Tuesday, January 29, 2013

'Old celestial empire' still surprises Westerners

China-Vatican relations in state of flux since 1949

Women pray during Mass in a chapel reserved for unregistered Catholics in Shenyang, China.
(Nancy Wiechec / CNS)
As capitalism becomes the norm in Chinese daily lives, can we still call China a communist country? The B.C. Catholic columnist Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo explained why he thinks China could still become a Christian country:
What about the religiosity of the Chinese people, whose Confucian pagodas, Buddhist shrines, Taoist temples, and even Catholic cathedrals are full of worshippers, despite the move to implant a national atheism by Mao Zedong, who did not hesitate to kill millions who did not accept his cultural revolution and Red Book?

As western powers pried open China for their commercial and political interests, Catholic and Protestant missionaries seized the opportunity to preach the Christian faith freely, and by the start of the 20th century, Chinese Catholics numbered about half a million.
The Church prospered despite the civil wars, the fall of the Manchu dynasty in 1911, and the anti-Christian purges launched by warlords, and in 1926 Pope Pius XI permitted the ordination of several Chinese bishops.
Read the full article here.

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