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Monday, October 02, 2000, updated at 18:26(GMT+8)

China's State Administration of Religious Affairs Spokesman on Vatican's "Canonization of Saints"

The Vatican's canonization of 120 "saints" that were "martyred" in China is a serious confrontational incident against the 1.2 billion Chinese people, which interferes with China's internal affairs, said the spokesman of China's State Administration of Religious Affairs on October 1.

Disregarding strong opposition from the Chinese Government and the Chinese Catholic Church, the Vatican today held a ceremony to canonize 120 foreign missionaries and their followers who committed monstrous crimes in China.

Knowing that the so-called "saints" were preaching in China during a miserable time for Chinese people when they were invaded, humiliated, pillaged and slaughtered by colonists and imperialists, the Vatican still branded Chinese people's righteous struggle against aggressions as "cruel persecution and threats" and therefore made a "judgment" that severely distorted history in defense of the imperial and colonial invasion.

The Vatican admitted that the hundred-year period prior to 1949 was the most complicated and difficult time in Chinese history and the canonization of the missionaries was not intended to excuse the actions of foreign governments. Yet, the Vatican still eulogized the invaders who were punished for their intolerable crimes and called them unscathed by cruel persecution and threats.

Because these missionaries committed many evils and were the very "perpetrators and accomplices" of the colonial and imperial invaders, the Vatican have admitted that they had their limitations of human nature, but still stressed that people should recognize their "glorious" side despite their "mistakes and limitations."

"Are libertinism, impudence, doing evil, bullying officials and laymen, and committing all manner of crimes just limitations of human nature or even the 'glorious side' of these missionaries?" the spokesman asked.

The spokesman cited two cases of missionaries being canonized today.

Auguste Chatdelaine, a French missionary, was punished for his felonies, but the imperialists made use of this "religious incident" as pretext to launch the second Opium War and later burn Yuanmingyuan, the Garden of Ten Thousand Gardens, in Beijing.

Aldericus Crescitelli, an infamous Italian missionary canonized today, was notorious for taking the "right to the first night" of each bride under his diocese.

"Did they represent God's 'true love' to the Chinese people like the Vatican said?" the spokesman asked.

Canonization of these missionaries and their henchmen who committed monstrous crimes against the Chinese people is a sheer "distortion of history" and "glorification" of the colonists and imperialists, which denigrates the Chinese people's patriotic resistance against invasion and their efforts to safeguard state sovereignty, the spokesman said.

The Vatican has thus "seriously hurt the dignity of the Chinese nation and the feelings of the Chinese people."

"The Chinese people, including Chinese Catholics, can by no means tolerate the canonization," he said.

The spokesman noted that the Chinese Catholic Church and the Chinese Catholic Bishops College issued a solemn statement on September 26, which pointed out that the "canonization" was a blasphemy against Catholicism, because it had not only arbitrarily distorted history and intervened in China's internal affairs, but had also totally violated regulations and procedures of the Catholic Church, and therefore, it had been resolutely opposed by the 4 million Chinese Catholics.

The spokesman also pointed out that the Vatican had recently to some extent repented its errors in history. But it failed to express any remorse for the crimes it has committed against the Chinese people, such as participating in the colonist invasion, being the first to acknowledge the puppet regime of the state of Manchu backed by the fascist Japan and supporting Japan's militarist invasion of China.

Instead of sincerely and responsibly examining its historical wrongdoing to the Chinese people and extending a sincere and responsible apology to the Chinese people, the Vatican tampered with history by "canonizing" a number of "saints," hurting the dignity and feelings of the Chinese people, the spokesman said.

The Vatican's "perverse and vicious act" goes against the will of all conscientious people on earth.

The Vatican, while expressing its intention to improve its relations with China, has time and time again interfered in China's internal affairs, the spokesman said, pointing out that the Vatican's so-called "canonization" had severely damaged the basis for the normalization of China-Vatican relations, and the Vatican should be held responsible for all of this.

China, with its independent foreign policy, is willing to develop good relations with all countries. The Chinese government supports its religious communities in administering their own affairs in line with the Constitution and development of friendly relations with religious circles in other countries on the basis of equality, the spokesman stressed.

The Vatican should face up to history and have a clear understanding of the current situation to alter its erroneous stance and demonstrate, not only in words but also in deeds, its sincerity to improve China-Vatican relations.

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Vatican's canonization of 120 "saints" "martyred" in China is a serious incident of confrontation against the 1.2 billion Chinese people and an interference in China's internal affairs, said spokesman of China's State Administration of Religious Affairs Sunday.

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