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Vatican denies Chinese 'underground' bishop was urged to join Patriotic Association

November 03, 2009

Officials of the Vatican Congregation for Evangelization have denied reports that they encouraged a bishop of the Chinese "underground" Church to join the government-backed Patriotic Association. Bishop An Shuxin, who had spent 10 years in prison because of his refusal to accept government control of the Church, recently accepted membership in the Patriotic Association, as a condition of his recognition by the government.

Loyal Chinese Catholics had said that the bishop, an auxiliary of the Baoding diocese, is one of many "underground" Catholics who feel pressure from the Vatican to find an accommodation with the government-recognized "official" Catholic Church, as the Holy See works toward regularization of ties with the Beijing regime. Catholics who resist that pressure feel increasingly isolated in China, the AsiaNews service reports.

 


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