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Bishop voted Chinese Catholic of 2010

Cangzhou prelate wins the respect of CathNews China readers

Bishop Joseph Li Liangui of Cangzhou (Xianxian) wins Chinese Catholic Person of 2010 Bishop Joseph Li Liangui of Cangzhou (Xianxian) wins Chinese Catholic Person of 2010
  • ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
  • China
  • January 20, 2011
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Bishop Joseph Li Liangui of Cangzhou (Xianxian) is the Chinese Catholic Person of 2010 following a first ever vote by readers of CathNews China, the Chinese-language service of ucanews.com.

The 46-year-old prelate won with 23 percent of the vote, narrowly edging out Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun by just three votes.

Bishop Li, who was once missing, was taken to a “study session” in a guesthouse after he returned to the diocese on Dec. 17. He was ordered to write a letter of repentance for “unauthorized departure from duty,” by not attending the government-sanctioned National Congress of Catholic Representatives in early December. He has now returned to the diocese.

Authorities have also threatened to end his role in the provincial Political Consultative Conference and remove him as Cangzhou’s bishop, if he does not repent for his “wrongdoings” and the “negative impact he has caused,” sources have told ucanews.com.

Many voters agreed that Bishop Li is a good role model for Chinese Catholics, especially to other bishops, and is a pillar in the China Church.

They praised his bravery as a young “open” bishop who did not join the congress, and understood that he was forced to participate in an illicit episcopal ordination in Chengde in November.

Cardinal Zen, retired bishop of Hong Kong, meanwhile was described by many voters as a prophet who dares to speak for truth and justice.

The outspoken prelate not only presided over prayer services for the China Church and religious freedom, he also published articles defending Church principles on controversial issues in 2010.

“He understands well the need and direction of the Church in China,” one voter said.

“His voice is a source of strength for the mainland clergy and faithful in guarding pure faith.”

The week-long vote in early January, saw voting not just from mainland China but also from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Argentina, Britain, France, Singapore and the United States.

The Hebei seminarians were among those candidates who got higher votes. Those who elected them appreciated their bravery in fighting for the good of the Church.

Voters for Archbishop-elect Savio Hon Tai-fai felt proud of his appointment as the first Chinese to take up a senior post at the Vatican.

Supporters of the Catholic nuns and volunteers said they see from them charity and perseverance in serving quake victims in Qinghai province against averse climate and environment.

Despite his cancer, Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi’s promotion on culture of life has also earned respects from some voters.

Related reports
CathNews China seeks Catholic Person of 2010
Authorities pile pressure on Catholics in Hebei
Hebei seminary strike talks in deadlock
Cardinal Zen saddened by Chengde ordination
Students spend summer aiding quake victims

CH12945.1637
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