Foreign missionaries will be able to continue their pastoral work in Macao after 20 December this year, when the Portuguese colony will revert to Chinese jurisdiction.
    This is the opinion of Chinese Bishop Lam Ka Tseung. There are five male and 14 female congregations working in the diocese. At present the Curia is busy establishing the necessary contacts in order to obtain visas for foreign missionaries in the future. At present the religious working in the area are relatively calm about the transfer of power.
    The Jesuits arrived in Macao in the 16th century, and are the oldest religious order ministering in the diocese. Their superior, Father Luis Manuel Fernandes, is confident of maintaining good relations with the new Chinese authorities.
    According to the Holy See's statistical yearbook, of Macao's total population of 450,000, 4.6% are Catholic. There is one bishop, 70 priests, 13 Brothers and 165 Sisters.

9:38am 15/4/99 / Zenit


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