19 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 02/08/2012 17:21
CHINA
Fr Zhang Wenchang, apostolic administrator in Kunming, dies
by Wang Zhicheng
The 92-year-old priest spent 24 years in camps, persecuted for his loyalty to the pope. The government had chosen as bishop Ma Yinglin. Excommunicated in 2006, the latter was rejected by the faithful for not being in communion with the pope.

Kunming (AsiaNews) – Kunming Catholics are preparing for the funeral of Fr Lawrence Zhang Wenchang, who died in his hometown in Shilin Yi Autonomous County on Sunday at the age of 92 after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer in October. The funeral service is planned for this Sunday. Since 2000, he had been apostolic administrator in three ecclesiastic territories in southern Yunan province: Kunming, Dali and Zhaotong.

In 2006, Chinese authorities unlawfully ordained Fr Ma Yinglin as bishop of the area. Since then, he has been excommunicated, which did not prevent him from becoming president of the Chinese Bishops’ council, a body not recognised by the Holy See.

Despite great support from the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, Ma Yinglin has little following among Kunming Catholics. Whenever he appears in public, they leave, refusing to receive the sacraments from him.

Fr Zhang belonged instead to the underground community. In the past few years, he was kept under close police surveillance leading the typical life of the martyrs under Communist rule.

Born in 1920, he had entered the diocesan minor seminary at the age of 12. After he graduated from Kunming major seminary, he was ordained in 1946 by Archbishop Alexandre Derouineau who was expelled in 1952, another victim of Maoism.

After serving at the cathedral for a few years, Fr Zhang was forced to become a chicken and rabbit breeder in 1953 during a period of political turmoil.

He was arrested in 1958 and imprisoned for counter-revolutionary crimes. He was later sent to reform-through-labour camp where he stayed between 1962 and 1982. In 1987, he was rehabilitated and allowed to serve the Church again.

In Yunan, the Catholic Church has 60,000 members, mostly from ethnic minorities. However, the diocese has not had any bishop in communion with the pope since 1952.

In 1962, the authorities did appoint Fr Kong Lingzhong, who died in 1992. Ma Yinglin’s turn came in 2006.

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/13/2005 china- vatican
Government accepts funeral of underground bishop
06/18/2011 CHINA - VATICAN
Father Li Zhigang, appointed bishop of Chengdu, dies of cancer
by Jian Mei
02/17/2011 CHINA
Death of Mgr. Hu Daguo underground bishop of Shiqian
by Zhen Yuan
11/18/2010 CHINA
Death of bishop of Shijiazhuang, Mgr. Jiang Taoran. Problems for Mgr. Jia Zhiguo
by Zhen Yuan
02/03/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
Bishop Wang Chonglin, bishop of Zhaoxian (Xingtai) dies
by Zhen Yuan

Editor's choices
ITALY - ASIA
Easter, victory over death and impotence
by Bernardo Cervellera
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.