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    » 07/12/2010, 00.00

    CHINA

    Ningxia Catholics : Death of priest and nun leads us to unity and reconciliation

    Zhen Yuan

    The priest who presided at the funeral calls on Catholics to forgive the murderer and pray for him. The official bishop of Bameng does not participate in the funeral, but brings a floral tribute and offers condolences to the underground community. The church and hospice where the two victims worked in danger of being demolished.

    Wuhai (AsiaNews) - The underground community of Ningxia, deeply affected by the killing of a priest and nun a few days ago, is marked by sadness and prayer. At the funeral held on July 10, the community affirmed that their death “has brought cohesion and unity among Catholics and given us the opportunity to meet with the clergy of the official church".

    55 year-old Fr. Joseph Shulai Zhang, and 32 year-old Sr. Mary Wei Yanhui were killed July 6 by Zhang Weiping, a former seminarian. The scene of the crime was the Aixin (love) hospice for the elderly in the city of Qiaoxi (Wuda, District of Wuhai, Inner Mongolia).  Xinhua reports that 43 year-old Zhang Weiping was arrested on 8 July.

    The funerals of two victims were held together at the church near the hospice.  The memorial mass was attended by more than 1,000 Catholics, along with victims' relatives and 60 guests of the nursing home for the elderly.  Fr. Wang Zeyi, who presided over the celebration, has asked all Catholics to forgive and pray for the murderer.

    Fr. Zhang and Sr. Wei were buried in the Catholic cemetery, about 50 km from Wuda.  The faithful accompanied the coffins to the cemetery in over 120 vehicles. The ceremony took place in an orderly and solemn fashion out of respect for the two deceased with prayers for the “resurrection and the repose of their souls. "

    The official bishop of Bameng (Inner Mongolia), Mgr. Matthias Du Jiang did not participate in the funeral, but along with three priests he went to the Wuda church before the funeral to offer flowers to the deceased and condolences to the community.

    Fr Heping of Ningxia, told AsiaNews that the tragic incident has strengthened unity between Catholics and 10 priests of the underground community and was an important opportunity to bring together the two communities , official and underground, to meet each other in the open.  "Catholics of Ningxia - he continued - are determined to carry on the work of Fr Zhang and Sr. Wei, in the church and hospice. Fr. Wang will be the successor of the late Father Zhang as pastor and as director of the nursing home. "

    "Fr. Zhang will be remembered as an honest person, who dedicated his life to the formation of vocations", said Fr Heping, who had Fr. Zhang as a teacher. "Even Sr. Wei - he added - was very dedicated to serving the elderly and collaborated with Fr. Zhang in his pastoral work".

    Despite the murder, all the elderly guests of the home are determined to stay in the hospice, where they greatly appreciate the care given them by the Catholic community. But the Church is concerned that the local church and home will be demolished and the elderly transferred elsewhere.  

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    See also

    09/07/2010 CHINA
    Ningxia, priest and nun murdered by former seminarian
    Wenping Zhang, 43, was arrested yesterday afternoon in Hohhot. He had been fired and promised to kill Fr Joseph Zhang. Victim’s funerals will be held on 11 July.

    06/07/2010 CHINA
    Priest and nun of underground diocese of Ningxia are killed
    The two religious worked in a nursing home in the district of Wuda in Wuhai, a main city of Inner Mongolia. The hospice staff found their bodies around 6.30 this morning in a pool of blood. Reasons for murder and identity of assassin remain unknown.

    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.

    17/11/2009 CHINA - VATICAN
    Official and underground priests in China ponder Card. Bertone’s letter
    The document of the Vatican Secretary of State is "encouraging." Underground priests and nuns have begun to study the letter in groups. Others hope that the Vatican will give more precise information. A young bishop: We too need to be trained". Among the problems: priests too distracted by the Internet and a lack of educators in seminaries.

    10/05/2016 09:21:00 CHINA - VATICAN
    My memories of Msgr. Thomas Zhang Huaixin, a patient bishop for the Church's freedom

    PIME missionary in Hong Kong, Fr. Sergio Ticozzi, met the late bishop many times when they would speak in Latin to avoid "indiscreet ears".  He recalls the prelates material and spiritual reconstruction of the diocese of Anyang; his care for vocations; his receiving government recognition and his rejection of the Patriotic Association. How he waited for five years to ordain his coadjutor without "illegitimate bishops."

     





    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    The persecution of Catholics during the Cultural Revolution

    Sergio Ticozzi

    The documentation of that violent period was burned or buried in archives. Only a few survivors speak. The persecutors are silent in fear. The burning of religious objects and furnishings in Hebei. Bishops humiliated and arrested in Henan; nuns beaten with sticks and killed, or buried alive. A persecution that "is not over yet"; Today it is perhaps only more subtle.


    CHINA
    Silence shrouds 50th anniversary of Cultural Revolution in China and in the West

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    The bloody campaign launched by Mao Zedong killed nearly 2 million people and sent  a further 4 million to concentration camps. Every Chinese has been marked by fear. But today, no memorial service has been planned and no newspaper article has appeared. The Party’s internal struggles and Xi Jinping’s fear of ending up like the USSR. Even today, as then, there are those in Europe who keep quiet and laud the myth of China. Many are predicting a return to the "great chaos".

     


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