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.
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 two, Wotherspoon discusses the current situation of the Church in China, particularly the conflict between the ‘official' and ‘unofficial' Church. He also looks at the Church's engagement in human rights in China, and how Ricci's example can guide westerners seeking to understand the country.
‘First of all I think his example of learning the language and studying the culture is a very good example', he says. ‘Because without language and understanding of culture, communications is much more difficult.'
‘Ricci also would remind us that the Chinese by nature are a peaceful people, not aggressive. In one of his writings he wrote about how the people in Europe were politically aggressive and greedy ... whereas in China there wasn't that sort of conflict.
‘The majority of Chinese people, and please God the majority of Chinese leaders, are very much a peaceful people. And if we treat them with respect and so on, we'll do more for peace in Asia and peace in the world than if we were to see them as rivals or foes.'
Matteo Ricci: Fr John Wotherspoon interview pt 2