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Cold Christmas ahead as funding for new church dries up

Hailun (UCAN): The people of Sacred Heart of Jesus parish in Hailun city, northeastern Heilongjiang province, may have to celebrate Christmas Mass outdoors this year as funds for the building of a new church have dried up. Acting parish priest, Father Dou Chuanguo, said that fund-raising efforts have come to a halt since the parish priest, Father Shang Kanfa, was arrested after a screwdriver-wielding man died in a heated scuffle on August 26 (Sunday Examiner, September 11). 

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Regional seminary in Shanxi suspends classes

FENYANG (UCAN): The Montecorvino Major Seminary in Shanxi province, northern China, did not re-open for the academic year beginning in September, due to a controversy over the dismissal of its rector.

Convening a board meeting on June 18, Bishop John Huo Cheng, from Fenyang, the chairperson of the board of directors, announced the decision to dismiss the seminary rector, Father Anthony Chang Tongxi, and begin the summer break with immediate effect.

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Banned Chinese novelist gets chance to talk

HONG KONG (SE): Liao Yiwu, who spent four years in prison after writing a poem called, Massacre, in the wake of the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 4 June 1989, finally got the opportunity to speak publicly in the United States of America (US) at the New York New School on September 13, at a function organised by PEN, an international human rights organisation.

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Sister and priest attacked reclaiming Church property

Kangding  (UCAN): Father Huang Yusong and Sister Xie Yuming were attacked by around a dozen unknown assailants on September 2 while trying to reclaim two former Church properties in Moxi county in southwestern Sichuan province.

The two were trying to assert Church rights over a former Latin school and boy’s school in Kangding diocese, which were confiscated by authorities in the 1950s, but due to be returned to the diocese.

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Man dies in fight with priest

 HAILUN (UCAN): A man died after a scuffle involving 46-year-old Father Shang Kanfa, a parish priest in northeastern Hailun City, Heilongjiang province, Harbin diocese, on August 26.
The dead man, named Wang, was the estranged husband of a community leader in the parish, a woman by the name of Gao.
A fight broke out at the Sacred Heart of Jesus church, which is under repair, when it is alleged Wang turned up carrying a screwdriver and looking for his ex-wife.
Eyewitnesses at the church repair site said that Wang appeared to have been drinking and confronted Gao in the parish office, de

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Three deacons ordained in Shaanxi

 YAN’AN (Agencies): Three men were ordained deacons by Bishop Giovanni Battista Yang Xialting in Yan’An, Shaanxi province, on August 30, Fides reports.

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Heavily Catholic province gets tough new head

 HEBEI (UCAN): Zhang Qingli, who earned a reputation as a hardline Communist Party chief in Tibet, has been has been appointed the party secretary of Hebei province, which is currently the centre of contention in the struggle between the Chinese government and the Catholic Church over the appointment of bishops.
Hebei is home to roughly one quarter of the 8 to 12 million Catholics in China.
A report published by Reuters on August 29 describes Zhang as having gained a reputation as an unyielding Communist Party secretary of Tibet, a strong Buddhist enclave.
Zhang’s new post will g

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Proposed law would legalise detention without charges

 BEIJING (AsiaNews): Police would be able to hold and detain suspects for months over matters involving national security, terrorism or corruption, if proposals currently before the National People’s Congress are adopted and come into effect.
The proposed changes would also affect the current legal situation of what is termed residential surveillance, a form of house arrest in which every movement of the suspect is monitored.
However, major Chinese media are highly critical of the pr

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Cardinal Shan looks towards elusive mainland

 TAIPEI (UCAN): Paul Cardinal Shan Kuo-hsi, who was denied a travel permit to visit the place of his birth on mainland China in June, has done the next best thing by going to a Taiwanese archipelago just off the Chinese coast.
The retired Cardinal Shan went to the Matsu Islands at the end of August, a former military zone a few nautical miles off the coast of China’s Fujian province, but more than 100 nautical miles from Taiwan itself, to speak about peace and love.
During his visit, the retired archbishop of Kaohsiung spoke on life to about 400 residents and military officers st

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Priests and parish leaders picked up in Gansu

  TAINSHUI (UCAN): Security officials detained a number of priests from the unofficial communities of the Church in Tianshui, northwestern Gansu province, between August 20 and 21.

Specifically targeting leadership positions in the diocese, those picked up include the administrator, Father John Baptist Wang Ruohan, and his brother, Father John Wang Ruowang; and retired Bishop Casmir Wang Milu; as well as several other priests and dozens of lay leaders.

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