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ROME — Chinese Bishop John Fang Xingyao, president of the state-run Catholic Patriotic Association, said last week that allegiance to the nation must always predominate over allegiance to God.
“Love for the homeland must be greater than the love for the Church and the law of the country is above Canon law,” said Fang, who is the bishop of Linyi (Shandong), at a November 26 meeting of the Political Consultative Conference on Religions (CPPCCP) in Beijing.
Meeting - CPPCCP - President - Wang - Yang
The meeting was chaired by CPPCCP president Wang Yang, a member of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, and attended by academics, religious figures, and political advisers.
The meeting sought to continue developing “a religious ideological system with Chinese characteristics in line with the demands of the times,” which responds to President Xi Jinping’s “Sinicization” program, according to which all religious belief and practice must be brought into alignment with the principles of the Communist Party.
Summer - Vatican - Document - Title - Pastoral
Last summer, the Vatican published a document bearing the title “Pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of clergy in China” regarding Catholic priests enlisting in the state-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA), which does not recognize the authority of Rome.
The document — bearing the signature of “The Holy See” — offered Chinese clergy the opportunity to register with the CPA in good conscience as long as they specify that they are acting without failing in their duty “to remain faithful to the principles of Catholic doctrine.”
Choice - Conscience
While insisting it “understands and respects the choice of those who, in conscience, decide that they are unable to register under the...
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