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Apostolic Prefecture of Xinjiang-Urumqi

Bishop Paul Tingzhe Xie
Bishop Paul Tingzhe  Xie
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Bishop Paul Tingzhe Xie
c/o Church of the Immaculate Conception 200, Heping Road, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830001, China
+86 991 887 74 65
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Bishop Paul Xie Tingzhe of Urumqi, 79, grew up in Lanzhou province in a family that practiced folk religion. He attributes his conversion to Catholicism to the death of a younger brother. "When I was 10, one of my younger brothers suffered from dropsy. There was little improvement though my mother prayed fervently to the gods," he said. Neighbors suggested his mother seek help from a foreign Catholic nun. The nun's medical treatment did not avail against the disease, but she baptized his ailing brother before he died without telling the family of the Baptism. "For some days after his death, we still felt his spirit hovering around the house. My mother asked the nun for help. She brought along a German priest to our house to exorcise the spirits. We found peace again," he smiled. Then the family learned of the late brother's Baptism. Believing in Catholicism, his mother led the whole family to be baptized, said Bishop Xie. Responding to God's call, he entered the Lanzhou seminary at the age of 15. As a seminarian in 1958, Xie was detained for refusing to join the government-sanctioned Catholic Patriotic Association. He was kept at a Lanzhou camp to make shoes and later transferred to a reform-through-labor farm in Urumqi. Upon his release in 1980, he was ordained a priest the same year on Feb. 5, the feast day of Saint Agatha. Then Father Xie returned to Urumqi shortly after to work for the Catholics in Xinjiang — the place where he had spent his youth in detention for 20 years. "I made it very clear to the local government my position on the loyalty to the pope,"he noted. "They know it well and so I work in the open Church,"the bishop said. He was consecrated as bishop of Urumqi secretly in 1991. Till today, the local government only recognizes the Vatican-approved bishop as a priest. In spite of his age, he is an active Internet user and has his blog to spread the Gospel. Died on 14.08.2017.
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