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Chinese officials take ‘underground’ bishop into custody before Chrism Mass

April 11, 2017

Chinese officials have taken an ‘underground’ Catholic bishop into custody, just before he was due to celebrate the Chrism Mass for the first time in his diocese.

Bishop Vincent Guo Xijn on Mindon, in the Fujian province, was taken from his diocese for what the local religious-affairs bureau said was a “learning class” that would last for 20 days. The bishop had been installed in the Mindon diocese last year, following the death of Bishop Vincent Huang Shoucheng.

Chinese officials have a history of removing ‘underground’ bishops and priests from their dioceses or parishes just before major feasts or public events. The Chrism Mass, at which the priests of the diocese unite with their bishop, would have shown the strength of the underground Church in Fujian—where another bishop, backed by the government but not recognized by the Holy See—commands allegiance from fewer local Catholics.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 11, 2017 5:51 PM ET USA

    Last summer I was considering teaching in a Christian school in China for a year. After carefully reading the teaching contract, I found that I could not sign it because it required me to swear to not be involved with subversive political activities. Since the "underground" Church is classified by the Chinese government as a subversive activity, my spiritual life in China would have in short order landed me in jail or expelled from the country, and I would have violated my contractual oath.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 11, 2017 5:30 PM ET USA

    I hope the Vatican is aware of this type of suppression and doesn't hurry to reach an agreement with the Chinese Communist Government. Leopards can't remove their spots.

  • Posted by: feedback - Apr. 11, 2017 10:48 AM ET USA

    The Chinese regime isn't even trying to appear being friendly to Christianity. Please take note, Vatican officials.