Pope Francis has urged Chinese Catholics to be “good citizens” and to “discern wisely” in a mass in Mongolia on Wednesday. Francis made the comments during a Mass at a sports stadium in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital, on the second and final day of his visit.
The Pope has been sending symbolic messages to China, where a tiny Catholic minority exist between state-sanctioned and unofficial “underground” churches. The Vatican does not have diplomatic relations with Beijing and estimates around 12 million people are actively involved in Catholic activities there.
In his homily, Francis said: “As religious believers, we are invited to be always loyal to our faith, respectful of our neighbor, open to dialogue, guided by the fullness of truth.” He encouraged the congregation to “discern wisely” and “always be open to hearing the word of the Lord, knowing how to see His loving presence in our daily circumstances”.
The Pope also warned against the dangers of contemporary materialism which “can seduce us to idolize money, power, and pleasure, and later make us its slaves”. He urged Catholics in Mongolia and in China “to be good citizens, helping to build a better society that honors the dignity of its people and is hospitable to God’s children”.
Francis also committed to continue to “accompany and support” the Church in China, “so that the Lord’s promise of the city with firm foundations and walls may be realized.”