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Vatican: ‘grave concern’ over detained Chinese bishop

June 26, 2017

The Holy See has expressed “grave concern” over the plight of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou. The prelate, whose ministry is recognized by the Holy See but not by the Chinese government, has been detained by Communist officials, and his whereabouts are unknown.

“The Holy See is observing with grave concern the personal situation of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, forcibly removed from his episcopal see some time ago,” Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, said in a statement.

“The Holy See, profoundly saddened for this and other similar episodes that unfortunately do not facilitate ways of understanding, expresses the hope that Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin may return as soon as possible to the diocese and that he can be assured the possibility of serenely exercising his episcopal ministry,” Burke continued. “We are all invited to pray for Bishop Shao Zhumin and for the path of the Catholic Church in China.”

Bishop Shao was taken into custody by government officials on May 18. He was reportedly seen in the Wenzhou airport on June 16, still accompanied by government agents. But he has not otherwise been seen in public, nor do the Catholics of the Wenzhou diocese know where he is being held. It is generally assumed that he is being put under heavy pressure to join the Catholic Patriotic Association.

 
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  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Jun. 27, 2017 8:09 AM ET USA

    Perhaps now with the detention of Bishop Zhumin, the Vatican will acknowledge that Cardinal Zen's warning about the Beijing regime, and the impossibility of negotiating a modus vivendi with it by the Church, will persuade the Holy See to call off any further dialogue with the 'Communists' and wait for the inevitable collapse of this government. This period of persecution and martyrdom will pass, as it always does, and the Church will be born again in China.