Author: Francesco Sisci, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Euripean Studies, Renmin University of China
On January 28, 2016, Pope Francis gave an interview on China to Mr. Francesco Sisci, a veteran Asia Times columnist and a Senior Research Associate at the Center for European Studies of Renmin University of China. This interview covered broad cultural and philosophical issues concerning the Chinese people, 99% of whom are not Catholic. In the interview, Pope Francis acknowledged that China is a great country with an inexhaustible wisdom, albeit one that has gone through many difficult times in past centuries. The Pope believes that the Chinese have a great legacy of wisdom that will enrich the rest of the world and help everyone to fnd a peaceful path forward. Pope Francis expressed the sentiment that the Chinese are in a positive moment, and should not be afraid of this moment, nor should the world be afraid of China. The Western world, the Eastern world and China all have the capacity to maintain the balance of peace and the strength to do so.
The interview offered a message of hope and encouragement from Pope Francis to the Chinese people, including both believers and non-believers. It received much attention following its publication, yet the Chinese version was not widely read in mainland China. The author hopes the interview may aid mutual understanding between China and the Catholic world.
Pope Francis, interview, China, Catholic Church
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