From 17 July to 3 September 2016 Verbiest Institute's "Renyi Chinese College" (仁义书苑) held the "Chinese College Summer Session" at Leuven. The annual study sessions are directed towards Chinese theology students in Europe (lay, sisters, religious and priests) who during the summer want to continue their formation. The summer course topics are related to pastoral and catechetical theology, spirituality and the social teaching of the Church. Teachers from Leuven, Taiwan and Hong Kong were invited this year. Fr. Francisco Carin, cmf, is collaborating with Verbiest Institute, both in Leuven (Belgium) and Taipei (Taiwan) offices.
Although the summer session ended on September 3, the students were invited to join the Verbiest-sponsored "Annual Forum on the Church in China Today" that was held in Leuven on September 6-7, 2016. This year the topic was "Religion and the Rule of Law." The topic was approached from both inside and outside China. Herman van Rompuy, former Prime Minister of Belgium and the first president of the European Council, opened the forum at the University Hall with a paper titled "Beyond the Separation of Church and State." He was followed by Prof. Liu Peng who presented "The Role of Religion in a Modern Society: The Chinese Perspective." The president of Leuven University, Prof. Rik Torfs, an expert in Canon Law, presented a paper on "Freedom of Religion, Scope and Future," followed by Prof. Vincent Shen's paper as a lecture on "Information Technology, the Catholic Church and the State."
On September 7 the papers presented by Profs. Mathijs Lamberigts, Peter de Mey, Chen Deguang and Chen Wenduan centered on the synergies between the Chinese Church and Vatican II, the unending challenge of inculturation, and the "Development of Mysticism in Taiwanese Scholastic Philosophy" (1 paper).