The cases of two Chinese Bishops. Prayers needed.

From CNA:

Vatican lauds ordination of China’s missing bishop

Vatican City, Jul 10, 2012 / 04:29 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican has praised the approved ordination of a Chinese bishop, who is now missing after announcing his split from the state-run Catholic Church during his ordination.

“The ordination of the Reverend Thaddeus Ma Daqin as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Shanghai on Saturday 7 July 2012 is encouraging and is to be welcomed,” said a July 10 Vatican communique.

During the ordination ceremony, Bishop Ma revealed that he was quitting his posts within the government-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association which refuses to acknowledge the authority of the Pope.   [This will be a real blow to Doctrix of the Church Nancy Pelosi and the First Gay President in their attempt to set up the American Patriot Catholic Association.]


Bishop Ma, however, has not been seen in public since. Various media outlets suggest he was whisked away by state-officials following the ceremony.

UCANews reports that priests and nuns in Shanghai have since received a text message from Bishop Ma’s cellphone claiming to be sent by him.


The mystery surrounding Bishop Ma comes on the day the Vatican formally announced the excommunication of 48-year-old Fr. Joseph Yue Fusheng following his illicit ordination as bishop of Harbin in north-east China on July 6.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Modern Martyrs, Our Catholic Identity, The future and our choices and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. riopeljm says:

    A cou

    A couple of months ago i found a prayer for The Church in China. It is: Mary, Virgin most faithful, support the path of the Chinese Catholics, render their prayer them ever more intense and precious in the eyes of the Lord and advance the affections and the participation of the Universal Church in the journey of the Church of China. Amen
    We are blessed in the US. It is not real difficult to be a practicing Catholic. Our only real hurdle here is ourselves.

  2. Johnno says:

    This will be more and more common as the world slinks further into Communism.

  3. Bob B. says:

    UCANews is not necessarily the best source for information – they almost always have an axe to grind with the Vatican and they never quite report everything.
    As for the CPA (a government run and financed “catholic” organization), they have been doing what they want for years now and the Vatican hasn’t taken a hard line with them since Pius XII- the Vatican wants to bring them into the fold, but “control” is all important to the communist government.
    The “underground” Church has suffered through the years (reeducation, arrest without charge, and martyrdom) and these are the true Catholics in China who Cardinals Zen and Kung have repeatedly asked everyone (especially those in the Vatican) not to foresake.

  4. eulogos says:

    What does this mean for ordinary Chinese people? If they attend the above ground Church, are they in schism? Are they not really Catholics? Are they in the same position as English people who continued to attend their parish churches after Henry (and then Elizabeth again) split England from the Church?

    What should one do if one visits China? I have heard it is dangerous for underground Catholics for Westerners to try to attend their masses. Jen Ambrose (of the Ambrosarama blog) once accidentally tried to attend a mass that seemed about to start, and it was cancelled, she thought perhaps because she was there. She attends the Patriotic Church. She posts pictures of masses and processions; it all appears very Catholic, more so than some Catholic parishes here in the US.
    It is difficult to accept that these people could be cut off from the church by the actions of their civil rulers….but that is what happened to Catholics in England, unless they were willing to risk impoverishment, imprisionment, torture, and death.
    Susan Peterson

  5. Supertradmum says:

    eulogos, I can tell you the English situation. In the early days of the Protestant Revolt in England, there was no confusion as to the Anglican (false) and Catholic (true) service. The Anglicans completely re-wrote the Mass and in most places, especially after the reign of Henry’s son, Edward, when the hard-line Protestant families (Seymours, one the Protector, among others) got control, Masses became mere prayer services, with the Prayer Book and a sermon. Communion would have been once a month and if the Catholics did not turn up, they were fined very expensive fines. The Recusant Families either paid the fines and continued with underground Masses, or no Masses, or left for France and other European countries. There was not a doubt as to whether something was Anglican or Roman.

    Cramner changed the form of the real Mass slowly but surely, so that most people would think it was merely reform and not destruction. The real Catholic Recusant families knew better, of course. Of course, the Anglican bishops who followed Henry did not pass on Apostolic Succession, as explained by Pope Leo XIII in Apostolicae Curae.

    Many Catholic families lost farms, houses, even their lives rather than submit.

    The case in China is both easier to sort out and harder to deal with in some ways, as people cannot just leave and are sometimes generally confused, just as some Catholics would have been confused by Cramner’s Mass. However, in any underground Church, those who want to know the Truth find it out. That this Bishop is missing probably means he is either in prison or hiding. We saw all this before under the Soviets, and you may remember the names of Cardinal Mindszenty and Cardinal Slipyj. If you have read their stories, do so. I grew up knowing about Mindszenty, as my parents and grandmothers talked about him. I learned about Slipyj later. We do not even know how many Ukrainians, both Catholic and Orthodox, were killed by the Soviets for their Faith.

    One cannot go to the false churches, as the Masses are invalid anyway. This is why the Pope has asked us to pray for the real Chinese bishops. If they disappear, there are no real priests. This could happen in America and western Europe as well.

  6. ppb says:

    When I visited China several years ago, I was vaguely aware of the situation with the Patriotic Church, but hadn’t thought out the details. I visited the local Catholic Church in the city where I stayed – it was billed as a tourist attraction – but I was torn about whether to attend Mass there or not, so I ended up not going to Mass at all during my three-week stay. When I brought this up in confession back in the states, I was advised that I did not have an obligation to attend Mass as a foreign visitor in China because of the situation there, and was given a penance (for my confession as a whole) to pray for the Catholics in China. It is definitely not recommended that Western visitors try to seek out an underground Catholic Church in China (you could attract the attention of the authorities to them), and with the Patriotic Church visitors wouldn’t know the situation on the ground to be able to determine whether the local clergy were recognized by Rome or not.

  7. eulogos says:

    I am not sure it is easy to know how things seemed for the ordinary Englishman.
    I also don’t know that it is true that weekly communion services immediately became weekly morning prayer with monthly communion. Do you? I suspect the difference to the ordinary parishioner at first was not much greater than the change from the EF to the Novus Ordo, also accompanied by the removal of many religious objects and the gutting of churches.
    The earliest versions of the prayer book look remarkably like a mass in English, depending on how it is celebrated. Large parts of the prayer book are in fact used as a mass by the Anglican Use. (not the canon though. But not because it would be impossible to use it. Orthodoxy uses even the prayer book canon with the change of a few words in its Western rite. ) And certainly no one then could have known what a much later Pope would decide about Anglican orders. Many people would have had their same old priest-who had been ordained by a Catholic bishop- celebrating the new rite, which I think would have been a valid if thoroughly illicit celebration, perhaps depending on the understanding of the celebrant as to what he was doing, since the words of consecration were there. He might still have believed he was offering the eucharistic sacrifice. There is no reason to think that everyone who conformed was a Cranmerian. Cowardice would not invalidate the celebration. Yes, there were some people willing to die for the connection to Rome, but I imagine there were many who just didn’t really understand what was going on, didn’t understand the theological issues, struggled with the conflict between the authorities they had been taught to respect and obey. I think maybe things were more clear to most people by Elizabeth’s time.

    As for China, there are bishops of the Patriotic Church who have been ordained with Rome’s permission. There would be no objection to attending mass and receiving communion in their dioceses, I wouldn’t think. In those dioceses where the bishop was ordained without permission from Rome, I would attend but not commune. Certainly these would still be valid celebrations of the mass. If I had to live there as a foreigner, (for instance, if my husband’s job sent him there) so that the underground church was not accessable, I would seek advice from a priest I trusted back home as to whether I might commune there.

    I don’t know by what standards you say “the masses are invalid anyway” in the “false churches.” There is no question of invalidity; all these priests and even bishops have been validly ordained, just like the SSPX, just like the Orthodox. Most of them even want to be in communion with Rome, but don’t want to desert their flocks who can’t all follow them underground.
    Susan Peterson

  8. Supertradmum says:

    eulogos I have been reading the history of the Anglican church for weeks for my thesis studies, and there is much, much documentation of weekly services, as the English kept records on who was fined, etc. One can go to the Public Records Office as well and get information on Recusants. There were no secrets here. Remember that Elizabeth I had a secret police system and a Star Chamber for persecution. Records were kept and still exist.

    People who conformed were excommunicated and they knew that. People chose to be Protestants. There was no mystery, as everyone knew who the Catholics were and when they came over. That is the entire point of the martyrs who were lay-they refused to conform and some were killed for hiding priests. There is a lot of history and one can also look at.

    As to the Chinese bishops, some had to take an oath that they would not be faithful to Rome, but to the Government. Therefore, some are schismatic. Joseph Ma Yinglin of Kunming is schismatic and not recognized by Rome, for example.

    I would never go to a schismatic church.

  9. CPT TOM says:

    I live this situation through my wife’s family…they are from Shanghai and I am sure that some of the relatives (aunts and uncles) have regular contact and with the Underground Church. They relate that the underground church, which is larger than the official Patriotic Association, is a very Chinese duplex situation. At a mass of the underground church the congregation “knows” who the state informants, undercover police and faithful are. I ask, “how can they live that way” and the response is, they do because they must. The state knows who the underground church members are, and they know that they know that they know. It is a situation that the Chinese can live with because their culture has a compartmentalized element to it. It can be maddening to some westerners (like me) who prefer a straight forward existence, but, they are like this because they must be to survive where they are. Pray for the Underground Church, pray to our Lady of China for its protection.

  10. eulogos says:

    supertradmum-I was thinking more of the situation early in the split. As I said, after the church returned to Rome under Mary and was wrenched away again under Elizabeth, people did understand more about it. Of course some understood right from the beginning.

    What is the subject of your thesis?

    What do you think would happen in the US if a large number of bishops withdrew from Rome, or a few bishops with a lot of parishes? I feel certain that the local parish here would have few people in it who would understand what the problem with this was. There would be a few, of course. I wonder if there would be enough in the whole diocese to make up a good sized parish. I wonder which priests would withdraw themselves from the new official structure to minister to the remnant? A minority, maybe a few of the few young ones. And this would be so even without life threatening persecution.

    How available is the information in China as to whether one’s bishop is in communion with Rome of not? I feel those people are facing a situation which is so beyond what we face that they are beyond our judgment.

    You would never go to a schismatic church? You wouldn’t, for instance, attend an Orthodox Divine Liturgy? I always do when I am in Annapolis; get up early to go to mass and then go to Divine Liturgy at a wonderful Orthodox parish near there. Since I know the Pope has done this since he became Pope,(for instance when he visits the Archbishop of Constantinoble) I don’t see how it could be wrong for me.

    Susan Peterson

  11. PostCatholic says:

    [This will be a real blow to Doctrix of the Church Nancy Pelosi and the First Gay President in their attempt to set up the American Patriot Catholic Association.]

    Really? More about this attempt, please. I get the idea that for both of these people, religion isn’t a big part of their lives, so I’d be surprised if they were founding some sort of cult.

  12. Johnno says:


    In statements and press releases from the White House, Obama and Nancy Pelosi have been using dissident and unorthodox Catholic groups approvals are proof that their policies with regards to the HHS mandate etc. are ‘in accord’ with Catholic teachings, over and above the statements of the US Catholic Bishops. They indirectly present these groups as the authoritative voice of the Catholic Church, and consult with them on a great number of things rather than or even before the Bishops. For them, these groups are the ‘authentic’ Catholic Church, or at least the ones they’d prefer the American people pay attention to, not the Bishops.

  13. Pingback: The Vatican, a Chinese bishop, and Obama | Catholic Canada

  14. Supertradmum says:

    eulogos, I went to a Christmas service year ago at the Orthodox Cathedral in Minneapolit/St Paul and my friend did become a Catholic, but, of course I went to my own Catholic Mass as well for the feast. I just would not go on a regular basis in China, especially. There have been notices of approved bishops in China and unapproved ones from the Vatican on a fairly regular basis, so the Internet sources keep up with this.

    In the earliest days of the Revolt of Henry VIII, people were very clear on the situation. Catholic priests who stood up against the split from Rome were martyred publicly and all documents regarding the Acts were public. Those priests and bishops who left the True Church were not in confusion. All the bishops but one came back under Mary and were reconciled to the Church, but obviously not canonized. We think the Renaissance and Medievals were illiterate or stupid. No, they knew what was going on and were less confused than we are now.

    My thesis in on the Ordinariate.

  15. PostCatholic says:

    Johnno, in other words they’ve behaved like politicians who seek any port in storm. I hardly think they’re about to start their own parallel religion, though. I have a feeling, along the lines of Henry II, they’d find it more convenient if troublesome clerics just shut up and went away (and like Henry, might later regret the sentiment).

Comments are closed.