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Cardinal Costantini: The history between the Catholic Church and China

2012-08-19

It has never been easy to name Chinese bishops. The first were ordained back in 1926 at the Vatican, when the first papal representative, Celso Costantini, was assigned to that country. He was the first Papal delegate in China, who actually opened the first missionary project of its kind.

While Costantini worked in China, the first six Chinese bishops were ordained.

MSGR. JUAN IGNACIO ARRIETA
Secretary, Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts

"Up until then, the Catholic Church in China was simply seen as a spiritual reality, but it was still protected by international powers, especially France. When Costantini was the apostolic delegate, he presented the Church as a spiritual reality that wants the very best for its China. But it also demonstrated that it was above partisan politics.”

FR. BRUNO FABIO PIGHIN
"It was he who established the Church in China, which makes him the main evangelizer of the Church there. It's an issue that is still very interesting in Church-state relations.”

He worked in China for 13 years. Even so, to this day, his work is still remembered, thanks in large part to the Friend Association of Cardinal  Costantini.

ALBERTO MARCHIOLI
President, Association of Friends of Cardinal Costantini

"The association I have the honor of representing, deals with promoting the teachings of Cardinal Celso Costantini, who died in 1958. He was a key figure who left his footprints in the world of art, culture and the Church. He worked a lot and really all his work deserves to be published.”

FR. BRUNO FABIO PIGHIN
"Costantini looked forward to the third millennium, which is why his work is still relevant. He shaped projects that can be applied currently.”

So today, despite the challenging situation of the Catholic Church in China, the work of Cardinal  Costantini manages to shine through. Especially since he led the way in helping establish the Church in China in more ways than one, including bringing bishops to Rome for their ordination.


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