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Underground bishop of Shiqian dies
Huâ€™s integrity and loyalty to God has won respect from many local CatholicsBishop Augustine Hu of Shiqian
- ucanews.com reporter, Guiyang
- February 17, 2011
The underground bishop, whom the government recognized only as a priest, was unable to serve his diocese in the eastern part of Guizhou, and his movements were restricted in the St. Josephâ€™s Cathedral in Guiyang city, the provincial capital, for many years.
Coadjutor Bishop Paul Xiao Zejiang of Guiyang (Guizhou) said Hu died of complications led by lung cancer at around 2 a.m. The young bishop and two priests then dressed his body with vestments and held a requiem service at his bedside.
Bishop Huâ€™s body is now placed at the cathedral for Catholics to pay their last tribute until his funeral, in the status of a priest, scheduled on February 20.
Bishop Xiao explained that Guizhou province already has two bishops and â€śwe had a consensus with him that he served as a priest here and our diocese looked after him and supported his living.â€ť
The â€śopenâ€ť Church authority merged the provinceâ€™s three dioceses, namely Anlong, Guiyang and Shiqian, into Guizhou diocese in 1999. Bishop Anicetus Wang Chongyi of Guiyang, 93, heads the new diocese. He and his coadjutor are also Vatican-approved bishops.
Bishop Huâ€™s integrity and loyalty to God has won respect from many local Catholics. A layperson surnamed Li described his death was â€śa loss of our laypeople as well as the Church.â€ť
An open priest of Guiyang said Bishop Hu was kind-hearted to priests and laypeople. â€śFor a bishop who cannot exercise his episcopate, death is happiness for him.â€ť
Father John, an underground priest, pledged to succeed his bishopâ€™s â€ślegacy to follow Jesus loyally throughout our life.â€ť
Bishop Hu was born into a Catholic family in 1922. He entered Guiyang diocesan seminaries since 1934 and was eventually ordained a priest in 1951.
He served as a teacher of major seminary and assistant parish priest until he was arrested for his faith in 1955. He was sentenced to reform-through-labor and released in 1979. Since then, he had served as a parish priest.
In 1987, he received his episcopal ordination secretly from Bishop Peter Joseph Fan Xueyan of Baoding and got recognition from the Holy See later on.
Long-imprisoned underground bishop dies
Orphanage pioneer bishop dies aged 88
Young Coadjutor Bishop Of Guizhou Gains Support From Open And Underground Leaders