Archbishop Awarded Prize for Efforts on China

ROME, SEPT. 14, 2005 ( Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, was awarded the Freinademetz Prize for 2005 for his efforts to improve Vatican-China relations.

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The award, granted by the Missionaries of the Society of the Divine Word, together with the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Spirit and the «China-Zentrum» group, is conferred on «persons who have contributed in an extraordinary way to a better understanding between the cultures and peoples of China and Europe,» say the organizers.

The honor is named after Josef Freinademetz (1852-1908), a Society of the Divine Word missionary who gave his life for the Gospel in China. Pope John Paul II described him as a «generous witness of love» at his canonization in October 2003.

The ceremony to award the prize to Archbishop Celli, 64, will be held Sept. 20, in the University College of the Divine Word in Rome.

Anthony Lam Sui-ki of the Holy Spirit Center of Studies of Hong Kong will give a lecture for the occasion on the «Importance of the Chinese Catholic Hierarchy for Evangelization in Present-day China.»

The superior general of the Verbites, Father Antonio Pernia, will help present the award.

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