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  • » 12/10/2012, 00.00

    VATICAN - CHINA

    Under arrest, Mgr Ma Daqin is stripped of his title as Shanghai bishop

    Wang Zhicheng

    Mgr Thaddeus Daqin quit the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association the day of his ordination as a token of obedience to the pope. He also refused to share communion with an excommunicated bishop. The government-sanctioned Bishops' Conference, which stripped him of his title, is not recognised by the Holy See. Xi Jinping's leadership elicits hopes and brings disappointments.

    Shanghai (AsiaNews) - For the past several months, the courageous auxiliary bishop of Shanghai, Mgr Thaddeus Ma Daqin, has been under house arrest. Ordained last 7 July, he might lose his Episcopal post after government-sanctioned Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church of China (BCCCC) revoked his appointment, UCANews reported. Sources told AsiaNews the rumours circulating on the subject of Mgr Ma are true, but no official decision has yet to be made public.

    The brutal action against the auxiliary bishop did not come as a surprise. On the day of his Episcopal ordination, Mgr Ma challenged the government's 60-year Church policy by resigning from the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), which controls the Church, and by refusing to share the chalice with a bishop excommunicated by the Holy See.

    Worshippers present at the ceremony gave the new prelate a long standing ovation. For many, he came to embody the courage exhibited by many Chinese priests and bishops. However, the authorities are truly terrified by the possibility that many more might reject the CPCA, and thus undermining party control.

    Right after his ordination, the new bishop was placed under house arrest at the diocesan seminary, near Our Lady of Sheshan shrine. Since then, he has been denied the right to wear the zucchetto, ring, pectoral cross and all other tokens of his Episcopal office. Recently, he has also been denied the right to co-celebrate Mass with other priests. Seminarians and nuns who helped the bishop in his act of defiance were also punished.

    Founded in 1958 on the orders of Mao Zedong, the CPCA wants to set up a Catholic Church that is independent of the Holy See, one that would see bishops named and elected independently of the pope. In his Letter to Chinese Catholics, Benedict XVI wrote that such a proposition is "incompatible with Catholic doctrine."

    The Holy See does not recognise the BCCCC, which appears to have removed Mgr Ma from office, because it includes only bishops recognised by China's Communist authorities, some of whom have been excommunicated. No underground bishop is a member.

    The action against Mgr Ma comes a few weeks after the Chinese Communist Party held its congress, and chose a new leadership, that of the fifth generation, under Xi Jinping, the new party general secretary, who will in a few months time also become China's president.

    Many analysts have praised the new leader as a sober reformer who could improve the situation of religious freedom in China. However, the latest events indicate the opposite.

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    See also

    17/06/2016 15:10:00 CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.



    26/06/2017 14:11:00 VATICAN – CHINA
    Holy See has expressed “grave concern” over the fate of Mgr Shao Zhumin, held by police for more than a month

    The bishop of Wenzhou (Zhejiang), who belongs to the underground community, is said to be undergoing brainwashing to join the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. Since China and the Holy See resumed talks three years ago, this is the first time that the Holy See Press Office speaks about a detained bishop. The faithful have felt too much pain over the Vatican’s extended silence. Germany’s ambassador in Beijing, Michael Clauss, has talked about the case. The Vatican’s press office calls on the faithful to pray for Bishop Shao Zhumin and “the path of the Catholic Church in China.”



    15/02/2017 14:06:00 CHINA – VATICAN
    Chinese priests: changing the essence of the Patriotic Association is a vain hope

    Card John Tong’s article on the future of Sino-Vatican dialogue continues to make waves. For one underground priest, the article encourages them to join the Patriotic Association. For an official priest, the Chinese government retains the authority to appoint bishops. Both clergymen believe that there is no difference between "full freedom" and "necessary freedom". The bishop of Shanghai stands as a bitter example.



    04/05/2006 CHINA – VATICAN
    A sigh of relief among Chinese Catholics after Vatican issues statement on illegitimate ordinations
    Issue had to be clear. Bishops and priests from the 'official' Church refused to take part in the ordinations imposed by the Patriotic Association. Some clergymen are calling for the appointment of apostolic administrators in dioceses like Beijing' now under illegitimate bishops.

    19/05/2009 VATICAN – CHINA
    Prayer in Naples for the Church in China as Chinese Catholics face difficulties in Sheshan
    The day of prayer dedicated by Benedict XVI is in its second year. At least 400 Chinese Catholics in Italy are expected to take part in a Mass presided by Naples archbishop, Cardinal Sepe. Again this year Chinese authorities are trying to contain participation by Catholics, official or underground, to the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Sheshan.



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