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Released underground Bishop warned not to say mass

Bishop Julius Jia Zhi Guo of Zhengding in northern China, was released last week after three days in isolation, but warned by police not to celebrate the rites and Masses of Holy Week and Easter.

67 year old Bishop Jia Zhi Guo is a member of the unofficial Church and for this reason he has spent more than 20 years in prison. He has been alternately arrested, put in prison, confined to house arrest, isolated from his people and made to follow political sessions aimed at convincing him to join the Chinese Catholics' Patriotic Association.

Recently Fides issued a list of 50 Catholic bishops and priests of the underground Church prevented from exercising their ministry like Bishop Jia Zhi Guo, put in prison, or sent to forced labour camps for "re-education".

Bishop Jia Zhi Guo is in charge of one of the most active diocese in Hebei, the region of China with the highest number of Catholics, about 1.5 million. In 1999, to prevent his evangelising activity, the police made the Bishop close an orphanage for abandoned and handicapped children.


3 Apr 2002