Catholic World News

Chinese bishop concelebrates with Beijing-appointed prelate

April 17, 2017

A Chinese bishop who spent months under house arrest concelebrated Easter Mass with a bishop appointed by the Beijing regime in defiance of Rome, in a show of strength for the government-backed Catholic Patriotic Association.

Bishop Ma Daqin of Shanghai concelebrated Mass with Bishop Vincenzo Zhan Silu, who is recognized by the government—but not by the Vatican—as the head of the Mindon diocese. Bishop Zhan Silu, who was consecrated in 2010 without a mandate from the Holy See, is now the vice-president of the “official” bishops’ conference recognized by Beijing. Bishop Vincent Guo Xijn, who heads the ‘underground’ Church loyal to Rome in Mindon, was taken into custody by government officials last week, to undergo a three-week “learning class.”

Bishop Ma Daqin had been placed under house arrest in 2012, immediately after his episocopal consecration, when he announced that he was resigning from the Patriotic Association. But he stunned loyal Catholics early this year by issuing a public apology for his opposition to the Patriotic Association. Government-controlled media reports mentioned his apology, but identified him only as “Father” Ma, tacitly refusing to acknowledge his episcopal rank. When he concelebrated Easter Mass with Bishop Zhan Silu, however, he was identified for the first time as “Bishop” Ma.

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