Chinese Bishop Jia Is Released

STAMFORD, Connecticut, JAN. 9, 2005 ( Chinese authorities allowed Catholic Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo to return home on Saturday, after he was arrested Jan. 5.

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The U.S.-based Cardinal Kung Foundation reported the news but said it had no further information on the prelate of the underground Catholic Church. The latter recognizes the Pope’s authority but is not officially approved by Beijing.

The bishop of Zheng Ding, Hebei province, was arrested in a church of the village of Wu Qiu by members of the Office of Religious Affairs. No reasons were given for the arrest.

Bishop Jia, 69, takes care of 100 handicapped orphans in his own home. He has been under house arrest for most of his episcopal ministry, and, to date, has spent 20 years in prison.

This was the sixth time the bishop was arrested in nine months, AsiaNews agency reported. Immediately after a detention that lasted until April 14, the Holy See, through Joaquín Navarro Valls, director of the Vatican press office, described the arrest as “inadmissible in a state of Law.”

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