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Chinese prelate dead at 99

Catholic World News - April 10, 2013

Bishop Thomas Qian Yurong of Xuzhou, a city of 8.6 million in eastern China, has died at the age of 99.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1945, Bishop Qian received episcopal ordination without a papal mandate in 1959, incurring automatic excommunication. Despite his approval by China’s Communist government, he was sentenced to “reeducation through labor” during the Cultural Revolution and worked for 20 years in a chemical plant. He retired from his episcopal ministry in 2011.

In 2006, Bishop Qian was present at the illicit episcopal ordination of Father John Wang Renlei, his eventual successor. According to the Asian Catholic news agency UCA News, Bishop Qian reconciled with the Holy See and received papal recognition for his episcopal ministry in 2007, as did his successor in 2012.

The Diocese of Xuzhou has seven churches, 12 priests, and 25,000 Catholics.

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