Underground Bishop
Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang of Shanghai, a leader of China's "underground" Catholic Church, has died at the age of 96.

Bishop Fan, had served as president of the underground Church’s episcopal conference, died at home. He had been under house arrest for most of the past two decades.

Born in 1918 and baptized at age 14, Bishop Fan became a Jesuit in 1938 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1951. Four years later, the Communist regime sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

He was secretly ordained a bishop in 1985; 15 years later, Blessed John Paul II appointed him bishop of Shanghai. The government did not recognize his appointment.

Chinese government officials have allows only a private funeral service, taking place in a funeral parlor, for the deceased bishop. The government rejected a request from Catholics to hold the funeral in Shanghai's Catholic cathedral, where the funeral of Bishop Aloysius Jin was held last year. Bishop Jin had been recognized by the government as head of the Shanghai diocese, whereas Bishop Fan was never recognized by the Beijing regime.

Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, who was ordained in 2012 as an auxiliary for the Shanghai diocese, with the approval of both the Vatican and the government, is now under house arrest. Bishop Ma lost the government's approval when, at his ordination ceremony, he announced that he was leaving the government-backed Catholic Patriotic Association.

These Bishops in China put the post Vatican 2 other bishops to shame, they are real CHRISTIANS!!!!!
(03-18-2014, 09:08 PM)salus Wrote: These Bishops in China put the post Vatican 2 other bishops to shame, they are real CHRISTIANS!!!!!

The bishops you're celebrating are post-Vatican II bishops too.
Yes, but in China the teachings are still conservative.

So, in China the biggest problem is political, not theological. Everyone is busy with the Patriotic Association.

We still have many converts every year, but vocations are very few now since we changed the mass in 1990s.
(03-18-2014, 09:09 PM)loggats Wrote:
(03-18-2014, 09:08 PM)salus Wrote: These Bishops in China put the post Vatican 2 other bishops to shame, they are real CHRISTIANS!!!!!

The bishops you're celebrating are post-Vatican II bishops too.
They give all in order to be in communion with the Catholic Church
Chinese authorities have allowed Catholic priests to celebrate Mass for Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang of Shanghai, who died on March 16.

After originally refusing to allow the use of Shanghai’s cathedral for the funeral of Bishop Fan—who was never recognized by the Chinese government—officials have allowed a Mass said for the deceased prelate in the cathedral, as well as Masses in the funeral home where hundreds of people had prayed over his remains.

From Rome, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, the secretary of the Congregation for Evangelization, saluted Bishop Fan as “a good pastor in every sense, who sacrificed everything for his sheep. In his praise for the deceased prelate, distributed through the AsiaNews service, Archbishop Hon remarked that years under house arrest had failed to break the Chinese bishop’s spirit. “Bishop Fan’s external freedom was always restricted,” he said, “but not his interior freedom.”

An estimated 5,000 Chinese Catholics gathered in Shanghai for the funeral of Bishop Joseph Fan Zhonliang, the leader of the “underground” Church, the AsiaNews service report.

Although Bishop Fan was not recognized by the Chinese government, local officials allowed a public funeral for the prelate, and the presiding celebrant—Father Zhu Yude, a priest of the “underground” Church—referred to the deceased of “Bishop” Fan, ignoring the government’s prohibition on the use of that title.

Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, the auxiliary bishop of Shanghai, was not present at the funeral. Bishop Ma has been under house arrest since his ordination, when he publicly renounced his membership in the government-backed Patriotic Association.

May His Lordship rest in peace and may he pray for his Chinese people! Eternal Memory!
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.
:pray: :pray: :pray:
About 5,000 Catholics, including 70 priests from open and underground communities in Shanghai and other dioceses, gathered at a funeral parlor in Shanghai to celebrate the requiem Mass for Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang, [the 97-year-old] ordinary of Shanghai who was not recognized by the Chinese government. The Mass was presided by Fr. Zhu Yude from the underground community of the Shanghai diocese, AsiaNews reports.


“Father Zhu spoke about faith and servant, and asked Catholics to follow the example of Bishop Fan.” Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, who is currently under house arrest, was absent. “Until last night, Catholics in Shanghai were hoping Bishop Ma could come, but he was closely watched, sources in Shanghai said. The 70 priests concelebrated, and each wore a red stole. "Red symbolizes martyrdom," participating priests told AsiaNews.


“At the Eucharistic prayer, priests recited "our bishop Thaddeus.” “In the funeral hall, on a banner, the term "bishop" was replaced with "shepherd", as the Chinese government always bars underground prelates from being called "bishop" at funerals. However, Bishop Fan was addressed as "bishop" orally throughout the liturgy.” 


“A booklet was specially made for this requiem Mass. A total of 4,000 copies of the booklet was distributed, but insufficient,” AsiaNews reports. 


“Since Bishop Fan was not recognized by the Chinese government, his body was not allowed by the Chinese government to be buried inside St. Ignatius' Cathedral in Shanghai. Instead, Catholics bought a place in a cemetery in Sheshan area to bury his remains after cremation, sources said.”


“This morning, two hours before the liturgy, the courtyard in front of the funeral parlor was filled with thousands of Catholics. Police were directing traffic in the area. A huge screen was set up in the courtyard to televise the situation inside the funeral parlor. Police put up barriers in the courtyard to confine Catholics to a certain area of the courtyard. The Mass lasted for more than 2 hours. Then, Catholics, one by one, paid the last tribute to see the body of Bishop Fan.”

  At lunch time, participants were given bread and water before they attended the farewell session in the afternoon. Then, the body of Bishop Fan was taken to cremation. An underground priest told AsiaNews that he was happy the liturgy went on smoothly with God's blessing. As priests from both sides reconciled and concelebrated at the funeral, he said, hoping that the Church in China will be united.”


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