Thursday, July 22, 2010

Catholic China

Prof. Anthony E. Clark visits a land where "church after church dot the landscape and high steeples rise above small villages as they do in southern France" — A Visit to China's Largest Catholic Village. "One of the most astounding Catholic success stories in China is the village of Liuhecun, located an hour's drive outside of the economically poor capital city of Shanxi, Taiyuan, the center of what is China's most Catholic diocese," he writes. "One of the reasons for its strong commitment to its Catholic faith, villagers say, is the village's endurance through the two terrible anti-Catholic persecutions."

Now, "there are new struggles today, less related to persecution than the burgeoning wave of materialism that prevails in modern China." However, as "nearly all of the villagers are active Catholics, those who remain in the community are little affected by the consumerism and secular views of China's majority." Most importantly, perhaps, "Liuhecun remains China's largest Catholic village largely because it has formulated strategies for having multiple children, who are subsequently raised in devoted Catholic households."

Looking at the church above, the author "reflected on the catholicity of the Catholic Church; a Western-style church surrounded by all things Chinese." He continues, "Most Westerners would not recognize the tunes of the chanted prayers, or the language, or the way people interact. But any Christian would readily admire the deeply pious faith of Liuhecun's humble Catholics, who have not only survived two persecutions, but in fact grown from them as a seed from watered soil."

[link via Andrew Cusack]

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Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Beautiful post -- thanks for sharing it. The Gospel is universal, as is the Church, and it is delightful to read about the faith growing in the soil of this diocese in China.

6:27 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...


8:30 AM  

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.