In China, Church Grows Amid Repression
Interview With Father Bernardo Cervellera, Director of AsiaNews
ROME, MARCH 22, 2004 (Zenit) - Although now freed, underground Bishop Wei Jingyi's recent arrest caused concern among the country's Catholics, says the director of AsiaNews agency.
In this interview, Father Bernardo Cervellera of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, analyzes the evolution of the Catholic Church in China.
Q: Is Bishop Wei Jing's arrest an isolated case or is it part of a larger strategy of repression and persecution of the underground Church in China?
Father Cervellera: It is not at all an isolated case. Months ago, the Chinese government launched a new campaign against the underground communities -- Catholic, Protestant and of other religions -- which refuse the suffocating control of the government. Not being registered at the Office of Religious Affairs, they are illegal and are often accused of "disturbing the public order."
In several regions of China -- Fujian, Zhejiang, Inner Mongolia, Henan -- there is an ongoing widespread search of individual underground Christians to compel them to join the Patriotic Association, the long arm of the government to control the Church, and whose objective is to create a church that is independent of obedience to the Pope.
Those who do not join this association are imprisoned and their places of worship are dismantled and destroyed.
Q: What is the situation of Catholics in China? How are relations evolving between the Patriotic Association and the underground Church?
Father Cervellera: The Patriotic Association is constantly worse. In these last years, the government has chosen atheists as secretaries, who control the Church according to their ideological and economic interests.
On the other hands, the official Church -- the Church recognized by the government -- is constantly better: Underground and official Christians, together with bishops and priests, collaborate increasingly.
In the official Church, at least 80% of the bishops are in secret communion with the Pope. Because of this, they are also persecuted and kept under control.
Q: In the book "Chinese Mission: Journey in the Empire Between Market and Repression" (Ancora, 2003) you wrote that you do not have faith in China's economic growth because it is taking place to the detriment of people's rights and it does not alter the repressive policies of the Beijing government. Could you illustrate your point of view in this regard?
Father Cervellera: A society with great economic development, at least in the cities, which does not respect human rights and religious freedom, in the end does not even respect economic freedom.
The cases of corruption, violence and unpaid salaries of workers indicate that the Chinese economy is also sick. It is not only a question of lack of respect for religious rights.
Q: What are the prospects for Catholics in China?
Father Cervellera: Very good. Every year there are at least 150,000 baptisms of adults, [and] many more among Protestants.
The people are dissatisfied with the capitalist wave, and disillusioned with Marxism. The poor seek consolation; the martyrs inspire enthusiasm. All this leads to the search for stable values and the profound meaning of life.
Moreover, among those who adhere to the faith there are young people, intellectuals and professionals -- people who can influence society. A Chinese bishop said to me not long ago: "This is a rich period for evangelization."
http://www.cathoic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
China, Repression, Catholic, Persecution
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Priest shares Living Rosary on Mardi Gras to bring people back to God
- Here are the answers to the Ash Wednesday quiz. How did you do?
- Who do YOU answer to? Californians prepare safe houses for illegal ...
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, February 28, 2017
- Oarfish strandings in Philippines could mean massive quake coming HD ...
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 HD Video
- St. Hilary, Pope: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 28, 2017
- Pope Francis makes history by celebrating Christ alongside an Anglican Bishop HD
- St. Dominic Savio HD
- Clinton contributor makes revealing 'life insurance' video over fear of assassination HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.