VATICAN - The 'Concilium Sinense' of Shanghai "between history and present": International Conference at the Pontifical Urbaniana University

Tuesday, 14 May 2024 mission   dicastery for evangelization   pontifical urbaniana university   local churches  

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - Shanghai, May 15, 1924: the “Primum Concilium Sinense”, the First Council of the Catholic Church in China, begins in the Cathedral of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Bishops, Vicars General, religious and priests, most of whom were born in distant countries and came to China as missionaries, gather under the presidency of Archbishop Celso Costantini, Apostolic Delegate in China, with the task of revitalizing the mission of the Church on Chinese territory in the light of “Maximum Illud”, the Apostolic Letter written by Pope Benedict XV in 1919. In this letter, the Pope emphasized that faith in Christ "does not belong exclusively to a certain nation", and that becoming a Christian in any part of the world does not mean "giving up one's national rights to submit to foreign tutelage".

The Council of Shanghai formulated detailed provisions to promote and accompany the flourishing of a native church, with Chinese bishops and priests being entrusted with the leadership of local communities. The council decrees contained concrete provisions to counteract the colonial mentality that had also penetrated church practices.

One hundred years later, an International Conference in Rome looks back on this synodal experience to understand its meaning and relevance for the development of the Catholic Church in China and the dynamics of apostolic work in the age of globalization.
The Conference is entitled "100 years since the 'Concilium Sinense': between history and the present". The Conference, organized by the Pontifical Urbaniana University in collaboration with Fides Agency and the Pastoral Commission for China, will take place on Tuesday, May 21, in the Aula Magna of the University, which is part of the Dicastery for Evangelization (Section for the first Evangelization and New Particular Churches).
The Conference program (see attachment) includes contributions from the Bishop of Shanghai Joseph Shen Bin, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, Pro-Prefect of the Missionary Dicastery. In addition, the contribution of prominent academics and researchers from the People's Republic of China is expected, such as Professor Zheng Xiaoyun and Professor Liu Guopeng, from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who will give their presentations during the conference.
The day will open with a greeting from Professor Vincenzo Buonomo, Pontifical Delegate and Grand Rector of the Pontifical Urbaniana University, followed by a video message from Pope Francis. (Agenzia Fides, 14/5/2024)