Pontiff Asks Church to Pray for Chinese Catholics

Recalls This Thursday’s Day of Prayer

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is again urging the universal Church to lift in prayer the Catholics of China, so that they might be given the grace to be faithful to Peter’s Successor.

The Pope spoke of the Church in China on Sunday, after praying the midday Regina Caeli with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

On Thursday, the memorial of Our Lady, Help of Christians, the Day of Prayer for the Church in China is celebrated.

«Let us join in prayer with all of the Catholics of China that they might proclaim Christ dead and risen with humility and joy, that they be faithful to his Church and to the Successor of Peter and live their everyday lives in a way that is consistent with the faith that they profess,» the Holy Father said. «May Mary, faithful Virgin, sustain Chinese Catholics on their journey, make their prayer ever more intense and precious in the eyes of the Lord, and make the universal Church’s affection for the Church in China grow along with her participation in her path.»

The fifth meeting of the Vatican commission on the Church in China concluded was held last month. It focused attention on the role of the laity in light of the upcoming Year of Faith.

Benedict XVI established the commission in 2007 to study questions regarding the life of the Catholic Church in China, where the government has established an «official» Catholic Church, causing faithful loyal to Rome to go underground.

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