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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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People troop to Sheshan shrine

SHANGHAI (SE): More than 8,000 people attended the opening of the Marian month of May at the Our Lady of Sheshan Shrine on the outskirts of Shanghai on May 1.

The shrine was earmarked by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 as the focal point for World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, which is celebrated each year on May 24.

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New crackdown on house Churches

BEIJING (AsiaNews): The China Aid Association claims that Beijing has already launched an all-out campaign against house Churches, their ministers and members, and that their eradication is planned to be completed within a 10-year period.

The association says it bases its claim on Communist Party sources and documents.

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Vatican communiqué on China gets good reception

HONG KONG (UCAN): The April 26 communiqué from the Vatican Commission for the Catholic Church in China was described by Sister Beatrice Leung Kit-fun as being encouraging, but still leaving some practical problems that need to be addressed.

The Macau-based professor of politics said that the Vatican has taken a consolidation approach towards the Church in China, by focussing on better formation for lay people.

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May Day celebrates work and Our Lady

SHIJIAZHUANG (SE): The celebration of May Day in the Catholic community in mainland China was characterised with an expression of a strong Marian devotion and recognition of the dignity of work.

Fides reported that in many parishes the sacrament of confirmation was administered and some dioceses marked the day with the ordination of deacons and a renewal of their commitment to the witness of the faith.

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