CHINA – VATICAN
Mindong: Fr. Liu released (VIDEO). But in Zhengding the bishop has been kidnapped for over a month
The 46-year-old priest returned home yesterday at 6.30pm. Msgr.Julius Jia Zhiguo was taken from his residence last August 15.
Rome (AsiaNews) – Fr Liu Maochun, an unofficial priest, kidnapped for 17 days by members of the Religious Affairs Bureau was released yesterday. A few hours after theAsiaNewsreport around 6.30 pm local time, Fr. Liu was able to return to his faithful (see video).
So no further news on his wellbeing has been sharede.
Fr Liu, 46, is among about 20 priests in the diocese of Mindong (Fujian) who do not accept membership of the “independent Church” subject to the Chinese Communist Party. All these priests suffer from pressure and censorship to force them to sign up.
Meanwhile, some faithful from Zhengding (Hebei) recall that their bishop, Msgr. Julius Jia Zhiguo, not recognized by the government, has been held prisoner for over a month by the ministry of religious affairs.
According to information shared, the bishop was sequestered on August 15 to educate him in the politics of the Patriotic Association (PA), the organization that controls the life of the Church in China, which aims to build a national Church independent of the Holy See.
Msgr. Jia allegedly removed one of his priests who would have joined the PA from a parish of the diocese. The PA is demanding the priest be reintegrated into the parish.
According to Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics, the decision to enter the official Church must be made by the bishop, after having conversed with all the priests (No. 7).
Bishop Jia is famous throughout China for his commitment to abandoned children. He is in charge of an orphanage that the authorities are constantly threatening to close.