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Chinese allow funeral Mass as ‘underground’ Church mourns Bishop Fan

Catholic World News - March 18, 2014

Chinese authorities have allowed Catholic priests to celebrate Mass for Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang of Shanghai, who died on March 16.

After originally refusing to allow the use of Shanghai’s cathedral for the funeral of Bishop Fan—who was never recognized by the Chinese government—officials have allowed a Mass said for the deceased prelate in the cathedral, as well as Masses in the funeral home where hundreds of people had prayed over his remains.

From Rome, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, the secretary of the Congregation for Evangelization, saluted Bishop Fan as “a good pastor in every sense, who sacrificed everything for his sheep. In his praise for the deceased prelate, distributed through the AsiaNews service, Archbishop Hon remarked that years under house arrest had failed to break the Chinese bishop’s spirit. “Bishop Fan’s external freedom was always restricted,” he said, “but not his interior freedom.”

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