jueves, 15 de agosto de 2013

A better understanding of the Catholic Church in China

Catholicism in China Today

Can one really unravel the mystery of China? Perhaps not, but the country has risen to global superpower status. Accordingly, the Western world should learn more about the Chinese economy, diplomacy and culture. A better understanding of the Catholic Church in China could bear fruit as well.

As a native Texan and cradle Catholic, who enjoys the benefits of a Catholic education, I have been fortunate enough to witness first-hand the impressive growth of Catholicism in China since moving to Beijing in October 2010.

To understand the Catholic Church in China, it is necessary to ask a series of questions: 
  • What is an underground church? 
  • What is the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association? 
  • Why is there a rivalry between them? 
  • Could diplomatic relations between Beijing and the Vatican improve? 
  • Will Pope Francis ever visit China? 
  • Do all Chinese Catholics pray for the Pope?
To answer these questions, I met many Chinese Catholics from the Underground and Patriotic churches, including priests, nuns and lay people, who offered their insights as long as they would be quoted anonymously. I also interviewed several Chinese government officials who told their side of the story.

Despite serious disagreements amongst each other, all believed the West entertained some misunderstandings about Chinese Catholics, and that they want better relations with the Vatican, but confess, “it’s complicated” when talking about potential solutions.


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