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  • » 12/06/2010, 00.00

    CHINA - VATICAN

    The return of the Cultural Revolution: Chinese bishops imprisoned or hunted like criminals

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The Patriotic Association and the government want to force Catholic clergymen to take part in the upcoming Assembly of Catholic representatives, an organization that is contrary to Catholic teachings. Wanted as a “dangerous criminal”, one bishop has disappeared. Another one was abducted from his official residence where the faithful had taken and defended him after days in isolation.

    Rome (AsiaNews) - AsiaNews sources are reporting that the official bishop of Hengshui was forcibly removed from his residence by police and taken to an isolated location. The police had besieged the prelate’s house for hours, struggling against believers and priests who had formed a wall in an attempt to defend the freedom of their bishop.

    Another bishop of Cangzhou, has disappeared and the police threatened the diocese: either he hands himself in to police custody or they will issue an arrest warrant throughout China identifying him as a "dangerous wanted criminal."

    In a format reminiscent of the period of the Cultural Revolution, these events took place today.

    Everything is due to the forthcoming meeting of the representatives of Chinese Catholics, which the Patriotic Association wants to force official Chinese bishops to attend to elect the presidents of the PA and the Council of Bishops, the Pope defines both bodies as against the Catholic faith, because they aim to create a Church independent of Rome.

    To ensure even a meager participation, the PA has put under house arrest some of the bishops who participated in the illicit ordination of Chengde, on 20 November. On that occasion, eight bishops were kidnapped and forced to attend the ceremony, condemned by the Holy See as "a serious violation of religious freedom."

    Since the illicit ordination, Mgr. Hengshui Feng Xinmao had been kept in isolation, banned from seeing any faithful, under constant police supervision. Days ago a very elderly priest of his diocese died, and the bishop asked to at least be allowed to celebrate the funeral. After much resistance from the police, and his threat to carry out a hunger strike, he was granted permission. At the end of the funeral the faithful and the priests surrounded him and brought him to the episcopate, from where he had been missing for nearly a month and set up a watch to make sure he would not be placed in isolation again. The police besieged the bishop'shouse, and after several hours managed to take the bishop back to prison.

    The other episode involves Mgr. Li Lianggui, bishop of Cangzhou. After the illicit ordination, the bishop disappeared, perhaps because he didn’t want to be forced to take part in the meeting of representatives of Chinese Catholics. The police, after having searched throughout the diocese, threatened all the faithful either he hands himself into police custody or they will issue an arrest warrant throughout China identifying him as a "dangerous wanted criminal.

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    See also

    01/12/2010 CHINA - VATICAN
    Next clash between Beijing and Holy See: Assembly of Chinese Catholics Representatives
    The gathering appears set for 7-9 December. It takes a few weeks after the illicit ordination of Chengde. Fears, tensions and the resistance of the Chinese Catholic to the Patriotic Association.

    29/12/2016 16:19:00 CHINA - VATICAN
    Politburo members receive Catholic representatives of Ninth Assembly

    Bishops and laity met Yu Zhengsheng, a permanent member of the Politburo, Liu Yandong, the State Council, Sun Chunlan, director of the United Front. Video of the meeting. The Assembly ended today with Eucharistic adoration. Masses during these days presided by legitimate and illegitimate bishops; some bishops did not celebrate.



    29/12/2016 14:13:00 CHINA - VATICAN
    Official and underground priests unsatisfied with Assembly and participating bishops

    The emphasis on "independence" and "autonomy" does not bode well for dialogue between China and the Vatican. The Religious Affairs Bureau asks the Holy See for "flexibility and pragmatism." The Assembly is like a theater in which all the scripts are already written. The participating bishops confuse the red of their skullcaps - the blood of the martyrs - with the red of the regime's ideology.



    20/12/2016 15:46:00 VATICAN - CHINA
    The Holy See on the Assembly of Catholic Representatives and Chengdu and Xichang episcopal ordinations

    A statement by the Vatican Press Office Director speaks of sharing the "pain" of Chinese Catholics  over the participation of an illegitimate bishop in the Chengdu and Xichang episcopal ordinations. Bishops not obliged to not attending the Assembly, which is "incompatible with Catholic doctrine." The Vatican expects "positive signals" from the government.



    30/12/2016 14:16:00 CHINA - VATICAN
    Underground Church on Ninth Assembly: Chinese Catholics used as pawns and tools of political tactics

    The Assembly ended yesterday aimed at "dividing the Church in China". For an elderly priest, "Pope Francis’ position is ambiguous and vague." Allowing underground bishops into China's bishops' conference would give them the majority. The "optimistic" towards Chinese government are either "naive" or "ambitious."





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