19 December, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 05/15/2006
china - vatican
Zhan Silu, a bishop against everything and against everyone

In an interview with AsiaNews, the patriotic bishop who took possession of the Mindong diocese explains the reasons for his choice, made "to unite" the diocese.  For those who have known him, he is "ambitious" and "very close to the Party."



Rome (AsiaNews) – Zhan Silu, new patriotic bishop of Mindong, tells AsiaNews that his ideal is to "offer his life to unite the Church of Mindong."  For this reason, he decided to install himself as bishop of the diocese, even though he is unpopular with most Catholics of the diocese and despite having become bishop in an illicit ceremony, that of January 6, 2000, which did not have Vatican permission and which entails latae sententiae excommunication.  There was no other bishop at yesterday's ceremony and Monsignor Zhan put on his own mitre.

Since 2000, the year he became bishop, his life has been spent in the most absolute isolation.  The Patriotic Association, which had pushed him to be ordained, offered him a very beautiful and spacious office, furnished with antiques, in a government building.  But no Catholic has ever gone to see him.  Perhaps, tired of waiting, he decided to take matters into his own hands and installed himself as bishop of Mindong.  "I knew there was opposition against me in the diocese and so I preferred to wait: I wanted to convince everyone, official and underground Catholics, to collaborate with me."

The Mindong Diocese consists almost entirely of believers who belong to the underground Church: out of 80,000 Catholics, more than 70,000, well organized and with a lot of vitality, are underground and can count on over 45 priests, 96 nuns and 400 lay catechists.  There are about 10 official priests for a few official parishes.  The possession-taking of the diocese goes to interrupt a process of reconciliation in the diocese.  Last year, Monsignor Zhang Shizhi, official patriotic bishop (not recognized by the Vatican) and Monsignor Xie Shiguan, underground bishop, died within a few days of each other.  The latter was so esteemed by everyone that priests and faithful of both branches of the Church took part in his funeral.

Monsigner Xie had a coadjutor bishop, Monsignor Huang Shoucheng who, in the Vatican's opinion, should have taken over responsibility for the diocese, uniting it even more.  Monsignor Huang too is well-liked by the official Church.

Monsignor Zhan tells AsiaNews that Monsignor Xie had actually chosen him, Zhan, to succeed him.  Then, however, there were the illicit ordinations of 2000 and he was rejected.  Unconcerned about the consequences of his choice ("I am by no means dividing the Church."), Monsignor Zhan says that, in any case, to save the diocese's unity, he "informed various priests of the underground Church", before installing himself.

Monsignor Zhan seems not at all worried about the lack of Vatican approval: "I hope that sooner or later," he says, "the Vatican will approve of me and bless my efforts to unite the diocese."

Monsignor Zhan studied at the Holy Spirit Study Centre of Hong Kong from 1995 to 1997.  According to those who have known him, he had intentions even then of becoming bishop.  Various priests from Hong Kong describe him as "ambitious" and "very close to the Communist Party" and have always dissuaded him from trying to become bishop.

In the end, yesterday, the time came from his installation.  Monsignor Zhan says he did not receive "pressure from the government", but just informed the P.A. that he would hold the ceremony for taking possession of the diocese.  Why May 14th?  "Because it is the feast of the Apostle Matthias, the last to join the college of apostles.  Like him, I too waited some years before entering into the episcopate."  The only difference is that Matthias was chosen by the apostles: yesterday, Monsignor Zhan put the bishop's mitre on his own head.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/15/2006 china - vatican
Monsignor Zhan Silu installs himself as bishop and condemns himself to isolation
05/08/2006 CHINA - VATICAN
Undergound bishops in China ask for prayers for official priests facing pressure and threats
05/02/2006 CHINA - VATICAN
"A slap in the face against the Vatican": new episcopal ordination without pope's approval
05/03/2006 CHINA - VATICAN
New bishop ordained in Anhui without Pope's permission
01/18/2007 VATICAN - CHINA
Meeting at Vatican on the Church in China
by Bernardo Cervellera

Editor's choices
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch calls for fasting on Christmas Eve for refugees' return to Mosul
by Joseph MahmoudMar Louis Sako calls on the faithful not to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a "worldly" fashion, with pomp and abundance, out of solidarity with the people who fled the Nineveh plains, persecuted by the Islamic Army. AsiaNews is joining the fast proposed by the Patriarch and calls on all readers to give what they would have otherwise spent in support of the campaign 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul'.
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.