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    » 04/21/2007, 00.00

    CHINA - VATICAN

    State funeral for Beijing’s Patriotic bishop, party “property”



    Despite the request made by the Patriotic Association, there will be no Vatican representative at the burial. Officially praised as “a great friend of the communist party”. Doubts surround the date of his death.

    Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Michele Fu Tieshan, Patriotic Archbishop of Beijing, will receive a funeral fit for a “head of state”.  There will be no Vatican representative present, neither the religious ceremony nor the state burial.

    Church sources in Hong Kong told AsiaNews that members of the Beijing Patriotic Association expressed their desire that there should be a Vatican representative at the burial, but it is “highly improbable that someone will attend.  There was no Vatican representative at last year’s funeral of msgr.  Li Duan [archbishop of Xian] who was in deep communion with the Pope and Vatican”. Despite this, the sources add, all of the faithful in China and abroad “should pray for his soul, which is now at the mercy of God’s justice”.

    Michele Fu Tieshan died yesterday evening at 19.50 (Beijing time), at Beijing Hospital. In the official statement however, the Patriotic Association, decided to make it appear that he died at 8.08 in the evening, because of the “luck” that number “8” brings in Chinese fortune telling.  “Lets’ just hope that they don’t put Taoist cards or Majiang playing cards in his coffin!” was the comment of one Beijing Catholic. The reference is to the superstitious nature of the deceased bishop and his passion for Majiang (Chinese dominos).

    The capital’s faithful notice with some bitterness that the patriotic bishop’s body was “sequestered” by the PA – of which Fu was national president – in order to publicize his “contribution to the nation”, without a single reference to the Catholic faith.  “He died as he lived – one woman notices – that is as Communist Party property”.  The same official Party statement, exalts him as a “patriotic religious leader, social activist and great friend of the Chinese communist party”.

    The PA has sent out a communiqué in which they ask all of the parishes in China to pray for him.  In Beijing’s’ Nantang (Church of the Immaculate), the capital’s cathedral, there will be a 7 day period of mourning with mass celebrated in his memory each day for the repose of the soul of Fu Tieshan.

    Among Beijing’s faithful there are some who doubt the veracity that the bishop died yesterday.  According to some his death dates to April 12th.  Since then in fact most of the people who wished to visit him, had to content themselves with prayers for his recovery instead, outside his room.  From a window looking into his room all that was visible was the immobile bedridden figure of the Bishop, perhaps in coma, or already dead.   

     

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    See also

    24/04/2007 CHINA - VATICAN
    Card Zen prays for Fu Tieshan, but calls on China to commit itself more to relations with Vatican
    Hong Kong bishop fears a propagandistic use of the patriotic bishop’s funeral. Patriotic Association and the Religious Affairs Bureau are pushing for new episcopal ordinations “independent” of the Vatican

    18/07/2007 CHINA - VATICAN
    The new Bishop of Beijing is elected
    It’s Father Joseph Li Shan, a pastor who has demonstrated independence from the Patriotic Association. He is the first new bishop since Benedict XVI’s letter. Chosen by an “independent” procedure and not appointed by the Pope, despite this his name was among those with Rome’s approval.

    20/04/2007 CHINA - VATICAN
    Fu Tieshan, "tragic" figure of the Chinese Patriotic Church, dies
    A grand career in politics and in the Patriotic Association, total subjection to the ideology and the power of the Party and the Patriotic Association; adored by the regime, disliked by his flock. With his death one of the most painful chapters of the Church in China comes to an end and a new phase of greater dialogue between China and the Vatican is (perhaps) on the horizon.

    18/07/2014 CHINA - VATICAN
    Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops
    The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.

    07/01/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
    Thousands of Catholics defy snow, cold and police at the funeral of Mgr. Yao Liang
    The government bans use of Episcopal insignia and title of "Bishop", being a pastor of underground Church. Bishop Yao spent 30 years in prison for refusing to join the Patriotic Association, which wants to build an independent Church from the pope. No message from the Vatican.



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