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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

COMMITMENT TO PRAY FOR CHURCH IN CHINA

VATICAN CITY, 18 MAY 2011 (VIS) - At the end of this morning's general audience in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI spoke briefly about the Church in China. Next Tuesday, 24 May, is the day dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, who is venerated with great devotion at the Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai. The Pope took this opportunity to invite the faithful everywhere to join in prayer with and for the Church in China.

  While the Church in China is growing, Christ there, as in other places around the world is still rejected, ignored, or persecuted. The Holy Father asked "all Chinese Catholics to continue and to deepen their own prayers, especially to Mary, the powerful Virgin. At the same time all Catholics throughout the world have a duty to pray for the Church in China: those members of the faithful have a right to our prayers, they need our prayers".

  "Chinese Catholics, as they have said many times, want unity with the universal Church, with the Supreme Pastor, with the Successor of Peter. By our prayers we can obtain for the Church in China that it remain one, holy and Catholic, faithful and steadfast in doctrine and in ecclesial discipline".

  Although many Chinese bishops, priests, and faithful encounter difficulties in freely professing their faith, with our prayers, the Pope emphasized that "we can help them to find the path to keep their faith alive, to keep their hope strong, to keep their love for all people ardent, and to maintain in its integrity the ecclesiology that we have received from the Lord and the Apostles ".

  In conclusion, the Holy Father asked Mary "to enlighten those who are in doubt, to call back the straying, to console the afflicted, and to strengthen those who are ensnared by the allure of opportunism".
AG/                                    VIS 20110518 (250)

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