In the first of a two-part podcast interview, Michael McVeigh speaks to Oblate priest and Matteo Ricci expert Father John Wotherspoon about the life and influence of the Jesuit missionary.
Fr Wotherspoon has worked in the Chinese province of Zhaoqing where Ricci first established his mission, and has published the www.riccicenter.com website to share Ricci's story more broadly.
In part one, Wotherspoon discusses Ricci's way of engaging with China, the controversies that erupted over his work, and how his image has undergone a transformation over the last century.
‘Pope John Paul II said that Ricci established a bridge - a bridge between the Church in Europe and China and Chinese culture ... The Pope said we can follow Ricci's example very safely', he says.
‘Today, as the Church decides which way to go in evangelisation, I think Ricci's example is very valid. It seems to me on the one hand you've got a lot of Catholics who've lost the fire for evangelisation or are too shy or too scared to witness to the Lord, and on the other hand you've got people who are again starting to beat the drums in a way that was done in a more triumphalistic era ... I think both extremes are to be avoided, and Ricci is an example of someone who stayed in the middle. He used all of his tremendous talents for the goal of evangelisation, but also for the goal of helping the culture to grow as a culture.'
Matteo Ricci: Fr John Wotherspoon interview pt 1
Ignatian conversations: Fr John Wotherspoon
In the second of a two-part podcast interview, Michael McVeigh speaks to Oblate priest and Matteo Ricci expert Father John Wotherspoon about the Catholic Church in China, and how Ricci's example continues to provide direction for the West today.Read more