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Updates:
  • Papal letter to Chinese Catholics seeks to unite divided communities
  • CNS analysis: Pope's letter to Chinese Catholics points toward path to unity
  • Some Chinese welcome papal letter; others need time to digest it



    Women pray during Mass at a chapel once reserved for unregistered Catholics in Shenyang. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

    Catholic Church in China: ‘Two faces’ expressing one faith

    Some Chinese Catholics have registered with the government and some have not. But calls for reconciliation and unity between the two groups might cause surprise in some places in China, where many don't even know there is more than one community.

    Full Story





  • As veteran bishops die, China steps up pressure on new generation


    Many older bishops spent time in prison during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution and found the strength to resist government pressures. But the new generation of bishops finds things more difficult.




    From special ed to finding water, Chinese church offers social help


    Special education is just one of many social services offered by the Catholic Church in China, where the government has recognized that religious communities have a role to play in social welfare activities.




    Seminarians, nuns need formation directors, say Chinese religious


    A member of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary who works in the Shanghai Diocese said when priests and nuns do not have good training it becomes a big circle -- the new people, in turn, do not train the others well.




    China’s ‘black pope’: Layman wields enormous influence within church


    He’s known as “the black pope of China,” and whether or not people like his methods, they all agree that he is one of the most powerful laymen in China’s Catholic Church.




    Under communists, Chinese Catholics struggled to keep faith alive


    Throughout China, Catholics who suffered after the communist government closed churches in the late 1950s and during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution kept their faith alive under tough conditions.




    In northeastern China, diocese works to eliminate stigma of AIDS


    While many agencies offer AIDS awareness programs for World AIDS Day each Dec. 1, the Diocese of Liaoning offers such programs year-round.





    China’s one-child policy takes toll on vocations, church leaders say


    One bishop said his diocese used to have 20 young men and women enter the seminary and convent each year, but that has changed because of China's one-child policy and “the influence of materialism.”




    For religious who study abroad, returning to China can be a challenge


    Studying abroad can help Chinese priests and nuns understand the universal church, but it also can cause a culture shock when they return to their country.




    Brief history of the Catholic Church in China


    Catholic scholars and sociologists sometimes refer to the current religious revival in China as the country’s fifth evangelization.






    Other China stories from earlier this year:
  • Vatican diplomat expresses hope for normalizing relations with China
  • Delicate balance: Church assists Chinese without appearing powerful
  • Cardinal says pope's letter to Chinese will be sent at Easter time
  • China's underground Catholics hope pope will clarify church relations
  • Vatican says Chinese church growing; pope to write Chinese Catholics



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