29 September 2016
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    » 07/05/2012, 00.00

    CHINA - VATICAN

    Apostolic Administrator of Harbin 'Missing' on eve of illicit ordination

    Joseph

    Harbin (AsiaNews) - Father Giuseppe Zhao Hongchun, apostolic administrator of Harbin, has been "missing" since the afternoon of July 4, where he went to attend an appointment arranged by religious affairs officials.

    Local sources told AsiaNews that they believed he has been under house arrest, but his whereabouts is not known to them. This event is related to the upcoming illicit ordination of Father Yue Fusheng in the open Church on July 6, they said.

    Father Zhao, who is not affiliated with the government-sanctioned open Church, was "invited" by government officials yesterday (July 4) afternoon to a meal. At 7 pm, his assistant parish priest received a phone call from Father Zhao, saying that he cannot return in the coming few days because officials from religious affairs department needed to talk to him and "the talk would take several days."

    Ordained a priest in 2004, Father Zhao (see photo, on the left), 39, was appointed by the Holy See as the apostolic administrator of Harbin in December 2011. He has been a parish priest of Harbin in the underground Church under Bishop Wei Jingyi of Qiqihar, (photo, on the right).

    Sources told AsiaNews that Father Zhao has been under house arrest in order to prevent him from taking actions during the illicit ordination on July 6.

    Father Zhao told local sources that he would do his best in reconciliation and remedies for the divisions in the Church. In May this year, when rumors of a possible illicit ordination in Harbin were circulating, Father Zhao had encouraged local Catholics to pray for Father Yue, the bishop candidate, hoping that Father Yue would patiently wait for the approval of the Holy See. Moreover, Father Zhao had talked to Father Yue face-to-face in a bid to convince him to contact and communicate with the Holy See about the ordination, the sources said.

    Father Zhao has been active in organizing parish youth pastoral work, laity formation, catechism classes, Church media, as well as formation for religious vocations in which four young men are discerning their vocation.

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    See also

    12/07/2006 EU – CHINA – VATICAN
    The Foreign Affairs Committee of the EU condemns China on human and religious rights

    A report on relations between Beijing and the EU asks that the death penalty and laogai labour camps be abolished, defends the religious freedom of underground communities and advises Beijing to stay out of episcopal ordinations.  An amendment also asks that web-sites, including AsiaNews, not be blacked-out.



    11/07/2012 CHINA -VATICAN
    The revenge of the Patriotic Association: Msgr. Ma Daqin under investigation
    The official website of the Patriotic Association and bishops council today released a statement, countersigned by "a spokesperson", accusing "the bishop's ordination activities" of "gravely" violating the regulation on episcopal ordinations. In Harbin, AsiaNews sources report "difficulties" for two priests of the official Church who opposed the ordination of July 6.

    06/07/2012 CHINA - VATICAN
    Harbin’s illicit ordination strengthens "excommunicated". Apostolic administrator released
    Joseph Yue Fusheng was ordained bishop of Heilongjiang by five bishops recognized by the Holy See. More and more "self-elected" bishops in the leadership of the Patriotic Association. Fr. Joseph Zhao and his curate were released immediately after the ordination ceremony. Harbin Catholics pray for Yue’s repentance.

    28/06/2012 CHINA - VATICAN
    Harbin’s illicit ordination delayed: Victory for "Faithfull’s prayers and fasting"
    The Episcopal ordination was to have taken place tomorrow, the Feast of St. Peter and Paul, as a "slap in the face to the Holy Father." Underground and official community united in prayers against the move. Voices warn the ordination only "postponed until next month." The United Front, which controls the Patriotic Associations, loses a supporter of Stalinist control over religions, Zhu Weiqun.

    04/07/2011 VATICAN - CHINA
    The Holy See condemns Leshan ordination
    In a statement made public today, the Vatican states that it does not recognize the new bishop, that he can not administer the diocese and is excommunicated. Voices in Leshan say that the new bishop has two children. The Vatican had informed some time ago that he could not be accepted as a candidate "for serious reasons”. Bishops who attended the ordination also warned. Fears that the government wants to create a de-facto schism, ordaining dozens of other bishops without papal mandate.



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