France's first Chinese church consecrated

19th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 18 (AFP) - The Archbishop of Paris consecrated the first Chinese church in France on Sunday in a bilingual service in the capital's south-eastern Chinatown district.

PARIS, Dec 18 (AFP) - The Archbishop of Paris consecrated the first Chinese church in France on Sunday in a bilingual service in the capital's south-eastern Chinatown district.

Monsignor Andre Vingt-Trois led a service at the new Notre-Dame de Chine (Notre-Dame of China) church attended by some 1,300 worshippers, hundreds of them Chinese, organisers said.

The service, conducted in Chinese and French, took place simultaneously in Notre-Dame de Chine and the adjoining Saint-Hippolyte church, in the 13th arrondissement (or district) of Paris.

Upon arrival, the archbishop "awoke" dancers dressed as lions by touching them with a paintbrush, in accordance with a Chinese tradition symbolising the entry of life to a new a house. Fireworks were then let off.

In his homily, Monsignor Vingt-Trois said the new church demonstrated the diversity of Catholicism.

He also raised the issue of the persecution of Catholics in China, which would continue, he said, as long as the "patriotic" state-controlled Church existed alongside an underground Catholic Church.

Paris is home to an estimated 3,000 Chinese Catholics among a Chinese community of between 250,000 and 300,000.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article