Chinese Catholicism: An Overview
In March 2013, Chinese Catholics in churches in Beijing said a prayer of thanksgiving for Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pontiff. For them, his papacy evoked early Jesuit historical precedents, such as Matteo Ricci’s collaborations with Chinese scholar-officials, and Francis Xavier’s dashed dream of reaching China (he died of fever on an offshore island before ever setting foot on the Chinese mainland).1 Since his inauguration, Pope Francis has gained increasing popularity worldwide. Time magazine chose him as “Person of the Year” at the end of 2013. Around the same time, a forum of key news and diplomatic organizations in China voted the Pope the third most important man in the world.2 The recent changes in leadership in both the Vatican and China have raised questions about the future direction of the Chinese Catholic Church, and set off a quest for more research into the Chinese Catholics, their heritage and prospects.
KeywordsChinese People Chinese Communist Party Religious Affair Communist Revolution Fellow Countryman
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- 3.Cindy Yik-yi Chu, The Catholic Church in China: 1978 to the Present (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), p. 3.Google Scholar