Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic World News

Chinese officials again take 'underground' bishop into custody to prevent appearance at prelate's funeral

September 26, 2016

For the 2nd time in less than a month, Chinese officials have taken an "underground" Catholic bishop on a trip to a remote part of the country, so that he cannot preside at the funeral of a deceased Catholic prelate.

Bishop Anthony Xu Jiwel of Taizhou died on September 25, at the age of 81, after a long illness. He had spent years in prison before being ordained as a priest in 1985, then named Bishop of Taizhou in 2010. He was, however, recognized by the Chinese government as well as the Holy See.

Shortly before Bishop Xu's death, Chinese officials took Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin on a "gardening tour" of northwest China. Bishop Shao, who is the coadjutor bishop of Wenzhou, would have been expected to preside at the funeral for Bishop Xu. However, because he is not recognized by Beijing, officials evidently do not wish to allow him that prominent role.

Earlier this month Bishop Shao had been taken on another "tour" of northwest China to prevent his participation in the funeral of Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang of Wenzhou. As coadjutor, Bishop Shao has been named by the Vatican to succeed Bishop Zhu. Again, the Chinese government apparently wishes to forestall his installation.


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