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    » 12/06/2013, 00.00


    The Bishop of Shanghai, under house arrest, prays for Mandela and recalls his fight for freedom

    Jian Mei

    Bishop Ma Daqin has been under house arrest in Sheshan Seminary since July of 2012 when, shortly after his ordination, he resigned from the Patriotic Association. On his microblog, he invites prayers for the deceased South African leader and cites three sentences, symbolic of his struggle: freedom is indivisible, faith is sometimes persecuted, oppressor and oppressed are both in chains.

    Shanghai (AsiaNews) - - Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma, in his weibo (microblog) message this morning Dec. 6, mourns the first black president of South Africa Nelson Mandela and cites Mandela's quotations that call for freedom, faith and justice.

    Bishop Ma usually issues spiritual or biblical reflections through his microblog (s.weibo.com) in the mornings and evenings, even though his blog remains stagnant since his reflection article on Pope Francis' Lumen Fidei was blocked since mid-October.

    Bishop Ma cited three quotations of Mandela, the first black president of South Africa who died on Dec. 5. The first one says: "Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me." (自由是看不见摸不着的,我的人民任何一人身戴枷锁就等于所有人身戴枷锁,也就等于我也身戴枷) It was taken from Mandela's book Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela with Connections.

    The second one Bishop Ma cited reads: "Faith sometimes undergoes painful tests, but I will not give in to pessimism." (信仰一时经受痛苦考验,但我不会向悲观低头) The third one is: "Both the oppressors and the oppressed need liberation. The ones who take away others' freedom are prisoners of hatred. They are locked behind bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness."(压迫者和被压迫者一样需要获得解放。夺走别人自由的人是仇恨的囚徒,他被偏见和短视的铁栅囚禁着。)

    Bishop Ma called for prayer at the end of the message, "Let's pray for the late Mandela!" Mandela spent 27 years in prison because of his struggles for justice.

    The quotations also seemed to describe Bishop Ma's present situation. He has been under house arrest at Sheshan seminary, Shanghai, right after his episcopal ordination on July 7, 2012. He was occasionally given limited freedom of movement. His appointment as bishop was revoked by the Chinese authorities in December 2012. However, the Catholics in Shanghai and the universal Church recognize him a bishop of Shanghai.

    On Dec 2, four days ago, Bishop Ma turned 45. His faithful wrote in his microblog birthday wishes and addressed him "Most respectable bishop" (主教大人).

    Earlier on Nov. 24, some Catholics wished Bishop Ma happiness on the Feast of Christ the King, and proclaimed "Christ conquers, He reigns and He commands" on his microblog.

    A Catholic in Shanghai told AsiaNews: "We are praying earnestly for the freedom of Bishop Ma everyday. We hope he will keep himself in good spirit despite all the difficulties. We pray that he will be freed soon and can exercise his episcopal authority. Our Shanghai diocese needs his leadership."



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    See also

    10/12/2013 CHINA - SOUTH AFRICA
    Chinese media told not to use Mandela funeral to talk about democracy or the Dalai Lama
    China's Propaganda Department tells media to toe the line: no references to democracy, human rights, the relationship of the late leader to the Dalai Lama or the government of Taiwan. Any hint would be "deleted immediately".

    06/12/2013 SOUTH AFRICA
    Nelson Mandela, a life of commitment and passion (timeline)
    Three marriages, two degrees, a Nobel Prize and more than 27 years in prison. The life of the first leader of South Africa free from apartheid.

    06/12/2013 ASIA- SOUTH AFRICA
    The world bows down to Nelson Mandela
    The South African leader passed away last night at the age of 95. He was the first black president of his country. Tributes of Desmond Tutu and FW de Klerk : He taught a divided nation to live together. Also from Nobel Peace Laureates Aung San Suu Kyi and the Dalai Lama. Even China calls him "friend", although many of Mandela petitions for Tibet and dissidents have been ignored .

    10/12/2013 INDIA - SOUTH AFRICA
    Card. Gracias: We must learn from Mandela , champion of freedom, democracy and equality
    The Archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops paints a portrait of the South African leader " icon of peace and reconciliation." Today, Heads of State and dignitaries from around the world participate in the celebrations in honor of Nelson Mandela. Card. Gracias recalls 27 years in prison lived "with great courage and dignity, never ceasing to pursue the values of peace, love and reconciliation."

    16/12/2013 SRI LANKA - SOUTH AFRICA
    Sri Lankan religious leaders say they learnt forgiveness and reconciliation from Mandela
    The former British colony marks the passing of the anti-apartheid leader with a special event organised by an interfaith organisation at the South African High Commission in Colombo. Buddhist, Catholic, Christian and Hindu leaders offer a special prayer for the late president.

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