DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     December 10-12, 1999     vol. 10, no. 235

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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POPE SEES SPECIAL ROLE FOR MACAO WHEN IT RETURNS TO CHINA

Historically the Portuguese Colony Was Door to Chinese Christianity

        VATICAN CITY, DEC 9 (ZENIT).- On December 20, Macao will come under Chinese sovereignty, a decisive event in the long history of this Catholic diocese, founded 424 years ago by Pope Gregory XIII. In the beginning, this diocese included the whole of China. Macao was not only the door to the evangelization of the Chinese world, but was also in the vanguard of Christian culture at this meeting point of cultures of the Far East.

        In a message sent for the upcoming occasion to the Bishop of Macao, John Paul II expresses the hope that Macao's return to Chinese territory will give the Church in Macao new impetus in the incalculable task of religious testimony, especially in the fields of education and assistance to the needy.

        On the eve of a new century and in the context of the imminent Holy Year, the Pontiff hopes that the Church in Macao will "be a prophetic Church, which proclaims to men and women seduced by desire for material goods and disoriented in their aims, the high and inspiring reason of the moral life, the dignity and freedom of every human person, the beauty of the Gospel, the joy of following Christ."

        Finally, after expressing the hope that the Church in the Portuguese colony, which has some 450,000 inhabitants, will maintain its communion with the universal Church and that, as in the past, it will be concerned with the union of the whole of China with the Church, the Pope concludes his message by assuring his prayers and those of all Catholics not only for the diocesan community of Macao, but for the great Catholic family of the whole of mainland China. ZE99120909


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December 10-12, 1999       volume 10, no. 235
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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