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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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Keeping up the mission spirit in China

SHIJIAZHUANG (Agencies): Many parishes across China welcomed new members into their midst at Easter this year with hundreds in some places and dozens in others receiving the sacraments of intitation.

In the diocese of Ba Meng in Inner Mongolia, an Evangelisation Spring was declared on April 14 by Bishop Du Jiang.

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Presence of illicit bishop puts spanner in the works at ordination

NANCHONG (SE): An illicit bishop in China put another spanner in the works at the ordination of Father Joseph Chen Gong’ao as the bishop of Nanchong diocese in south-western Sichuan province on April 19.

The sticking point was the presence of Father Paul Lei Shiyin, who was illicitly ordained a bishop in Leshan for the neighbouring diocese of Yibin on June 29 last year.

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Nobel laureates appeal for the Dalai Lama

HONG KONG (SE): Twelve Nobel laureates have written to the president of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao, urging him to open talks with the Dalai Lama in the light of the series of self-immolations carried out by Tibetan people living in China over the past 12 months.

More than 30 Tibetans, most of them Buddhist monks and nuns, have set themselves on fire in Tibetan-inhabited areas of the mainland since the start of March last year to protest against Beijing’s hard-line rule.

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Illicit ordination is bullet in disguise

HONG KONG (SE): A priest in China has written to UCA News in the wake of the March 26 ordination of six deacons to the priesthood in Kunming, Yunnan province, by the illicitly ordained Bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin, lamenting that warnings from both inside and outside the country did nothing to wake up the consciences of the people involved.

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Xi Jinping hosted at Jesuit college in Dublin

DUBLIN (SE): The Jesuit-run Belvedere College hosted Xi Jinping, the vice president of the People’s Republic of China, to a performance of Riverdance during his visit to Ireland in February this year.

The Irish Jesuit News reported on February 29 that the headmaster, Gerry Foley, said that hosting Xi at the college was indeed a great honour and recognition of the course in Chinese studies that the college has been running for over five years.

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