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Call to free Tiananmen survivors from Washington

BEIJING (Agencies):  A spokesperson for the United States of America State Department, Mark Toner, called on Beijing to “release all those still serving sentences for their participation in the demonstrations; to provide a full public accounting of those killed, detained or missing; and to end the continued harassment of demonstration participants and their families.”

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VatiLeaks spill the beans on China

HONG KONG (UCAN): What began as a leaky tub in the Vatican security several months ago has turned into a running sieve with the publication of a book in Italy by journalist, Gianluigi Nuzzi, detailing, among other things, confidential memos sent from the Vatican Study Centre in Hong Kong containing particulars about payments made by government authorities in China to bishops, priests and sisters.

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Ordinations mark a new spring

SHAOGUAN (Agencies): “Spring has arrived for the Church in Shaoguan,” a priest from Guangzhou diocese said at the May 24 World Day of Prayer for China celebration, which was marked by the first ordinations in the parish since 1949.

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Shanghai votes on a new bishop

SHANGHAI (UCAN): Father Thaddeus Ma Daqin came in as the preferred candidate in an election held in Shanghai, China, on May 30 for a new bishop of the diocese to take the place of the auxiliary, Bishop Xing Wenzhi, who faded from the scene in December last year.

Out of a possible total of 205 only 190 people were present to cast a vote—86 diocesan priests, 55 sisters and 64 lay people.

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Government bans protocol for bishop at his funeral

CHANGZHI (UCAN): Government officials in Changzhi barred a Church community from honouring Bishop Francis Li Yi with the usual protocol at his funeral in northern Shanxi province on May 31.

The Franciscan bishop died after suffering a stroke at the age of 89 on May 24. He had been ill since March.

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Government bans protocol for bishop at his funeral

CHANGZHI (UCAN): Government officials in Changzhi barred a Church community from honouring Bishop Francis Li Yi with the usual protocol at his funeral in northern Shanxi province on May 31.

The Franciscan bishop died after suffering a stroke at the age of 89 on May 24. He had been ill since March.

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First priestly ordination for Hainan in 60 years

Haikou (UCAN): For the first time in 60 years, a new priest was ordained for Hainan island, southern China, on May 17 and the newly finished Sacred Heart of Jesus Church was consecrated in the capital city, Haikou. 

At a ceremony attended by around 600 people, Reverend Zhang Wenmin was ordained a priest by Bishop Joseph Gan Junqiu of Guangzhou, Guangdong province, who was joined by two other bishops from Guangdong province. 

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Church in Inner Mongolia under pressure

Hohhot (UCAN): Sources in Suiyuan diocese, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, said that the unofficial Church has faced a series of suppressive acts by authorities aimed at forcing clergy to join the government-sanctioned Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA).

They said that, in order to avoid arrest, priests remain in hiding and cannot carry out normal pastoral work because they refuse to support the independent Church principle.

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Despite constraints World Day of Prayer celebrated in Sheshan

Sheshan (UCAN/AsiaNews)Despite drizzling weather, about 5,000 people gathered on May 24, the feast of Mary Help of Christians, at the pilgrimage site of Our Lady of Sheshan, on the outskirts of Shanghai, to observe the annual World Day of Prayer for the Church in China.

Father Thaddeus Ma Daqin, vicar general of Shanghai, led 30 priests from different dioceses, seminarians of the Sheshan regional seminary, women religious and faithful in a Marian procession to mark the occasion.

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Month long crackdown on Marian shrine

Donglu (AsiaNews): A Catholic source who visited Donglu village, Qingyuan county, Hebei province, in May, said that the government had deployed officials to guard the points of entry into the village round-the-clock from the beginning of the month, with the presence of tents suggesting around-the-clock watch.

Donglu is the site of a Marian apparition—which came to be known as Our Lady of China—in 1900. It was consecrated a shrine by Pope Pius XI in 1932. 

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