On May 18th, Chinese Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin was forcibly removed from his diocese by Chinese officials and has not returned since. While the whereabouts of the bishop are unknown, recent reports reveal that he was spotted getting in the car with government officials at the Wenshou airport on June 14th. The Communist Party is attempting to bring Bishop Zhumin over to the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA). “The CPA advocates an independent church principle, which is incompatible to Catholic doctrine.” The Holy See anxiously awaits to see its Bishop again.
06/30/2017 China (UCA News) – The Vatican has broken its silence over the forced disappearance of an underground bishop being held secretly somewhere in China by the communist government.
In response to questions from journalists, Greg Burke, the Vatican’s spokesman, released astatement June 26 about Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou who was taken by Chinese government officials from his diocese in eastern Zhejiang province on May 18.
“The Holy See is observing with grave concern the personal situation of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, forcibly removed from his episcopal see some time ago,” said the statement.
The statement went on to say that the government has given no reason for the bishop’s disappearance and that the Holy See is “profoundly saddened” by what has occurred and for “other similar episodes that unfortunately do not facilitate ways of understanding.”
The Holy See expressed the hope that the bishop would return to his diocese as soon as possible.
The statement comes as a new round of China-Vatican negotiations on bishop appointments are expected to be held in Rome this week.