Tuesday, March 26, 2024
A delegation of 11 representatives of China’s “official” Catholic bodies took part in the assemblies that ratify Xi Jinping's political choices. Bishop Yang Yongqiang, one of the two bishops who attended the Synod at the Vatican, was also present. Bishop Shen Bin told journalists that the new goals for China’s Catholic community are “self-control, self-management, and self-construction”. [Testo e foto: Asia News]

Like in other years, a delegation representing official Chinese Catholic bodies took part in the country’s main political event, the Two Sessions, the annual plenary sessions of China’s foremost political institutions. In reality, the government had little to report with respect to religions. In his address, Premier Li Qiang, following the line laid down by Xi Jinping, limited himself to reiterating the goal of “advancing the sinicisation of religion in our country, and actively guiding religion to adapt to socialist society.”

The delegation of 11 representatives of China’s “official” Catholic bodies.

The official website of Chinese Catholics, chinacatholic.cn, gave instead ample prominence to the participation of the bishops' delegation to the annual event, noting that Bishop Li Shan of Beijing, chairman of the Patriotic Association, held a session to “study the complete text of the political resolution adopted."

Some 11 Catholic representatives, ten bishops and one priest, attended the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). They include, in addition to Bishop Li Shan, Bishop Shen Bin of Shanghai, chairman of the Council of Chinese Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Yang Yongqiang of Zochun (Shandong province), one of the two bishops from the People's Republic of China who attended the first session of the Synod at the Vatican last October.

Two prelates also addressed the National People's Congress, the legislative body that approves the laws of the People's Republic of China, namely Bishop Huang Bingzhang of Shantou (Guandong province), one of the self-ordained prelates whose excommunication Pope Francis lifted in 2018, and Bishop Fang Jianping of Tangshan (Hebei province).

The Chinese Catholic website Xinde reports that Bishop Shen Bin of Shanghai – increasingly seen as the official figure of reference for the Catholic Church by the authorities of the People's Republic of China – was interviewed on the sidelines of the meeting by journalists about “building the religious style and promoting a healthy development of religion.”

Bishop Shen Bin, writes Xinde, noted that religious communities must reach new goals of "self-control, self-management, and self-construction”, which despite the agreement with the Holy See on episcopal appointments, remain, as always, the "three autonomies" preached by the Patriotic Association.

At the same time, he stressed the need to “improve political standing, strengthen the leading role of the core socialist values, earnestly promote the comprehensive and strict management of religion, earnestly resolve outstanding problems that affect the healthy heritage of religion in our country, and continuously improve the management level of religious circles.”


Asia News