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  • » 09/15/2009, 00.00

    CHINA - VATICAN

    Mgr. Bartholomew Yu, underground bishop of Hanzhong, dies



    Witness of fidelity to the Pope, he was a point of reference for priests and religious of the underground Church and the official Church. He suffered arrests and isolation. He worked hard for reconciliation with the official Church with Msgr. Li Duan of Xian. A funeral mass for John Paul II was the ceremony of reconciliation between him and the official bishop of Hanzhong, Msgr. Louis Yu Runshen.

    Rome (AsiaNews) - Mgr Bartholomew Yu, unofficial bishop of the Diocese of Hanzhong (Shaanxi) died yesterday at 9.30 am, at the age of 90 years, after a long illness. Bishop Yu was one of the witnesses of the freedom of the Church, resisting the power of the Patriotic Association, which wants to build a Church independent of Rome. For this he suffered periods of imprisonment and house arrest.

    Mgr Bartholomew Yu chengt was one of the last Chinese priests ordained by a foreign bishop, Msgr. Giuseppe Maggi, PIME (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions), before all foreign missionaries were expelled in the 50s when Mao Zedong came to power.

    PIME had received the mandate to evangelize southern Shaanxi in 1888. Hanzhong became an Apostolic Vicariate in 1924 and then a diocese in 1944.

    Bishop Bartholomew Yu was ordained bishop of the underground Church in 1981, following the ordination of the official Bishop LouisYu Runshen. The area of Hanzhong has a long tradition of radical communism and the Patriotic Association has always lorded over the life and activities of the Church trying to suffocate it slowly.

    Mgr Bartholomew Yu was a witness of fidelity to the Pope, reviving the Christian communities around him. From the place where he lived, Gulupa (Chenggu), he helped give birth to numerous vocations to the underground priesthood as well as many unofficial female religious vocations, distributing their evangelising presence throughout the territory, especially in poor neighbourhoods and rural areas.

    An important fact is that even the priests of the official Church, seeing that the patriotic Bishop Louis Yu did not dare to seek reconciliation with the Pope went to him for guidance and help in their vocation to live in obedience to the Church. Meanwhile, Mgr. Bartholomew Yu built a growing unity between the official Church and the underground Church through his friendship with the late Msgr. Anthony Li Duan, of Xian.

    A turning point in the life of the Diocese of Hanzhong occurred just before the death of John Paul II, when Mgr. Louis Yu asked to be reconciled with the pope. A funeral mass for the late Polish pope was also a ceremony of reconciliation between the two bishops who celebrated the Eucharist together for the first time in decades.

    Recently Mgr. Bartholomew Yu had become ill and was hospitalized several times. The isolation for his illness was not new to him, given that he had known long periods of isolation forced on him by police who kept him under house arrest.

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    See also

    18/11/2010 CHINA
    Death of bishop of Shijiazhuang, Mgr. Jiang Taoran. Problems for Mgr. Jia Zhiguo
    Illicitly ordained, he was granted communion with the Holy See in 2008 with orders to obey Mgr. Jia Zhiguo. Who,, once again, is under detention and probably will not officiate at the funeral.

    08/04/2010 CHINA – VATICAN
    Bishop placed under house arrest for refusing to co-celebrate Mass with excommunicated bishop
    The bishop was officially installed today, but refused to co-celebrate Mass with Ma Yinglin, who was ordained in 2006 without the permission of the Holy See. Forced to attend the ceremony, the bishop was still able to say publicly that he was taking part in the ceremony against his will.

    07/08/2010 CHINA-VATICAN
    Bishop An Shuxin, former underground bishop installed as ordinary of Baoding
    There is already an Ordinary (underground) of the diocese: Mgr. James Su, Zhimin, 13 years in prison. The decision to hold the ceremony made quickly by the government, who wanted Mgr. Ma Yinglin, an illegitimate bishop, to preside. Few participants: 24 priests and 300 faithful. The diocese has 120 priests and over 50 thousand faithful. Card. Bertone’s call to unity.

    03/02/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
    Bishop Wang Chonglin, bishop of Zhaoxian (Xingtai) dies
    As a priest he spent 21 years in prison. He was ordained underground bishop, acknowledged by the Holy See, and then recognized by the government. The faithful remember his great commitment to evangelization and formation of priests and nuns.

    24/06/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
    New bishop of Sanyuan, approved by the Vatican
    Ordination attended by all the bishops in communion with the Holy See. New bishop awaited for five years. Among the priorities of the newly ordained: evangelization, a more personal relationship with the priests, the formation of priests and laity founded on the Bible. In the diocese, there is no obvious problem between underground and official Christians.



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