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    » 02/03/2010, 00.00

    CHINA - VATICAN

    Bishop Wang Chonglin, bishop of Zhaoxian (Xingtai) dies

    Zhen Yuan

    As a priest he spent 21 years in prison. He was ordained underground bishop, acknowledged by the Holy See, and then recognized by the government. The faithful remember his great commitment to evangelization and formation of priests and nuns.

    Zhaoxian (AsiaNews) – Bishop Raymond Wang Chonglin, bishop of Zhaoxian (Hebei), died on Monday of a cerebral haemorrhage at the age of 88. During Maoism in 1950s-70s, he spent 21 years in prison. His funeral will be held on 8 February, at 9.30 am in the Cathedral of Biancun. The administrator of the diocese, Fr Simon Gao Baojin, confirmed to AsiaNews that the burial will take place the same day, at 1pm local time.  

    Fr. Gao points out that Bishop Wang has always been dedicated to training priests, seminarians and nuns, receiving the gratitude of his faithful. "We were brought up by his testimony since we were little," he said. "With a total trust in God – he adds - Bishop Wang urged all the faithful in evangelization, living a very simple and sober life".  

    Born in May 1921, Bishop Wang expressed the desire to become a priest since he was 14 years old. He was ordained priest in 1950.  

    In 1957, in the Party campaign against the Church, Bishop Wang was arrested and sent to prison for 21 years. Released in '79, he returned to evangelizing Hebei.    

    In 83 he was ordained underground bishop, and recognized by the Holy See as bishop of Zhaoxian with the mandate to administer to the area of Weixian.  In  ‘85 he reopened the diocesan seminary that had been closed in the '50s, and in '88 he formed a convent for female vocations.

    In 88 the government has named him as bishop of Xingtai, covering Church matters in Zhaoxian, Shunde and Weixian.

    In 2006 he retired, leaving the pastoral care of the diocese to Bishop Jiang Mingyuan, a bishop unofficially ordained by him in August 2000.  Although the government has hindered the succession, Bishop Jiang officially headed the diocese in 2006. Bishop Wang retired. But in 2007 Bishop Jiang fell ill and asked Bishop Wang to resume care of the diocese. Bishop Jiang died in July 2008.  

    The (underground) Diocese of Zhaoxian overlaps with those of Shijiazhuang and Xingtai (according to administrative subdivisions of the government). This could have brought tensions and difficulties with the authorities. Anthony Lam, a researcher at the Holy Spirit Study Centre in Hong Kong, who has met Bishop Wang a few times, said that the bishop "was very intelligent and capable of finding solutions to problems, without a direct confrontation with the government”.  

    Lam also recalled the great efforts of Bishop Wang in the formation of priests and nuns. "He was very strong physically - he adds - and also very optimistic. He realised important pastoral and missionary work especially in the countryside. "
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    See also

    21/09/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
    Mgr. Peter Wu Junwei, new bishop of Yuncheng
    The eighth bishop ordained this year with the approval of the Holy See and recognition of Beijing. All ordaining bishops are in communion with the Holy See. The priorities of the newly-ordained: formation of priests and laity to evangelize. In October, a planned retreat with all the priests of the diocese. The first evangelization of Yuncheng dates to late Ming Dynasty, by the Italian Jesuits Alenia and Vagnone.

    18/11/2010 CHINA
    Death of bishop of Shijiazhuang, Mgr. Jiang Taoran. Problems for Mgr. Jia Zhiguo
    Illicitly ordained, he was granted communion with the Holy See in 2008 with orders to obey Mgr. Jia Zhiguo. Who,, once again, is under detention and probably will not officiate at the funeral.

    07/08/2010 CHINA-VATICAN
    Bishop An Shuxin, former underground bishop installed as ordinary of Baoding
    There is already an Ordinary (underground) of the diocese: Mgr. James Su, Zhimin, 13 years in prison. The decision to hold the ceremony made quickly by the government, who wanted Mgr. Ma Yinglin, an illegitimate bishop, to preside. Few participants: 24 priests and 300 faithful. The diocese has 120 priests and over 50 thousand faithful. Card. Bertone’s call to unity.

    03/12/2003 china
    The Church in China: becoming a priest is not easy

    Three priests and four deacons were recently ordained in southwestern China. Some of them are recent converts. Their ordination took place this past 28 Oct.  in the town of Chongqing, about 1500 kms  southwest of Peking. The dioceses of Chong­­qing welcomed the new priests Frs. Wang Wanhong, Xia Wei and Wu Chuan­lu; while  the dioceses of Wanzhou (Wan­xian) took in deacons Zhang Yonglin,  Jiang Weizuo, Huang Zhen'an and Peng Enbing. Both dioceses form part of the municipality of Chongqing.  Msgr. Giuseppe Xu Zhi­xuan, bishop of Wanzhou, presided over their ordination with 30 concelebrants from both dioceses and from provinces near Sichuan and Yun­nan, and Hong Kong. The new priests and deacons, between the ages of 24 and 34, tell us about their personal  journey of faith: Though sometimes difficult, it nevertheless led them to fulfill their vocation.



    04/01/2010 CHINA
    Underground Bishop of Xiwanzi dies, security tightened for funeral
    Although the area is under heavy snow, thousands of faithful are expected for the funeral. The government bans display of Episcopal insignia, prohibits the publication of obituaries and allows only three priests to attend the ceremony. In 2009, 7 Chinese bishops died. In China only 94 pastors remain.



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