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Workmen remove bishop's tombstone

Officials told local people there should be no construction on that piece of land

Workmen remove bishop's tombstone
Workers use a crane to remove the Cross and the upper structure of the grave reporter, Hong Kong

May 17, 2011

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The tombstone of Bishop Peter Li Hongye of Luoyang in the central province of Henan province was partly demolished on May 8, just 10 days after he was buried. Bishop Li, who was not recognized by the government, passed away after a heart attack while he presided over the Easter Vigil service on April 23. He was buried in his home town in Gong county, some 50 km east of Luoyang city, on April 29. A Church source said government officials told people there should be no construction on that piece of land, though the source thinks the real reason was they did not want to see a Cross. Another source suspected that the decision was based on fears that pilgrims would come to visit the bishop's grave. After negotiations, the officials only removed the Cross and the dome-shaped structure of the tombstone, leaving the base behind, they said. “The Catholics have to compromise, fearing that the officials may even remove the grave if an agreement was not reached,” a source explained. People were very sad when they watched a crane demolish the tombstone, they said, adding that the officials had already removed the wall around the grave a day before the bishop was buried. Related report ‘Underground’ bishop of Luoyang dies CH14254

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