Olympians Pray With State Clergy

12 08 2008

This doesn’t surprise me it is Communist China after all.  full article

The Olympic Village in Beijing has rooms offering religious services for Buddhists, Catholics, Hindus, Muslims and Protestants. The facilities are staffed by religious officials approved and, in some cases, ordained by the Communist Party.

“All religious services are provided by professionals recommended by China’s religious associations,” said Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee.

I wonder about the statement that “The facilities are staffed by religious officials approved, and in some cases, ordained by the Communist party.”  I’m wondering if China has approved and allowed validly ordained priests loyal to Rome to celebrate mass or are only party appointed/ ordained priests available?   The next statement makes it sound like they are invalid, party appointed priests.   “All religious services are provided by professionals recommended by China’s religious associations…”  The whole thing makes me greatly appreciate that I can go to a mass celebrated by a validly ordained priest, and receive a valid Eucharist.  It is terrible that Catholic athletes are being denied a valid Eucharist but even worse, of course, is all the underground Chinese Catholics who have to live in such a situation, and who may have to risk their lives to receive the Eucharist.  I say may have to risk because I don’t know the penalty these days for priests or lay CAtholics who are caught celebrating mass.


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