11/04/2008, 00.00
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Mgr Jin Peixian of Shenyang dies

He had retired last June leaving the see to his young successor, Paul Pei Junmin. Monsignor Jin was ordained in 1989 with the Holy See’s permission. He spent 10 years in jail and 12 on a farm.
Beijing (AsiaNews) – Mgr Pius Jin Peixian, archbishop of the diocese of Shenyang (Liaoning), died this morning at 3.50 am. He was 85-year-old. The bishop had retired on 29 June, leaving the diocese in the hands of his coadjutor Paul Pei Junmin, who was ordained in 2006 with Vatican approval. Monsignor Jin was bishop since 1989; he too had received Vatican approval.

Born in 1924, Archbishop Jin was ordained in 1951 after Mao’s takeover. He was jailed for ten years in 1958 for “counter-revolutionary crimes”. When he was released during the Cultural Revolution he was sent to a farm for ‘reform-through-labour’. Only in 1980 was he allowed to go back to his pastoral work.

Although a member of the official Church, Mgr Jin Peixian was always in deep communion with the Holy See.

He was among the first bishops to send seminarians and priests abroad for further studies to compensate for the vacuum created by China’s isolation and the years of the Cultural Revolution.

This gave him an opportunity to strengthen the ties between the Chinese Church and the Universal Church.

His skills as a mediator helped him in rebuilding the fabric of the Church in north-eastern China and establish good relations with government authorities.

For many years he served as the vice president of the official Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church, an entity not recognised by the Vatican.

The Vatican established the archdiocese of Shenyang in 1946. The government joined to Fushun, Jinzhou and Yingkou, creating the single diocese of Liaoning for the whole province.

The current diocese has 80 priests, 180 women religious and about 110,000 faithful.

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