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» 08/05/2011
CHINA - VATICAN
Fr. Chen Hailong, sequestered for four months to deny the pope, is freed
He suffered isolation and hunger. To overcome loneliness and isolation, he drew a picture of the Blessed Sacrament on the wall of his cell, praying for a long time. The government wants to force him and other priests to register and subscribe to the PA, which wants to build a Church independent of the pope.

Beijing (AsiaNews / UCAN) - An underground priest from the diocese of Xuanhua (Hebei) has been released after about four months. Local sources said that during this time he was abused and brainwashed to force him to join the Patriotic Association and reject his bond with the pope.

Fr. Joseph Chen Hailong (pictured), a priest for nearly two years, was seized by plainclothes police officers on 9 April and has never known the place where he was detained (see: Two underground priests arrested and beaten in Hebei).

According to local sources, Fr. Chen was held in solitary confinement for at least two months in a "hotel", suffering starvation, to the point of fainting. The authorities seized him to question him on personalities of the underground Church and constantly tried to convince him to join the Patriotic Association, which aims to build a Church independent of the pope.

To overcome loneliness and isolation, Fr. Chen drew a picture of the Eucharist on the wall of his cell, spending lengthy periods in prayer before his symbol of the Blessed Sacrament.

For the past several years the government has launched a campaign to force Hebei priests and bishops of the underground community to become official and register with the Patriotic Association.

According to AsiaNews sources in the last 20 years at least 20 Catholic priests of the underground area of Zhangjiakou (Hebei), the diocese of Xuanhua and Xiwanzi, have been tortured and have suffered tremendous pressure to convince them to join the Patriotic Association (PA) , controlled by the Communist Party of China.


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See also
06/11/2014 CHINA-VATICAN
Apostolic administrator of Yujiang arrested as China attempts to "eradicate" underground Church
by Bernardo Cervellera
03/31/2009 CHINA - VATICAN
Police arrest underground Zhengding bishop Jia Zhiguo
by Bernardo Cervellera
04/02/2005 vatican - china
China: the Vatican denounces the arrest of bishop, priest and layperson
08/10/2013 CHINA
Hebei underground Catholic priest arrested
12/20/2008 CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, Vatican must break with Taiwan and not interfere in domestic affairs
by Wang Zhicheng

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
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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.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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