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Chinese bishop afforded state funeral

BEIJING (SE): An outspoken supporter of the Communist Party, the 98-year-old Bishop Anthony Tu Shihua, from the diocese of Puqi in Hebei province, who died on January 4, was afforded the honour of a state funeral at Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing on January 10.

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Xi who must be obeyed

BANGKOK (SE): “From Trump to an ailing economy, the Chinese president will need to navigate through many unknowns,” a commentator on China and Church affairs in the country, Michael Sainsbury, says in an article posted on the UCAN website on December 21.

Sainsbury says that at least on the surface, 2016 was a good year for the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, if looked at from his point of view.

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One of first illicitly ordained bishops dies

BEIJING (AsiaNews): One of the first of eight priests to be ordained a bishop illicitly under the self-elect, self-determination principle of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association in the late 1950s, Bishop Anthony Tu Shihua, died on the morning of January 4 in Beijing at the age of 98.

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Catholic congress ends with a bit of official pomp and cute diplomacy

HONG KONG (UCAN): The Ninth National Congress of Catholic Representatives was doused with a bit of official pomp when Yu Zhengsheng, the chairperson of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and a high ranking leader in the Communist Party, met with delegates in the plush surrounds of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing at its conclusion on December 29.

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Catholic Congress kicks off

BEIJING (UCAN): The Ninth National Congress of Catholic Representatives opened in Beijing on December 27 with the chairperson of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, Bishop Johan Fang Xinguao, saying that the Patriotic Association and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China have united people under the banner of love for country and Church, as well as promoted the Sinicisation of theology.

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Journalists behind bars on mainland

HONG KONG (SE): At least 38 journalists are currently behind bars in China amid an ongoing crackdown on the media during 2016, a report from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists claims.

The list includes citizen journalists and bloggers. While the figure is down from the 45 of last year, the committee notes that the slight decrease does not mean that press freedom in China is improving.

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Public airing of China’s view

ROME (AsiaNews): Coming from 31 provinces and autonomous regions of China, 365 representatives attended the Ninth Congress of Catholic Representatives at the Tian Tai Beijing Hotel from December 27 to 29.

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Ordeal of Mass at Christmas

HONG KONG (UCAN): For both the official and unofficial Church communities in China, Christmas Eve Masses proved to be an ordeal.

In Beijing, it often meant competing for admission and queuing for mandatory security checks for hours at the four downtown churches, popularly known as the North, South, East and West Churches.

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Police release detained self-styled bishop

HONG KONG (UCAN): The authorities in China appear to be worried about the appearance of a maverick bishop in Zhending and have gone to some lengths in order to stop him from becoming too popular or spreading his influence too far.

The self-styled bishop from an unofficial community in Hebei province, 58-year-old Father Paul Dong Guanhwa, was detained by the authorities in early December.

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Mild response from Beijing

VATICAN (AsiaNews): Beijing has responded to a statement from the Vatican on the presence of an illicitly ordained bishop at two ordinations in China on November 30 and December 2, as well as the Congress of Catholic Representatives that was running for three days after Christmas, in what is being described as a surprisingly mild tone.

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