Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

Catholic World News News Feature

Chinese 'underground' bishop released, under house arrest September 19, 2008

Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhengding, China, has been released, nearly a month after his arrest by Chinese officials, the Cardinal Kung Foundation has announced.

Bishop Jia, who was taken into custody on August 24-- the final day of the Beijing Olympics-- returned to his home under a police escort on September 18. He remains under house arrest, his movements closely monitored, with no visitors allowed.

The 73-year-old bishop was arrested after "underground" Catholics in his Zhengding diocese defied police orders by joining Bishop Jia for Mass for the feast of the Assumption on August 15. Leaders of the "underground" Church had been warned against religious assemblies during the period of the Olympic Games.

Bishop Jia, the most visible leader of the "underground" Church in China, spent 15 years in prison, from 1963 to 1978. He has arrested 12 different times during the past 4 years. On each occasion he has been held for interrogation and then released. He has been living under house arrest since 1989.