Pope Presents Model for Dialogue With China
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 12, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI presented Father Matteo Ricci, who introduced European scientific learning in China in the 16th century, as model of friendship and cultural exchange.
The proposal was expressed in a telegram sent in the Pope's name by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, to an international congress on the Jesuit missionary. The congress closed March 6.
The initiative was promoted by the University of Macerata and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Matteo Ricci, born in that Italian city in 1552, died in Peking in 1610, after having founded some of the country's first Catholic communities.
In the message, the Pope expresses the hope that the Jesuit's figure "will contribute to deepen the bonds of friendship of the Chinese people with Christian thought."