Thousands of people, along with scores of priests and some underground bishops, took part in the funeral. He had spent ten years in prison.
Tianshui (AsiaNews) – Thousands of Catholics attended the funeral of retired underground bishop Mgr Casmirus Wang Milu of Tianshui last Saturday (18 February). His body was buried at a place near his native village in Gangu County (Gansu), northwestern China.
A priest called Pan led the funeral service. Some 30 priests took part in the service, along with the bishop’s relatives, including his brother John Ruowang, ordinary bishop of Tianshui, who was ordained clandestinely in 2011.
Other underground bishops from different parts of China, especially Hebei, Hubei, Chongqing, Heilongjiang, Shanxi and Shaanxi, attended the ceremony.
A priest from an underground community told AsiaNews that Bishop Casmirus Wang will always be remembered for “his love for God and His people, especially his persistence in the Catholic faith, enthusiasm in preaching the Gospel, kindness and generosity for the poor, and perseverance and loyalty to the Catholic Church.”
According to the obituary issued by the Gangu parish, Mgr Wang suffered an hemorrhage, pneumonia and other illnesses last month. His condition deteriorated quickly and he passed away on the morning of 14 February.
The notice said that Mgr Wang entered the seminary in 1956, and was ordained priest in 1980 by the bishop of Baoding, Mgr Joseph Fan Xueyan, a great authority in the Church who spent years in forced labour camps and solitary confinement for his fidelity to the pope.
In 1981 he was one of the first three underground bishops ordained by Mgr Fan. The other two were Mgrs Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhengding and the late Zhou Shanu of Yixian, both in Hebei.
In 1983, Mgr Wang was arrested in Beijing and sentenced to ten years in prison. Later, when he was suspended by the Holy See, he retired.