23 January 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 11/16/2015, 00.00


    Underground priest dies in suspicious circumstances in Shanxi

    Fr Pedro Wei Heping was found dead in a river. For police it was suicide, but those who knew him say that such an action would be out of character. Ordained in 2004, he drew many young people and founded an underground seminary, with highly qualified teachers.

    Taiyuan (AsiaNews/CKF) – Father Pedro Wei Heping (pictured), a young underground Catholic priest, died on 6 November under suspicious circumstances. The clergyman’s body was found floating in a river in the City of Taiyuan, Shanxi Province.

    The Cardinal Kung Foundation reported the news two days ago, saying that the authorities claimed that it was a case of suicide. However, friends and people who knew the priest exclude categorically that Fr Wei could even think about suicide.

    In view of the situation, the Foundation has called on the “Chinese government to thoroughly investigate the cause of death of Father Wei and publish the findings quickly and truthfully.”

    Born on Christmas Eve, 1974 in a Catholic family in Shanxi Province, Father Wei entered seminary in 1993.  He was sent to Europe for advanced studies and graduated with a Master’s degree in Canon Law. After returning home, he was clandestinely ordained on 24 August 2004 by an underground bishop. 

    Fluent in a couple of European languages, Fr Wei was a talented organiser. He drew many young people to the underground Church and ran many programmes to boost vocations.

    Since his return to China in 2007, he devoted himself totally in pastoral work, particularly in extremely poor and desolated areas. He also organised many retreats and seminars at underground convents and seminaries. 

    His zeal in vocation led him to establish an underground seminary, where priests with advanced overseas qualifications taught.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    08/11/2016 16:11:00 CHINA
    Fr Yu Heping, a year after his death, “his love and sacrifice are still alive in the Church in China"

    His body was found in a river near Taiyuan (Shanxi). The cause of his death was unclear, even though an autopsy was performed on his body. An undergroud priest remembers Fr Yu's commitment to the poor, the underprivileged, seminars for priests, seminarians and nuns. He organised pilgrimages as spiritual journeys for young people.

    02/02/2016 09:43:00 CHINA
    Family of "suicidal" priest demands new investigation

    The family of Fr. Pedro Yu Heping, also known as Wei Heping, were able to see the autopsy report only once: the text speaks of a cerebral hemorrhage, but adds that there are no visible injuries on the body. After the protests of family members, the police replied that "the case is closed." Card. Zen: "In China there is not only suicide, but also 'being suicidal'. The death of this priest, like the Gospel grain of wheat will bear fruit in abundance".


    08/09/2010 VATICAN - CHINA
    Cardinal Zen: Catholic Church in China, dialogue or confrontation with the government
    Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong comes out against the temptation towards total subservience to the religious policy of the Chinese government, marginalizing the experience of the suffering and underground Church. Risks of the papal letter to Chinese Catholics being manipulated.

    11/11/2017 12:40:00 HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
    Mass for a deceased underground priest. Card. Zen asks for God ‘s grace to save the Church in China and the Holy See from the 'precipice'

    Fr. Wei Heping, 41, died in mysterious circumstances, his body dumped in a river in Taiyuan (Shanxi). For the police claim he committed suicide. Family members are not allowed to even see the autopsy report. For Card. Zen the Holy See (which "is not necessarily the Pope") seeks a compromise at all costs with the Chinese government, risking "to sell out the faithful Church". Justice and Peace publish a booklet about Fr. Wei, not to forget.

    26/11/2008 CHINA - HONG KONG
    Cardinal Zen remembers Bishop Jin Peixian of Shenyang, urges Chinese Church to unity
    With a text published in the diocesan weekly Sunday Examiner, the bishop of Hong Kong remembers the bishop of Shenyang (Liaoning), Jin Peixian, who died on November 4.

    Editor's choices

    The Vatican asks legitimate bishops to step aside in favour of illegitimate ones

    John Baptist Lin

    Last December, Mgr Peter Zhuang Jianjian of Shantou (Guangdong) was forced to go to Beijing where "a foreign prelate" from the Vatican asked him to leave his see to illicit bishop Joseph Huang Bingzhang. He had received the same request last October. Mgr Joseph Guo Xijin, ordinary bishop of Mindong, is expected to become the auxiliary or coadjutor of illicit Bishop Vincent Zhan Silu. Sinicizing the Chinese Church means supporting the principle of independence and follow the leadership of the Communist Party.

    Pope in Peru: Young people, the heart can’t be “photoshopped”, because that’s where real love is found

    At the Angelus in the Plaza de Armas, Pope Francis calls on young people to follow Jesus with all of themselves, without discouragement, in the example of St. Martin of Porres, the half-caste saint. Silent prayer for peace in the Republic of the Congo. To the bishops, the example of St. Turibius of Mogrovejo, an indefatigable evangelizer: "Today we would call him a 'street bishop'". To the contemplative religious the invitation to pray for the unity of the Peruvian Church.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®