German president’s China visit should help church, bishop says

A Chinese bishop said the visit by German President Joachim Gauck to a cathedral in Xi’an on Holy Thursday should help the development of the church’s charity work.

Bishop Anthony Dang Mingyan said he introduced the German president to the diocese’s charity works and described the general situation of Shaanxi province during the 50-minute March 24 visit.

Xi’an, where an estimated 40,000 Catholics reside, was the last leg of a five-day trip during Gauck’s first state visit to China from March 21-25.

“I summarized several aspects, such as social facilities, education, hygiene services and elderly caring,” Bishop Dang told ucanews.com.

“Gauck appreciated our achievements on these social services” and invited him to visit Germany, he added.

Although the pair did not discuss cooperation on charity works between the two countries, Bishop Dang said that as a result of Gauck’s visit, he hopes his diocese will develop a relationship with Misereor, the Germen bishops’ conference development organization.

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