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Chinese government refuses episcopal honors for deceased 'underground' bishop

May 30, 2012

The late Bishop Francis Li Yi of Shanxi cannot be buried with episcopal honors, Chinese officials have told local Catholics.

A leader of the “underground” Catholic Church, Bishop Li Yi died on May 24 at the age of 89. He had been ordained as a bishop in 1998, with the approval of the Vatican, but never recognized by the government.

Bishop Andrew Jin Daoyuan, who is recognized (but not by the Holy See) as head of the “official” Catholic Church in Shanxi, is not expected to preside at the funeral, because his presence could be interpreted as an acknowledgment of the Bishop Li Yi’s status in the Catholic community. Bishop Jin Daoyuan was ordained in 2000 without the approval of the Vatican.


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