2223 Mon 20 Aug 2001
This afternoon I wrote an essay on the Catholic Church in China in the 19th century, leading up to the Boxer Rebellion. This evening there was a class on the Church in the People's Republic of China.
In Australia I see issues of Church unity as largely about liturgical issues: should the Third Rite of Reconciliation be used, what adaptions can the priest make to the Mass, how should instituted lectors practice their ministry, etc.
In China they have a "Patriotic Church" and an "Underground Church". Church unity is about whether one's bishop recognises the Pope and the Vatican, whether the changes of Vatican II are accepted, and whether one will risk imprisonment to smuggle in books.
Its good to have things put in perspective, to have the example of "confessors" who have suffered for their faith by imprisonment. I have a lot to be grateful for with my heritage and should do my best to preserve it and improve it.
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 20 August 2001.