Francis will become the first Pope in the history of the Catholic Church to visit Mongolia, a democracy sandwiched between the authoritarian powers of Russia and China.
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The Pope also emphasized that the Church must dialogue with all comers, saying the power of the Gospel is for “everyone,” a mantra that has emerged as a key theme during Pope Francis’ ongoing visit to World Youth Day in Portugal.
For many years, knowledgeable voices have been warning the Vatican about the dangers of Sinicization.
The challenges now facing the Catholic Church in China and Nicaragua have significant similarities to the problems that the Holy See faced in the 20th century.
Cardinal Zen, former Bishop of Hong Kong, has been a frontline soldier for the Church Militant in its spirited resistance to the secular fundamentalism of Chinese communism.
ANALYSIS: More than 200 delegates, including 130 bishops, representing 27 member countries, together with 40 cardinals, assembled for 19 days in October for the meeting of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences.
Leaders From China’s State-Run Catholic Church Brief Hong Kong Clergy on President Xi’s ‘Sinicization’ Plan
Critics see this conference, held in mid-November, as a precursor to a further crackdown on religious freedom.
Pope Francis and his secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, support the deal’s renewal despite the absence of tangible benefits for the local faithful.