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    » 08/05/2011, 00.00

    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

    11/06/2014 CHINA-VATICAN
    Apostolic administrator of Yujiang arrested as China attempts to "eradicate" underground Church
    The priest, Fr. John Peng Weizhao, disappeared in police custody on 30 May and the authorities refuse to give news of his whereabouts. Many apostolic administrators and underground candidates for the episcopate suffer arrests and torture to stop their election and to facilitate rise of 'patriotic' candidates.

    31/03/2009 CHINA - VATICAN
    Police arrest underground Zhengding bishop Jia Zhiguo
    He was taken from his home by 5 police officers. For weeks, he had been under surveillance 24 hours a day, to prevent him from meeting with the official bishop, with whom he had reconciled on instructions from the Vatican. A blow to the Holy See's strategy of unifying the Chinese Church, while the meeting of the Plenary Commission on the Church in China continues at the Vatican. Bishop Jia Zhiguo was also taunted by the police.

    02/04/2005 vatican - china
    China: the Vatican denounces the arrest of bishop, priest and layperson

    Meanwhile in China, news on the Pope's condition disappear from Internet.



    10/08/2013 CHINA
    Hebei underground Catholic priest arrested
    A group of law enforcement officers stopped Fr. Song Wanjun of the clergy of Xiwanzi, while driving his car at 4 in the morning. Place of detention unknown. The Northern Province, stronghold of Catholic China, still targeted by the authorities.

    20/12/2008 CHINA - VATICAN
    Beijing, Vatican must break with Taiwan and not interfere in domestic affairs
    Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the autonomy of the Chinese church in the area of the appointment and ordination of bishops. Patriotic bishop Ma Yinglin, ordained without the approval of the Holy See, also present. Hopes for dialogue with the Vatican may be vanishing.



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