“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Friday, May 23, 2008

"Shedding of their Blood..."

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, has declared May 24th, as a day of prayer for the Catholic Church in China:

“It must not be forgotten that many Bishops have undergone persecution and have been impeded in the exercise of their ministry, and some of them have made the Church fruitful with the shedding of their blood,”

“Dear Pastors and all the faithful, the date 24 May could in the future become an occasion for the Catholics of the whole world to be united in prayer with the Church which is in China. This day is dedicated to the liturgical memorial of Our Lady, Help of Christians, who is venerated with great devotion at the Marian Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai.”

The persecution continues this very day against the underground Catholic Church in China. In September of last year, Bishop Han Dingxiang, the underground Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Yong Nian, died in the custody of the Communist government after 9 years of captivity at 71 years of age. He died shortly after midnight. The government cremated his body within hours to destroy any evidence of torture.

According to the Cardinal Kung Foundation, a watchdog organization for the underground Church in China, "currently, every one of the approximately 35 underground bishops of the RCC is either in jail, under house arrest, under strict surveillance, or in hiding."

Keep these martyrs in your thoughts and prayers and call China's U.S. Ambassador and tell him this persecution has to stop!
(202) 328-2500

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