An Italian Catholic magazine has collected dozens of messages of support for Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin. The Shanghai auxiliary was barred from ministry and has not been seen in public since he announced his intention to leave the government-sanctioned Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association during his ordination in July.
The monthly magazine Mondo e Missione, published in Italy by the Pontificio Istituto Missioni Estere (Pime), launched an appeal on its website on October 5, calling on readers to show solidarity with Bishop Ma.
Since, then, says Gerolamo Fazzini, the magazine’s editorial director, Mondo e Missione has received about a hundred messages, mostly from Europe and South America. “We want to find a way to show Bishop Ma the Italian Catholics are close to him.”
Solidarity messages have arrived from as far as Argentina, Bolivia and Mexico.
The editors stressed that they hope to present Bishop Ma’s “courageous witness” as a “symbolic gesture of unity in the Church.”
Among the wellwishers’ messages, two bishops from Brazil – Antonio Carlos Rossi Keller of Frederico Westphalen (Rio Grande Do Sul) and Pime missionary Giuseppe Negri of Blumenau (Santa Catarina) – wrote that they will lead their dioceses in prayer for Bishop Ma during the coming Year of Faith.
China: Communist party seeks to minimize foreign influence over religious institutions.