More Catholic priests needed - advisor
Updated: 2007-03-03 10:41
China needs more clergies to serve the development
of Catholicism in the country, which has seen its believers swell from no more
than 2 million five decades ago to more than 5.3 million currently, a political
advisor said on Saturday.
Liu Bainian, a member of the National
Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said
China needs more clergies to serve the development of Catholicism in the
country in Beijing March 3, 2007. [file
More than 100,000 people in China are
converted to Catholicism annually in recent years. Although the number of
priests has increased from 1,100 in the early 1950s to more than 1,900, they are
still too few to serve the country's millions of believers, said Liu Bainian, a
member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative
Conference (CPPCC), ahead of the top advisory body's annual session that opens
China now has 97 Catholic parishes, but 42 have no
bishops, and 29 parishes' bishops are over the age of 85, said Liu, vice
president of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.
opening of China's largest seminary in Beijing last September is expected to
help address the problem, he told Xinhua.
The National Seminary of the
Catholic Church in China, located in Daxing District of Beijing, invites 24
foreign and Chinese professors to give lectures and help train priests, Liu
The Chinese government has offered about 74 million yuan (9.2
million U.S. dollars) to fund the construction of the seminary.
development of Catholicism depends on the training of more professionals and
further improvement of their expertise," Liu said.
According to Liu,
China now has more than 6,000 Catholic churches, 12 academies and nearly 70
About 95 percent of Catholic priests in China age about 30 and
200 of them have been selected for further studies in universities and
seminaries in the United States, Germany, France, Austria, Italy and some other
European and Asian countries.
Liu also noted that Catholicism encourages
love and tolerance for others, which can help promote the building of a
harmonious society in the country.
The Chinese Catholic Patriotic
Association has funded the building of nearly 70 elementary schools, about 30
kindergartens and more than 200 medical clinics across the country, Liu
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