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Confirmed: Chinese officials abduct bishop

September 08, 2016

Chinese authorities have arrested a Catholic bishop and removed him from the diocese where he serves, apparently in order to prevent his installation as new leader of the diocese, the AsiaNews service has confirmed.

Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, who was coadjutor bishop of Wenzhou with the right of succession, was taken into custody shortly before Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang succumbed to cancer. AsiaNews has learned that Bishop Shao is now being held in northwest China, far away from his diocese. Local Catholics have no doubt that he was removed from the scene so that he could not preside at the funeral for Bishop Zhu and could not be installed as his successor.

Bishop Shao is unacceptable to Chinese officials because he has been recognized by the Holy See, but not by the government-controlled Patriotic Association. 

Local police are also seeking to prevent members of the "underground" Catholic Church from attending Bishop Zhu's funeral, requiring permits for those who attend the service. Only 400 permits were made available.

 
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