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    » 06/27/2011, 00.00

    CHINA – VATICAN

    Hebei: ordination of Handan bishop cancelled, it had Holy See approval

    Jian Mei

    The ordination was scheduled for 29 June, feast day of Sts Peter and Paul. The priest had just completed his spiritual retreat and was preparing to go back to his diocese. Police detained him and took him to an unknown location. Meanwhile, the current bishop, who was set to preside over the ceremony, suffered a heart attack.
    Beijing (AsiaNews) – The Episcopal ordination of Fr Joseph Sun Jigen as the coadjutor bishop of Handan, Hebei (northern China) this Wednesday, feast day of Sts Peter and Paul, has been cancelled, Catholic sources, anonymous for security reasons, told AsiaNews today.

    The 43-year-old bishop-designate was taken away by police yesterday morning morning after a five-day spiritual retreat, they said.

    Fr Sun’s appointment had been approved by the Holy See and recognised by the Chinese government.

    Local Catholics said that his whereabouts are unknown. Some people believe he was taken to Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital, north of Handan.

    Sources said the diocese hoped only legitimate bishops from Hebei would attend the ordination liturgy. In recent day, diocese officials had negotiated with local and provincial officials on ordination arrangement, but had failed to reach an agreement.

    Yesterday, Corpus Domini, as soon as Fr Sun finished his retreat and prepared to return to his diocese from Weihui in Henan province, he and another clergyman, Fr Joseph Huai Jianting, chancellor of Handan, were forced by a few public security officials from Handan into a police vehicle.

    When the police car reached Handan, Fr Huai insisted both priests should return to their respective dioceses. Instead, they were driven to nearby Shahe city, where police put Fr Huai into another vehicle and took him alone back to Handan. Fr Sun continued the journey northward toward Shijiazhuang. Since then, Fr Sun’s whereabouts have not been known, the sources said.

    In the meantime, Bishop Yang Xiangtai of Handan, 89, suffered a heart attack and is now under treatment in Dazhong Hospital in Weixian (Hebei). Bishop Yang was scheduled to ordain Fr Sun.

    Born on 2 August 1967, Fr Sun entered Handan diocesan minor seminary in 1986. In 1994, he taught in the minor seminary. In 1995, he was ordained into the priesthood by the late Bishop Chen Bolu of Handan. In 1997, he was appointed chancellor, and between 2001-2005, he was named vicar general. In 2005, he was named parish priest in Yongnian. In 2007, he was appointed bishop-designate of Handan by the Holy See.

    His Episcopal emblem was ready, a cross and a shield to defend faith and, in the background, the topography of Handan areas.

    In the diocese, the faithful are particularly devoted to the Holy Spirit.
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    See also

    11/05/2006 CHINA - VATICAN
    Card. Zen: "Ready to do anything for China, but Beijing must respect clergy and faithful."

    This was the response of the cardinal of Hong Kong to China's Foreign Ministry Commissioner who urged him to "persuade the Vatican to accept the conditions of the Chinese government to re-establish diplomatic ties".



    29/11/2006 CHINA – VATICAN
    Bishops loyal to the Pope detained, forced to take part in unlawful ordination
    Bishops who refuse to disobey the Holy See are forced by hook and crook to take part in unlawful ordinations. The latest candidate to the bishopric is in complete isolation and cannot even be reached by phone. Government is promising huge sums of money for bishops ordinations but then fails to pay up.

    11/05/2006 CHINA
    Cardinals, monasteries and faithful worldwide join prayer campaign

    The three Asian cardinals created by Benedict XVI have joined. Convents and priest are praying also for the conversion of the Patriotic Association and Liu Bainian.



    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.



    01/01/2004 China
    For the new year, Catholics beg for God's help against Sars




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