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People troop to Sheshan shrine

SHANGHAI (SE): More than 8,000 people attended the opening of the Marian month of May at the Our Lady of Sheshan Shrine on the outskirts of Shanghai on May 1.

The shrine was earmarked by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 as the focal point for World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, which is celebrated each year on May 24.

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New crackdown on house Churches

BEIJING (AsiaNews): The China Aid Association claims that Beijing has already launched an all-out campaign against house Churches, their ministers and members, and that their eradication is planned to be completed within a 10-year period.

The association says it bases its claim on Communist Party sources and documents.

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Vatican communiqué on China gets good reception

HONG KONG (UCAN): The April 26 communiqué from the Vatican Commission for the Catholic Church in China was described by Sister Beatrice Leung Kit-fun as being encouraging, but still leaving some practical problems that need to be addressed.

The Macau-based professor of politics said that the Vatican has taken a consolidation approach towards the Church in China, by focussing on better formation for lay people.

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May Day celebrates work and Our Lady

SHIJIAZHUANG (SE): The celebration of May Day in the Catholic community in mainland China was characterised with an expression of a strong Marian devotion and recognition of the dignity of work.

Fides reported that in many parishes the sacrament of confirmation was administered and some dioceses marked the day with the ordination of deacons and a renewal of their commitment to the witness of the faith.

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First Shanghai Catholic praised on 450th birthday

SHANGHAI (UCAN): Mainstream media in China heaped high praise on Paul Xu Guangqi on April 24 to mark the 450th anniversary of his birth in a series of reports on commemorative events in Shanghai.

Xu was born in 1562 and was the first person from Shanghai to receive the sacrament of baptism. A close friend and collaborator of the famed Jesuit missionary, Father Matteo Ricci, who baptised him, the Holy See is currently reviewing the cases of both men for beatification. Xu died in 1633.

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Baptism numbers in China look good but could be better

SHIJIAZHUANG (SE): Statistics collected up to April 18 by the Study Centre of Faith in Hebei, China, show that a total of 22,104 people were baptised in the mainland over the Easter period, 75 per cent of whom were adults.

Despite this result, the centre says, “The community is fully aware of the need for further work in evangelisation. It is true that we have dioceses that do not perform all their baptisms at Easter, as they vary according to the cycle of catechumenates or parish feast days.”

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Rights activist escapes house arrest

Beijing (Agencies): According to an April 27 report by AsiaNews, Chen Guangcheng, the blind lawyer and rights advocate has who has been under house arrest for 19 months for denouncing forced abortion and sterilisation in China, has escaped from his heavily guarded home in Linyi, Shandong province, where he has been held since 2010. 

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Disrupted ordination of bishop in Hunan

 HONG KONG (SE): “The ongoing insistence by Beijing in having bishops not in good standing with Rome participate in episcopal ordination ceremonies in China, raises the fundamental question as to whether the Chinese authorities are sincerely interested in a harmonious relationship with the Holy See,” The Vatican Insider notes in the wake of the ordination of Father Methodius Qu Ailin, as bishop of Changsha, on April 25.

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China Commission praises fidelity

 

VATICAN (SE): “Evangelisation cannot be achieved by sacrificing essential elements of the Catholic faith and discipline,” the Commission for the Catholic Church in China says in a statement released on April 26 from the Vatican.

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The Church with Chinese characteristics

WENZHOU (Agencies): Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin and Peter Jin Lugang of Nanyang, together with Father Paul Jiang Sunian, all of whom had been held by the Chinese authorities, were released from custody on April 8, UCA News reported on April 16.

All three belong to unofficial communities of the Church. Bishop Shao, from Wenzhou, had been detained for four weeks and Bishop Jin, from Nanyang in Henan province, for four days.

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