沙神父
教宗希望中国教会逐渐回复正常教会生活



To restore a normal catholic life, China Church needs to overcome two major obstacles:

1.Division between "dishang", official, and "dixia", unofficial Catholics. Dishang Catholics accept to cooperate with the patriotic Association despite its rigorous stand for independence. Dixia Catholics reject the control of the Patriotic Association out of loyalty to the Pope and sense of unity with the universal Church.

In fact both stands are due to political pressure. Faith is the same both sides.

Pope recommends mutual understanding and reconciliation through concrete gestures such as receiving communion together, praying in the same church, joining common celebrations.

2. Clandestinity due to the independent stand of the government. The governments claim to independence is political and can be understood from Chinas history in the past century. It does not forbid spiritual communion with the Pope.

Over the past 30 years, the government has allowed more and more religious freedom. For this reason, Pope Benedict makes possible for "dixia" Catholics to normalize their situation if the can enjoy sufficient religious freedom.

In any case, they have to follow their bishops decision.