Cardinal Charles Bo, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, set May 23-30 as a week of prayer for China, reported

In 2007, then-Pope Benedict XVI published his letter to Catholics in China and designated May 24, the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, as an annual worldwide day of prayer for the Chinese church.

"We should ask Our Lady of Sheshan to protect all humanity and therefore the dignity of each and every person in China, in the words of Pope Benedict's prayer, to believe, to hope, to love," Cardinal Bo said in a March 14 statement. "It is right that we should pray not only for the church but for all persons in the People's Republic of China."

He said he was expressing his love for the people of China, his respect for their ancient civilization and extraordinary economic growth.

"My hope is that as it continues to rise as a global power, it may become a force for good and a protector of the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalized in the world," Cardinal Bo noted.

The cardinal said that since the start of the pandemic, the people of China have faced increasing challenges.

Last year, Cardinal Bo called on China's regime to apologize and offer compensation to the world for the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"Let me be clear -- it is the Chinese Communist Party that has been responsible, not the people of China, and no one should respond to this crisis with racial hatred toward the Chinese," Cardinal Bo said in a message in April 2020.