Underground bishop undergoes 'study'

Sources suspect detention is related to secret ordination of unofficial prelate

Underground bishop undergoes 'study'
Bishop John Wang Ruowang of Tianshui
ucanews.com reporter, Tianshui, China

January 11, 2012

Bishop John Wang Ruowang of Tianshui and some of his priests have been forced to attend “study sessions” since the end of 2011, according to Church sources. The “underground” prelate, 50, who was secretly ordained with a papal mandate last year, was initially taken from Taijing Church by officials to a guesthouse in Tianshui city in northern Gansu province on December 30. “He is safe and sound. His mindset is positive,” one of the sources said, adding that the prelate could be reached via his mobile phone. When contacted, Bishop Wang said he was undergoing “education and conversion classes.” He said he expected all Tianshui priests belonging to the “underground” community would have to attend the class at separate times. Since January 4, seven diocesan priests have been taken away to “study.” Two of them have since been released to continue studying documents at home. The sources said this latest incident was the second mass detention of clergy, following one in August. They believed the two incidents are related to Bishop Wang’s secret ordination as the ordinary of Tianshui diocese. The pope also appointed Fr Bosco Zhao Jianzhang, who is in charge of the diocese’s “open” community, as coadjutor bishop last year. His ordination ceremony is yet to take place. Related reports Officials detain underground leaders ‘Open’ Church Bishop Of Tianshui Dies At 95

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