Amid negotiations between the Holy See and China’s Communist government over the appointment of bishops, Pope Francis has asked the nation’s Catholics to remain “open to encounter and dialogue.”
On May 24, which Pope Benedict declared a day of prayer for China’s Catholics, “we will all be united spiritually to the Catholic faithful of China, on the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians, venerated at the Sheshan Shrine at Shanghai,” Pope Francis said to the faithful following his May 21 Regina Coeli address.
“To Chinese Catholics I say: let us raise our gaze to Mary Our Mother, so that she may help us to discern the will of God regarding the concrete path of the Church in China and support us in accepting her plan of love with generosity,” the Pope continued, adding:
Mary encourages us to offer our personal contribution towards communion among believers and for the harmony of the society as a whole. Let us not forget to bear witness to faith with prayer and with love, always remaining open to encounter and dialogue.