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Mgr Andrea Tsien, champion of the underground church

ICC Note:

A retired bishop of Hualian that was well known as a strong supporter of China’s underground church passed away yesterday due to a heart attack.

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2/18/09 China (AsiaNews) Mgr Andrew Tsien Chih-chun, bishop emeritus of the diocese of Hualian, died yesterday of a heart attack at the age of 83 in the city’s Mennonite Hospital. Retired since 2002 the prelate was known as staunch supporter of China’s underground Church. For years he worked for the reconciliation of the official and underground Churches.

He worked for the reconciliation of the official and underground Church in times when underground Catholics suffered violent persecution and the official Church was almost completely beholden to the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA)

In his farewell speech to his diocese in 2002 he said: “Now I am going into retirement, but I shall not grow idle . . . . I am going to focus especially on the underground Church in China. I shall be in touch with them, share their suffering, become their spokesman . . . . I will try to promote the communion of the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”

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