» 04/17/2012, 00.00
CHINA - VATICAN
Two underground bishops released, but many priests are arrested
Bishop Shao Zhumin was arrested for four weeks, interrogated, brought on "vacation" away from his diocese, "recommended" to join the Patriotic Association. The model to follow: the excommunicated bishop Lei Shiyin. Bishop Jin Lugang detained for four days so he would not celebrate the Easter Triduum with the community. Dozens of underground priests are held for weeks and subjected to "political sessions". First the security of Communist Party's Congress and plan to eliminate the underground Church.
Beijing (AsiaNews) - Two bishops of the
underground community, not recognized by the Chinese government, were released
after a period of "political sessions". But
sources tell AsiaNews that every week
dozens of unofficial priests of the communities are taken and forced to attend
lectures on the government's religious policy and only released after week.
Sunday, Mgr. Peter
Shao Zhumin, coadjutor bishop of Wenzhou (Zhejiang) and Msgr. Peter Jin Lugang Nanyang (Henan) were
able to return to their homes. The two were held, respectively, for four weeks
and four days.
Shao was arrested in March (see: 07/04/2012 Police
pressure on underground community. Easter in the Church of Silence). His
arrest was due mainly to gain information from him on the ordination of an
underground bishop in Tianshui, in a clear "disobedience" to the
politics of self-elections and self-ordinations wanted by the government (see:
police arrest dozens of underground priests and lay faithful).
bishop was also subjected to political sessions to subscribe to the Patriotic
Association (PA), which promotes a national church independent from the Holy
prelate was also brought on a "vacation-visit" to the diocese of
led by bishop Lei Shiyin, ordained on July 14 without the permission of the
pope and excommunicated. Bishop
Lei showed the buildings under construction in his diocese, and government
representatives "recommended" cooperation with the government. Local sources quoted by
UCAN said that Bishop Shao he was in favour of collaboration, provided that it
is not against "the one, holy, catholic and apostolic".
Jin Lugang was arrested on April 4, Holy Thursday and freed on Easter. His
detention prevented him from celebrating
any of the Holy Triduum or Easter liturgies. The
police and government officials took him "on holiday" and also
"advised" him to join the PA.
sources confirm that this style of detention, political sessions,
"advice" to join the Patriotic Association and release after a few
weeks has become very common this year. "Dozens
of priests are taken every week - sources say - and are released only after
several days." In
many areas, including Hebei,
all underground communities are afraid of arrest and fear has stopped the
activities of the faithful. "Even
the controls are more avid: home visits, telephone, internet .. they don't miss
to some, the increase in arrests and controls is due to the attempt to provide
security before the Communist Party Congress, to be held next October, during
which the leadership of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao will change hands. For
others there is a clear pattern of wanting to hasten the demise of the
underground community by absorbing them into the official church.
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