02/13/2023, 12.10
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Bishop Cui Tai: 16 years of arrests and releases, faithful call for an end to illegal detention

by Sheng Xiong

Detained without grounds, there has been no news of him since spring 2021. The faithful of Xuanhua diocese miss their pastor. Government criticised for using coercive and inhuman means against sick clergymen. The authorities blindly adopt political and coercive pressure.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Since 2007, for almost 16 years, Bishop Augustine Cui Tai of the diocese of Xuanhua (Hebei) has been illegally detained by the authorities without any grounds or legal procedure.

In recent years, the authorities granted the bishop short visits to his elderly relatives every Spring Festival (Lunar New Year) or Mid-Autumn. Since the cleric was taken away in spring 2021, however, he has not returned home, and the faithful have no way of knowing anything about his welfare or whereabouts.

Bishop Cui, 71, is recognised by the Holy See, but not by the Chinese government.

In early 2013, after consultation and careful verification by the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI approved and appointed Msgr Cui as auxiliary bishop of the Xuanhua diocese. The following April he was ordained coadjutor bishop, but then Bishop Thomas (Cathedral) Zhao Kexun, the ordinary bishop, entrusted him with full authority to run the diocese.

In 2018, Bishop Zhao passed away in his hiding place at the age of 94 due to old age and physical decline. According to canon law, Bishop Cui automatically became ordinary bishop of the diocese.

AsiaNews sources note that this year coincides with the 10th anniversary of Msgr Cui's ordination. The faithful of the diocese miss the pastor who is in prison and, although they cannot hear from the bishop, they sincerely pray every day for his salvation, hoping that he will return among them as soon as possible.

Other sources criticise the brutality of the government authorities, who use coercive and inhuman means to treat the sick religious, just as relations between China and the Vatican are apparently improving.

The authorities are blindly adopting political and coercive pressure, with no attitude of dialogue as equals and no sincere intention of solving the problems. AsiaNews sources hope that more people will pay attention to and understand the current situation of the Chinese Church and call on the authorities to end the illegal detention of Bishop Cui and unconditionally release the prisoner as soon as possible.

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See also
Bishop Augustine Cui Tai of Xuanhua is again sequestered by police
23/06/2020 13:29
Xuanhua underground bishop Msgr. Cui Tai arrested
29/03/2019 09:32
Underground bishop Msgr. Cuitai freed. He will be re-arrested after the Chinese New Year
20/01/2020 12:34
Priest suspended in Xuanhua after switching to official Church and getting the authorities to arrest his (underground) bishop
09/03/2019 13:49
Chinese Priest: Nothing changed for the Church in China after the agreement
19/11/2018 10:30


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