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Chinese Religion – Chinese Catholic

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Catholicism, together with Eastern Orthodox and Protestantism, is the three major sects of Christianity. Catholicism is also called “Public Church”, originally meaning “universal” and “duke’s”. The Latin name of the Catholic Church is Ecclesia Catholica Romana, literally translated as ” Rome Catholic Church “, transliterated as “Jatli Church”, and freely translated as “Roman Catholic Church”. When it was introduced to China in the 16th century, its followers called the god they worshipped as “God”, so it was called Catholicism in China. Catholics believe in Jesus Christ and honor Mary as our Virgin. The Catholic Church has a hierarchical teaching system and church management system. Catholic religious rituals there are seven, known as the “seven sacraments,” namely Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Kamijina, confession, marriage, extreme unction.






In the Tang Dynasty, Nestorians, a faction of the Christian Church that was not yet divided, were introduced into China, called Nestorianism, and then died out with Tang Wuzong’s destruction of Buddhism. Nestorianism denied that the Virgin Mary was the mother of God and proclaimed that the divinity and humanity of Jesus were separate, so he was considered a heresy, persecuted by the Eastern Roman Empire, and exiled to Persia and the East.

Yuan Dynasty

Catholicism was first introduced into China in the Yuan Dynasty. In 1294, Franciscan Franciscans Meng Gaoweinuo came to China as an envoy of the Holy See and was allowed to set up churches in the capital to preach. This was the official introduction of Catholicism into China. It spread mainly in the upper echelon of the palace and was interrupted by the Yuan Dynasty’s fall.

Ming and Qing

In the 16th century, the Jesuits headed by Matteo Ricci once again introduced Catholicism to China. On September 12, 1645, the Ministry of Communication of the Holy See issued a ministerial order on the issue of Chinese beliefs:
(1)It is absolutely forbidden to enter the City God Temple to worship the City God.
(2) It is absolutely forbidden to enter the Confucian Temple to worship Confucius.
(3) It is absolutely forbidden to enter the ancestral hall to worship ancestors.
(4) It is absolutely forbidden to set up altars or stand memorial tablets for the ancestors, not to mention praying or offering sacrifices to the ancestors.
During the reign of Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty, because the Holy See provoked a ” ceremonial dispute “, Chinese believers were not allowed to respect Confucius and worship their ancestors, and Catholic churches in all parts of China were not allowed to hang large plaques that imitated the “Respect to Heaven” given to Tang Ruowang by Emperor Kangxi. As a result, Emperor Kangxi banned religion, and Catholicism fell into a trough again.
On March 19, 1715, Pope Clermont XI issued a papal edict “Since That Day” prohibiting Chinese Catholics from worshiping the sky and offering sacrifices to Confucius:
(1)Western locals use the word “Deus” (Deus [God]) to call the Lord of the heavens and the earth and all things. This word is hard to use in China, so the Westerners in China and those who merge into the Catholic Church use the word ” God “. The word has been for a long time. From now on, the word “heaven” or “God” is not allowed to be used, only the Lord of the heavens and the earth. If not suspended, the “Respect” word of plaque, if not suspended, i.e. suspension is not necessary, was suspended Ruoyi Church within, that is when removed, allowed to hang.
(2)In the spring and autumn seasons, the ceremony of offering sacrifices to Confucius and ancestors. Those who enter the religion are not allowed to be the chief priest or deacon, and those who join the religion are not allowed to stand here, because this is the same as heresy.
(3) All officials or scholars, Juren, or health officials who have entered the Catholic Church are not allowed to enter the Confucian Temple to salute on the first and 15th of each month. There may be newly appointed officials, Xinde Jinshi, and Xinde appointees who are not allowed to enter the Confucian Temple to salute.
(4) Those who enter the Catholic Church are not allowed to enter the ancestral hall to perform all rituals.
(5)Anyone who enters the Catholic Church, either at home, on the tomb, or in mourning, is not allowed to bow. Or people of the original and other teachers are not allowed to do this ceremony. Because it’s still heretical. Anyone who enters the Catholic Church, or that I have never done anything heresy, I just want to repay the meaning, I do not seek blessings, nor do I seek avoidance, even if there are such speakers.
(6)When people who meet other religions perform this ritual, those who have become Catholics, if they want to be careful, are afraid of right and wrong, they have to stand by the side and make them.
(7)Anyone who enters the Catholic Church is not allowed to leave the tablet at home following Chinese rules, because there are words such as “spiritual God Lord “, which also means that there is a soul on the tablet. To set up a memorial tablet, only the name of the dead person is allowed. Furthermore, if there is no heresy in the practice of the memorial tablet, it is okay to stay at home like this, but besides the memorial tablet should be written the Catholic principle of honoring parents.
Even though I have so determined above, there are other reasons outside of China. Those who have no heresy or are not similar to heresy, such as the Qi family’s rule of the country, can be followed. Today there are feasible and unfeasible rituals, and both are determined by the envoy of the king. Some people who are not contrary to Catholicism are allowed to do it, and those who are contrary to it are not allowed to do it.
In 1742, Pope Benedict XIV in the Pope’s decree “From the Holy Will of God”, “The dissent rests, and the hearts of the people are full. Up to now for two hundred years, all provinces have preached priests, regardless of the country or the meeting, and fully comply with the Pope’s decree. Promote the Orthodox Church of God, follow the same path, stand together, and there is no difference between the two sides, and the holiest of the holy religion is more and more obvious. “It is forbidden for missionaries to reconsider the issue of respecting the heavens and offering sacrifices to the ancestors of Confucius. Deny the eight workarounds of Charles Ambrose Mezzabarba, the special envoy of Clermont XI, and demand the resolute implementation of the “Since That Day” ban.
In response to the interrogation of the bishop of Jilin, Auguste Ernest Desire Marie Gaspais, the Puppet Manchukuo government replied: “The sole purpose of the Confucian worship ceremony is to show respect for Confucius, absolutely without religious qualities.” There is a precedent for the previous Japanese shrine incident. Pope Pius XI (r.1922-1939) therefore issued an order in 1935, requiring the bishop of the Diocese of Manchuria to carefully confirm that the consecrated kong has no religious characteristics, and the priests are doing it. After the oath against “Chinese etiquette”, we should wait for the guidance of the bishops to avoid doubts and disputes.
Until December 8, 1939, to establish diplomatic relations with China, Pius XII had a loose attitude towards Confucian etiquette, approved the Ministry of Communication and Communication Order “Plane compactum est”, and revoked the prohibition of “sacrificing ancestors and respecting Confucius” and missionaries. “Oath” obeys the provisions of the prohibition:” believers are allowed to participate in the ceremony of worshiping Confucius; the portrait or tablet of Confucius can be placed in the church school, and bows are allowed; if believers must attend public ceremonies with superstition, they must be passive It is permissible and appropriate to bow before the deceased or his portrait or tablet. “However, the Holy See does not admit that the previous encyclical is wrong, but believes that the religious concepts of ancestor worship and Confucian worship were in the past. After hundreds of years, it has become a secular activity, so it can be allowed at discretion. However, the secularization of Confucianism was due to the inadequacy of Chinese education, which runs counter to its religious nature. The ancestors were the medium through which the Han people communicated with the gods. Confucius said: “Making sacrifices to the gods is like being present, and offering sacrifices to the gods is like being present.” Merely bowing is against Chinese etiquette.

Modern times

After the Opium War in the mid-19th century, Western missionaries began to preach quickly in China relying on the protection of unequal treaties. From the very beginning, the Catholic mission in China has strong colonialism. Foreign priests control the various powers of the Chinese Catholic Church. Chinese clergy have long been in a position of powerlessness.
The Ministry of Communication of Rome promulgated the “Plane Compertum” order to allow Chinese faithful and missionaries to worship Kong Jingzu. The reason is a fact that the situation has changed and the religious content of worshiping the ancestor of Khon Kyen has been vulgarized, so it can be regarded as a social ceremony. However, only “God” can be used to call the supreme pure God revealed by Jesus Christ, and the names “Heaven” and “God” are forbidden, which are still valid today (see Pope Benedict XIV, “From the Holy Will of God” Ex quo Singulari, Charter 3, July 5, 1742, especially No. 10).


After liberation, the Catholic Church launched the “Three-Self” (autobiography, autonomy, and self-support) movement, turning Catholicism from an imperialist aggression tool into an independent religious enterprise run by Chinese believers.
In 1950, Catholics in Guangyuan County, Sichuan Province, China, under the advocacy of Father Wang Liangzuo, published on November 30 the “Catholic Self-Reliance and Reform Declaration” centered on autonomy, self-support, and autobiography, and proposed to cut off the connection with imperialism. Establish a new “Three-Self” church. At the beginning of the liberation period, there were about 2.7 million Catholics, and by 2006 there were about 15 million. On July 28, 2002, Ying Mulan and the other 6 nuns from the Catholic Joseph Sisters’ House made a permanent wish at the mass of the largest Catholic church in Beijing— Xishku Church —to devote themselves to Christ forever. Serve the church. They are the third batch of life-long nuns of the Sister Joseph Sisters of the Catholic Diocese of Beijing with a history of 130 years and the first batch of life-long nuns cultivated by the Beijing Church after the founding of New China. After the nuns made the vow, they received the symbol of the life-long vow-the ring and replaced the flower crown on their head when they entered the church with the crown-the crown worn by Christ Jesus during the crucifixion. The Sister Joseph Sisters of the Catholic Diocese of Beijing was founded in Beijing in 1872 by a French priest and three Chinese nuns.
During the Cultural Revolution, normal religious activities in China were disrupted. After the reform and opening up, freedom of religious belief was guaranteed, and the association was restored in 1986. By 2002, there were more than 50 nuns. Xinhua News Agency reported on August 5, 2002, according to Fu Tieshan, Chairman of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and Bishop of Beijing, that since China’s reform and opening up, the implementation of the policy of freedom of religious belief, especially the training of a new generation of Catholic clergy, has enabled the development of Chinese Catholicism. Present a derivative. The Chinese Catholic Church has 100 dioceses, 15 million followers, 5,000 churches and clubs open, and 12 seminaries of theology and philosophy.
Since the reform and opening up, there have been more than 1,500 young priests trained and ordained by the Catholic Church in China, and more than 100 young priests have been sent overseas by the church for further study. Besides, the Chinese Catholic Church has 3,000 young nuns who have made initial wishes, and more than 200 nuns have made lifelong wishes. About 100,000 Chinese Catholics are baptized every year, and more than 3 million copies of the Bible are printed. On August 5, 2002, the Beijing Institute of Catholicism and Culture, which focuses on the study of the relationship between Catholicism and Chinese culture, was formally established in Beijing, marking a new stage in Chinese Catholic academic research activities. The Beijing Institute of Catholicism and Culture is a research institution approved by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Religion and affiliated with Beijing’s Catholic Diocese, the Beijing Catholic Patriotic Association, and the Beijing Catholic Academic Affairs Commission. The director is Father Zhao Jianmin, and the researchers are all cultivated by New China. Clergy. The purpose of the institute is to explore the positive factors in Catholicism at multiple levels and in all directions, serve the society of Catholicism, promote the localization of the church, cultivate the human spirit, and contribute to the power of Catholicism. The future research direction of the Institute is to explore the positive factors in the values advocated by Catholicism. Specific topics include Catholicism and ethics, Catholicism and culture, Catholicism and art, etc. At the same time, the institute will actively carry out Christian and religious cultural exchange activities at home and abroad, through cultural exchanges to achieve mutual understanding and promote the traditional culture of the Chinese nation.
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