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  • » 04/10/2017, 18.29


    Underground Mindong Bishop Guo Xijin missing for four days

    Wang Zhicheng

    After being detained at the Religious Affairs Office in Fuan, he was taken to an undisclosed location "to study and learn." Catholics believe that he will be pressured into joining the Patriotic Association. His refusal will likely mean that he won’t be allowed back to his diocese.

    Mindong (AsiaNews) – Mgr Vincent Guo Xijin, underground bishop of Mindong, has been missing for four days after he went to Religious Affairs Office in Fuan on 6 April.

    Although not recognised by the government, Mgr Guo is the ordinary bishop of the diocese following the death of his predecessor, Mgr Huang Shoucheng on 30 July 2016.

    Reacting to concerns expressed by Catholics who do not know where their missing leader is, the head of Public Security in Ningde said that the bishop "needs to study and learn" and will remain in custody for 20 days for this purpose.

    This has not allayed local concerns. For one, this means that the bishop will not be able to celebrate all the rituals of Holy Week and Easter. More importantly, Public Security has not said where the bishop is "studying" so it is unlikely to anyone will be allowed to contact him.

    In the diocese, the prevailing view is that the bishop is being brainwashed to get him to join and submit to the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA).

    Membership in the diocese of Mindong is mostly underground Catholics, more than 80,000 out of 90,000, highly organised and capable, with more than 45 priests, 200 nuns, 300 consecrated lay women and hundreds of lay catechists.

    The underground bishop is well liked and in good terms with all the faithful, even those in the official Church. For the CPCA, this is humiliating since the Holy See, after the death of Mgr Huang, confirmed Mgr Guo as his successor in the post of ordinary bishop.

    According to some local priests, the CPCA is seeking confrontation with the underground community. Two years ago, police in Fuan demolished an unofficial church under construction, but in view of the underground community’s size, it always left them alone without causing too many problems.

    "It is impossible for the bishop to join the CPCA. He will never do it," one priest said. However, this will likely mean that he will not come back to head the diocese. For this reason, Catholics in Mindong are asking Christians to pray for Mgr Guo.

    Mgr Vincent Guo Xijin, 59, was ordained coadjutor bishop of Mindong on 28 December 2008.

    He became a priest in 1984. He taught in seminaries and served as the diocese’s economic administrator. However, his most important work was to sustain and encourage men and women in their respective religious vocations. He equally encouraged his young seminarians to study in public universities and colleges.

    As unofficial priest, he spent time in prison in 1990-92, 1993-'94, and 1996. In the late 1990s, he was briefly appointed as apostolic administrator of the diocese of Wenzhou.

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    See also

    02/08/2016 10:51:00 CHINA - VATICAN
    At least 20 thousand faithful at the funeral of Msgr. Huang Shoucheng, bishop of Mindong (Photos)

    A long line of faithful accompanied the bishop's ashes to the place of burial. Crowds line the roadside from the cathedral to the place of cremation. Agreements between the local authorities and the bishop's successor, Msgr. Guo Xijin.

    16/04/2017 12:10:00 CHINA - VATICAN
    A victory for the Patriotic Association: Illicit Bishop Zhan Silu concelebrates with Bishop Ma Daqin of Shanghai

    Zhan Silu was ordained in 2000. Ma Daqin, still under house arrest, but could "visit the Diocese of Mindong," where the ordinary bishop, Msgr. Guo Xijin, has disappeared in police custody. In the ceremony, Ma Daqin was called "bishop" and not "father" as before. The Patriotic Association undisputed master of the Church in China. "The Vatican is a joke".  The PA attempts to destroy dialogue between the Holy See and the government.

    13/04/2017 10:09:00 CHINA - VATICAN
    Msgr. Peter Shao Zhumin, bishop of Wenzhou (underground) seized by police

    Public security will not reveal where he was taken, but allow the faithful to deliver some clothes for their pastor. The bishop will celebrate Easter with his faithful. Pressures on the prelate to adhere to the Patriotic Association. A similar fate to that of Msgr. Guo Xijin. It is also pressure on the Holy See.

    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.”

    01/08/2016 15:48:00 CHINA - VATICAN
    Funeral of Msgr. Huang Shoucheng tomorrow. Agreement with the local government on the ceremony and cremation

    Funeral will be held tomorrow at 6.30 am. Checkpoints set up to curb the flow of the faithful. Only 3 thousand people allowed into the cathedral. Ban on miter and pastoral buried with corpse. But faithful succeed in gaining permission for episcopal ring, pectoral cross, skull cap and floral arrangements, as well as small procession to the cremation. The tomb, ruined by bad weather of recent days, restored by the government, who wants to stop the prelates ashes from being buried in the cathedral for the homage of the faithful. The successor of Msgr. Huang is Msgr. Vincenzo Guo Xijin. He, like his predecessor, has spent several years in prison.

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