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Amazing legacy of a late priest in Hebei

ANGUO (Agencies): “He was a true priest, a true religious and true man of God. His testimony was given with his own life. He was the salt and the yeast, his life was a crystal decorated with charity,” people said in describing the life of Father John Chen Huang Zhang, who died in Anguo, Hebei, on March 10 at the age of 88.

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China to quit prisoner organ donation scheme

BEIJING (AsiaNews): Although for many years, China would not acknowledge what was widely suspected, that executed bodies were robbed of organs for transplant purposes, it has now admitted that the rumours were true, by undertaking to give the practice up.

Xinhua reported on March 23 that plans to abolish the practice within five years are afoot and Huang Jiefu, the vice minister for health, said that a campaign will be undertaken to urge ordinary citizens to donate their organs voluntarily.

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Delayed ordinations 
in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (SE): Seven deacons were ordained to the priesthood in a packed St. Ignatius Cathedral in Shanghai, on March 17, by the 95-year-old Bishop Aloysius Luxian.

The ordinations had been postponed for some months due to the illness of Bishop Jin. However, at 95-years-of-age, local people are asking if he may be the oldest bishop in the world still active in ordaining new priests.

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Slating illicit bishop for ordinations sparks uproar

DALI (UCAN): The first ordination of three priests from Dali since it was established as a diocese in 1946, sparked an uproar on March 12, when it was announced that the illicitly ordained Bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin is scheduled to be the ordaining bishop at the ceremony, which is set for March 26.

Bishop Ma, from Kunming in Yunnan, is the only government-recognised bishop in the province. He is also president of the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China.

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Legal amendments in China a positive development but big worries remain

HONG KONG (SE): A draft of an amendment to the Criminal Procedural Law making clear that confessions extracted under torture, as well as depositions obtained through violence, threats or any illegal means should be excluded as evidence from the courtroom, was submitted to the Eleventh National People’s Congress held during March in Beijing, China.

The amendment also moves to define and describe exactly what the term house surveillance means and stipulates conditions for its use.

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Welcoming Year of Faith in Shaanxi

FENGXIANG (Agencies): “With great commitment to evangelisation and new evangelisation, we welcome the Year of Faith, as outlined by Pope Benedict XVI,” 91-year-old Bishop Li Jing Feng, from Fengxiang in Shaanxi, China, told the priests and religious of his diocese during their February 7 to 10 annual meeting held at the cathedral.

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Call to end the use of psychiatric hospitals for political purposes

HONG KONG (UCAN): A statement issued by the Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch ahead of the upcoming National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, is calling on authorities to stop locking up innocent people on the pretext that they are mentally ill.

The China-based human rights group also asked the two congresses to make public apologies and pay compensation to victims for this type of abuse in the past.

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Anger over priest’s funeral in Kunming

 

KUNMING (UCAN): The funeral of Father Lawrence Zhang Wenchang in Kunming, Yunnan province, took place in his hometown on February 13. However, local Catholics are upset over three issues.

He was a member of the unofficial Church community, yet no priest from the unofficial community was present at the funeral.

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Priests released from detention

Hothot (UCAN): Four of six priests from the unofficial community in Suiyuan diocese, in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, were released after they had been detained on January 30. Earlier reports indicated that only five had been detained by the police (Sunday Examiner, February 12).

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Administrator of unofficial community dies in Kunming

KUNMING (UCAN): The 92-year-old apostolic administrator of the three ecclesiastical territories of the unofficial Church community in southwestern Yunnan, Father Lawrence Zhang Wenchang, died on February 5 in his hometown in Shilin Yi county.

Geographically, the area of his responsibility covers Kunming, Dali and Zhaotong. .

Belonging to the Sani ethnic group, Father Zhang had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer in October.

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