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Chinese Catholics shocked after imprisoned bishop recants

June 17, 2016

Chinese Catholics of the "underground" Church are reacting with incredulity to a statement by Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daquin praising the government-controlled Patriotic Association.

Bishop Ma-- who has been living under house arrest for four years, after his public announcement that he was breaking ties with the Patriotic Association-- posted a statement on his blog this week saying that he "made errors of words and deeds against the Patriotic Association." Bishop Ma affirmed the role of the Patriotic Association-- a role that is rejected by the Vatican-- and said that he hoped to "use concrete actions" to atone for his past criticism of the group.

Vatican officials have expressed doubts that Bishop Ma actually wrote the blog post. Catholics in the Shanghai diocese, keenly aware of the price that the bishop has paid for his stand, question whether he was forced to write. Others speculate that the Vatican encouraged him to soften his opposition to the Patriotic Association-- a charge that Vatican officials strongly deny.

 
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  • Posted by: feedback - Jun. 18, 2016 6:55 AM ET USA

    A good shepherd does not "soften his opposition" to the wolf but rather gives his life for the sheep (John 10:11-12). Let us keep in our prayers the persecuted Church.

  • Posted by: jjen009 - Jun. 17, 2016 7:03 PM ET USA

    FWIW his name in Roman letters should be Ma Daqin, not Daquin. The letter 'q' represents a sound somewhat (though not quite exactly :-)) like English ch- in 'chin.'