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Chinese bishop's death provokes another challenge for 'official' Church

November 19, 2010

The death of Bishop Paul Taoran Jiang raises delicate new questions for the ‘official’ Catholic Church in China, since the deceased bishop was under the guidance of an ‘underground’ bishop, who is now under house arrest.

Bishop Jiang was ordained illicitly in 1989, without a mandate from the Vatican. But in 2008 he was granted recognition by the Holy See. At that time, since we was now officially retired from his role as leader of the ‘official’ diocese in Shijiazhuang, he was asked by the Vatican to take directions from Bishop Jia Zhiguo of Zhending. But Bishop Jia, who is now under house arrest, will probably not be allowed to preside at the funeral for his colleague. The case illustrates the tensions that arise frequently within the Chinese Catholic Church, where many bishops advanced by the government have sought communion with the Holy See.


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