“Chinese Bishop John Fang Xingyao, who presides over the communist-sanctioned Catholic ecclesial association, said that love of country should supersede love of the Catholic Church.
‘Love for the homeland must be greater than the love for the Church and the law of the country is above Canon law,’ Bishop Fang told the Political Consultative Conference on Religions on November 26 in Beijing.
The purpose of the high-level meeting was to bring the theological teachings of the Catholic Church into line with communist doctrine. Bishop Fang is president of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which is China’s state-run counterpart to the so-called underground Catholic Church that is still in communion with the papacy.
The conference was in line with President Xi Jinping’s call for the ‘sinicization’ or adaptation of the Catholic Church to the requirements of China’s communist government, and thereby produce ‘a religious ideological system with Chinese characteristics in line with the demands of the times.’ An accord reached between the Vatican and China last year has been criticized for supposedly accomplishing the above political goals for the Church set by President Xi…
Bishop Fang (66) is bishop of Linyi in Shandong province and vice-president of the Council of Chinese Bishops. He is also a member of the national committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which is China’s legislative body. Besides leading the CCPA, he is vice-president of the Council of Chinese Bishops.
Using a similar line of reasoning, Bishop Peter Fang Jianping of Tangshan said last year that Catholics should support President Xi’s proposed sinicization of religion ‘because we, as citizens of the country, should first be a citizen and then have religion and beliefs.'”