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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has reiterated the Communist Party’s commitment to make religion more culturally Chinese, underscoring what many see are problems with the secret agreement on the appointment of bishops, signed in September between the Vatican and Beijing.
“We must fully implement the (Communist) Party’s fundamental policy on religious affairs and uphold the Sinicization of religion in China,” Li, the ruling Communist Party’s No. 2 leader, said while delivering his annual “work report” March 5.
Message - China - National - People - Congress
His message was delivered at China’s National People’s Congress in Beijing, part of the annual “two sessions” that started March 3 and were expected to run for up to 10 days. The congress is widely seen as the effective rubber stamp parliament in the one-party state.
Ucanews.com reported that Chinese bishops who attended the concurrent Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the self-described government advisory body, gave their backing to the Vatican-China agreement.
Bishop - Vincent - Zhan - Silu - Mindong
Bishop Vincent Zhan Silu of Mindong, a member of the consultative conference and vice chairman of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, told Hong Kong’s Sing Tao Daily March 3 that the deal was a win-win agreement that would promote the unity of the Chinese Church and its healthy development, ucanews.com reported.
“There will be no official or unofficial church when the church is united,” he said.
Church - Church - Church - Schism - Aspiration
Asked if it meant the so-called underground church would be forced to disappear, he said: “Don’t you want the church to be united? A church schism is not the fundamental aspiration of Catholics.”
Zhan said those Catholics who refused to join the official church were acting in their personal interests, but there was no...
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