I regularly think about times when the Church has been persecuted. Has been? Nay, rather… is being persecuted. I think it is a good idea to reflect on these matters frequently and even try to get your head around the real possibility of serious, sustained persecution in times to come.
Hebei Catholics: Penal Code reform means Xi Jinping must free imprisoned bishops and priests
by Bernardo Cervellera
The new laws, in force since 1st January 2013, provide for immediate access to a lawyer; immediate notification for the relatives; limits detention without trial to six months. Bishops and priests imprisoned without trial for seven years or more, should be allowed return home or receive visits from their relatives. Optimism of some faithful Hebei; skepticism of other church figures. [And who can blame them?]
Rome (AsiaNews) – Hebei priests and faithful are eagerly awaiting the return of their bishops and priests who have disappeared in police custody for years. From 1st January 2013, their hope of seeing their pastors, some detainees without trial for 15 years and more, it also has a legal basis.
Since the beginning of this year, in fact, the reformed penal code has passed into law which, at least in intention, aims to “respect and protect human rights.” An example of this is that under the new law no one should be forced to incriminate themselves and all arrests must be based on evidence “obtained in a legal manner”, i.e. not through torture.
The law also ensures immediate access to a lawyer within 48 hours of a request being made, and that the relatives of the suspect are to be informed of the circumstances and place of detention. Moreover during the period of detention, the suspect must be guaranteed an adequate diet and sleep. Finally, the police can not detain a person without charge for more than six months.
A Hebei priest told AsiaNews that under these new laws, enacted in the era of Xi Jinping, Msgr. James Su Zhimin, the underground bishop of Baoding (ds in the photo), 80, who disappeared in police custody 15 years ago, should be able to return home. His family every year, on the anniversary of his kidnapping, ask the police where their relative is being held, as of this year they will finally have an answer different from the one received in the past (“We do not know!”) .
There is also “legal” hope for Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang, 90 years old, underground bishop of Yixian (left in photo). Arrested by police and detained without trial since 2001, according to the new laws he should be able to return to his family and its dynamic diocese.
Read the rest there.
Read it with the thought in mind that Pres. Obama, if he could have his way, would impose an American Patriotic Catholic Association, under state control.
Holy Mary, Mother of the Church, intercede with your Son for our brothers and sisters in China and obtain for us the graces we will need when it is our turn to make the hard choices.