By the AsiaNews
� 01/04/2008 13:37
CHINA - VATICAN
Bishop of Shanghai: with thanks to the Pope in 2008 we will celebrate 400 years of Catholic faith
by Justin Qiang
In his pastoral letter Msgr . Jin Luxian, thanks missionaries for their religious and cultural commitment to China and asks the faithful to be evangelisers of the city and not “to let the Pope down”: in fact on May 24th, as set out by the pontiff, a Day of Prayer for the Church and China will be celebrated, centred on the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sheshan, a short distance from the metropolis.
Shanghai (AsiaNews) –In a Christmas pastoral letter Msgr. Aloysius Jin Luxian officially opened celebrations for the 400th anniversary of Catholicism in Shanghai. He invites the faithful of the diocese to a spiritual renewal and asks them not to “let Benedict XVI down”, who in his Letter to China’s faithful, invited Catholics to make May 24th – feast of the sanctuary of Our Lady of Sheshan, which lies within the diocesan territory – a World Day of Prayer for the Church and China. x x x.
I think religious public displays like Shanghai's quadricentennial celebration of its founding as a Catholic center for Eastern China could be an indication of the communist government's easing its constrictive "rules" on the practice of religion in general and on the Catholic Church in particular or as a tolerant gesture because of the forthcoming 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, or both!