Hong Kong Cardinal Questions Chinese Authorities Over Death of Chinese Bishop

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(CNS)

Christian Today report– A Hong Kong Cardinal is seeking answers to the fate of a Chinese bishop who has been detained by Beijing for more than 60 years for refusing to denounce his Catholic faith.

According to Catholic news agency UCA News, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun of the Diocese of Hong Kong led members of the clergy to a protest on Saturday outside the Chinese government liaison office in Hong Kong, seeking official confirmation from Beijing on Bishop Cosma Shi Enxiang’s alleged death.

“The news of his death had been circulating for two weeks. The government should give us an answer. Is he really dead? When and where did it happen? Will they return the remains to his family?” Cardinal Zen demanded of the mainland government.

Bishop Cosma Shi Enxiang has been arrested by the Chinese government many times since 1954, and was sent to various labour camps and prisons for refusing to submit to religious oversight and denounce his loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church in Vatican.

He was arrested for the last time in 2001 and was not heard of again as he was detained in a secret location until his family received a call from government officials on January 31 announcing his death, although no details were given.

A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told UCA News that officials indeed approached Bishop Shi’s family in January and told them of the bishop’s death. However, other officials denied the news and claimed that they did not know the whereabouts of the bishop nor his current status.

The source also revealed to UCA News that the officials even claimed that the person who told Shi’s family of his death was “drunk,” and that the family were actually being approached to see if they could provide information about the bishop.

“Another (official) said the family had misunderstood, saying that the official approached the family to ask if they knew the recent situation of the bishop. Isn’t it ridiculous that the officials asked information from the family when it was the government who detained him?” the source said.

Source: Christian Today

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