Retired Bishop Francis Tong Hui spent 15 years in a communist prison
Parishioners have decorated the church in preparation for the funeral of retired Bishop Francis Tong Hui of Yan'an (Yulin). (Photo supplied)
A retired bishop in China's northwestern Shaanxi province died in hospital on Oct. 27, making him the sixth bishop in the country to pass away this year.
Retired Bishop Francis Tong Hui of Yan'an (Yulin) died from lung infection complications in Tangdu Hospital on Oct. 27. He was 83.
The bishop retired a year after his successor Father John Baptist Yang Xiaoting was ordained as coadjutor bishop of the diocese in 2010.
Bishop Yang, 52, told ucanews.com that a committee for the funeral arrangements has just been formed.
"Everything has to be discussed. The possible day for the funeral, I guess, will be on Nov. 2, All Souls Day," said Bishop Yang.
Recognized by both the Vatican and the Chinese government, Bishop Tong was the sixth bishop in the China church to have died this year. The other five were Bishops Thomas Zhang Huaixin of Anyang, Thomas Zeng Jingmu of Yujiang, Vincent Huang Shoucheng of Mindong, Vincent Zhu Weifang of Wenzhou and Anthony Xu Jiwei of Taizhou.
Bishop Tong developed symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and could not manage himself or celebrate Mass since 2009.
Anthony Lam Sui-ki, senior researcher of the Hong Kong Diocese's Holy Spirit Study Centre, said Bishop Tong was a low-profile bishop. "But the priests of Yan'an that I approached, they all have good comments to make about their bishop," said Lam.
Yan'an now has one bishop, 33 priests to serve 65,000 Catholics scattered over an area of 80,000 square kilometers.
The area in central China was once an important communist revolutionary base, and just before the cathedral finished construction, it was confiscated and turned into a museum dedicated to the history of the communist revolution.
Bishop Tong was born on Aug. 15, 1933 and was ordained a priest in 1956. He was arrested and imprisoned by the communist regime in 1965. He was released 15 years later in 1980.
He was ordained as the coadjutor bishop of Yulin (now renamed as Yan'an) in 1994 and succeeded Bishop Wang Zhenye to become the bishop of the diocese five years later.
Unequal Christians of Asian Churches is a new series of features aimed to help us see prejudice and bias that are at work in our Church. They also help us see the struggles of Catholics to live out their faith.
Such features come to you for FREE, but it cost us to produce them.
Share your comments
Around 1890, some Oraon tribal delegates went about 200 kilometers from Surguja to Ranchi to meet Belgian Jesuit Father
In a land area of 8,488 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers Suzhou city proper. Suzhou in Jiangsu province
In a land area of 1,500 square kilometers, the archdiocesan territory covers the entire civil district of Ernakulam and
St. Francis Xavier Church in the China town of former Vietnamese capital Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)...
The Cathedral of Good Shepherd in Singapore is a historic National Monument, but it also holds...
Queen of the Rosary Cathedral in Phat Diem is a testimony of faith and evangelization of a French...