viernes, noviembre 09, 2012

Obispo chino: detenido por fidelidad a Roma

Les dejo el testimonio de Mons. Tadeo Ma Daqin, detenido por las autoridades chinas y recluido en un seminario. Los chinos ejercen ahora un totalitarismo soft: no matan, conversan.

“Faith of a Child

By Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin

I am gratified that my parents died early.

My father passed when I was studying my second year of theology. I spent the whole winter break on his sickbed. Since I entered the seminary, we had less chance to talk, unlike when I was a child and he used to tell me lots of stories. He became quieter once I learnt to study and read. Then when he was seriously ill, without much strength to speak, it was my turn to sit near his bed and quietly keep him company.

I had to report back when the new semester began. If I had written to the rector, telling him about my father, I am sure he would have let me stay home a while longer. But when I thought of those seminarians travelling so far from other provinces, I realized it was not fair for me, someone from the local diocese, to extend my holiday.

My father asked me to stay as long as I could and I dashed to get back to the seminary the evening before classes resumed. The next morning came the call from my family: my father had passed at 4 am. I rushed back home to find his body wrapped in white cloth.

My mother suffered from a rare type of leukemia and had been relying on both Chinese and western medication for over 10 years. Just as I was assigned to Nanqiao parish near Fengxian, her health suddenly deteriorated. The doctor told us she had three months to live. It was not easy for me to travel from Fengxian, which is on the outskirts of Shanghai, back to the city center to visit my mother.

Meanwhile, I caught a fever and was hospitalized with an atypical pneumonia; they wanted to check if it was SARS. My mother and I were sent to different hospitals, but we managed to talk on the phone.
“Daqin, it matters not,” she told me. “Although the cross God gave us was heavy, we must be able to bear it. The merciful God would not give us a cross that we cannot carry.” She lived three more months, and passed away on the feast of Christ the King.

I am the youngest of three. My parents did not want to see me suffer and would bear anything for me. All good parents in the world do that, don’t they? And do the children recognize their filial responsibility to take care of their parents only when they have passed?

My mother supported me when I decided to go to the seminary but my father vigorously objected. There was only one reason for his objection: his father, his younger brother and he himself were all jailed because of their Catholic faith. He did not wish to see his beloved son suffering the same hardship.
But I persisted. I got admitted to Sheshan, which was at that time the largest seminary in the country. For certain reasons, the seminary is temporarily suspended at the moment. Seminarians from various dioceses who were studying theology and philosophy here have been transferred. Still, it is a sacred place in my heart and, I believe, in many others’ hearts too. Located at the world famous pilgrimage site of Sheshan, it is God’s great gift to Shanghai and the China Church.

The other day I was alone in my room, making rosary beads and praying for the deceased during this month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, when some of the others set off for the cathedral to attend a diaconal ordination.

I thought of my parents and something occurred to me: I felt very grateful that they have passed away so early, because they do not have to worry for me. They were honest and sincere all through their life but they have suffered one political movement after another. Only the people of their generation can truly appreciate the struggles they have gone through.

If they were still alive today, I don’t know how nervous and worried about me they would be! Even when Catholics started coming to see me after August, their first words were often “have you been beaten up?” and then, mostly likely, “you look thin and gaunt.”

Sometimes, what you experience in a few days, weeks or months could be more than what you have for your whole life. Witnessing the dynamics among people and the vicissitudes, you grow to become mature, and you grow to become old gradually.

Even though “drinking tea” [a metaphor for being summoned by government officials] many times and being warned not to have any illusions, my thoughts are free.

I have been asked: why did not I leave? It is because of what my father said to me when I insisted on entering the seminary and preparing for priesthood. “If you are determined to go, do not come back and do not give up when you are half-way through,” he said. I did not hesitate to answer “of course!”

I have kept this promise until today. I am going to keep it until the day I grow old, if God wishes me live to an old age.

This is a very small promise that a son made to his father. Is such a promise the faith of a humble and frail son?

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