Archbishop Joseph Li Shan of Beijing makes a visit to Hong Kong upon the invitation of Cardinal Chow Sau-yan, the Bishop of Hong Kong, in hopes of enhancing relations between the two dioceses.
By Vatican News
Archbishop Joseph Li Shan of Beijing and his delegation are visiting the Diocese of Hong Kong at the invitation of Cardinal Stephen Chow Sau-yan, bishop of Hong Kong.
The purpose of the visit, which began on 13 November, was to “promote exchanges and interactions between the two dioceses,” according to the website of the Diocese of Hong Kong.
Bishop Li Shan’s schedule
Following a welcome, the first event of the visit was the celebration of vespers in the chapel of the diocesan curia. Then, in the cardinal’s office, the exchange of gifts took place: the archbishop of Beijing presented the cardinal with a coloured glass image of the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci, while the cardinal gave Archbishop Li Shan an image of Saints Peter and Paul, painted on a white wooden panel.
On Tuesday, 14 November, after the concelebration of Holy Mass in the Curia Chapel, the Beijing delegation visited the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the diocesan centre.
Cardinal Chow’s visit to Beijing
Cardinal Chow had visited the Diocese of Beijing on 17-21 April, at the invitation of Archbishop Li Shan.
During that visit, they paid tribute to Father Matteo Ricci, a missionary in China between the 16th and 17th centuries, much beloved by Chinese Catholics and described by Pope Francis as “a man of the culture of encounter,” among the first to establish a bridge of friendship between China and the West, implementing a model still valid for the inculturation of the Christian message in the Chinese world”.
During that meeting, Cardinal Chow and Archbishop Li Shan had concelebrated a Mass in the Cathedral of the Most Holy Savior.
In his homily, the bishop of Hong Kong explained how Pope Francis is promoting a path of synodality in the Church, inviting all members of the Church to listen to each other and, even more so, to learn to listen to the Holy Spirit who guides us on our journey.
The Cardinal observed that the Holy Spirit is the God of unity, not division, and in this sense, he expressed hope that the Diocese of Hong Kong, that of Beijing, and all continental Catholic communities could engage in more intense collaborations and exchanges within the communion of love.
Hong Kong: a bridge Church
Recalling his visit to Beijing in an interview with “Civiltà Cattolica”, Cardinal Chow emphasized that the Diocese of Hong Kong “received from Pope John Paul II the mission of being a ‘Bridge Church'” and that “the greatest challenge is to connect different and opposing parts, to help them see each other as human beings desiring to be heard and understood.”
Among the “most notable” fruits of that visit to Beijing, the bishop of Hong Kong said, “I see personal contact between the bishops of the two dioceses and the rekindling of collaboration in various areas. The collaboration we have agreed upon, strongly desired by both parties, gives us hope and determination to work together.”