies in China is set to remain tight

HONG KONG (UCAN): China will continue choosing bishops for the official Catholic Church community and it will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, a work plan for 2017 posted on the website of the State Administration of Religious Affairs on January 26 announced.

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One of first secretly ordained bishops dies

HONG KONG (UCAN): Bishop Casimir Wang Milu, from Tianshui in the northwest of China, suffered a stroke and later contracted pneumonia in hospital where he died on February 14 at the age of 74.

The bishop from the unofficial community of the Church was not recognised by the Chinese government. He had been hospitalised since early January, but his condition continued to deteriorate. His funeral took place on February 18.

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Widely varied reaction to Cardinal Tong

HONG KONG (SE): The future of the Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view published by the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, in the Sunday Examiner on February 12 is reminiscent of a university debate where one team sets up and defends a hypothetical argument and the other attacks it.

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