03/14/2011, 00.00
CHINA - VATICAN

March 17 the funeral of underground bishop of Xiwanzi

Wang Zhicheng
The faithful are subject to police control. No episcopal insignia or prayers for the bishop, not recognized by the government.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The funeral of Msgr. Andrea Hao Jinli (see photo) will be held on 17 March. This was confirmed to AsiaNews, by a local source, who says that Catholics who go to honour the memory of the deceased will be subjected to police control.

Bishop Andrea Hao Jinli of Xiwanzi died March 9 at the age of 95 in the village of Gonghui (Hebei). The prelate had spent at least 20 years in prison for his faith and decades under a suffocating control, for having refused to break his bonds with the pope.

Since his death, the police surrounded the village trying to curb the influx of pilgrims from other provinces. It is likely that the police will not allow the Episcopal insignia of Msgr Hao to be displayed during funeral, as he was not recognized by the government. Even Msgr. Hao’s coadjutor bishop, Msgr. Leo Yao Liang, who died Dec. 30, 2009, was given the same treatment: the police always ensured that Msgr. Yao was referred to as a "shepherd" and not "bishop" and has set up checkpoints to curb the participation of the faithful.

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