Skip to content

Future of Christians in China (Part 2 of 2)

Interview With Italian Journalist Gerolamo Fazzini

ROME, OCT. 18, 2005 (Zenit) - A major challenge for the Church in China is to educate the youth in the faith, says an Italian reporter who recently spent three weeks in that country.

Following his trip, Gerolamo Fazzini, co-editor of Mondo e Missione, of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, wrote six reports for the Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire.

In this interview with us, Fazzini shares his impressions of recent events relative to the Church in China.

Q: What is the most problematic aspect that the Catholic Church faces in China today?

Fazzini: It is difficult to say. One of the fundamental points is the formation of the clergy and of women religious. The long persecution of the past decades has caused enormous damages. There is an entire generation of bishops and priests missing. It is easy to imagine what this means in terms of formation.

Such a question is part of a more general problem which we could define in the implementation of the Second Vatican Council in ordinary pastoral praxis. Young people, who in the span of a few years will take the reins of the Church in China, will be one of the crucial challenges for the new bishops.

Q: China is changing at an impressive rate. Can the Church cope with the speed of change, meet the challenges that arise, and proclaim Christ to the younger generations?

Fazzini: Yes and no. In the large cities -- I am thinking, for example, of Shanghai and Beijing -- there is no lack of committed bishops, priests and lay people who have the necessary preparation to address the volume of challenges that are at hand. Some have studied abroad; they are able to relate to the new context.

But many others exhaust themselves trying to make sense of the world around us, for lack of adequate instruments. Going from the cities to the countryside, for example, one notes, just by looking at the Church's iconography, the profound chasm that separates the urban reality from the countryside.

The majority of lay Chinese live in rural areas, but the future will be decided increasingly in the cities. In the future, will Christianity be able to speak to the increasingly modern Chinese people? Beyond the problems connected to the public context, this seems to be the greatest challenge for the Church in China.

Q: Could you comment on the unbalanced social inequalities that exist alongside the spectacular economic development in China?

Fazzini: Indeed. Traveling through China, even only for a few weeks, as was my case, one perceives this difference. Next to the class of those who are outstanding, who are perfectly integrated in the international economic circuit, is the mass of the population, especially rural, that lives in conditions of poverty, without adequate social services.

The authorities perceive this situation: President Hu Jintao said that economic growth must go at the same pace as the struggle against disparity between the richer coastal provinces and regions of the interior, extremely poor.

Because of this, the Chinese Communist Party is about to launch a five-year plan to build a "more harmonious and stable" society. We'll see.

What is positive is the novelty that the government is realizing that it cannot guarantee a minimum level of welfare to the population and, therefore, little by little is making possible room for action, limited but real, for the NGOs. We are far from subsidiarity as we understand it, but, in any case, it is a positive sign.

Q: Often terrible news comes from China relative to the practices of "demographic control": abortions on a large scale, infanticide and forced sterilizations. What can citizens of Western countries do to help China check these phenomena?

Fazzini: That China has a problem of demographic control is plain for everyone to see. It is not enough to affirm it theoretically. When one sees the megalopolis brimming with crowds, the metropolises full to the point of disbelief, one then intuits the extent of the problem. What to do?

One can, for example, help China to identify the most appropriate ways to educate in responsible paternity and maternity. Political fantasy? Not really. Experimental programs of the Billings [Ovulation] Method [of natural family planning] was introduced successfully two years ago in some areas. Why not support its extension on a large scale, accompanying it with a campaign of education of young people?

Sadly, and mistakenly, I do not think that Western governments, in the main pro-abortion, will support this solution. Another interesting path that is opening, as regards Italy, is the international adoption of Chinese children.

Q: What can Christians do?

Fazzini: First, pray. If God is the one who moves history, he must be asked with insistence for the necessary help for our Chinese brothers and sisters. The Church in China, moreover, feels very comforted in knowing that sister Churches don't forget her.

Second, it is important to get involved, to know what is available: The instruments are not lacking, from Catholic agencies, such as Catholic Online and AsiaNews to specialized reviews such as Mondo e Missione.

Fundamental, in my opinion, is the background strategy. It is necessary to express the greatest "liking" for the Chinese people, for their very rich and ancient culture, and at the same time to make it "pressing" for the authorities to change what is against human rights.

Finally, I think one must also contribute financially to support the Church in China.


Catholic Online CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000



China, Fazzini, Catholic

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

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.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

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

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 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 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.