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Under house arrest, Chinese bishop uses social media to encourage pilgrimage

May 24, 2013

Imprisoned Bishop Ma Daqin of Shanghai used social media to lead the faithful in prayer on May 24 as Chinese Catholics observed the feast of Our Lady of Sheshan on May 24.

Bishop Ma, who is living under house arrest at an undisclosed location in Shanghai, is recognized by the Vatican as the rightful Bishop of Shanghai. He has been denounced by the Beijing government since, at his episcopal ordination, he announced his resignation from the government-backed Patriotic Association. But he has continued to post items on social-media outlets, encouraging the Catholic faithful to prayer, especially for the unity of the Church.

Pope Benedict XVI established May 24 as special day of prayer for the Church in China. The date coincides with an annual pilgrimage to the Marian shrine of Sheshan, near Shanghai.

As he concluded the daily Mass that he celebrated in the Domus Sanctae Marthae on Friday morning, Pope Francis asked the congregation to pray for the Church in China. The papal Mass—concelebrated by Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, the Chinese-born secretary of the Congregation for Evangelization—concluded with a Chinese Marian hymn.


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  • Posted by: Defender - May. 25, 2013 1:53 AM ET USA

    This is communism, if you won't do things their way, this is but one thing that might happen. There have been many Chinese martyrs of the Faith and there have been many detained without charge, sent to labor and reeducation camps. Cardinals Mindszenty of Hungary and Cardinal Kung of China were but two who were also kicked out of their archdioceses by their communist governments - it still happens.