The Cardinal Kung Foundation reported that Bishop Jia Zhiguo, 73, was arrested Tuesday morning (Beijing time) by the public security bureau.
“We do not know why the bishop was taken away, nor do we know where he is,” reported the agency.
An expert speaking to AsiaNews suggested that Bishop Jia’s arrest could be linked to the imminent publication of Benedict XVI’s letter to China’s Catholics.
According to AsiaNews, the prelate is routinely abducted on the eve of important feasts, such as Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Pentecost and the Assumption. The government does this to prevent underground Christian celebrations.
Bishop Jia has been arrested at least nine times since 2004.
He was ordained bishop in 1980, and has spent almost all his episcopal ministry under house arrest and some 20 years in prison. He keeps around 100 disabled orphans in his home, covering expenses himself.