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The unequal funerals

HONG KONG (UCAN): A rushed and hidden burial for the bishop of Urumqi in China’s volatile Xinjiang province and an expansive public ceremony for the bishop of Taiyuan in Shanxi province tell the story of two unequal funerals carried out during August that reflect the difference in attitude of the state authorities towards the official and unofficial Church communities.
 

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China removes unofficial community bishops on the cusp of Easter

MINDONG (SE): Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin, from the unofficial Church community in Mindong, was reported on April 10 as having been missing for four days.

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Bishop Ma pops up in Mindong

HONG KONG (SE): Comments doing the rounds on Catholic social media in China over the stood down Bishop Thaddaeus Ma Daqin being invited to celebrate Mass in the cathedral in Mindong on Easter Sunday call it big news, but sad news.

They also describe it as a slap in the face from the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association for the Vatican.

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Mixing sand with rice

HONG KONG (UCAN): In recent years, whenever a government-backed bishop not approved by the Vatican appears at an episcopal ordination along with Vatican-approved bishops, Chinese Catholics mock it with the saying “mixing sand with rice.”

A priest writing under the name of Father Peter Peng, who describes himself as an observer in northern China, said that the first time he heard the phrase was from the late Father Yan Wenda in 1984.

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Exploiting a fine line

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Church in China and, it has been reported, the Vatican as well are perturbed at the appearance of Bishop Paul Lei Shiyin, who has been declared by the Holy See to have incurred self-inflicted excommunication, at two ordinations of bishops, one on November 30 and the other December 2.

Bishop Lei concelebrated at the ordination Mass of Father Joseph Tang Yuange in Chengdu and Father John Lei Jiapei in Xichang.

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New bishops in China

HONG KONG (AsiaNews): November 10 has been set as the date for the ordination of Father Peter Ding Lingbin as the new bishop of Changzhi, in Shanxi province, China. The ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul.

While the date and place have been set at relatively short notice, Father Ding received his approval for ordination from the Vatican some two years ago. 

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A disobedience of faith

HONG KONG (SE): A maverick priest from the unofficial Church community in Zhengding in Hebei, Father Paul Dong Guanhua (see page 12), claims that in engineering his own ordination as a bishop he is modelling himself on Bishop Joseph Fan Xueyan, the first bishop in China to ordain another clandestinely without a specific mandate from the Vatican (1981).

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Bishop’s death sparks succession quandary

WENZHOU (AsiaNews): The death of Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang, from Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, on the morning of September 7 at the age of 90 has sparked a looming crisis in the continued leadership of the diocese.

The coadjutor bishop set to succeed him was reported to have been kidnapped by police a few days before Bishop Zhu’s death and was not allowed to return for his funeral.

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Age not the only dilemma for China’s bishops

HONG KONG (UCAN): Who can take their place is becoming a circular dilemma for some of China’s ageing bishops.

While the general custom in the Church is for bishops to retire at 75, Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang, from Wenzhou, has found that stepping down is fraught with problems, even though he is already 90.

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