Vatican website now in Chinese

 The Vatican has announced that all papal texts will be available in both traditional and simplified Chinese on the Holy See website from tomorrow, March 19.

Chinese is the eighth language and the first non-European one to be used by the Holy See to make papal texts and other major Vatican documents available online. The other seven languages are English, French, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese and Spanish.

Chinese Church leaders, at a Vatican meeting earlier, had expressed the wish that Vatican documents be published in Chinese in addition to the other European languages.

Thanks to this new service, Chinese Catholics and other Chinese internet users will be able to access all these texts, provided they are not prevented from doing so by authorities blocking the sites.

This new Church development could mean that the Vatican Channel on YouTube could also become accessible in Chinese.

Since 1998, the Holy See has been present on the Internet in Chinese through the Fides International Agency, the news service of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

The Holy See has also presented its information in Chinese on the Vatican Radio site since 1990, though these have not always been accessible to Catholics and others in mainland China due to official blocking of access.

China broke off diplomatic relations with the Holy See in 1951, but in recent years the two sides have recommenced a dialogue and relations have begun to improve. The two sides now engage in dialogue, aimed at understanding and overcoming problems mostly relating to the situation of the Catholic Church on the mainland. The Holy See hopes this dialogue can help both sides find mutually acceptable solutions and open the path to diplomatic relations.

The establishment of a Chinese section on the Holy See's website is another sign of the importance the Holy See attaches to developing its relations with China, and to improving its communication with the estimated 15 million Catholics on the mainland and with Chinese Catholics as a whole.

Source: VIS

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