Shanghai (AsiaNews) - Mgr Thaddeus Ma Daqin, auxiliary bishop of Shanghai, is back on his blog. It had been blocked the day of his ordination, 7 July. Holed up in the Sheshan Seminary for the past nine days, the prelate has come under investigation for "seriously" violating the rules governing Episcopal ordinations in China. During his investiture ceremony, he refused the imposition of the hands by an unlawful bishop and anounced his resignation from the Chinese Patriotic Catholc Association (CPCA).
Today, Mgr Ma posted a picture and five poems on his blog. The previous posting was dated 6 July, the day before his ordination. At 5.30 PM, dozens of Catholics responded to the bishop's message with prayers and best wishes, as well as warm words of encouragement and consolation. Some wrote: "Please, take care of your health;" "Are you back?"; "How are you?"; "If you are OK, it must be a sunny day."
The poems Mgr Ma posted were by a Jesuit priest, Fr Wu Yushan, aka Wu Li (1632-1718), one of China's first native priests who preached and died in Shanghai.
Chosen from those Fr Wu wrote about Macau, they convey a sense of sorrow and sadness. The last verses say, "Here there's but one day/But a thousand days have gone by in this world."
Such words mean that Bishop Ma is suffering from solitude and sadness, a Chinese priest told AsiaNews.
The posting includes a picture signed 'Thaddy Ma'.
In China and abroad, Catholics continue to pray for Mgr Ma's freedom. In Hong Kong, Catholics plan a prayer vigil tonight in front of the Chinese government building, followed by a Mass officiated by Card Joseph Zen, emeritus bishop of Hong Kong, at St Marguerite Church on behalf of the Shanghai prelate's witness of faith and the suffering Chinese Church.
In Hong Kong, all of yesterday's Sunday Masses included prayers for the Church in China, as Card John Tong of Hong Kong requested, especially for the country's courageous bishops and religious freedom.