ucanews.com reporter, Handan
Updated: July 13, 2011 08:49 AM GMT
Coadjutor Bishop Joseph Sun Jigen of Handan (Yongnian) was released back to his diocese in northern Hebei province, following which the diocese announced over the weekend that he was clandestinely ordained three weeks ago. The ordination rite with papal mandate was presided by Bishop Stephen Yang Xiangtai of Handan, 89, on June 21. Church sources said Fathers John Huai Jianting and Peter Liu Xiuhua told local government officials that Bishop Sun was already consecrated. The officials took the priests away forcibly last week in a move thought to be aimed at pressuring them to invite Bishop Joseph Guo Jincai of Chengde, also from Hebei. The diocese publicly scheduled the ordination on June 29, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. The government opposed it, as the diocese rejected the illegitimate bishop who was ordained last November. The government also claimed the date was too close to the 90th anniversary of the formation of the Communist Party of China on July 1. After the secret ordination, Bishop Sun went to Anyang (Weihui) diocese in neighboring Henan province for a retreat. Upon completing his retreat on June 26, he was allegedly forced into a police car and taken away to the provincial capital Shijiazhuang. As a result, the diocese had to cancel the June 29 “ordination.” Most diocesan priests and even Catholic families say they have been watched by uniform and plainclothes police before and after that day. A source close to Bishop Sun said the coadjutor bishop was accompanied by the officials to meet Bishop Yang, who was hospitalized due to a heart attack, on July 6 and report to the elderly bishop on the recent happenings. Bishop Sun was released three days later. But some dubious persons, probably plainclothes, are still lingering at his church courtyard, sources said. Bishop Sun was born in 1967 and entered the minor seminary when he was 19. He graduated from the Hebei Catholic Theological and Philosophical Seminary in 1992. He was ordained a priest in 1995, appointed diocesan chancellor in 1997 and then vicar general from 2001 to 2005. He was elected as the coadjutor bishop candidate in 2010. Related reports Authorities detain two northern priestsDifferent outcomes for China ordinationsChina cancels ordination of bishopOrdination to proceed despite objections
….As we enter the first months of 2022, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.