Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Episcopalian conference finishes “with hope”

"Strict scrutiny" of religious practice in mainland China “must motivate the hope for missionary work", considered Portuguese-speaking churches gathered in Macau.

At the closing ceremony of the 8th Episcopalian Conference of Portuguese-speaking Countries and Territories, the final speech highlighted the perception that there are "some critical problems for the church's evangelisation in China”.

"Religious practice may still be the subject of strict control, but we're motivated to keep with our missionary work by cooperating with the Chinese church even by supplying books and education programs".

D. Jorge Ortiga, Archbishop of Braga, explained that Portuguese-speaking churches “don't want to encroach on any political issue” but adds that visiting China “makes us dream and hope for the moment when the Catholic church may be able to play its evangelist role" .

D. José Ortiga also explained that "the relations between China and the Roman Catholic Church were mentioned in our conversations however this is clearly an issue beyond us".

Under the cooperation agreement with the Catholic church in Macau, Portuguese-speaking churches will develop a program of promotion for the Portuguese language in specific areas such as education and media.

One of the highlights of the conference that ended yesterday, was a journey to mainland China, where they visited two parishes established in China by the diocese of Macau.

The bishops read and approved a final document compiling all the several topics discussed in the meeting such as globalisation, corruption, the growth of new religious groups, immigration and people trafficking. When they finished, they then sent a symbolic postcard signed by them all to Pope Benedict XVI.

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(Source: MDT)

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