CHINA Archbishop Lei celebrates the birth of the Chinese Communist Party in Leshan Cathedral

The festivities took place on June 29, on the solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul – two days before the Party’s official “birthday” date. Catholics were invited to “hear the word of the Party, feel the grace of the Party, and follow the Party.” Politics has entered the Chinese Church. The regime exercises increasingly strict control over the Catholic clergy.

Rome () – The cathedral of the diocese of Leshan (Sichuan) was used to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The event was on June 29, coinciding with the date on which the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The act was in the presence of the bishop, Monsignor Lei Shiyin, and was attended by some priests and nuns. It should be noted that in reality, the official foundation of the Party later led by Mao Zedong was on July 1, 1921 (the first congress was held, however, 22 days later).

On this occasion, the Catholic community was invited to “hear the word of the Party, feel the grace of the Party and follow the Party.” A Catholic source contacted by explains that in China “it is no longer about listening to the Lord, feeling his grace and following him. This is the root of the disease of the current Chinese Church, it is difficult to get out of the influence of ideology. Politics has entered the Church “.

Monsignor Lei was ordained without a papal mandate in 2011. He is a controversial personality, and has been accused of having a mistress and children. Pope Francis lifted his excommunication in 2018, after signing the Sino-Vatican agreement on the appointment of bishops.

Although the agreement was renewed in October 2020, the persecution of members of the Catholic Church has not ceased, especially those belonging to the “unofficial” community, who do not want to submit to the religious organizations controlled by the Party.

In fact, quite the opposite has happened: with Xi Jinping’s crackdown on the activities of all religious groups, the Chinese Catholics’ room for maneuver has shrunk more and more. On June 1, the “Measures for the financial management of places of worship”. And since the first of March the “Administrative measures for religious information services on the Internet”.

In February, the State Administration for Religious Affairs, a government entity under the control of the United Front of the CCP, released the “Administrative Measures for Religious Personnel”, a document on the management of clergy, monks, priests, bishops, etc. In February 2018, the Party had also adopted the “New Regulations for Religious Activities”, according to which religious personnel can only exercise their functions if they adhere to “official” bodies and submit to the PCC.

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Written by Editor TLN

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