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5,000 attend funeral of 'underground' Chinese bishop; auxiliary, under house arrest, not in attendance

Catholic World News - March 24, 2014

An estimated 5,000 Chinese Catholics gathered in Shanghai for the funeral of Bishop Joseph Fan Zhonliang, the leader of the “underground” Church, the AsiaNews service report.

Although Bishop Fan was not recognized by the Chinese government, local officials allowed a public funeral for the prelate, and the presiding celebrant—Father Zhu Yude, a priest of the “underground” Church—referred to the deceased of “Bishop” Fan, ignoring the government’s prohibition on the use of that title.

Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, the auxiliary bishop of Shanghai, was not present at the funeral. Bishop Ma has been under house arrest since his ordination, when he publicly renounced his membership in the government-backed Patriotic Association.

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