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German nun renowned for treating lepers in Pakistan dies at 87

August 11, 2017 CNA Daily News 2

Karachi, Pakistan, Aug 11, 2017 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Sr. Ruth Pfau, a German-born Catholic missionary who devoted her life to eradicating leprosy in Pakistan, died Thursday at the age of 87.

A few days prior, she had been hospitalized in Karachi due to complications related to old age.

Pakistani leaders mourned the Aug. 10 loss of the doctor and religious sister, and praised her contributions in fighting the disfiguring disease that usually leads to the ostracization of its victims.

“Pfau may have been born in Germany, her heart was always in Pakistan,” Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said in a statement.  

Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussein said Sr. Ruth’s dedication to ending leprosy in Pakistan “cannot be forgotten. She left her homeland and made Pakistan her home to serve humanity. Pakistani nation salutes Dr. Pfau and her great tradition to serve humanity will be continued.”

Harald Meyer-Porzky from the Ruth Pfau Foundation in Würzburg said Sr. Pfau had “given hundreds of thousands of people a life of dignity”.

Sr. Pfau was born in Leipzig in 1929, but her childhood home was destroyed by bombing during World War II. After the war, her family escaped the communist regime in East Germany and moved to West Germany, where Sr. Pfau studied medicine.

After joining the Daughters of the Heart of Mary, Sr. Pfau was sent to India to join a mission in 1960. On her way there, she was held up due to visa issues for some time in Karachi, where she first encountered leprosy, an infectious disease that causes severe, disfiguring skin sores and nerve damage in the arms, legs, and skin areas around the body.

In 1961, Sr. Pfau travelled to India where she was trained in the treatment and management of leprosy. Afterwards, she returned to Karachi to organize and expand the Leprosy Control Program.   She founded the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre in Karachi, Pakistan’s first hospital dedicated to treating the disease, which today has 157 branches across the country.

“Well if it doesn’t hit you the first time, I don’t think it will ever hit you,” she told the BBC in 2010 about her first encounter with leprosy.

“Actually the first patient who really made me decide was a young Pathan. He crawled on hands and feet into this dispensary, acting as if this was quite normal, as if someone has to crawl there through that slime and dirt on hands and feet, like a dog.”

“The most important thing is that we give them their dignity back,” she told the BBC at the time.

She was also known for rescuing children with leprosy, who had been banished to caves and cattle pens for years by their parents, who were afraid of contracting the disease themselves.

Sr. Pfau trained numerous doctors in the treatment of leprosy, and in 1996 the World Health Organization declared that leprosy had been controlled in the country. Last year, the number of patients under treatment for leprosy in Pakistan fell to 531, down from 19,398 in the 1980s, according to the Karachi daily Dawn.

“It was due to her endless struggle that Pakistan defeated leprosy,” the German Consulate Karachi posted on Facebook after learning of Sr. Pfau’s death.

The nun won many honors and awards for her work, both from Pakistan and Germany. In 1979, the Pakistani government appointed her Federal Advisor on Leprosy to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

The Pakistani government also honored her with the Hilal-e-Imtiaz, one of the highest awards available to citizens, in 1979, and the Hilal-e-Pakistan in 1989. She was granted Pakistani citizenship in 1988. In 2002 she won the Ramon Magsaysay Award, regarded as Asia’s Nobel prize.

She also authored several books about her experiences, including To Light A Candle, which has been translated into English. Another book by Sr. Pfau, titled The Last Word is Love: Adventure, Medicine, War and God, will be available in November.

Sr. Pfau’s funderal is scheduled for Aug. 19 at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Karachi, and she will be buried at the Christian cemetery in the city.

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Pope shakes up Syro-Malankara Church with several new appointments

August 5, 2017 CNA Daily News 4

Vatican City, Aug 5, 2017 / 09:42 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Saturday, Pope Francis made several changes in the Syro-Malankara Church, found predominantly in India, establishing a new eparchy and naming several new bishops, as well as an apostolic visitor.

Announced in an Aug. 5 communique from the Vatican, the Pope has officially established the Eparchy of Parassala, a small village in the Kerala region of India, and named Bishop Thomas Mar Eusebios Naickamparambil as its bishop.

Bishop Naickamparambil was previously in charge of the Eparchy of Our Lady Queen of Peace for Syro-Malankara faithful in the United States and Canada.

Taking his place will be Bishop Stephanos Thottathil, who until now has served as auxiliary bishop of Tiruvalla, in India’s southern state of Kerala, which is predominantly Christian.  

An eparchy is similar to a diocese for Eastern Churches. The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church itself is one of the 23 “sui iuris,” or “independent” Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Catholic Church and the Bishop of Rome.

Cardinal Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis is the current Major Archbishop of the rite, and is also President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India.

In addition to the establishment of the Parassala eparchy and the nomination of its bishop, Pope Francis named Fr. George Kalayil as Bishop of the Eparchy of Puthur, also in Kerala. He had previously served as a priest in the same eparchy.

The Pope also named Fr. John Kuchuthundil as a Curial Bishop and Apostolic Visitor to the Syro-Malankara Church in Europe and Oceania, although no specific reason for the visitation was given.

Bishop Thottathil, who will be taking over the Our Lady Queen of Peace eparchy for the U.S. and Canada, was born in the Pathanamithitta district of Kerala May 9, 1952. He was ordained a priest in 1979, and after serving in various parish assignments, he obtained a doctorate in moral theology from the Alphonsian Academy in Rome.

He then returned to India, where between 2003-2005 he served in various roles, including Vice-Rector of his diocese’s Minor Seminary, Head of the Mission to Delhi, Director of the Pushpagiri Hospital, Professor of Moral Theology, Dean of Theology and Rector of St. Mary’s Malankara Major Seminary. He was consecrated auxiliary bishop of Tiruvalla March 13, 2010.

Bishop Naickamparambil, who will head the new eparchy in Parassala, was born June 6, 1961, in Mylapra, and was ordained a priest in 1986.

After completing his initial studies in philosophy and theology, he went on to earn his doctorate in philosophy in Rome. He speaks Malayalam, English, German, Italian and Hindi, and can read Syriac, Greek and French.

Following his priestly ordination and studies, Naickamparambil served in various roles, including: Vice Pastor and Pastor of several different parishes, Professor and then Dean of Philosophy at St. Mary’s Malankara Major Seminary, Public Relations Officer, Coordinator for interreligious dialogue and Secretary of the presbyteral council, Director of the Sarvodaya Vidalaya school and Treasurer of the Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology.

He was named bishop in 2010 for the Syro-Malankara faithful in the United States, and, at the same time, named apostolic visitor of faithful living in Canada and Europe.

According to the Vatican communique, the new eparchy of Parassala that Bishop Naickamparambil will oversee has some 30,750 Syro-Malankara faithful in addition to 220,000 Christians of other rites in the area, which has a total population of roughly 952,500 people.

Overall, the pastoral care of the Syro-Malankara faithful is entrusted to some 22 eparchial priests in 95 parishes, in addition to various religious brothers and sisters, such as priests from the Order of the Imitation of Christ, the Franciscans, Daughters of Mary sisters, Sisters of Imitation of Christ and Sisters of the Sacred Heart.

In total, the Syro-Malankara Church manages more than 50 educational institutions, including 10 high schools.
 

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New Zealand inquiry doesn’t recommend legalizing assisted suicide, euthanasia

August 4, 2017 CNA Daily News 2

Wellington, New Zealand, Aug 4, 2017 / 11:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A long-term inquiry submitted to New Zealand’s parliament Wednesday did not recommend that assisted suicide and euthanasia be legalized in the country.

“We’ve tried to distil all the arguments and our recommendation to both the Parliament and the people of New Zealand is to read this report and come to a deeper understanding of what’s been asked around assisted suicide and euthanasia,” Simon O’Connor, chair of the parliament’s health committee, which prepared the report, said Aug. 2.

The report was an investigation of euthanasia and assisted suicide and attitudes toward them, prompted by a request from former New Zealand Labour Party MP and assisted suicide advocate Maryan Street.

A bill to legalize voluntary euthanasia has been introduced in the New Zealand parliament, but it is unlikely to be passed before the end of the legislature’s term later this month, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Having faced moral opponents and concerns about safeguards in the past, euthanasia bills have previously failed in the country. The effort was renewed, however, in 2014 after a Wellington lawyer’s battle with brain cancer gained political and media attention.

Lecretia Seales had petitioned New Zealand’s High Court for the right to assisted suicide, and died from her cancer. Street introduced a petition in favor of legalizing assisted suicide shortly thereafter.

The health committee’s subsequent inquiry heard from some 22,000 submitters, 80 percent of whom were opposed to a change in legislation that would allow for assisted suicide and euthanasia.

“But I don’t think this is simply a numbers game. It is about actually understanding the arguments for and against and making a decision about which ones are correct,” O’Connor said.

The primary argument against legalization, the report concluded, was that “the public would be endangered.”

“They cited concern for vulnerable people, such as the elderly and the disabled, those with mental illnesses, and those susceptible to coercion. Others argued that life has an innate value and that introducing assisted dying and euthanasia would explicitly undermine that idea. To do so would suggest that some lives are worth more than others. There were also concerns that, once introduced, eligibility for assisted dying would rapidly expand well beyond what was first intended.”

The report noted that “some of remain unconvinced that the models seen overseas provide adequate protection for vulnerable people.”

O’Connor commented that “it probably comes down to the simple question of ‘How many errors would Parliament would be willing to accept in this space?’”

Other opponents, including the Care Alliance and Prime Minister Bill English, a practicing Catholic, have expressed concern that the bill would lead to the abuse of elderly, mentally ill, and disabled citizens, as well as undermine the dignity of the human person.

The health committee wrote in its report that “we were concerned to hear that there is a lack of awareness about the role of palliative care, that access to it is unequal, and that there are concerns about the sustainability of the workforce.”

They recommended that the government consider how “it can better communicate the excellent services that palliative carers provide, address the unequal access, consider how palliative care is funded, and address the workforce shortages.”

They also encouraged the government to improve access to grief counselling and similar services for those at risk of suicide.

The bill to legalize voluntary euthanasia was introduced by David Seymour, an MP of ACT New Zealand and the party’s only MP. The bill would allow euthanasia for mentally sound adults suffering from grievous and incurable medical conditions who request it.

Voluntary euthanasia is supported by the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The New Zealand National Party, which is the center of New Zealand’s coalition government, has ruled out legalizing euthanasia.

The Labour party has said legalizing euthanasia is not among its priorities, and New Zealand First has said a change in the law should go through a referendum rather than parliament.

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Christian leaders unite to oppose assisted suicide in Australia

August 2, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Melbourne, Australia, Aug 2, 2017 / 02:11 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics and Christian leaders from several denominations have joined forces in the Australian state of Victoria to decry a bill in favor of assisted suicide, expected to be proposed and voted on later this year.

“Euthanasia and assisted suicide represent the abandonment of those who are in greatest need of our care and support,” read the letter, which was printed in The Herald Sun July 31.

The statement was written by leaders from the Greek and Coptic Orthodox churches, as well as Anglicans, Lutherans, and Catholics, including Anglican Archbishop Philip Freier, Orthodox Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis, and Catholic Archbishop Denis Hart.

The bill is expected to be introduced to Victoria’s parliament later this year, and is among the more strict in terms of protocol.

An expert panel chaired by the former president of the Australian Medical Association, Brian Owler, included 68 safeguards in his recommendations for the bill, making it one of the most conservative proposals in the world.

If the legislation is passed, assisted suicide would be a three-step process in the state of Victoria, with at least 10 days between the initial and final request. It would begin with a vocal request, a written request, and end with a final verbal request.

Despite this, no “’safeguards’ will ever guarantee that deaths under the proposed laws will be completely voluntary,” the Christian leaders said in their statement Monday. “There will always be a risk of error, fraud or coercion.”

“When euthanasia or assisted suicide is an ever-present – even if unspoken – option, how long will it be before the option becomes an expectation?”

In their letter, the leaders appealed to members of their faith, citing the 2.8 million Christians in Victoria, including 1.4 million Catholics and 530 thousand Anglicans, according to a 2016 statistic.

Last year, a cross-party committee of Victoria’s Members of Parliament recommended that a law be drafted to legalize assisted suicide, and a debate is expected to follow the bills introduction later this year.

With an exception to the Victoria’s Green party, all Victorian MP’s will not have to vote along party lines, but may vote according to their conscience.

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The story of the 26 year-old Filipino Jesuit on the road to sainthood

August 2, 2017 CNA Daily News 1

Manila, Philippines, Aug 2, 2017 / 06:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Brother Richie Fernando was a 26 year-old Jesuit seminarian from the Philippines when in 1996 he died protecting his Cambodian students from a hand grenade.

He is now on the road to sainthood, thanks to a norm issued by Pope Francis this summer that opens the door to canonization for those who have “voluntarily and freely offered their lives for others and have persevered until death in this regard.”

Father Antonio Moreno, head of the Jesuits in the Philippines, told Rappler July 30 that the order had received permission to begin the initial work of opening Brother Fernando’s cause for canonization.

Brother Richard (Richie) Fernando, S.J., arrived in Cambodia in 1995 to serve at a Jesuit mission which served people who had been disabled by polio, landmines, or other accidents.

According to the Jesuits of the Asia Pacific Conference, Richie quickly earned the trust of his young students as he learned their native language and took the time to listen to their stories of suffering.

One of his students was an orphan named Sarom, who became a soldier at 16 and was maimed by a landmine. Even while some at the mission found Sarom’s attitude troublesome, Richie wrote in letters to friends that Sarom still had a place in his heart.

On October 17, 1996, Sarom came to the mission school for a meeting with the school director and staff. While he had finished classes, he had asked to continue at the school, though his request was denied because school officials found him disruptive.

Angered, Sarom suddenly reached into his bag and pulled out a grenade, and moved towards a classroom full of students. The windows of the classroom were barred, so the students were trapped.

Brother Richie stepped behind Sarom and grabbed him to prevent him from throwing the grenade.

“Let me go, teacher; I do not want to kill you,” Sarom pleaded. But he dropped the grenade, and it fell behind him and Brother Richie, exploding and killing the Jesuit, who fell over Sarom, protecting him and everyone else in the school from the blast.

Just four days before he died, Riche had written a long letter to his friend and fellow Jesuit, Totet Banaynal SJ: “I know where my heart is. It is with Jesus Christ, who gave all for the poor, the sick, the orphan … I am confident that God never forgets his people: our disabled brothers and sisters. And I am glad that God has been using me to make sure that our brothers and sisters know this fact. I am convinced that this is my vocation.”

He had also once written about death in a retreat diary, in which he said: “I wish, when I die, people remember not how great, powerful, or talented I was, but that I served and spoke for the truth, I gave witness to what is right, I was sincere in all my works and actions, in other words, I loved and followed Christ,”

In 1997, Richie’s parents wrote to King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia, asking pardon for Sarom. Again, Sarom said he had never wanted to kill Richie, who he considered a friend.

While the Philippines is a Catholic-majority country, the island nation only claims two canonized saints thus far, both of whom died in the 17th century: St. Lorenzo Ruiz, a martyr of Nagasaki, and St. Pedro Calungsod, a martyr of Guam.

However, numerous causes have been opened in recent years, with many people in the various steps of the process of canonization.

On July 31, the feast of Jesuit founder St. Ignatius of Loyola, Fr. Moreno said Richie is among many Jesuits who have imitated Saint Ignatius, “offering themselves in the self-sacrificing service of God and his people.”

In his memo to the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Moreno noted that “various expressions of devotion to Richie have sprung up and continued, not just in the Philippines and Cambodia but in other places as well.”

This includes a Facebook group in his honor, named: “Friends of Bro. Richie R. Fernando SJ.

The next step for Brother Richie’s cause involves building a compelling case for his life of virtue through his writings, talks, and interviews with those who knew him, among other things.

“I ask the prayers of all in the Province to beg the Lord’s gracious assistance in this process that, if he so wills, it may prosper for the benefit of his people,” Fr. Moreno said.

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India’s bishops pray new president will defend rule of law

July 22, 2017 CNA Daily News 3

New Delhi, India, Jul 22, 2017 / 06:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of India have offered their congratulations to the country’s newly elected president, Ram Nath Kovind, urging him to live out the oath he will take to serve the well-being of the people.

India’s presidency is largely a ceremonial role, while the prime minister is head of government and leader of the executive branch.

In a July 20 statement the Indian bishops congratulated Kovind, assuring him “of our prayers for his good health and for wisdom and strength that he might guide our beloved country towards peace, development and justice for all peoples.”

“We pray that God may assist him, that, as per the Oath of Office, he will strive ‘to the best of his ability to preserve, protect and defend the constitution and the law, and that he will devote himself to the service and well-being of the people of the Republic of India.’”

The bishops closed their statement praying that under his leadership India would “march towards greater heights,” and again assured the president-elect of “our loyalty and support in the service of our country.”

India’s presidential election was held July 17, with the final votes counted July 20. The term of the country’s former president,  Pranab Mukherjee, is set to end July 24.

Kovind, part of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was backed by the governing National Democratic Alliance coalition, and ran against opposition candidate Meira Kumar of the Indian National Congress.

The president-elect is a Dalit and a lawyer, and has served in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament. Most recently he served in the largely ceremonial post of governor of Bihar state.

The election comes in wake of a recent uptick in the number of “mob lynchings” happening in India, in which members of the country’s Hindu majority carry out acts of violence against those, typically from minority religions such as Islam, accused of killing cows, a sacred animal in the Hindu religion.

Attacks against minorities, particularly Christians and Muslims, are common in India. They include anything from jeering, violence, forced conversions, and the burning of property, and frequently go under-reported.

According to Al Jazeera, the mob lynching of Muslims began to gain wider public attention in 2015 when 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was beat to death by an angry mob who accused the man of eating beef.

Since his death, attacks against Muslims related to the slaughtering of cows have increased, with multiple attacks against minorities reported in 2015 and 2016, and at least seven such incidents between March and May of this year.

The latest, Al Jazeera reports, was the June 22 murder of three Muslims in West Bengal who had been accused of smuggling cows, and the June 27 attack against a man accused of killing a cow. The man survived, but was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

On July 16, around 40 religious leaders and intellectuals from across India gathered in Delhi to address the increase of violence,  a “disregard for the rule of law” and the spread of an “environment of hate” throughout the country.

Backed by the Indian bishops’ conference, attendees urged the government to end “impunity which was at the root of the atmosphere of fear that stalks the land today” and threatens “not just secularism, but the Constitution and the democratic fabric of the country.”

They expressed their shock at the increased number of lynchings carried out on the pretext of protecting cows, stressing that in these cases, the state governments and police forces “acted against the guilty in an impartial manner.”

Past violence carried out against minorities in the country has largely been attributed to the radical Hindu group Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, also referred to as the RSS.

They were established in 1925 with the goal of establishing “Hindutva,” or “Hindu-ness,” and have been banned three times in post-independence India, with all three bans eventually being lifted.

Critics of the group have often refered to them as a sectarian, militant group who believe in the supremacy of Hindus and who preach hate against Muslim and Christian minorities. Narendra Modi, elected India’s prime minister in May 2014, was a full time worker with the RSS prior to his election.

As BJP spokesman in 2010, Kovind said that “Islam and Christianity are alien to the nation.”

The RSS sits on the right-wing and has no official registration in India. However, they maintain strong ties with the BJP, of which president-elect Kovind is a part, raising questions as to how much action will be taken against minority violence in the future. Kovind is also close to the RSS.

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Church leaders in China remain open to dialogue with Vatican

July 19, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Fuzhou, China, Jul 19, 2017 / 12:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As the Catholic Church in China journeys toward a normalized relationship with the Holy See, one priest in dialogue with Chinese bishops has seen vast improvement in openness and dialogue on the part of leaders, both in the patriotic and underground Churches.

“That’s one very significant point, a growth in openness, a growth in the Christian churches. I think a second key change has been an openness of the Chinese to receive visitors to indeed dialogue with the Church here in Rome,” said Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo, who has been in personal contact with many Chinese bishops over the last decade.

“We know that in the last year there’s been an official delegation that has gone to Beijing, and members have come here to Rome to talk about this openness in reaching some sort of accord.”

“And certainly that is the wish of the Chinese bishops; they wish openness, they wish dialogue, they wish help to come from the Church in Rome, the Church in the United States, to help them particularly in the area of formation,” he said.   

Msgr. Figueiredo holds a doctoral degree in theology and is a spiritual director at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He was formerly a staff member of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

At the invitation of the bishops in mainland China, he has been part of a small team helping to lead theological forums for the Chinese Catholic Bishops’ Conference in China for the last seven years.

The team, from the organization Caritas in Veritate International, includes Henry Cappello, the organization’s president, and Professor John Cavadini, director of the McGrath-Cavadini Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame University.

The 7th Theological Forum is taking place July 13-20 in Fuzhou. In 2016 the meetings included 24 bishops, apostolic administrators, rectors, and spiritual directors of seminaries.

One day was devoted to the theological and spiritual formation of about 120 lay faithful from both the patriotic and underground Churches.

Another day was a group lecture at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank.

During the week they also met with lay Catholic leaders, such as those organizing various small group faith-based communities, doing missionary and charity work in Beijing, and one community that just opened a center for senior citizens.

“We’re surprised when we go there that in our meetings, we’re not simply meeting with members of the official Church, but also the underground Church,” Msgr. Figueiredo said.

According to the report on the 2016 meetings, the bishops said they took great encouragement from Pope Francis and from the Year of Mercy.

They also expressed “great hope” for the normalization of relations between the Church in China and the Holy See. “It was notable to observe the deep desire of the bishops for this normal relationship, and their sadness caused by the difficulties in the past,” the report stated.

Other observations noted in the report were the “great strides” of evangelical communities in mainland China, while the Catholic Church in the country appears to be growing much more slowly.

Part of the reason for this could be the visible disunity of the Church in China between the patriotic and underground Churches, as well as the struggle between the Vatican and the Chinese government over control of bishop appointments.

China and the Vatican have been in the midst of talks for some time now to reach an agreement on the appointment of bishops, which would be the first major step toward normalizing relations between the two.

It would also hopefully lead to the eventual unification of the patriotic Church and the underground Church, whose bishops are not recognized by the state.

This unity would be major for the impact of evangelization in China, Msgr. Figueiredo noted.

“It is certainly the wish of Jesus Christ that we all be one. He prayed for that at the Last Supper, so disunity is always a scandal. It’s a scandal to those who do not believe. And certainly the underground Church coming together with the official Church – there are many, many things already happening.”

“There’s so much that can be done; there’s a thirst to hear the Christian message, there’s a thirst for Jesus Christ. And the evangelization efforts of the Roman Catholic Church can certainly be helped by this unity.”

China, with 1.4 billion people, isn’t just a huge country, he said, it’s also “a country that needs to be evangelized.”

He noted that we usually think of China as a country of Buddhists or of Taoists, as it has been historically, but in recent years there has been a huge growth in Christianity, mainly in evangelical ecclesial communities. Numbers of Catholics are growing as well, but at a much slower rate.

There are currently around 100 million Christians in China, he explained, and about 12 million Catholics, half of whom belong to the patriotic Church and half to the underground Church.

The bishops who participated in the 2016 forum, according to the report, identified the main underlying problems of the Church in China as a rapid decrease in priestly vocations and the lack of adequate formation for priests, seminary rectors, spiritual directors, and bishops.

The lack of adequate preparation for marriage and the lack of ongoing spiritual support and formation material for young married couples were also considered to be ongoing difficulties for the Church.

“Imagine if we got Catholics (in China) to unite in formation, and providing that formation to even one Church our evangelization efforts would be much, much greater,” Msgr. Figueiredo said.

The reason the group goes to China each year is to communicate with the bishops about what has been happening in the Vatican, “and really, to answer their questions, what they specifically need.”

He wanted to emphasize that the Chinese bishops want outside help from the Vatican and the U.S., “they desire for us to help them.”

He concluded by quoting Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State: “We wish the good of Chinese Catholics, both of the underground and the official Church, we wish the good of Chinese society, and we wish the good of the whole of society, particularly as we look for peace.’”

“Unity can only help those three different levels.”

 

Alexey Gotovskiy contributed to this report.

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