Did Concelebration Take Place?
On two occasions this year, once in Manila, Philippines as reported by Asia News, and once in Brussels, Belgium as reported by UCAN, reports circulated that Pope John Paul II had concelebrated Holy Mass with Chinese Patriotic Association priests.
Concelebrating Holy Mass with the Holy Father is an important news event. In the case of the World Youth Day in Manila, much advance publicity was generated from various sources, including the Vatican, on this very issue. Although the world's press corp descended to cover this event, only one agency, Asia News reported the supposed concelebration. Even the Vatican media which initially reported this controversial issue did not produce a follow up to this event. Consulting with two reliable independent sources present in Manila, and following closely the activities of the Communist Chinese delegation, this Foundation received confirmation that no concelebration occurred. However, following the lead of Asia News, many news media rushed to print.
Similarly, only one news agency reported the Belgium event. Could the significant presence of the press corp fail to recognize the event's importance and not report it?
We advise that until the official Vatican press reports the concelebration, we should be more judicious in reading the news report.