BEIJING, APRIL 22, 2007 ( The Chinese Patriotic Association said it will "cautiously and seriously" select the successor of Bishop Michael Fu Tieshan, the state-approved prelate who died on Friday.

Bishop Fu, who died of lung cancer, was appointed by the Patriotic Association in 1979, without Rome's approval.

Last year, three illicit episcopal ordinations further complicated hopes for the re-establishment of ties between China and the Vatican, which were severed in 1951.

According to the South China Morning Post, the vice chairman of the Patriotic Association said that Bishop Fu's greatest wish was the normalization of ties with the Vatican.

However, the official reiterated China's conditions for establishing diplomatic ties with the Holy See: severing relations with Taiwan and "not meddling with internal affairs," which China understands to include the naming of bishops.

Benedict XVI has said he'll write a letter to Chinese Catholics. And after a Vatican study earlier this year of the Church's situation in China, there is talk that a commission will be established to further evaluate the issue.

Code: ZE07042209

Date: 2007-04-22

Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 ESV)

Joachiam and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

A brother asked Abba Isidore the priest, "Why are the demons so frightened of you?" The old man said to him, "Because, ever since the day I began practicing ascesis, I have striven to prevent anger from reaching my lips."

The Desert Fathers