PRC interferes wtih the funeral of a bishop

His Hermeneuticalness picked up a story about Chinese state interference in the funeral of a bishop.

In a UCANews report:

The sources also said local government officials forbade the use of the term zhujiao (bishop) on banners and wreaths, but a compromise was reached with the use of "Lin mu" (shepherd Lin). However, officials allowed the verbal use of "Lin zhujiao" during funeral Masses and other memorial services.

Authorities did not allow Bishop Lin’s body to be clothed in bishop’s garb, but his family members placed the zucchetto or bishop’s skullcap on his head just before the cremation, sources said.


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  1. Why was he cremated?

  2. Jayna says:

    Much as there may be idiots in this country (US) who discriminate against Catholics and the Church, I just cannot even imagine the government forbidding a bishop from being vested as a bishop for his funeral. I know that Communism, ideally, is supposed to create an egalitarian society in which citizens are provided for by each other and the state, but denying them the right to practice their religion (whatever religion it may be) is definitely not going to aid them in that goal. Opiate for the masses, my foot.

  3. tired student says:

    Perhaps because cremation is more culturally accepted in China. It’s a licit option of the Church, and in some cultures (like India and Japan) cremation is the strong cultural norm. Bp. Lin was probably not cremated with the intent to deny the resurrection of the body (wasn’t there, can’t be sure, just a hunch.)

  4. moon1234 says:

    Cremation is not a valid option just because one wants it in the church. If you read only the current law without looking at previous law, then you are not seeing the entire law and teaching. Thradition has always held that cremation is reserved only for those times when famine, mass death or other emergency requires cremation for the protection of the living.

    The current law says cremation is allowed. No where though does the current law state that previous teaching and tradition were incorrect. Therefore the statement that cremation is allowed is an incomplete answer. It IS technically allowed, but only when it does not conflict with previous tradition and teaching.

  5. Burial was traditional for all Chinese even in pagan days; they believed that the soul/s would wander for all eternity if the body was not buried correctly.

    So it’s likely that the atheist Chinese government has some law commanding cremation, just to be nasty to everybody; or there really isn’t enough room in the cemeteries, and they took this step instead of one more culturally sensitive.

    But hey, who knows. Catholics may actually prefer cremation in China, to emphasize that they aren’t living in fear of the hun (sp?) soul wandering around for all eternity as a hungry ghost.

    My point is that whatever is going on, it’s stupid to make proclamations about it out of ignorance. It’s also stupid to say that options the Church allows are being used out of sheer perversity on the part of Chinese Catholics, working yourselves up to scandalize yourself and others. The poor man’s funeral was bad enough, thanks to the Chinese government’s petty control issues. Let’s not help them out by declaring that whatever the Chinese faithful managed to do for him was useless and evil.

    I’m sure next time somebody saves the combox from drowning, we’ll be sure to criticize his swimming stroke, and complain about the immodesty of his wet shirt. :)

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