Catholic World News

Chinese authorities refuse to release body of deceased 'underground' bishop

February 09, 2015

Chinese government officials have not returned the body of the late Bishop Cosma Shi Enxiang to his family, probably because of fears about the reaction among the Catholic faithful, the AsiaNews service reports.

On January 30 a government official revealed that Bishop Shi—who had been held incommunicado for almost 14 years—had died at the age of 94. But when his relatives pressed for release of his remains, other officials claimed that they knew nothing of his death.

Bishop Shi had been arrested on April 13, 2001. Since that time the government had not released any information about his condition or his whereabouts. No charges against him were ever revealed.

AsiaNews, in a report on the case, notes that in the past, when a deceased bishop’s body has been released to his relatives, there have been indications of torture or starvation.

Bishop Shi Enxiang, a leader of the “underground” Church loyal to the Holy See, spent 52 years of his life in prisons and labor camps because of his resistance of government control over the Chinese Catholic Church.


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