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4th International Day of Prayer, Amsterdam 2000

Contribution of
His Excellency Andreas Tsien
Bishop of Hwalia in Taiwan

My brothers and sisters in Christ from all over the world!
I will try my best to utilize the time given me to share my feelings with all of you.

First of all, I came here to venerate Our Lady, “the Coredemptrix”. For me it is right and just that we call Our Lady “the Coredemptrix”, because she participated actively to the work of Redemption, standing at the foot of the Cross of her Son. The title of “Coredemptrix” reminds us of the mission of Our Lady in the Church.

We had four dogmas about Our Lady in the history of Church. The first and second dogma, namely Mary as the Mother of God and the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, are the articles of our faith concerning the person of Jesus who is true Man and true God. The third and forth dogma, namely the Immaculate Conception and the Corporeal Assumption of Mary into heaven, are the articles of faith concerning the effects of Redemption: Jesus redeemed the human race from sin and from death.

Now, although there is not an official fifth dogma, the view of Mary as the Coredemptrix, has to do with the mission of our Lady in the Mystical Body, which is the church. Because she- as our mother- suffered in unity with her divine Son for whole mankind as Coredemptrix, she became also the Mediatrix and Advocate of whole mankind, for all nations. It has been for a long time that the Church has invoked her as Mediatrix and Advocata.

We hope and we pray that one day the doctrine about the Coredemptrix, about Mary´s mission for all of us will be declared as article of faith, too, for it is recent and is most fitting for describing Mary´s role in salvation history. This title of Mary neither negates nor diminishes the truth that Jesus Christ is the only Redeemer.

Secondly, my dear brothers and sisters, I came here to venerate Our Lady, the Queen and Mother of All Nations, together with you. As bishop coming from Taiwan I would like to call your attention to the Chinese people, especially the Chinese Catholics.

In my country the situation for the Catholics is very difficult and sorrowful. Why? Because Catholics, who want to be loyal to the Holy Father, are still under atheist persecution. They live in the so called Underground-Church.
The Patriotic Church, which was created by Chinese Communists is the official permitted Church of China. This official State Church is schismatic and heretic, because it is created and controlled by Chinese Communists according their atheistic principle.

Even today loyal Christians of the Underground Church are in my country are very much humiliated, persecuted and discriminated in their daily life. This punishment became even more intense since January 6th of present Year when there were illegal Episcopal Consacrations within the State Church which brought a lot of confusion among Christians. Nevertheless, we Christians in the Underground are aware that all this pain and suffering - offered up in unity with the one, true and apostolic Church - is coredeeming suffering.
Last month after the passing away of our beloved Cardinal Kung, the Cardinal Kung Foundation wrote an Open Letter to Vatican officials, calling for justice for the Underground Church in China.

Finally, I want to share with you the joy and jubilation of the Church in China. Although China was evangelized before other Asian countries like Japan, Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines etc these nations have already their Saints except for China.
But, on March 10th of this Great Jubilee Year our Holy Father pronounced a great joy for us: There will be the canonization of 120 Chinese Martyrs which will take place on October 1st in Rome.

At this point I would like to mention that there are thousands upon thousands of Chinese Martyrs in the past and still more in the twenties century, persecuted by Nazism, Communism, or other forms of dictatorial regimes.
Msgr. Domenic Tang, for example, late Archbishop of Canton, who died in exile in the United States in 1995, had been in prison for 22 years. Or Cardinal Kung, late Bishop of Shanghai, who died on March 12th of this year in exile in the United States. He had been in prison for more than 30 years. They all are martyrs for the faith in defending the unity of Church and absolute obedience to the Holy Father. I believe that the firm standing of our martyrs and of our Underground-Church will help Communist China to understand the unchangeable position of Catholic Church. It is by affirming the truth that we will obtain peace, and not by compromising.

I am convinced: The canonization of Chinese Martyrs will encourage the Underground Church and all brothers and sisters of good will.

And here, gathered around the Mother of All Nations, I would like to ask you urgently: Do not forget your persecuted brothers and sisters of the Church of China!

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