ASIA/CHINA - In Xiamen Bishops and scholars from Taiwan and mainland China meet to "walk together" in a Seminar dedicated to inculturation

Wednesday, 29 May 2024 mission   evangelization   inculturation   local churches  

Xiamen (Agenzia Fides) - "Walking together in love, hand in hand": is the title of the Seminar on inculturation held jointly by Bishops and scholars of the Church of Taiwan and the Church of mainland China. The seminar was held in the diocese of Xiamen from May 22 to 25. Joseph Cai Bingrui, Bishop of Xiamen, has warmly received as "hosts" the brothers and sisters of the large delegation from Taiwan, led by John Baptist Huang Min-Cheng, O.F.M., Bishop of the Diocese of Tainan, and Thomas Chung Anzhu, Archbishop of Taipei. For the first time, the Catholic communities of Fujian and Taiwan have shared an experience of exchange and cooperation in the form of an academic seminar. A hundred guests, including priests, academics and lay people, attended the various study sessions and visited Xiamen, the city of Zhangzhou and other places together.
During this moment of communion, 15 priests, academics and experts from the dioceses of Xiamen, Tainan and Kiayi, together with academics from Xiamen University, Huaqiao University and Furen University (the latter based in Taipei) shared speeches and debates around the main theme "The historical origins, the development of the Church and the process of inculturation of Catholicism in Fujian and Taiwan". Starting from the proclamation of the Gospel, the life of communion and the practice of faith, the participants in the seminar traced the journey of the Church from the historical origins of Catholicism on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, also remembering the interactions between both sides and the achievements of the respective Churches in the inculturation process. Some interventions focused on the possible developments of an inculturated Catholic theology in the Chinese context, starting from its roots in Tradition.
On May 24, the feast of Saint Mary Help of Christians and the date of the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, the Taiwanese delegation made a pilgrimage to Gaopu, in the diocese of Xiamen, birthplace of Monsignor Joseph Cheng Zaifa, who died in 2022 and who also headed the Archdiocese of Taipei from 2004 to 2007. After visiting the churches and the commercial port, the event concluded with a Eucharistic liturgy concelebrated in the church of Hou Ban, the birthplace of the Catholic Li Buchi, who arrived in Taiwan in 1859 and recognized as the initiator of the second phase of the evangelization of the island together with the Spanish Dominicans, who had already been working in the province of Fujian for two centuries. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 29/5/2024)