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Mgr Jia Zhiguo freed, should be back in police custody very soon

ICC Note:

Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhengding was temporarily released Friday on the persistent requests of relatives that the Bishop be able to see his ill uncle before he passes. The 73 year old Bishop has been imprisoned multiple times in an effort to force him to submit to the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA). May the prayers of the church be as persistent as his natural family’s so that our Father might grant him a complete release to continue his work in China.

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12/18/2007 China (AsiaNews) After almost four months of detention, Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhengding (Hebei) was released on 14 December, but he should be detained again very soon. According to local sources, Bishop Jia’s family made numerous requests for his release because an uncle is seriously ill and wants to see him before dying.

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A local Catholic also cited a government official saying that Bishop Jia will again be detained after a few days because he needs to undergo a “learning session,” but the official did not specify if that would be before or after Christmas.

The last time the bishop was detained was on 23 August when he reportedly removed a sign displaying the words Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), which government officials had placed it outside his cathedral. The CPCA is a government organisation not recognised by the Holy See which interferes in the life of the Church trying to impose its own bishops without Vatican approval. According to sources, priests of the diocese say they had no details about the detention.

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Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo, 73, has spent more than 15 years in prison. Since 1980 when he was appointed underground bishop he has been arrested and detained several times. In custody he has been subjected to political indoctrination (brain washing) in order to make him submit to the CPCA and join the Chinese Bishops’ Council, a Bishops’ Conference not recognised by the Holy See.

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