Archbishop Li Shan with Cardinals Chow e Tong during Mass in Hong Kong's Cathedral Archbishop Li Shan with Cardinals Chow e Tong during Mass in Hong Kong's Cathedral 

Archbishop of Beijing visits Hong Kong in “an experience of fraternity"

Archbishop Li Shan of Beijing accepts Cardinal Chow's invitation and visits Hong Kong in what is described as an experience of fraternity and communion.

By Vatican News

Archbishop Joseph Li Shan of Beijing made a fraternal and constructive visit to the diocese of Hong Kong from 13 to 15 November. The prelate, accompanied by a delegation, was invited by Cardinal Stephen Chow Sau-yan, Bishop of Hong Kong, who had made a similar visit to Beijing in April.

Li Shan: always grateful to the Lord

Diocesan media reports that Archbishop Li Shan expressed his sincere gratitude to the cardinal as well as to all his brothers and sisters in Hong Kong for making this exchange possible.

"We have learnt a lot" from the development of the Church in Hong Kong, said the archbishop, vowing to make this experience fruitful for the growth of the Catholic community in Beijing.

Archbishop Li Shan also encouraged everyone to remain "faithful and full of gratitude to the Lord, always praising God," regardless of the difficulties one may encounter.

Chow: Hong Kong, a Church as a bridge

Cardinal Chow expressed his hope that one day all Chinese Catholics could come together to pray.

Speaking of his participation in the recent Synod of Bishops, he emphasised that the protagonist of unity is the Holy Spirit and reiterated that the role of the Diocese of Hong Kong is to be a "bridge Church".

This Church should always walk with its brothers and sisters, seeking points of convergence between people whilst always looking positively at the differences and tensions they entail.

The stages of the visit

The visit began on Monday, 13 November, with the joint celebration of Vespers in the diocesan curia chapel. Then, in the Cardinal's office, an exchange of gifts took place. The Archbishop of Beijing gave the Cardinal a stained-glass image of the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci, while the Cardinal gave the Archbishop Li Shan an image of Saints Peter and Paul, painted on a white wooden panel. 

On Tuesday, 14 November, the Beijing delegation visited the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception as well as the Chapel of the Chinese Martyrs to commemorate all the missionaries who brought the Gospel to China. In the afternoon, Archbishop Li visited the Holy Spirit Seminary and the Holy Spirit Study Centre.

On Wednesday 15 November a Mass took place in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. According to Fides News Agency, Archbishop Li Shan expressed his emotion in concelebrating with Cardinal John Tong, Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, and Cardinal Chow.

The visit ended with a theological conference on the theme "The Synodal Church and the Church in China: communion, participation, mission".

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18 November 2023, 14:26