There is hope and concern, sadness and uneasiness among Chinese Catholics at the news of the provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops signed between China and the Holy See. There are criticisms of illicit bishops who have been excommunicated because they “have lovers and children” and are “loyal collaborators of the regime against the Lord”, together with requests to be able to see and know of the text of the agreement.
Appeal of the Holy Father
Dear brothers and sisters,
Last Saturday, 22 September, a Provisional Agreement between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China was signed in Beijing, regarding the appointment of bishops in China. The Agreement is the fruit of a long and careful journey of dialogue, intended to promote a more positive collaboration between the Holy See and the Chinese authorities for the good of the Catholic community in China and for the harmony of society as a whole.
In this spirit, I have decided to address to Chinese Catholics and to all the universal Church a Message of fraternal encouragement, which will be published today. With this, I hope that in China a new phase may begin, which will help to heal the wounds of the past, to re-establish and maintain the full communion of all Chinese Catholics and to assume with renewed commitment the announcement of the Gospel.
Dear brothers and sisters, we have an important task! We are called to accompany our brothers and sisters in China with fervent prayer and fraternal friendship. They know they are not alone. All the Church prays with them and for them. Let us ask Our Lady, Mother of Hope and Help of Christians, to bless and to keep all Catholics in China, while for the entire Chinese people let us invoke from God the gift of prosperity and peace.