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Synod writes to absent Chinese delegates

 At the close of the Eucharistic Synod, the Bishops wrote a letter to the Chinese bishops who had been unable to attend. (Archbishop Anthony Li Duan of Xian, Bishops Louis Jin Luxian of Shanghai and Luke Li Jingfeng of Fengxiang, from the 'official' church, and 'underground' Bishop Joseph Wei Jingyi of Qiqihar.) Although some would have been unable to go to Rome for reasons of health and age, the others were not granted permission to travel. During the assembly the Pope had sent a message on behalf of all the bishops expressing their sadness at the Chinese bishops' absence. He said: "I would like to assure all the Chinese priests that we are close with prayer to them and to their priests and faithful. The suffering path of the communities, entrusted to their pastoral care, is present in our hearts: This will not remain fruitless, because it is a participation in the paschal mystery, to the glory of the Father." Bishop Jingfeng wrote to the synod expressed regret in the name of the other bishops, and hoping that diplomatic relations between the Holy See and China would soon be re-established. At the close of the Synod, the Bishops sent a letter to the Chinese Bishops saying: "Your absence during the synodal work caused great unhappiness in our soul. We would have liked to meet with you and hear of your demanding and fruitful ecclesial experience. All this was not possible, but we would like to assure you and the whole Church that is in China that you are present in a particular way in our hearts and in our prayers. "As you know, the Eucharistic Mystery is the centre of our reflections. We would like to underline that it is in the Eucharist itself, source and summit of the life and mission of the Church, that we are all in communion with Christ and with the Universal Church. For this reason we give praise, with you, to the Eternal Father, the Giver of all good: from His heart comes the love that is poured to us through the Spirit of the Risen Lord, which makes us 'of one heart and soul.' "In the Lord Jesus, we hope that all the ecclesial communities in China may flourish in listening to the Word, in celebrating the Paschal Mystery and in generous service to their brethren. Our prayers include the ardent hope that paths may soon be found to make full communion more visible. We entrust these wishes to Most Holy Mary, Mother of the Church, accompanied by a fervent prayer from the whole Church."