Communist regime arrests ousted Chinese bishop

Communist regime arrests ousted Chinese bishop

Ordination and Episcopal Role (1989-2011)

In 1989, Shao received ordination as a priest, and his ecclesiastical journey led to his appointment as the coadjutor bishop of Wenzhou by papal mandate on November 10, 2011.

This period was characterized by strained Sino-Vatican relations due to unauthorized episcopal consecrations that occurred without the approval of the Apostolic See.

Becoming Bishop of Wenzhou (2016)

In 2016, following the death of Bishop Vincent Zhu Wei-Fang, Shao assumed the role of bishop for the diocese.

However, Chinese authorities have consistently refused to acknowledge his ordination and ministry, prompting the appointment of Father Ma Xianshi as the diocesan administrator.

Shao’s refusal to align with state-organized bodies governing the Church in China, such as the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC) and the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA), has intensified tensions.

Persecution and Detention (2018-2023)

The 61-year-old prelate has been a target of frequent harassment, arrest, and detention by Chinese authorities due to his steadfast refusal to legitimize the state-run Church and its affiliated organizations.

The state’s actions are fueled by Shao’s non-participation in entities like the BCCCC and CCPA.

Notably, he was detained in October 2021 and released two weeks later.

Subsequently, in February 2023, he and his secretary, Father Paolo Jiang Sunian, were detained, raising concerns about their ability to attend the funeral of underground priest Father Leo Chen Nailiang.

Continuous Struggle and Vatican Response

Shao’s commitment to the autonomy of the Church in China has led to his detention on multiple occasions, with the authorities forcibly relocating him in 2018.

Despite the challenges he faces, the Holy See Press Office has not issued a statement on Shao’s most recent arrest.

However, in 2017, the Vatican expressed “grave concern” about the bishop’s situation, emphasizing its observation of his removal from his episcopal see.

Religion News

TDPel Media

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