China Arrests 7 Priests at Spiritual Retreat

Latest Moves Dim Hopes for Change in Policy

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

STAMFORD, Connecticut, APRIL 28, 2005 ( Seven priests of the Diocese of Zhengding were arrested near the city of Jinzhou where they were gathered with their bishop for a spiritual retreat.

News of the Wednesday arrests was reported by the Cardinal Kung Foundation, a U.S.-based watchdog group.

The seven priests of the «underground Church» — which recognizes papal authority — had left their parishes to attend a spiritual retreat led by Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo in the diocese in Hebei province.

Bishop Jia, 71, had just been released from round-the-clock surveillance, which lasted approximately from March 30 to April 25.

The priests were arrested in Wuqiu village by the Security Bureau of Shijiszhuang, officers of the religious bureau, and dozens of police, according to the Connecticut-based Kung Foundation.

Bishop Jia was warned by the Public Security and religious bureaus not to initiate any religious activities.

The seven priests were sent to the Security Bureau of their respective parishes.

Four were identified as Father Wang Dingshan, 50, of Wuji county; Father Li Suchuan, 40, of Zhaoxian; Father Pei Zhenping, 43, of Luancheng; and Father Yin Zhengsong, 32, of Dingzhou. Their ages are approximated.

«It defies logic,» said Joseph Kung, president of the U.S. group. «How could the Chinese government on one hand proclaim to Pope Benedict XVI and the world their willingness to improve the relationship between China and the Vatican, and on the other hand keep arresting the Pope’s priests?»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation