Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This post over at Creative Minority Report got me wondering. The Vatican is an independent city-state. I would imagine that it is eligible to field an Olympic team. Who would they get to compete? Can any baptized Catholic compete for the Vatican? I know that someone doesn't have to live in the country they compete for, since there are American competing for their parents' home countries. I just wonder about these things when I am folding laundry.


T with Honey said...

Just noticed the redesign. Very pretty.

The post at Creative Minority Report is cute. But the thought that has been creeping up on me the most during the olympics is this:
Are there any Catholics competing?
If so what do they do for meeting their obligation of participating in mass on holy days and Sunday?

I ask because practicing Catholicism is illegal in China. Are the athletes skipping their obligation? Or are they leaving the country for mass? Or is China quietly looking the other way just during the Olympics?

Amy Giglio said...


T, the situation of the Catholic Church in China is very interesting. There is the underground church, which is loyal to Rome and is illegal. They meet in homes for Masses and these priests and laypeople can incur severe penalties for practicing in the underground Church (like prison, torture, and death). There is also the officially recognized Church, which has its bishops appointed by the Catholic Patriotic Association (a government arm). Many of these bishops (and priests) have quietly sought to be legitimized by the Holy Father and many, if not most of them, are now legitimate priests and bishops. So, if you go to Mass celebrated by a legitimized priest or bishop, it is valid. The trouble is that sometimes the legitimate priests and bishops don't advertise as well as they ought to that they are in communion with Rome. (See the Holy Father's letter to Chinese Catholics from 2006 or 07) So, Catholicism in China isn't illegal, per se. Catholicism free of interference from Beijing is.

I'm no canon lawyer, but I would think that with this in mind, if you go to assist in Mass that is celebrated by a priest or bishop whose status with Rome is unknown and you cannot reasonably go to another Mass you would not be guilty of a mortal sin, but one ought to do one's best to find out the priest's or bishop's true status.

There is a lot of good info on the situation of the underground church in China at the Cardinal Kung Foundation's website.

Kate P said...

Now there's an idea. OR maybe the Vatican could have its own games, like chasing the usher with your envelope and speed-homily-writing. :)

Some other info for T: check out Jen Ambrose's blog, Ambrose-a-rama. She's back in the States for a visit but she and her family have been living in China for some time. She does posts about going to Mass sometimes--one not too long ago about celebrating the Pauline year.