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Rome (AsiaNews) - "Is this still the Catholic Church?": This is the reaction of a young Chinese man to the text we publish below today in full translation, concerning the "formation courses" held in Beijing for the priests of the diocese of Mindong (Fujian) who joined the Patriotic Association. As already reported Mindong - which was to be the "pilot project" for the Sino-Vatican agreement - was given a new ordinary bishop, Msgr. Zhan Silu (formerly excommunicated, reconciled by the pope) while the underground bishop Msgr. Guo Xijin agreed to be demoted to auxiliary bishop at the request of the pontiff. Despite this, he was never officially recognised by the government because Beijing requires him to formerly adhere to an "independent" Church. Many priests - mostly from the underground branch - have not agreed to sign. However, a few dozen have. From July 21 to 27, the Party, together with Msgr. Zhan Silu organized an "internship" in Beijing for these men, where Party members, professors, and United Front cadres introduced them to the work of priests who have to carry forward socialism, sinicize the Church, love their country first and then religion, to develop "an independent, autonomous and democratic Church".
Between July 21 and 27, a formation course on the work of the Catholic Church of Fujian (Ningde) was held at the Central Institute of Socialism. This course was organized by the Central Institute of Socialism, in collaboration with the United Front of Fujian Province. Party Member of the Central Institute of Socialism and vice-chancellor Yuan Sha, deputy director of the United Front of Fujian Province Wen Xiongyu, the standing committee of the Ningde Municipal Committee and director of the United Front Lin Hong respectively took part in the opening and closing ceremonies of the course. They encouraged course participants to...
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