Supporters tweet greetings to Bishop Ma
Faithful express online solidarity with isolated bishop
The then Father Thaddeus Ma of Shanghai in May 2012 – UCAN Photo
Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai yesterday received greetings from his flock through cyberspace a year after his controversial episcopal ordination.
Bishop Ma’s movements have been restricted since he publicly quit his post in the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association at his Episcopal ordination on July 7, 2012.
However, he continues to offer daily reflections on the Gospel and on the Year of Faith through weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter). He also occasionally remarks on social issues or responds to questions from laypeople.
Yesterday, he offered prayers for two Chinese students who died in a plane crash in San Francisco and their families on his weibo, which has 23,000 followers.
Many bloggers sent greetings to him, and expressed their solidarity with the 46-year-old prelate.
The choir of St Peter’s Church in Shanghai tweeted: “July 7 was the prelude of the Chinese people’s war of resistance again Japanese invasion [in 1937] and a turning point in our nationhood’s revival. Last year’s July 7 was also an everlasting commemoration day of our Church.”
“July 7 is Bishop Ma’s first anniversary of ordination! Congratulations in prayers! May God’s angels open their wings to protect our bishop…. We pray for God’s providence in this difficult journey. Save us, Lord!” read another tweet by Fr Andrew of Shanghai.
Shanghai Catholics have missed their young bishop, especially since his predecessor Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian of the “open” Church community died in late April.
Bishop Ma was not allowed to attend the funeral and was removed from the Sheshan Seminary in Shanghai, where he was being detained, to avoid attracting too many pilgrims to a nearby famous Marian shrine in May.
Since then, he has not returned to the seminary.
Church sources have told ucanews.com that his two-month study session at the Shanghai Institute of Socialism has probably ended. He visits his elder sister’s house during weekends and is consulting doctors, they said.
“He does not sleep well at night due to neurasthenia,” a source told ucanews.com.
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