01/02/2012, 00.00
CHINA
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On line mourning for a priest and six seminarians who died in an accident in Hebei

by Wang Zhicheng
Tianzhujiao zai xian website proposes prayer to honour the dead and support for their families. A young seminarian has survived, but his condition is still very serious.
Beijing (AsiaNews) - Prayers, fasting, silence to remember a priest and six seminarians of the Chinese underground community, killed in a car accident last December 11: this is the proposal put forward by the popular Catholic website Tianzhujiao zai xian ("The Catholic Church web ") for the last day of 2011. The proposal received thousands of visitors and it suggested a Mass be said for the dead and to seek comfort for their families, praying the rosary, gestures of charity or fasting and observing a minute of silence.

On 11 December, the van carrying the priest and six seminarians was hit head-on by a truck, which toppled the car. Soon after another truck hit the van, killing seven people and seriously injuring another.

The dead are: Fr Joseph Shi Liming, 39, a formator in the underground seminary of Baoding, who was driving, Joseph Yang, Joseph Han, Joseph Bai, John Gong Li Paul, John Wang (pictured, the six seminarians).

The young Gabriel Gao survived because the first blow threw him from the car. He is now in a hospital in Shijiazhuang, in the neurosurgery ward. According to some information on the web, he has woken from a coma but his condition is still very serious.

Immediately after the accident, some people speculated that the incident was "political" and provoked by the police. But AsiaNews sources in the area have ruled out this possibility and confirmed that it was an accident.

Photo: www.chinacath.org
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