I just want to share these few sentences from an interview with an elderly Catholic devotee in Hong Kong, expressing his views on Catholicism in the mainland (I did rewrite it a little, just to make it more understandable):
Sometimes I go visit the underground church in Fujian province [red.: the Catholic Church is China is divided in an open community and an underground community; basically the open church is approved by the Chinese government, the underground church by the Vatican]. When I go there, I find the people very faithful. However, I also feel like they are still separating the daily lives from their religious lives.
China is now getting richer and richer. The cultural changes in China are now much greater than here in Hong Kong. The main enemy for the church in the mainland is now no longer the government, but economic development. People are getting more and more rich, and they are getting distracted. Before, the people still turned to many very strict religious practices, such as confessions, going to mass, praying the rosaries. But now they are just enjoying their lifes and dropping these strict religious practices.
Hong Kong has gone through these same stages before: First, very strict religious practices, in which people are separating their religious life from their daily life. Second, distractions from religious life. But now we see the value of religion. We know that it’s not a practice to kill time, but a practice to understand yourself better and better. Through this, you can become more mature and have a better relationship with everything around you, like your family and your neighbors.